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Today's News...7/25/05

JULY 25, 2005 -- Dick's Gets $10.85 Million Check From Pennsylvania For Expansion

Gov. Edward G. Rendell presented a $10.85 million check to Edward Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods, for the expansion of the company's corporate headquarters in Findlay Township.

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, at least 700 new jobs will be created within five years, adding to the 1,263 existing jobs at the company's headquarters and distribution center in Westmoreland County as a result of the $64 million expansion project.

"Southwest Pennsylvania has the potential to become the commonwealth's most successful region," said Rendell. "This potential is apparent by the growing number of businesses, like Dick's Sporting Goods, that are committing their time, effort and resources to this area. Creating jobs and investing in our communities show companies in other states that this is a place where people want to do business and raise families."

The Pennsylvania government noted that Dick's Sporting Goods has outgrown its current 200,000-square-foot headquarters in Findlay Township and requires additional space to accommodate the expected growth of its headquarters staff. In addition, to accommodate the new employees' parking needs, in 2008, Dick's is planning to construct a four- story, 940-space parking facility on-site.

The Governor's Action Team (GAT), economic development professionals who report directly to Rendell, worked with Dick's Sporting Goods on its expansion project. The state offered the company a financial package totaling $10.85 million package that includes: a $2 million Opportunity Grant; $2.1 million in Job Creation Tax Credits; $500,000 in Customized Training grants; $1.25 million in Infrastructure Development Program grants; and $5 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

"Dick's Sporting Goods is pleased to announce our continued investment and commitment to Pennsylvania with this next phase of our expansion plans," said Stack in a statement. "The state's assistance certainly made our decision to move ahead easier."

Dick's Sporting Goods currently operates 239 stores and employs approximately 17,500 people in 34 states.

The Governor's Action Team serves as a single point of contact for businesses that are evaluating Pennsylvania as a site for a facility location or expansion. GAT works with domestic and international businesses, as well as professional site consultants, on projects involving significant investment and job creation opportunities.

"Job creation plays a major role in community revitalization, economic development and quality-of-life issues that face our municipalities," said Rendell. "Pennsylvania has seen the number of new jobs increase dramatically in most job sectors and at all experience levels. College graduates and skilled workers now have even more opportunities to develop their talents and remain in southwest Pennsylvania."

Since January 2005, the Governor's Action Team has successfully completed 101 projects, which have resulted in commitments for 8,590 new jobs and 22,508 jobs to be retained. Of those projects, 76 involved manufacturers.

For information on the Governor's Action Team and other DCED funding,visit http://www.NewPA.com or call 1-866-GONEWPA (1-866-466-3972).

Greg Norman Collection 2Q sales increased 19%

Greg Norman Collection 2Q sales increased 19% with a 28% increase in its core golf business and 19% in 1H05 with a 22% increase in its core golf business. This marks the tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth for the company. It also reported improved operating profits for the quarter. For the first half of the year, double-digit sales increases occurred in each of the Company's operating areas -- golf, retail, corporate and international.

In an effort to accommodate the strong growth, David Hall has been promoted to VP/operations/CFO. In this expanded role, Dave will take a more strategic role providing leadership for distribution, embroidery, and customer service functions in addition to the financial aspects of the business. Sarah Hand McAleer has joined the company as senior director of design. In this newly created role, she will have a leadership position within the design team and will help to develop product categories to strengthen the overall sportswear collection. She forrmerly worked at Tommy Hilfiger and Cerutti 1881.

Gander Mountain's Chief Merchant Resigns

According to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Al Dittrich, Executive Vice President, Merchandising of Gander Mountain resigned from the company, effective July 20. The filing said Dittrich had served with the company since 1998.

Andre Agassi and adidas Enter Agreement

Andre Agassi and adidas have entered into a long-term partnership starting with the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles on July 25 whereby he will be exclusively wearing adidas footwear and apparel.

"I'm excited about my new partnership with adidas. Our relationship not only means that I will be working with one of the best brands in the world but, more importantly, also provides support to my foundation. Together, we will be able to give more at-risk kids a chance to succeed," said Andre Agassi about the partnership with adidas.

Agassi has long been a Nike sponser.

"We are very much looking forward to what this new partnership will mean beyond our business in the traditional sense, especially in the US, for many years to come. Andre is indisputably one of the biggest athletes of the 21st century and we are excited to support Andre not only with the best product on court, but also through his foundation. We will be working closely with him on various initiatives well beyond the sport of tennis," said Erich Stamminger, member of the Executive Board of adidas-Salomon AG responsible for Global Marketing.

