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Today's news...3/8/05

MARCH 08, 2005 -- Nike Foundation Will Focus On Girls In Developing World

There’s a new focus and direction at the Nike Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Nike Foundation will provide grants and leverage Nike's voice and global reach to help improve the lives and well being of adolescent girls in the developing world as a critical link to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of poverty alleviation and gender equality.

"The Nike Foundation is a further step in Nike's evolution as an engaged global corporate citizen," said Phil Knight, COB, Nike, Inc. "Its philanthropic focus on poverty and gender inequality allows us to further invest in human capital not just where we do business, but where there is the greatest need. We believe the Foundation's investments in human capital will spark a positive cycle of development and complements Nike, Inc.'s efforts around improvements in our fundamental business practices."

Working in partnership with leading organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, the World Bank, the Population Council and the International Center for Research on Women, the Nike Foundation will support projects that combine innovation with tested models that inspire and mobilize support for girls' empowerment and well being through increased economic and social opportunities.

"Research has shown time and time again the ripple-effect of positive outcomes for girls and boys, communities, countries and the world when girls and young women are provided access to education and other meaningful opportunities to participate more fully in life," said Maria Eitel, president of the Nike Foundation. "If given the chance, girls will play a critical role in educating future generations, improving economic conditions and the state of the world's health, as well as protecting the natural resources."

The philanthropic work of the Nike Foundation will complement the community investments directly made by the company largely through NikeGO, a global program designed to use sport and physical activity to bring positive change to young people. The Nike Foundation and Nike combined will continue to target giving 3% of Nike's preceding fiscal year's pre-tax profit to non-profit organizations and community partners around the world. In FY04, that totaled $37.3 million in cash, product and in-kind services. Nike has infused the Foundation with approximately $20 million (in cash and land donation) for the work ahead. Going forward, Nike will direct a portion of Nike's annual giving target of 3% to the Foundation to support its mission.

At the core of its giving approach, the Nike Foundation is supporting programs in the areas of health, education and economic and social opportunities through investments, advocacy and the development of "safe spaces" to help bring together and empower young girls while encouraging freedom of expression, leadership and self-confidence.

Projects totaling more than $5 million have already been selected for funding in countries the Foundation has identified as having the greatest need, such as Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Zambia. One of the initial projects is a more than $600,000 grant over two years to the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, one of the world's largest and most respected non-governmental organizations. The funds will support BRAC's Employment and Livelihood for Adolescents program, a pilot that uses learning centers to provide approximately 45,000 girls and young women in 1,500 rural communities across Bangladesh the opportunity to socialize and access information on personal finance, life-skills and reproductive health. The ELA model builds on BRAC's successful rural education efforts for girls throughout Bangladesh and should provide further opportunities to scale-up and replicate.

Winter Sports Sales Thru January Rose 2.8%

Overall sales for the entire winter sport market (including specialty and chain stores) were up 2.8% in dollars to $1.76 billion for the August 2004 through January 2005 period, compared to $1.71 billion reported for the same period last year, according to the SnowSports Industries America Retail Audit. Unit-sales were down 7.3%. Sales at specialty ski and snowboard shops were up 2.6% compared to last season. In dollars, that translates to $1.37 billion in sales compared to $1.33 billion for the same period last season. Unit-sales were down from last season 2.6%.

"Late-month snowstorms in the Midwest and Northeast helped specialty stores bring in solid January sales (up 3% over last season) and a healthy 9% jump in apparel sales," said Christine Martinez, market research manager of SIA. The SIA Retail Audit tracks and reports sales in all snow sports product categories. This is the fourth report of six that look at sales through March 31, 2005, the end of the winter season.

Lotto Setting Up Own Organization In China

Lotto Sport Italia's licensing agreement with Lightening Star Corp. for China, Macau and Hong Kong has terminated. A new trading company, a subsidiary of Lotto Sport Hong Kong, will be established and control two companies that will have their headquarters in Shanghai and Nanjing. The new organization will be seen at ispo China next week.

