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NIKE TO BE MINUS TWO STAR ATHLETES WHEN SUNGLASSES UNVEILED
Published February 29, 1996
Neither Michael Jordan nor Gabrielle Reece will wear Nike's new sunglasses when they are unveiled in September, according to the Portland OREGONIAN. Jeff Manning reports CA-based Oakley has "taken a page" from Nike's marketing playbook and signed high- profile athletes to endorse its product. Jordan's relationship with Oakley includes a seat on their board of directors. Representatives for Reece and Jordan say they plan on staying with Oakley, at least for now. Reece's agent, Jane Kachmer, says Nike has been "aggressive" in trying to convince Reece to endorse Nike's shades, but Reece will honor her Oakley deal. Jordan's agent, David Falk, said his client has "exhibited great deference" to Nike in the past, but added Jordan is an "independent person." Nike spokesperson Keith Peters said the company will deal with these types of situations as they arise: "We'd love to have all of our athletes wearing our eyewear. We'd love it if some of them didn't have apparel relationships with Starter or Logo Athletic. But some of them do. Life is full of choices." Peters pointed out one other Jordan conflict. Nike entered the ball market last year, but Jordan still endorses Wilson basketballs. Nike eyewear will be available in retail outlets in September or October, with the first public exposure coming when members of the U.S. Track & Field team wear them during the Atlanta Games (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/28).