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Nike announced the formation of a new hockey category business unit, which combines Nike and Bauer's hockey organizations into a standalone business unit, while maintaining both brand names. Bauer President Pierre Boivin will manage the new entity -- based in Montreal -- which will be responsible for all areas of the business for both the Bauer and Nike brands, including research, product design and development, dual brand global marketing, sales and distribution. Organizational details will be finalized over the course of the coming fiscal year (Nike). THE GRAFTERS: In Calgary, Paul Jackson profiles Calgary-based Graf, which is now producing 30,000 pairs of skates a year and is looking to expand its manufacturing ops "within a year." Graf expects its staff, now at 35, to almost double over that same period (CALGARY SUN, 6/5).
ESPN's Rich Eisen reported last night that UNC men's basketball coach Bill Guthridge signed a five-year, $2.25M shoe contract with Nike, a deal worth "more than three times his coaching salary" ("SportsCenter," 6/4). In Raleigh, Steve Elling reports that Guthridge will receive $500,000 from Nike next year, and another $150,000 if UNC wins an NCAA title. The numbers, when coupled with his base salary and yet-to-be finalized TV contract, are expected to push his annual compensation to $1M. Guthridge earns $155,000 in base salary. Guthridge, on the Nike deal: "It's kind of out of whack. I know I'm not worth this kind of money." Elling calls the numbers "enormous," adding that Guthridge could stand to make a total of $768,000 this season, not including earnings for his weekly TV show, running the UNC basketball summer camp, or his $25,000 annual school expense account. Nike also signed UNC football coach Carl Torbush to a "considerably smaller" deal (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/5).
The IHL has joined with Coca-Cola in an advertising experiment where it will display the PowerAde logo on the top of the goal nets during the Wolves-Vipers Turner Cup Final. The new advertising, which debuted during Tuesday night's Game Two, will be utilized for the remainder of the series. The PowerAde logo also appears on the back and side bars of each net (IHL). The logo is painted in the twine on top of each net, and IHL VP/Communications Bill Jamieson said it is "very visible" to the in-arena crowd and to the TV audience during high-angle camera shots. Fox Sports Net is airing all Cup games on a tape-delay basis. Although PowerAde is not an IHL sponsor, both the Rosemont Horizon (home of the Wolves) and The Palace of Auburn Hills (Vipers) are arenas where Coca-Cola has pouring rights. Jamieson said Coke is not paying for the PowerAde signage during the ad test. But if it proves successful, the IHL may look into selling the inventory space next year (THE DAILY).
Despite a report in the Charlotte Observer yesterday, Tellem & Associates told THE DAILY that while Arn Tellem has worked with Scott Montross in the past with regards to his son Eric, Tellem will be the exclusive representative of former UNC player Antawn Jamison (THE DAILY)....Clyde Drexler is featured in a new Denny's TV spot which begins airing nationally on Monday. The ad, from Lowe & Partners/ SMS, touts Denny's summer burger promo (Denny's)....CA-based OPI Products was named the official nail care provider of the ABL. OPI will form an ABL Nail Care Team consisting of ABL players who will make personal appearances at OPI- sponsored events and be featured in a fall campaign which will run in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Jane and In Style. The group will also make an appearance on E!'s "Fashion Emergency" (ABL)....TENNIS WEEK reports that John McEnroe, who designed shirts last year for US Open sponsor Heineken, will create a new design for this year's tournament....In other news, Justin Gimelstob is "swapping" manager Beau Delafield for Jeff Schwartz at IMG. Delafield left IMG to work in investment banking (TENNIS WEEK, 6/4 issue). A HARD RUN? USA TODAY's cover story examines the USGA's possible ban on titanium clubs under the header, "USGA Fears Modern Gear May Make Golf Too Easy." Jerry Potter reports that the "mere possibility" of a metalwoods ban "has created a buzz from Main Street to Wall Street," with the authority of the USGA "at stake" (USA TODAY, 6/5). Callaway Golf Chair Ely Callaway, on the possible ban: "May I suggest that golf is no longer a game primarily for the few, nor should it be ruled by or for the few" (OTTAWA SUN, 6/5).
Canon "is close" to signing a four-year extension with the Greater Hartford Open (GHO) as part of the PGA Tour's "new plan to get long-term commitments from title sponsors," according to Bruce Berlet of the HARTFORD COURANT. The "stumbling block," however, is an additional multimillion dollar investment in the purse, which is expected to total more than $3M by 2002. Canon increased the purse this year by $500,000, to $2M, bringing its total commitment for prize money and TV spots "to a reported" $5M. Canon's GHO contract expires this year (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/5).
The following lists apparel suppliers, listed alphabetically, for the 32 participating World Cup soccer teams. Among the top providers: adidas has 7 teams, Nike outfits 6, Puma outfits 5 and Umbro outfits 4 (THE DAILY).COUNTRYSPONSORCOUNTRYSPONSOR
Mexico ABA Sport Italy Nike Saudi Arabia ABA Sport Netherlands Nike Argentina adidas Nigeria Nike France adidas South Korea Nike Germany adidas United States Nike Japan adidas Austria Puma Romania adidas Bulgaria Puma Spain adidas Cameroon Puma Yugoslavia adidas Iran Puma Belgium Diadora Morocco Puma Denmark Hummel Chile Reebok Jamaica Kappa Paraguay Reebok South Africa Kappa Columbia Umbro Croatia Lotto England Umbro Tunisia Lotto Norway Umbro Brazil Nike Scotland Umbro
THE BRAZILIANS: KNIGHT RIDDER's Katherine Ellison reported that Nike's $400M sponsorship of the Brazil national soccer team is "looking like a bad gamble." In addition to "playing poorly," the Brazilian team deal "has embarrassed" Nike off the field as well. The Nike deal has also come under "increasing political pressure, in and outside of Brazil" (KNIGHT RIDDER/S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 6/4).