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Mon, Aug 28, 2017
Vol 1, Issue No. 33
Monday, April 23, 2018
Volume 2, Issue No. 16

Nike’s Executive Exodus Concerning to Some

Nike's Mark Parker and endorser Kobe Bryant.

The last five weeks Inside the Berm have been tumultuous at best, and now more outsiders are taking notice. In the six weeks since Nike formally announced that Chairman/CEO/President Mark Parker would remain on beyond 2020, more than a half dozen senior Swoosh executives have left the Beaverton, OR company.   While Nike has offered few specifics about its high-profile senior management drain, published reports have suggested they may be related to an urgent need to alter corporate culture and build a more diverse team to lead the company forward. Or, could it be something else?

The Who’s Who of Swoosh departures includes: Trevor Edwards, Nike Brand president, who will retire in August; Jayme Martin, VP of global categories, including women’s; Antoine Andrews, VP of diversity and inclusion; Greg Thompson, VP of express lane footwear; Vikrant Singh, senior brand director for Nike Basketball in North America; and Daniel Tawiah, VP of global digital brand marketing innovation.

Elliott Hill, Nike’s new president of consumer and marketplace, and Michael Spillane, who is continuing in his role as NKE’s leader for categories, design, product, and merchandising, now report directly to Parker. Aside from the trio, Nike will presumably proceed with a cast of new senior leaders presiding over in-place strategies and an overall business that is projected to see international generate 75 percent of incremental growth over the next five fiscal years.

Last week, Susquehanna analyst Sam Poser was the first on Wall Street to sound an alarm over the Nike executive changeovers by lowering his target price on NKE stock and suggesting the “learning curve” needed by new senior management appointees could hamper any momentum the brand has gained recently through innovations and the introduction of key new products.

A new Nike grade last week from IHS Markit appears to somewhat disagree with Poser’s take. The global critical information, analytics and solutions firm raised its Nike outlook to “neutral” from “negative” on April 20, further suggesting “bearish sentiment” on the stock is low and adding the economic output for the sector “is expanding but at a slower rate.”

But 60 percent of the 37 analysts covering Nike had a “buy” on the stock last week versus 5 percent with a “sell” and 35 percent a “hold” on NKE shares.

During its third quarter earnings call in late March, Nike said it was scaling up its Nike+ membership program in 12 key global cities over the next fiscal year, increasing the speed of delivery in key North American cities and planning for debut of a new women’s retail concept, UNLACED, inside Nike Soho (NYC) this summer before it’s expanded to 200+ NIKE Direct and wholesale partners by the end of 2018.

Skechers Eyes Strong Second Half

After reporting record quarterly sales in the first period of 2018 to $1.25 billion, Skechers says a tough comparison and a shift in timing of orders will make second quarter results “modest” with revenues in the $1.12-1.145 billion range. The outlook presumes a shift in second quarter shipments to H2 by U.S. wholesale accounts and several key international distributors. The record first quarter revenues were generated despite a 22 percent decline in distributor sales, partly due to weakness in the Middle East.

“We have a lot of prospects building for a very positive and significantly higher third quarter,” Skechers COO David Weinberg told analysts last week.

In Q1, Skechers was forced to increase investments in China where period sales grew more than 30 percent and may increase by $200 million in 2018. The company expects to break ground on a new distribution center there by year-end and open it within 12-18 months. Back in the U.S., SKX shipped 15 percent more pairs year-over-year but suffered a 5.7 decline in average price per pair due to product mix and several collections that have lower ASPs. Men’s and kids’ sales rose double-digits; women’s was up mid-single digits.

In H2, Skechers intends to consolidate its Southern California campus. Longer-term, the company says it remains focused on hitting $6 billion in annual revenues by 2020 as it makes sure its profitability keeps pace with peers in the athletic shoe business.

Boardriders Set to Close Billabong Deal Tomorrow

With the Quiksilver parent’s $155 million acquisition of its oft-rival Billabong set for April 24, the Huntington Beach, CA company has disclosed its senior management team for the go-forward firm. Private equity firm Oaktree Capital, which has a 19 percent stake in Billabong and is one of its two senior lenders, also manages fund with a majority interest in Boardriders.

