SBD/29/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

NIKE TO BE MINUS TWO STAR ATHLETES WHEN SUNGLASSES UNVEILED

     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).
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Related Topics:

Nike, Oakley, Wilson Sporting Goods

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