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ABC cameras caught Jerry Rice on "Monday Night Football" wearing "what appeared to be a Band-Aid on his proboscis [nose]." But it was a Breathe Right nasal strip, made by the company CNS, that is "fast developing a following among players." Breathe Right was designed to clear up nighttime nasal congestion and reduce snoring, but with "pro-football exposure, it might not be long before amateur players emulate their idols and start snapping up the devices at $4.99 a ten pack." So far, Wall Street may be recognizing that CNS in Minneapolis "may have a hit on its hands," since after Monday's exposure from Rice, CNS shares rose 11% -- although "a still puny 59,700 shares." But investors should not "blow their life savings on CNS," since the device could attract imitators, and CNS is being sued by a man "alleging he has a claim on revenue to Breathe Right" (William Power, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/1).
In this morning's USA TODAY, Mike Snider reports that Shaquille O'Neal "has transcended the basketball court to become a multimedia superstar." His first video game, "Shaq-Fu," from Electronic Arts, just hit the shelves, and his second rap album, "Shaq Fu: da Return," has logged-in at No. 25 on this week's BILLBOARD R&B chart. The video game, which retails for $69.95, transports Shaq "into a magical, mystical martial arts world" (USA TODAY, 12/1). HOME IMPROVEMENT: "The Nintendo and Sega game systems plugged into TV sets in four out of 10 U.S. homes already are targeted for retirement, although they're only 5 years old," according to Joseph Gelmis in today's N.Y. NEWSDAY. In the face of new technology and the threat of competition from digital CD, Sega "has been extending the life of its aging Genesis system with major big-bucks implants" and developing a CD-based game, while Nintendo -- which "has balked at adopting the CD game format" -- is preparing to launch a 64-bit cartridge based game (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/1).
Sporting goods store sales surged between 1987 and 1992 in WA, OR, CA, AK, and HI, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. An analysis of recent retail trade census data shows that sales in full-line sports stores and specialty sports shops jumped from $2.09B in 1987 to $3.06B in 1992. Thomas Doyle, NSGA Dir of Information and Research: "The 46% growth for the Pacific states was four times greater than the 11 percent population growth for the region in the same time frame." Other study highlights: the total number of sporting goods stores in the Pacific region rose 14% in the same period, from 3,528 to 4,037; the number of specialty shops increased 18%, while the number of full-line stores increased 7%; among full-line stores, 1992 sales per store were $1.08M, among specialty shops sales were $627,000 (National Sporting Goods Association).
According to a survey of 20 sports industry executives conducted by the International Sport Summit, the NFL and NBA appear to be the biggest beneficiaries of the MLB and NHL work stoppages. When asked which sports or entertainment categories have the most to gain from the current labor-management conflicts, respondents said the NFL has the most to gain, followed by the NBA, college football, figure skating, and the Olympics. Craig Tartasky, Exec Dir of the International Sport Summit: "With the silent passing of the Fall classic and the NHL not skating, football was poised to fill a void. As the beneficiary of the strike, Fox Television is the true winner thus far. The question remains though, would Fox have paid more for the rights to the NFL if they had known of the strikes and would the NFL have demanded more?" The 1995 International Sport Summit will be held January 17-18 in New York (Sport Summit).