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Chicago-based Ignite Sports Media has signed a deal with ISP EarthLink where EarthLink will "provide vanity e- mail addresses tied to certain" NFL teams, according to Jim Kirk of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Under terms of the deal, 15 NFL team Web sites will offer advertising that links to a team-specific registration page. Each of the pages will be hosted by EarthLink and co-branded with team marks. For example, the Bears would have a go.chicagobears.com address. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, "all of the revenue, aside from EarthLink's fee, will be split between" the teams and Ignite, which handles the team sites (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/3).
Reebok Int'l's share price "soared" to a new 52-week high yesterday, which company execs and analysts said was "fueled by strong sales reports from retailers of athletic footwear," according to REUTERS. Reebok closed yesterday at $23.25, up 9.73%. Its previous 52-week high was $21.94. Reebok VP/Corporate Finance Neil Kerman: "One thing that happened today was that Venator Group ... announced their earnings ... which showed athletic group sales were up 11.3 percent. They are one of our largest customers." First Security Van Kasper analyst John Shanley said Reebok is "in the right place, at the right time, with the right styles and they're really benefiting from it. Their gains are coming primarily at the expense of Adidas" (REUTERS, 11/2). DROP AT ADIDAS: Meanwhile, adidas Salomon reported a "sharp drop" in profits for the nine-month period ending September 30, but "offered investors some positive news by forecasting an improvement in its performance" in the U.S. market by 2001. Net profits for the period fell 22% to $150M, while sales rose 7%. adidas said that sales of its Salomon and TaylorMade Golf brands "should see double-digit growth" in 2000 and "compensate for weakness" in North America and "negative currency effects." adidas also said that it "would boost" its U.S. market share in the apparel and footwear category to 20% from its current 12% (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/3). The company did note that future orders for its sports shoes were up 17% (FT MARKETWATCH, 11/2).