The Shanghai company will take care of the distribution of Lotto products on the Chinese market. A first step will be the opening of 10 Lotto flagship stores in China's major cities by the end of September 2005. It will also be in charge of identifying new partners who will operate as franchisees for stand-alone shops, shop-in-shops and corners inside department stores and shopping malls. The Nanjing-based company will run sourcing activities to efficiently support the distribution network.

Outdoor Retailer Postpones OutdoorPreview Event

Based on feedback from the outdoor market, Outdoor Retailer has determined that the "OutdoorPreview" event that was originally scheduled for June 7-9, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago will be postponed until further notice.

The OutdoorPreview event was designed to provide an opportunity for a limited number of interested apparel brands and buyers to meet two months ahead of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show (August 11-14). As many manufacturers and retailers schedule meetings during June and July, especially for apparel line breaks, OutdoorPreview was conceived to create a custom event for this segment and improve ROI for both the buyer and seller.

"Our decision to postpone the OutdoorPreview is based on what we learned through many conversations with the market over the past three months. The fact is there are many differing needs and objectives occurring during this buy/sell cycle, and we'd like to do some additional homework to address those needs," said Peter Devin, Outdoor Group director.

"We will continue the dialogue with our customers and interested retailers about future timing, scheduling and operational details for a future OutdoorPreview. However for 2005, the industry has spoken and we want to deliver what is best for the outdoor market," added Devin.

Top Flite Boosts Sales & Marketing Team

The Top Flite Golf Co. added to its marketing and sales team. Jamie Bosworth, VP/marketing & sales, has named Bob Arnold director of marketing, Ben Hogan; Kevin Martin director of insides sales & customer service; Dennis Blake director of PR and pro tour; and Jared Zimmerman, manager of special markets.

Arnold is responsible for expanding the Ben Hogan brand from a traditional forged mindset to also include a number of technological, game-improvement offerings in the family. Arnold brings a blend of diverse business experience to the position having worked as an outside sales representative for Callaway Golf and Odyssey Golf, and Acushnet/Cobra Golf.

Martin spent the past six years with Callaway Golf as a lead inside sales rep, he has extensive background in the green grass and retail side of the business.

Blake is responsible for recruiting players for Top Flite and Ben Hogan on all Professional Tours and coordinating communications and media relations for the company. Previously Blake was a Callaway Golf Pro Tour representative promoting Odyssey putters to both the nationwide and PGA Tour Players, while also servicing Callaway Staff players with their equipment and accessory needs.

Zimmerman worked for TaylorMade as an inside sales representative and sales trainer. In addition, from 1993-2001 he was in key account sales for Callaway Golf. Zimmerman will work with the business unit within Top Flite/Hogan that is responsible for driving sales of logo and non-logo products in five distinct markets: On course, off course, promotional, premium and mass merchants.

New Era Cap promoted Bill Adams, its NSM, to VP/US sales. Adams has been a member of the New Era sales team since August 2001 when he joined the company as its Eastern Regional SM; he was promoted to NSM in 2003.

Reebok signed a multi-year agreement with Sidney Crosby, the consensus top pick in the next National Hockey League draft. Already immensely popular in his native Canada, Crosby's profile is expected to grow in the US and around the world if there's ever another NHL season. He will be a major part of Reebok's marketing strategy, both on and off the ice.

The Coleman Co. licensed a line of pet beds, shelters, carriers and outerwear. Coleman will enter the pet category through a partnership with GoDog LLC, which will provide the Coleman-branded products to the in the fall of 2005.

CIBC World Markets upgraded GSI Commerce to sector outperform from sector underperform…Prudential Financial reiterated an overweight rating on Quiksilver, but the target price has been raised from $35 to $39.

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Copyright 2005 Sporting Goods Business

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Sporting goods industry
Chinese market
Specialty retailers
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Apparel sales

Nike Foundation
Nike Inc.
Developing World
Lotto Sport Hong Kong
Population Council

Nike Foundation
sales representative
sales team
human capital
young women

Phil Knight
Maria Eitel
Ben Hogan
Jared Zimmerman
Peter Devin

 Breaking Headlines
Today's news...3/8/05
MARCH 08, 2005

Today's news...3/7/05
MARCH 07, 2005

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