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Volume 25 No. 176
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Nike Forecasts Growth In Sale Of Women's Apparel, Continuing Sportswear Industry Trend

Nike officials yesterday said that the company "expects its women's footwear and apparel sales to grow" 40% over the next two years, from $5B to $7B, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Nike CEO Mark Parker "made the projection as he unveiled the company's spring/summer 2015 women's collections" at an event in N.Y. Brettman notes this year, "in particular, it may seem like sportswear brands such as Nike and Under Armour are discovering women for the first time." Yesterday's event, as well as UA's "major push this year into the women's category is in part an effort to chase a market that previously had not been addressed in such a targeted way." The Nike event "featured 27 Nike-sponsored athletes," including Olympians Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross and Adelina Sotnikova; recently retired tennis player Li Na; and WNBA Shock G Skylar Diggins. The brand "also revealed its collaboration with Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço, a collection of training apparel and footwear that blends performance with a unique interpretation of style" (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/23). BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK's Kyle Stock wrote Nike yesterday "pulled a publicity full-court press and called up its roster of all-star ladies from all over the world to make a statement: We will win womenswear." But Nike is "playing a bit of defense on this front." Although it has "long made women’s apparel, Under Armour has been much more vocal in courting female consumers of late." Nike Women's VP & GM Amy Montagne "shrugged off a question about ceding market share" to UA. She said, "Our competition is ourselves. And our future is about the potential we have" (BUSINESSWEEK.com, 10/22).

STANDING UP TO THE NFL: Parker yesterday during an interview on Bloomberg Television said that Nike, the NFL's main apparel provider, told the league it was "unhappy with how the organization handled domestic violence by players." Parker: "We made our position known with the NFL that we don’t tolerate any sort of domestic violence." He added, "The commissioner’s responding. This has been a great lesson for the NFL. He has acknowledged that and is moving forward. I’m optimistic they are moving in a better direction" (BLOOMBERG.com, 10/22).