NIKE: Under the headline "This is 'The Right Thing,"
NEWSDAY's Steve Jacobson called on Nike's top athletes "to
take Magic Johnson's lead in community investment and break
away" from Nike and start a shoe company that would employ
U.S. workers. Jacobson: "[Michael] Jordan is the Pied Piper
leading kids to sneakers at $140 and more. His nod to
conscience is to announce that his next model will come out
on Saturday so kids don't skip school" (NEWSDAY, 11/23).
Also in N.Y., Harvey Araton examined criticism aimed at Nike
at the collegiate/university level and added that Jordan
seems to be "looking into" allegations of Nike's labor
abuses "the way Dennis Rodman is looking into having his
tattoos removed. Whenever the heat is put on the marketing
tandem of Jordan and Nike, they usually rush to the studio
and make another commercial" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/22).
GEARING UP: In the initial hours after the NHL Columbus
Blue Jackets debuted their new name and logo, JCPenney
stores showed a 128% increase in sales in its "Simply for
Sports" department. After one week, the store's sales were
up 32%, the highest total for JCPenney throughout the U.S.
during this period (NHL). NHL Enterprises President Rick
Dudley: "We see these same strong merchandise sales figures
during the Stanley Cup playoffs" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/22).
NOTES: The T-Wolves Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury
have shot a commercial for ESPN Magazine. The two "gush
about the new publication but ask ESPN to resist publishing
a swimsuit issue." Garnett then looks into the camera and
says, "Totally nude" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/24)....European Union
Health Commissioner Padraig Flynn said Britain's insistence
on exempting Formula One racing from any ban on tobacco
sponsorship in sports "was impossible," strengthening the
possibility that some European races "could be dropped from
the Grand Prix circuit" (AP/INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 11/21).