Adidas said this agreement also offers a wide range of marketing opportunities as the world's most famous sports couple, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, are now part of the adidas family. Steffi Graf has been with adidas throughout her career.

Golf Galaxy IPO Expected To Price Thursday

Golf Galaxy, which operates 45 free-standing superstores in 19 mostly northern and midwestern states, is expected to price its initial public offering this week.

To help pay for store expansion, Golf Galaxy now plans to raise $32 million in net proceeds through the sale of 3 million shares at a proposed range of $11 to $13 in its initial public offering.

After opening 11 new stores through mid-July, Golf Galaxy plans to open three to five stores in its current fiscal year ending February 2006 and 14 to 16 stores the following year at an initial cost of $1.1 million per location. Longer-term, management sees potential to support 250 locations nationwide.

Lead underwriter Piper Jaffray is expected to price the deal on Thursday evening, with assistance from investment banks William Blair, A.G. Edwards and Wedbush Morgan Securities. The stock will trade on the over-the-counter maket under the symbol GGXY.

Fila To Relaunch Website

WebSideStory, a leading provider of on-demand digital marketing applications, announced that Fila will re-launch its global web and e-commerce presence using the company's on-demand web content management system.

Fila selected WebSideStory Publish (formerly Atomz Publish) to streamline the process of updating content on its network of international sites. WebSideStory said Fila's global marketing staff will be able to make real-time updates through any web browser, ensuring fresher content for visitors and reducing the administrative burden on the company's IT staff.

Fila (www.fila.com) is a subsidiary of Sports Brands International, which also owns Ciesse (an Italian outwear brand) and Cloudveil.

"The goal is to put content in marketing's hands instead of the web development team," said Rob McClellan, general manager of Fila Online. "I want my web developers building the next generation of our web sites, not updating content. I have not had much luck with complex in-house content management software, so I chose an on-demand model. WebSideStory is the proven leader in that space and its Active Marketing Suite will enable us to add other solutions later on."

WebSideStory Publish is part of WebSideStory's Active Marketing Suite, a line of integrated, on-demand digital marketing applications.

"Fila is a storied brand and we are pleased they chose WebSideStory Publish to help re-launch their global Web presence," said Steve Kusmer, senior vice president and general manager of WebSideStory's Search & Content Solutions division. "Giving marketing the power to make real-time updates without having to go through IT dramatically improves efficiency and ensures that visitors are presented with the freshest content and a valuable site experience."

JC Penney and NFL Launch "Take a Player to School" Contest

JC Penneyand the National Football League launched the second annual "Take a Player to School" contest to promote the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting afterschool programs and raising awareness of the need for more programs that keep kids safely and constructively engaged during out-of-school hours.
The partnership centers on a national in-store sweepstakes that encourages children between the ages of six and 13 to register for a chance to win the ultimate 'show and tell' opportunity for their classmates. The contest culminates in October when 34 winners will be drawn to take an NFL player to their own school. Registration ends Sept. 22, 2005 and no purchase is required to enter. More contest details may be obtained at www.NFLYouthFootball.com.

As part of the promotion, all JCPenney stores will sell NFL team wrist bands for $2.99, with all net profits and NFL royalties being donated to the JCPenney Afterschool Fund.

Donovan McNabb, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and national spokesperson for the "Take a Player to School" program, said, "There is nothing more important in America than our youth, and we are excited to build on last year's success in working with the JCPenney Afterschool Fund to provide young people with every opportunity and inspiration to succeed."

SHORTS

Modell's has set up a "Modell’s Merchandise Tent" stocked with Official New York Jets apparel and gear as part of the 2005 North Fork Bank Training Camp from July 29 – August 24 at Hofstra University.

Victory Capital Holdings' wholly owned subsidiary, L&M Resources has acquired the sales and distribution rights for the Reebok Retro Sports Tee Shirt line for all of Mexico and South America. L&M is forecasting $2 million in sales in these markets in the first year with orders commencing in the next few weeks.

On Friday, shares of Big 5 Sporting Goods fell 4.7% to $26.40 after the stock was downgraded to neutral 2 from buy 2 by analyst Brian Nagel at UBS.







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Categories
Apparel & embroidery
Sporting goods industry
Profits
Sportswear
Initial public offerings

Companies
Dicks Sporting Goods Inc.
Governor's Action Team (GAT)
Fila Online
WebSideStory Inc.
Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

Concepts
Golf Galaxy
on-demand digital marketing applications
updating content
job creation
content management

People
Edward G. Rendell
Edward Stack
Andre Agassi
Greg Norman
Al Dittrich





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