Retail: 75
Retail: 188
Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33

The Buzz: ISlide, Mitchell & Ness, Wilson Sporting Goods, NSGA, New Balance, Nike

ISlide, known for its ability to create custom slides within days via a proprietary printing process, has forged a two-year licensing deal with the National Hockey League to make and distribute footwear product and designs with NHL team logos. An initial program features four designs per NHL team. The 120 designs, initially available on the website, will be sold at select national retailers Oct. 1 and will be available at Fanatics retail websites tomorrow and select in-venue retailers on Oct. 16. Boston-based ISlide was founded in 2013 by Justin Kitteridge, a 19-year footwear industry veteran.

Mitchell & Ness will be releasing premium, licensed apparel and headwear for The Overwatch League, the first major global professional eSports league with teams in Asia, Europe and North America, in 2020. The licensed garb will debut during the league’s 2019 Grand Finals weekend in Philadelphia, including a Sep. 28 event at the Mitchell & Ness flagship.

Wilson Sporting Goods has been sued for trademark infringement by the band The Clash, over the company’s  Class tennis racquet that has been on the market since February. The British company that owns the trademark for the “Rock the Casbah” band is seeking at least $3 million in damages.

Wilson Sporting Goods brands Wilson, DeMarini and EvoShield have signed an exclusive partnership deal with the University of Florida baseball and softball programs to supply on-field equipment starting in 2020. The deal includes customized Wilson gloves, Gator colorway Demarini bats and custom-molded EvoShield protective and catchers gear.

New Balance is attempting to hold onto its kit contract with Liverpool, suing the Premier League football club in hopes of enforcing “a matching clause” that would enable it to renew its team contract. New Balance’s current Liverpool deal expires in May 2020 and Nike has reportedly already offered the soccer club a long-term deal that is worth 40 percent more than the current pact.

National Sporting Goods Association has published two reports, “Retail Audit Insights” and “Guide To A Better Retailing Experience” in partnership with Matt Nurre, president of Retail Design Source and a speaker at the trade group’s annual conference for the last two years. NSGA members may download the guides at

Tilly’s hires 25-year Nordstrom executive Tricia D. Smith as EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer for the 217-door chain. At Nordstrom, Smith was EVP and GMM for Women’s, Young Contemporary, Designer and Specialized Apparel since 2016. In a separate personnel move at TLYS, Michael L. Henry has been promoted to EVP/CFO.