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Volume 24 No. 113
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          Organizers predict that the Nike World Masters Games
     will finish with an operating "deficit of about" $500,000,
     according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN, who
     wrote, "Although disappointing, the shortfall is a
     relatively modest sum for an organization that for months
     danced on the edge of a financial precipice."  The "low
     point" for the Games came in March, when, according to three
     World Masters Games board members, the event's primary
     lender, U.S. Bancorp, "demanded that the organization repay
     its three-months' overdue loan, reportedly between" $800,000
     and $1M.  Manning wrote that the organization struggled with
     a "revenue crunch brought on by disappointing athlete
     participation and slow sponsorship sales," and that the
     Games' "numerous financial challenges led to tension"
     between the Games' board and its CEO Doug Single. 
     Organizers also said they found that Nike's presence as
     title sponsor of the event "hampered other sponsorship
     sales."  Single said that he was "convinced" that
     traditional Olympic sponsors turned down the World Games
     "because of Nike's presence."  Single: "They said no, and
     they said no in a major way."  Manning added that the "good
     news for the Games' suppliers and lenders" is that the
     organizing committee "appears to have the resources to pay
     off the bulk of its obligations" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/27).
          THE BUZZ: In Portland, Rachel Bachman wrote that some
     athletes and sponsors said the event "fell short of their
     expectations and of officials' plans."  Bachman: "The short
     answer is money -- or lack of it.  Lagging registrations led
     to a cash shortage, which forced Games organizers to cut
     back on everything" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/27). 
          THE NIKE FACTOR: Bachman wrote that because Nike was
     the event's title sponsor, paying $500,000 for that right,
     "many athletes mistakenly blame" organizers for the "event's
     shortcomings.  Some athletes said they planned to boycott
     Nike."  Cyclist & Bowler Ivanna Teneycke: "If I had any Nike
     stock, I'd sell it."  Nike Dir of Global Community Affairs
     Doug Stamm: "We've put considerably more money and time and
     personnel to these Games than would ever be expected for a
     similar sponsorship" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/27).