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CONVERSE'S MICKEY BELL SPEAKS WITH SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS
Published May 17, 1995
Converse President Mickey Bell is the focus of this month's interview in SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS. Bell on acquiring Apex: "One of the things we felt was a missing link was the inability to have a coordinated, integrated apparel program. ... Now we can look at coordinated programs where you're going to build the brand through uniformed apparel and the feet." Bell stressed Apex's agreements with over 20 college teams as another key to the deal. Bell says Converse will continue to look at further acquisitions "that make sense for us." On the sports licensing market being "soft," Bell said, "Whenever a market is consolidating, retailers usually go after the strongest players in the business." Bell expressed confidence that Apex/Converse "would be a brand that would still be on the top of the retailers' list. ... The market is not growing, so where retailers and manufactures are able to grow is really through growing market share." On the future: "One of the things I think retailers are going to be looking at as they go forward is to continue to expand from just one or two vendors and what vendors should they select after that. And I think what they are going to look for are vendors that have what I would call a total package -- athletic endorsers, advertising, a global brand, good delivery and sales and promotion people out in the field" (Andrew Gaffney, SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 5/95 issue).