NSGA SHOW OPENS IN CHICAGO; CBS NEWS EXAMINES SOFT MARKET
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).