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Volume 24 No. 156
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          Several retailers told SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS' Andy
     Bernstein that Nike replica team jerseys "consistently kept
     pace with the competition despite" a price difference that
     saw its jerseys sell for around $15 more than its
     competitors at retail.  Nike will lower the price of its NFL
     replicas for fall '98.  Gaylan's reported that Nike's
     college jerseys were "among its best-selling licensed
     products."  Bernstein writes, however, that "it's clear that
     Nike is far from being an industry leader overall.  In fact,
     insiders tell SGB that Nike failed to meet its NFL's minimum
     royalty requirement last season."  Nike OTS Licensed
     Division Dir Bruce Kaplan declined to comment on the
     payment....In other news, retailers tell SGB's Mark Tedeschi
     that they are "bewildered by all the negative attention"
     Nike has received.  City Sports footwear buyer Sean O'Brien
     said that Nike's basketball apparel "hasn't been that strong
     and cross training has been slow, but that's industry wide,
     not just Nike.  Their running has been huge this spring." 
     The Finish Line Senior VP Joe Wood said Nike made up about
     66-67% of the companies business last year, "now they are
     about" 60%. Woods: "There is a lot more bad press than
     reality" (SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 4/15 issue).
          NOTES: PA-based Mitchell & Ness, manufacturers of
     nostalgic baseball apparel, will "soon join" the NBA ranks
     producing replica NBA uniforms.  Mitchell & Ness has been
     working with the NBA to license the Back Court Collection, a
     tribute to the NBA's 50-year history.  The line will launch
     at NSGA show this year....Bob's Stores President & CEO Marc
     Balmuth is featured in a Q&A.  Balmuth, on the number of
     brands consumers can see at Bob's Stores: "Just about
     everything may be stepping out too far, but I think we're
     giving the brands a lot of space and I think that we have
     most of the brands out there that are exciting to the
     consumer.  So in the younger businesses, I think we're
     making as strong a statement as anybody" (SGB, 4/15).