SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

SGB NEWS & NOTES: BEHIND THE LINES AT GENESIS DIRECT

          Genesis Direct "has become the leading direct
     merchandiser of sporting goods in less than 18 months," and
     its sports division "could total" $300M annually "by the
     time Genesis is finished cornering the market," according to
     Andy Bernstein of SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS.  The direct
     marketing company, which is "set to go public on the NASDAQ
     in May," has 29 catalogs in its "ever-expanding arsenal." 
     Bernstein writes that although the company "piled-up a
     deficit of $73.1 million as of the end of 1997 ... company
     officials say things are right on track with projections,
     and Genesis should be profitable by 2000."  The IPO has
     attracted a "who's who of underwriters," including Bear,
     Stearns & Co., Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney.  The
     offering is expected to generate "up to" $180M, and the
     company will "likely be valued" $500M (SGB, 3/25 issue).
          HATS OFF: SGB's Chris McEvoy reports that Sports
     Specialties "is bullish" on prospects for its new Heritage
     cap, made of 100% cotton ribbed dobby fabric.  It "felt so
     strongly" about the look and textured feel of the fabric,
     that it negotiated an exclusive deal for the material,
     through June '99. The caps ship July 1 (SGB, 3/25). 
          HOOP DREAMS: Converse Chair & CEO Glenn Rupp is 
     featured in the SGB interview.  Rupp, when asked why the
     basketball shoe industry is "suffering": "Kids are a little
     turned off by the old formula starring the hero, the
     Hollywood hype -- the brash basketball approach to the
     business.  That's why we've adopted the tag line, 'Stay
     True.'  This means keep it real, don't forget where you came
     from."  Rupp, on NBA endorsers: "There are very few who
     actually sold product.  There is Michael Jordan, and then
     there is maybe a handful of others.  Even the second tier
     hasn't been cutting the mustard" (SGB, 3/25 issue).

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Related Topics:

Converse, NBA, Salomon Smith Barney

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