The 17-person Boardriders, Inc. team will include: Shannan North, global president of Billabong and retail strategy; Nate Smith, president of the Americas; Dan Levine, chief brand officer; Garry Wall, global GM for Quiksilver; Emilie Souvras, global GM for Roxy; Kevin Meehan, global GM for RVCA; and Mike Jensen, global GM for DC Shoes.  

From left to right: Melanie Boulden, Tony Dunning, Tom Antosik

Elsewhere in personnel changes last week.
Reebok named Melanie Boulden, most recently SVP for global marketing at Crayola, as VP of marketing. She has prior senior management experience at Kraft Foods and Henkel.

Shelfbucks, the Austin, TX-based in-store merchandising supply chain optimization platform, adds Tony Dunning, a former Pepsico and Kimberly-Clark executive, to its board.

comScore names 25-year advertising executive Bryan Wiener as CEO. The current director at the Reston, VA company, fills the position that has been empty since the Nov. 2017 retirement of Gian Fulgoni. Bill Livek, meanwhile, moves to Vice Chairman and special advisor to the CEO.

Zamst U.S. sees it parent, Japan’s Nippon Sigmax Group, name Yosuke Suzuki  as president to succeed his father, Kozo Suzuki.

Columbia Sportswear hires Clinton Administration deputy press secretary Mary Ellen Glynn as director of corporate communications and Sara Bradshaw, a former J. Crew and Kate Spade executive, as corporate communications manager.
Escape Fitness hires Tom Antosik as national accounts manager for the U.S. and Jen-Kei Pong, formerly with Hyperwear, as distributor sales manager.

U.S. Supreme Court to Rule on Online Tax in June

The nation’s highest court heard arguments in the South Dakota versus Wayfair case last week. The state wants the Supreme Court to rule that states and local governments may require retailers with no in-state physical presence to collect sales taxes from online customers. By some estimates, states lose more than $23 billion annually since they are prohibited to collect sales tax from online and catalog purchases. 

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling, KPMG is advising remote sellers to begin preparing for the possibility of having to collect sales taxes from customers later this year and be watchful of Congressional efforts to advance legislation regarding online commerce.

“…There could be a complete lack of uniformity among the states on what constitutes nexus, which will leave retailers with no clear guidance on their sales tax collection responsibilities,” said Harley Duncan, who leads KPMG’s Washington national tax practice.

The Buzz

Escalade had flat first quarter revenues of $32.15 million despite a 108 percent increase in international sales to more than $1.9 million. Elsewhere, mass market sales increased 3.3 percent to $13.1 million; specialty store sales were off 2.2 percent to $12.9 million and ecommerce revenues rose 1.7 percent to nearly 7.6 million. Net income dipped 12 percent to $1.2 million for the period ended March 24.

Outdoor Industry Association has released a Congressional-level outdoor recreation economy report for all 435 House districts. The OIA hopes the reports will assist legislators in better understanding the role and impact the outdoor recreation economy has in their districts and among their constituents.

Sequential Brands Group intends to expand the Avia brand in China through a new multi-year agreement with Beiying Sports Technology Group. Through the pact, Avia stores will open in China, starting in 2019.

Tifosi Optics strikes a partnership with The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) through its corporate booster club that provides donations, in-kind gifts and proceeds from product sales to support NICA’s belief of #morekidsonbikes philosophy.

Topo is donating 100 percent of its website sales from April 22, Earth Day, to The Conversation Alliance. Said Topo CEO Tony Post: “For years, I’ve been inspired by companies like Patagonia, who last year donated 100 percent of their Black Friday sales to environmental groups dedicated to protecting our natural resources…While Topo is a tiny company by comparison, this is an important economic gesture for us. It’s also an important statement about our values and what we believe in.”

