SOCCER DEALS: Nike said it is in the "final phase" of
signing a 10-year, $143.8M contract to outfit the players of
Barcelona, one of Europe's biggest soccer clubs, beginning
in '99 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/25)....Reebok has acquired kit rights
to the Argentinean national team starting in '99, the
Italian-based Juventus team in 2000, and "is near" a deal
with a Columbia team (Frank Dell'Apa, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/25).
NOTES: AL-based Russell Athletic will sponsor the NHL
All-Star Fan Balloting in the U.S, and will provide 50 sets
of All-Star merchandise as prizes for the NHL All-Star
sweepstakes (Russell)....Speedo is introducing a bathing cap
with integrated goggles that it plans to equip swimmers with
at the January '98 World Championship in Australia. The cap
will retail for $60 (BUSINESS WEEK, 12/1 issue).