Adidas, second only to Nike in sportswear market sales, is hoping to bounce back from a troubled 2013 with a winning World Cup next year.» Read More
Believe me, I think by suspending Michael Vick and suspending the release of his shoe, Nike has done enough to disassociate itself with Michael Vick. But if they wanted to terminate him, they can do so without any financial penalty. That's right, sources are telling me now that Nike has a clause in the contract that says that if Vick is indicted, Nike can terminate him unilaterally.
One year from Wednesday, Aug. 8, the 2008 Olympic Games will begin in Beijing -- focusing the world's attention on China like never before. As part of our one-year countdown to the games, CNBC sent Darren Rovell and Melissa Lee to China for a series of special reports.
If you're watching CNBC today, you'll see my piece on the battle of shoe brands in China as the Olympics approaches. (You can also see it on CNBC.com right now or in clip below). Anyway, unfortunately there's only so much to fit in in "television time" and I had three great interviews with top executives from Nike, adidas and Li-Ning. So I thought it would only be fair if I could run the best parts of the three interviews in the blog.
Athletic apparel maker Puma said Thursday second-quarter profit slipped as rising sales in Europe were offset by a 15% sales decline in North and South America.
Adidas, Europe's biggest sports goods maker, said on Wednesday its second-quarter net income rose 27% despite nearly flat revenue because of lower brand Reebok sales and currency effects.
Tiger Woods is the only athlete who will come close to earning $100 million in endorsements this year. But the actions of two of the companies he had deals with questions whether Woods is worth the price companies pay. Last week, American Express signed a deal to become the official card of the PGA of America and the USGA and in the process decided to end its deal with Woods after a 10-year relationship with the brand.
Yesterday, I wrote about how a company called Plan B. found out that 71 percent fewer fans showed up on discounted beer night. This surprised me a little bit, but not some readers. From Larry Rascak:Personally I would avoid discount beer night like the plague, simply because I would not want to be at a ballgame (or in the parking lot, or driving home) with the sort of people who would go to a game just to drink a lot of cheap beer. Is this really that big a surprise?
I know. Why am I talking about this? You thought this was a sports business blog. Well, this week I've been trying to give you something a little bit different as I'm filing from Beijing. (Programming reminder: Next week, we're taking you behind the business of the 2008 Olympic games. You can watch my stories on CNBC or see them here on the Web site.) Anyway, back to my thought.
One of the most surprising things about being here in Beijing is the absence of Yao Ming. I thought he'd be everywhere. Sure, he made his name in Shanghai, but I thought he was the pride of China. Well, apparently not. Aside from a Coca Cola ad on an occasional billboard and a wildlife poster, Yao isn't a force here.
"Nike has suspended Michael Vick’s contract without pay, and will not sell any more Michael Vick product at Nike-owned retail at this time," the athletic apparel giant said in a statement.
As many of you know, yesterday I called for Nike to dump Michael Vick. They sort of did that minutes ago, when they suspended his contract. My prediction? They'll never reactivate it. It's a really good move. They were never going to use Vick again, so there was no reason to stand by him. I'm not ignorant enough to think that they my writing did anything.
When activist organizations ask for a shoe and apparel company to drop athletes before the legal process has seen them through, I usually don't agree. The main reason I stand up for these companies is that it's good for business to ride it out. People forget and if you have an athlete who is acquitted of charges who is a big star, they will prove they can sell again.
The minor league baseball independent Long Beach Armada is hosting "Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day" on Sunday. Any fan who trades in his or her Michael Vick T-shirt or jersey will get free admission to the game and a donation will be made in their name to a non-profit that helps "inspire a better understanding of dogs." Those shirts and jerseys will be destroyed in some manner, the team says. Fans can also bring their dogs to the game, will be provided a special entrance to the ballpark and sit in a special section of the ballpark.
After watching much of the media look at the wrong data when considering whether NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on the games he officiated, I've decided to let the cat out of the bag. Folks, you're not going to get anywhere by looking at the point spreads.
Nike on Thursday announced it would hold off on launching a signature athletic shoe named for Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback accused of allegedly running a brutal dogfighting ring.
Nike has a new statement out, which I have just received. They are suspending the release of the Vick V shoe, which was scheduled to be in stores on Aug. 23. Here is the text: "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship...."
My nipples are erect right now. They are like this because I'm in the midst of an experiment which I'm calling "Operation Red Sunday." A couple weeks back, just a few days after I saw Tiger Woods in his tight-as-can-be Sunday magenta shirt at the U.S. Open, I called Nike Golf and asked them to send me what Tiger was planning to wear for the British Open on Sunday.
When Michael Vick's latest Nike shoe hits the warehouses at Dick's Sporting Goods in a couple weeks, they aren't going into the trash or back to Nike, as a result of the quarterback's recent indictment. The Vick V shoe, which retails for $100, will go out on shelves as scheduled on Aug. 23, the company's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told me this afternoon.
Kevin Durant will be a Nike guy, the question is how much did Nike pay him? The contract has been drawn up, but the paperwork has not yet been completed. I believe I'm going to be wrong on my prediction that Durant, when including signing bonus, would not get more than $6 million a year. The adidas deal was the larger deal, but Durant in the end seemed to go with the brand he was more comfortable with.
Welcome to Buck's Place. I'm talking about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. What you find here is a history lesson wrapped in a sports legend with a hint of just how supercilious 'organized' sport too often is.