Tubes of the Week


Numbers In Play
The Sports Insight Index is our opinion of what we think are the 30 most important public companies in the industry, 15 vendors and 15 retailers. Space considerations prevent us from tracking more, but we will make changes over time.
Index base of 100 is key to the closing prices of 12/31/14
Segment jumps more than 1.8 percent, surpassing the Dow’s gain of 0.7 percent for the period. By Friday afternoon, the Dow had given back all but 0.1 percent of its increase over seven days with a drop of nearly 202 points. Nine up and six were down in Retail. Foot Locker, which is forecasting 30-40 basis point growth in gross margin this year and slowly growing product margins as more sales of premium products gain traction, has an operating margin above 7 percent. That’s behind Skechers’ operating margin, but ahead of DSW’s. Zumiez is projected to generate annual sales of $973 million this year. Camping World adds five new RV centers in LA, IL, KS and GA. Walmart, as mentioned in this space last week, could purchase a 51 percent stake in India’s Flipkart as early as next week. Discounter also eases its employee dress code due to the tighter labor market.
Ten up and only five down for the segment, which gains more than 5 percent for the period on significant increases from Adidas and Lululemon. Nike, which has seen nine senior executives depart over the last five weeks, sees Jefferies raise its target price to $75 and UBS post a “buy” on the stock. Under Armour pulls its ads from Youtube after one of its spots appeared on a white nationalist channel, according to CNN on April 19. Skechers sees its price target lowered on a muted outlook as Wedbush downgrades the stock to neutral from outperform with a price target lowered to $34. Columbia Sportswear is projected to have more than 6 percent revenue in the U.S. in the first quarter to more than $354 million and beat analysts’ profit estimates. Company is expected to yield increased contributions from its prAna and Sorel brands and more sales from 300 shop-in-shops installed in key partner stores in recent months.





Retail Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 04/12/18
Close on 04/19/18
% change over week
Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV)
Sports Direct (LON: SPD)
Camping World (CWH)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
Finish Line (FINL)
Foot Locker (FL)
Genesco (GCO)
Hibbett Sports (HIBB)
Kohl’s (KSS)
Macy’s (M)
Sportsman’s Warehouse (SPWH)
Shoe Carnival (SCVL)
Tilly’s (TLYS)
Walmart (WMT)
Zumiez (ZUMZ)
Brand Name (Ticker Symbol)
Close on 04/12/18
Close on 04/19/18
% change over week
Acushnet Holdings (GOLF)
adidas (ADDYY)
Amer Sports (AGPDY)
Callaway (ELY)
Columbia Sportwear (COLM)
Deckers Brands (DECK)
Fitbit (FIT)
GoPro (GPRO)
lululemon (LULU)
Nautilus (NLS)
Nike (NKE)
Skechers (SKX)
Under Armour (UA)
VF Corp. (VFC)
Wolverine Worldwide (WWW)

Sports Insight Extra Podcast Series

Nikki Barua

The old way of retail is dead, and there is a massive opportunity to re-invent, proclaims the CEO of Beyond Curious in Los Angeles.

Matt O’Toole

President of Reebok dishes on the brand’s mission and objectives from its headquarters in Boston.

Gabriella Santaniello

Retail expert dishes on what’s going right and wrong in industry today and weighs in on the Walmart vs. Amazon tussle.

Guy Yehiav

The CEO of Profitect addresses the right medicine for changing the paradigm of accountability—prescriptive analytics.

Pat Ryan

Batter Up! The global product director for baseball/softball at Wilson Sports details the new USA Baseball standard that took effect January 1 and what it means when you hit the store this spring looking for a new stick for junior.

Patrick Clark

President of Nextwave, a Buford, GA system integrator, discusses benefits of an on-demand apparel microfactory, a bridge to Just In Time manufacturing, from Sourcing at MAGIC in Las Vegas.

Shawn McBride

Ketchum Sports & Entertainment EVP talks Olympics—impact of three consecutive Games in Asia, social media, corporate guerilla marketing and drawing in younger consumers.

Tyson McGuffin

Tennis pro Tyson McGuffin, 28, talks about the rising popularity of pickleball and how he became a champion in the sport.

Bob Mullaney

The 20-year shoe and retail industry veteran, recently named president and CEO of RG Brands, dishes on the comfort footwear business and Barry’s iconic Dearfoams brand.

Bob Smith

The design consultant who began his 20-year career as a graphic artist for Nike dishes on the blur between lifestyle and performance and the importance of Struktur, the creative conference for active, outdoor and urban design.

