In Toronto, Dana Flavelle noted “apart from a handful of high-profile athletes,” such as freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau, figure skater Joannie Rochette and speedskater Clara Hughes, few Canadian medal winners “have landed lucrative endorsement deals since the closing ceremonies in Vancouver last February.” Landmark Sport Group President Elliott Kerr, whose agency represents speedskater Cindy Klassen, said that he “expected at least a handful of medal winners would be able to land ‘seven figure’ deals” after the Vancouver Games, the “kind Klassen got after her multiple medal victory” in ‘06. But “such offers didn’t materialize.” Kerr “blames a weak economy, the fact many companies spent their marketing budgets on the Games themselves, and an oversupply of medalists” (TORONTO STAR, 2/12).
SKI EXTREME: BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Danielle Rossingh reported Swiss ski brand Zai AG “will be the official ski supplier of the FIS alpine ski world championships," now underway in Germany. Zai joins Siemens AG, Coca-Cola Co. and "German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG as official suppliers to the world championships.” Zai CEO Benedikt Germanier joined the company in ’09 and since then, sales "have increased by one-third.” Germanier said that Zai “aims to double revenue in the next two to four years.” FIM Bank Analyst Martin Sundman said that “there may be a niche market for top-end, handmade skis.” Sundman: "There are always people who will buy Ferraris" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/8).
MAKING A LATE DENT: MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki noted the “fourth-best-selling Phillies item at MLB.com” in ‘10 was P Cliff Lee's “replica home jersey, which is noteworthy because Lee rejoined the Phillies in December.” The top-selling item at Citizens Bank Park's Majestic Clubhouse Store since mid-December was an “adult Phillies T-shirt with Lee's name and number on the back.” The third-best-selling item at the store was the “youth-sized Lee T-shirt.” No other Phillies T-shirt “cracked the top 20” (MLB.com, 2/8).
FANATICS NATIONWIDE: In Jacksonville, David Bauerlein reported Jacksonville-based Football Fanatics’ “rapid growth in online retailing of sports merchandise has paved the way for it to be purchased by a Pennsylvania company” for $277M. GSI Commerce announced last week that it has “agreed to purchase Fanatics Inc., the parent company of Football Fanatics.” GSI will purchase the company for $171M “in cash and $106 million of GSI common stock” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/12).