Adidas has promoted former Product Marketing Dir GAVIN THOMSON to the role of managing director of its North Europe operations, including the U.K., "following a restructure of the business." Thomson, who has been senior VP of global sales at adidas's Wholesale Centre of Excellence since Oct. '11, will replace GIL STEYAERT "when he takes up the post" on Jan. 1. Steyaert "has been promoted to the new position of managing director for Western Europe." The rejig, designed to consolidate adidas's regional make-up, "will not affect adidas's UK marketing structure." Thomson "has been at adidas for 18 years." Before his current role, "he spent six years as sales director for adidas UK." Prior to this "he held several national account manager roles and was a product marketing director for five years" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 10/22). In Portland, Matthew Kish reported the announcement came as Nike "is closing the gap in Europe." Western Europe is the biggest sales territory for adidas, but it has "been struggling there." In the first six months of this year, sales in Western Europe fell 9% on a currency neutral basis to roughly $2.6B. Nike's sales grew nearly 5% in the six months that ended Aug. 31 to $2.3B (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/22).
IN ARGENTINA...: Argentine first division side Quilmes has signed BLAS GIUNTA to replace NELSON VIVAS as coach. Vivas resigned after "punching a fan during his team's game against Atletico Rafaela." Giunta will make his Quilmes coaching debut Monday against Estudiantes (OLE, 10/22). ... The Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) on Monday said that SANTIAGO PHELAN "has resigned as Argentina coach ahead of the Pumas' European tour that includes tests against England, Wales and Italy next month." Phelan, whose contract had been due to end in December, "brought forward his decision to leave after his team finished bottom of the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship for the second year in succession with six defeats" (REUTERS, 10/21).
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