Rob & Mike Barnes

The co-founders of Selkirk Sports, a Hayden, ID maker of Pickleball paddles and accessories, dish on the rise of the sport that counted 2.5 million participants in 2015.

Brendan Candon

CEO of SidelineSwap, an online marketplace for used sports gear and equipment, dishes on the market and whether it steps on the toes of traditional, full-line retailers.

Dave McGillivray

The long-time race director and long-distance runner weighs in on marathon participation, the future of event marketing and his latest venture that may bring a marathon to a MLB ballpark near you.

Paul Froio

Reebok’s VP of U.S. Retail and Direct-to-Consumer channels talks about the company’s new South Boston headquarters and adjacent global flagship store.

Aquiles M. Bermùdez P.

The former president of the Dominican Association of Free Zone Companies and current member of the National Commission of Footwear addresses the industry, Dominican Republic’s infrastructure and Footwear Technology Institute.

W. Andrew Martin

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Mark Sullivan

The president of Formula4Media, LLC previews The Running Event conference and trade show set for November 28-December 1 in Austin, Texas.

Bryan Smeltzer

The general manager of Zamst Americas talks sports protectives, dispelling some of the consumer and athlete misconceptions about the category.

Emily Walzer

Formula4Media colleagues Emily Walzer, Textile Insight editor, Jennifer Beaudry-Ernst, footwear specialist, and contributor Kurt Gray, owner of SimplyGrayDesign, dish on key trends from the final Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City.

Judith A. Russell

Shifting consumer purchasing patterns are vital to understanding today’s marketplace. Russell, a marketing and strategic planning professional, offered up her thoughts at TexWorld in New York on a panel with Sports Insight Extra’s Bob McGee.

Will Decker

Family-owned Silicon Valley firm Plug and Play, which dubs itself the “Ultimate Startup Ecosystem,” has raised over $6 billion in venture funding during its 11 years while bringing corporations, venture capitalists and start-ups together.

Matthew Lyon

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Eric Hayes

Superfeet Celebrates 40th Anniversary. The employee-owned company introduces footwear and rolls out a 3D printed insole program.

Shawn Neville

BOA introduces New Tech and Names New CEO. Nothing will constrict Boa Technology CEO Shawn Neville from helping the Denver company improve its customized fit solution.

Waingarten and Frydlewski

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Michelle Carmichael

The Co-founder and Managing Partner of Partners Growth, which brings premium brands into the U.S. market, talks Finnish children’s wear brand Reima. 

Brian Beckstead

Six-year old Altra is teaming with Utah State University to develop outdoor design talent.

Declan Condron

Let's Go Hyperwear: Former Equinox personal trainer merges the innovative, functional fitness gear from Austin, TX company with programming for schools, camps and institutions.

Hugues Gontier

Sly and Simple. and its technology enable a retailer to interact with customers in store and track traffic. No beacon required. The CMO explains the benefits of the platform.

Reza Raji

The CEO of Xenio Systems talks about the company’s new platform that tracks where shoppers spend time in physical stores and its patented hyper-positioning technology.

Jacob Torres Espino

The director of export promotion for Mexico’s Guanajuato State government agency addresses the proposed impact of the Border Adjustment Tax by the U.S. and the possibility of a renegotiated NAFTA free trade agreement.

Isabelle Ohnemus

The founder and CEO of EyeFitU, a former investment banker, talks ‘glocal’ assortments, shoppers’ personal sizing and global web payment options.

Tom Cove #2

The president and CEO of the SFIA addresses the most serious threat the industry has faced in the past half-century and the expected re-introduction of the PHIT Act by Congress.

Matteo Scarparo

The Italian global trade expert in footwear talks about the present and future of TheMicam trade show and the potential impact of a Border Adjustment Tax in the U.S. on imported shoes.

Dr. James Eakin

Dr. James Eakin, chief marketing officer and director of U.S. operations for Xenoma, discusses the Japan company’s e-skin shirt and entire wearable category.

Rusty Saunders

Industry senior statesman Rusty Saunders dishes on industry leadership, pressing issues and the inactivity pandemic.

Barbara Barclay

Expert Barbara Barclay, president of RightEye, talks eye-tracking technology and her company’s recent alliance with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.

