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The resurgance of Adidas is profiled by Greg Pesky in the current issue of SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS. The company, which was "driven down by former management who believed the tradition and equity were enough to power sales," has been on the way back over the past two years. In '93, Adidas AG acquired Sports Inc., a sports marketing and design firm, and appointed Peter Moore and the late Rob Strasser to head up the American operations. Moore says the company was "misguided in the U.S. for quite some time," but now they are a "much better" company in the U.S. Sales for Adidas America have jumped more than $200M since '93, with the '95 total expected to pass $500M. WHY THE CHANGE? SGB's Pesky writes that "as much as the company's revival is due to a global refocusing," it is also due to "significant strides in a number of key categories." One has been apparel, which is expected to account for 40% of the company's annual income by the end of '96. In particular is a focus on women's and children's lines, and being "functionally- oriented rather than sport specific." Adidas America has also improved delivery to retailers and has been a "stronger partner operationally." WHAT'S NEXT? An area that has "piqued interest" at Adidas is licensed sports apparel, as insiders say they were interested in acquiring Apex One last year. The company is currently developing "evolutionary" licensed soccer apparel in Europe that they could sell in the U.S., they also have a deal with the MLS to sell licensed apparel and has a partnership to sell NBA apparel in Europe. The company is also taking a "different marketing approach" than other brands, as they have yet to make major endorsement deals, but have paid to sign a "number of college teams to provide increased recognition" of the Adidas cleated line -- including a multi-year deal with the Univ. of Nebraska beginning this season (SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 9/95 issue).
Dorna USA has been named exclusive sales rep for the NIT basketball tournament and will be responsible for pursuing entitlement sponsorship (Dorna USA)....The "Milk Mustache" ads are apparently working, according to INSIDE MEDIA. Research has shown that the $52M campaign, featuring sport stars Steve Young and Kristi Yamaguchi, "has altered some negative perceptions in favor of a more positive image" of milk (Mike Reynolds, INSIDE MEDIA, 9/20-10/3 issue).... Officials from Jacksonville said they "generated 12 corporate expansion possibilities during a Northeast recruitment trip last week," according to the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The attention generated by Jacksonville's selection as an NFL expansion city is cited as a major factor (Karen Brune Mathis, FLORIDA TIMES UNION, 9/26).... Kraft will launch a promo with the Dream Team this month, according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY. The tie-in with Kraft Macaroni and Dream Team paraphernalia will later spread to nine other Kraft brands (USA TODAY, 9/26)....The National In-Line Hockey Association has been endorsed by Optimist Int'l, a service organization that reaches out to over six million youths a year (NIHA)....In Dallas, Cathy Harasta writes that "golf has managed through marketing to make sympathizers -- not to mention fairly loyal TV viewers -- out of non-golfers. While tennis stayed self-serving, golf enjoyed an upswing that now shows up in results such as the Ryder Cup Fever" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/26).
Miller Brewing Co. has announced a long-term agreement with the newly-formed Team Rahal, Inc. to sponsor the Indy car racing operation. The five-year deal with Bobby Rahal, the team's principal driver and a three-time PPG Indy Car World Series Champ, and his Ohio-based team begins in '96. Although Miller has been Rahal's main sponsor for the past four years, this new deal is believed to be the longest current corporate agreement with any team on the PPG Indy Car World Series (Miller Brewing). TEXAS HOPE: The management of the Texas Motor Speedway has not abandoned hope of opening the $100M facility with a NASCAR Winston Cup race in the fall of '96. Track GM Eddie George: "The schedule is released in New York in early December. At that point, we'll be four or five months into construction" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/25).