SBD/17/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

CONVERSE'S MICKEY BELL SPEAKS WITH SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS

     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).
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