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NSGA SHOW OPENS IN CHICAGO; CBS NEWS EXAMINES SOFT MARKET
Published July 17, 1998
The NSGA's annual World Expo, which runs today through Sunday in Chicago, comes just as the "industry's roster of players is shrinking," according to Mary Ellen Podmolik of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. In past years, combined industry sales of sporting equipment, apparel and footwear increased 6-7% annually, however, this year a 3% growth "is projected." Podmolik writes that "[o]ne bright spot" for the industry may be women, who account for the "majority of participants in five of six" major fitness activities. Podmolik: "The challenge is to refine merchandise and the marketing message for women without being patronizing" (Mary Ellen Podmolik, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/17). THE MASE ON DECLINING SALES? On "CBS Evening News," anchor Dan Rather said, "There is a revolution afoot in the multibillion dollar shoe industry. Athletic shoes are on the run, and with them those lucrative superstar endorsement deals." In his report on the shifting trends of the athletic shoe industry, CBS's Anthony Mason said, "Looking for that hot new shoe, suddenly basketball is out and brown is in. ... Even the mighty Nike ... has itself become a fashion victim." Reebok severed ties with Shaquille O'Neal and only Michael Jordan "really sells shoes." Endorsement Insider newsletter Editor Jim Andrews: "Nowadays, the cash is gone and [now] all those players are getting is some free shoes." Mason: "So new colors, new styles are flooding the market -- anything to light a spark" (CBS, 7/16).