William Morris Endeavor’s acquisition of IMG will take three to six months to complete. During that time, IMG will continue to operate as an independent company. WME co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are slated to run the business after the deal is completed. They plan to continue to use the IMG name after taking over the company. The co-CEOs traveled this week to IMG’s offices in Winston-Salem and London to meet with staff and share their vision for the company. WME’s $2.35B agreement to buy IMG did not require any of IMG’s management to stay, but Emanuel and Whitesell have asked IMG Sports & Entertainment President George Pyne and IMG College President Ben Sutton to stay. IMG staff have been asked to continue to conduct business as usual (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). In Winston-Salem, Richard Craver reports Sutton "will stay on board" at IMG College, which as "has 160 local employees and about 1,000 companywide." Sutton told employees the local division "landed in a good place" with WME. He said, "College sports is a new industry for WME, and they foresee opportunities to further develop the college business, which is consistent with our strategy of building on our core multi-media rights, licensing, stadium seating and ticketing businesses" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 12/20).
Nike's Q2 profit "jumped 40%, with a surge in Western Europe sales, as well as growth in North America and greater China, helping to drive" results, according to Michael Calia of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The company for the quarter ended Nov. 30 "reported a profit of $537 million, or 59 cents a share, up from $384 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier." The year-ago period "included a $137 million loss from discontinued operations." Revenue "rose 8% to $6.43 billion." Nike "continued to benefit from strong demand in the U.S. and several international markets." Its "continued success with product launches amid a tight environment for consumers also has helped, earning plaudits from market observers." Nike said that overall revenue for the brand "rose 9% in the period, excluding currency fluctuations, with growth coming from every product type, geography and key category," and that North American operations "posted a 9.2% revenue increase, while its Western Europe segment's sales surged 18%." Nike brand "future orders -- an indicator of coming growth -- grew 4% in China and 1% excluding currency impacts." Worldwide future orders "increased 12%, compared with growth of 6% in the same period a year ago" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/20). In Portland, Allan Brettman reported revenues for Converse were $360M in Q2, up 11% on a currency neutral basis, "driven by strong performance in the company's largest owned markets: North America, the United Kingdom, and China." Nike's selling and administrative expense grew 14% to $2.1B. Demand creation expense was $691M, up 13% "versus relatively low levels in the prior year, driven by marketing support for key product launches, consumer running events and upcoming global sporting events, including" the '14 FIFA World Cup and Sochi Games (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/20). At presstime, shares of Nike were trading at $76.78, down 1.88% from the close of business on Thursday (THE DAILY).