Julie Sylvester

Julie Sylvester, Executive Producer at Living in Digital Times, talks trends likely to emerge at Sports and FitnessTech Summit at CES in Las Vegas.

Chris Palmer

Chris Palmer, Founder and CEO of BoxFox, talks excess inventory and solutions for vendors, retailers and distributors.

Susie McCabe

Susie McCabe, SVP of global retail for Under Armour who previously spent 16 years at The Ralph Lauren Corp., dishes on UA’s retail strategy and new Brand House in Boston.

Tom Cove

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Rich Harper

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Stephen Lamar

On the eve of Election Day, we talk to three leading industry lobbyists on how the results may impact trade in the sporting goods, outdoor and apparel and footwear industries.

Bill McInnis

The president of Reebok Future discusses the intent of the unit and the brand’s plans to develop footwear in a new way.

Tom Fowler

Polar USA CEO Tom Fowler talks technology and the future of smart wearables.

Paul Schille

TREW CEO Paul Schille dishes on the eight-year old company in the process of completing its Series A round of funding and his dual career.

Jason Kaplan

Milestone Sports CEO Jason Kaplan dishes on the company’s low-cost, wearable pod and how it will help specialty retailers connect.

Duncan Finigan

OOFOS marketing executive talks about the recovery footwear brand and candidly about her courageous personal health journey.

Matt Priest

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America President Matt Priest the likelihood of the Trans-Pacific Partnership being passed soon.

David and Josh Higgins

ING Source executives dish about compression technology and the Hickory, NC company’s breakthrough OS1st Brace Layer System.

Charles Liberge

Jones & Vining’s Charles Liberge addresses strategies and directions for the iconic brand.

Jim Baugh

PHIT America’s Jim Baugh dishes on the inactivity pandemic.

Sue Dooley and John Daher

Rockport Group senior executives talk about the brand’s fresh start under new ownership that has a major emphasis on versatility.

Josh Shaw

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Tim Porth

Tim Porth of Octane Fitness talks trends, Zero Runner and the company’s January acquisition by Nautilus Inc.

David Costello

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile and footwear industries.

Steven D’Angelo

The ‘47 brand executive dishes on the Boston company and long-time MLB licensee founded by his father Arthur and his late Uncle Henry.

Pam Gelsomini and CB Tuite

Pam Gelsomini, president, and CB Tuite, VP–sales, discuss the company’s products, partnerships and what’s new for the season ahead.

Kenneth G. Andres

The tradeshowdirector for the American Sportfishing Association casts comments on the activity’s popularity, and trends in fishing.

Dick Sullivan

The principal and founder of Rising Tide Associates talks about industry advocate lobbying for the domestic textile.

Dave Coradini

The VP of sales and sponsorships for Spalding, Dave Coradini talks Shot Tracker and basketball.

Scott McGuire

The executive brand and product innovation leader dishes to F4M’s Emily Walzer on an array of topics.

Kelly Davis

Snow Sports Industries of America’s Kelly Davis talks weather, participation trends and how to handle the psyche.

Kevin Davis

The CEO of Performance Sports Group dishes on new bat standards and Own the Moment.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 2

Gene McCarthy, president of Asics America, speaks to Jen Ernst Beaudry on specialty run and more in the second part of the podcast.

Gene McCarthy, Pt 1

Gene McCarthy, new president of Asics Americas, dishes to F4M’s Jen Ernst Beaudry in the first of a two-part podcast.

Richie Woodworth

Saucony’s Richie Woodworth offers his views on brand’s running business and what it takes to manage through change.

Bruce Cazenave

Bruce Cazenave, CEO of Nautilus Inc., recently ranked 23rd on Fortune’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list.

Tony Armand

Armand is leading USB, created after the April merger of Shock Doctor and McDavid.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith has been at the helm of the Lawrence, MA firm for three years, and his 2016 strategies will broaden Polartec’s scope.

Marty Hanaka

City Sports CEO Marty Hanaka has 42 years in retail, starting at Sears in 1973.

Mike Dowse

Wilson Sporting Goods, one year removed from its 100th anniversary and a major restructuring, has a renewed focus and strategy.