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IS MIKE PIAZZA PLAYING HARDBALL OVER SPIKE SELECTION?
Published April 28, 1998
After months of trying to re-sign Mike Piazza to a shoe contract, Nike "is worried that it might lose him," according to an AP report in the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Piazza has spent his entire career with Nike, but since his two-year shoe contract expired last season, he has not signed a new deal with the company, "nor does he display the swoosh on the Nikes he wears on the field." Nike spokesperson Robin Carr-Locke said of Piazza, "We're trying to work with him again." But the AP reports that Nike, which considers Piazza "the most marketable baseball star next to" Ken Griffey Jr., is not the only shoe company "in the running." Piazza is also considering deals with Mizuno and Asics. Piazza made at least $3M endorsing Japanese products last year, while grossing about the same in the U.S., "the bulk coming from Nike and Pert Plus shampoo." One source said Piazza's asking price for a one year deal is about $250,000 (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/28).