Nike’s Secret New York Vending Machine Trades Free Swag For FuelBand Points

July 26, 2014

Free Nike gear sitting in the middle of a public place? This will either go down in the books as a damned clever marketing move or a great way to cause a panic.

Early this morning, we started hearing whispers of a vending machine that had been plopped down somewhere in New York. But there’s a twist! Two twists, really. This vending machine only dishes out Nike gear… and it doesn’t accept cash. To get something out of the machine, you’d need to cough up some points from a Nike FuelBand.

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Nike Ends Manchester United Sponsorship Over Valuation

July 16, 2014

Nike has ended sponsorship talks with Manchester United because the record 20-time English soccer champion wants more than 60 million pounds ($102.8 million) a year to renew the deal to supply uniforms.

Under its existing 13-year deal, which expires July 31, 2015, United receives 23.3 million pounds a year plus a share of profits from merchandise sales.

I’m sure Adidas will make a pitch, however, Nike does have the right to match any offer.

Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shop Plan New Stores

July 11, 2014

Gander Mountain is planning to open a new location in Newnan, GA, this fall. Gander Mountain in Newnan will be located in a new 52,000-square-foot store located at 361 Newnan Crossing Bypass, in the Newnan Crossing shopping center, just off I-85 at exit 47. It will be the fifth Gander Mountain location in Georgia.

Bass Pro Shops plans to open a new store in Sarasota County, FL. It will be the primary anchor for the new 260,000-square-foot, planned mixed-use Fruitville Commons development. The new 80,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outpost store is slated to open in 2016.

Manduka PRO Yoga Mat…Best Yoga Mat?

July 10, 2014

Finding the right yoga mat can be a daunting task.   For a new yogi, the selection of different sizes, colors, densities and thickness can make the choice very overwhelming.  Not to mention the variety of price.  I purchased my first yoga mat years ago from Walmart (yes, Walmart – sorry Earth) for just over $10.  At the time, I was a college student; but now, after a decade of practicing yoga and learning the value of purchasing quality, my recent search for a new mat had me looking down different roads than my former college self.    The search started a few months ago after being frustrated that my down dogs kept inadvertently turning into planks due to hand slippage (great for the core, not great for preventing injuries!).   After having gone through multiple yoga mats over time, I decided it was time to go for quality – so I started doing my research.  The top brands looked to be Jade, Manduka, and Lululemon.  After lots of deliberation, I landed on the Manduka Pro mat and here has been my experience thus far:

This is one durable mat.  Made of PVC, it measures 71 inches long by 26 inches wide, and is ¼ of an inch thick – making it considerably wider and longer than the competition, and thicker than most (although there are some mats with a comparable thickness).   These size differences in the Manduka mat are noticeable.  The extra width and length means that I have to do less repositioning moving between poses in order to stay on my mat, and the thickness allows my knees to stay happy.  I was worried that the added thickness would make balancing poses more difficult as it would provide for too cushioned of a surface, but amazingly the material is cushioning but not overly compliant at the same time.   Although mat size and durability are its biggest selling points, it also leads to the biggest drawback – the weight.  At 7 pounds, you’ll get a pre-workout carrying this puppy around.   Not a huge issue if you’re just going to and from the gym, but for the commuter this could be problematic.  Fortunately, Maduka makes a lighter weight, albeit thinner, version called the PROlight.  Now, all of this still doesn’t address my main concern in my search for a new mat: slippage.  Here is where my Manduka Pro is still under the microscope.  The mat is pretty slippery with first use, which, to Maduka’s credit, they tell you about right on the label.  There are ways to “break in” the mat faster (ie, applying salts), but I’ve elected to just keep using the mat and see if it improves with time – which it has.  All of my prior research seems to point to improved grip with use, and overall Manduka is known to be one of the best mats for preventing slippage without being sticky.

From my $10 Walmart mat to my $100 Manduka, I’ve come a long way.  The old adage, “You get what you pay for” seems to ring true in this situation.  As in all things in life, time will continue to tell, but so far I think I may have found my lifelong yoga “soul-mat”.

Manduka PRO Limited Edition Yoga Mat

Under Armour Opens First Store in Central America

July 8, 2014

558_under_armour_clinton_imgUnder Armour opened it’s first location in Panama City, Panama. Located in one of the country’s premier shopping destinations, Multiplaza Pacific Mall, the store offers the brand’s signature line of apparel and footwear.

Opening a brand store in Panama City represents the latest international expansion effort, for Under Armour, which continues to build its presence outside North America. In the past six months, the brand has launched in Brazil, Chile, the Philippines and Singapore.

Wilson Inks Deal with UM for Wireless Technology in Football, Tennis

July 2, 2014

A University of Michigan technology could revolutionize the sporting industry on a global scale.

U-M officials announced Monday that Wilson Sporting Goods Co. signed exclusive licensing agreements on university-owned patents to use wireless motion sensor technology in tennis and American football to help athletes improve their performance.

The company also signed non-exclusive licensing agreements to use the technology on all inflatable balls.

The Chicago-based athletic equipment manufacturer is the sixth – and largest – company to license the technology since 2005. The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The sensor was developed from the lab of U-M mechanical engineering professor Noel Perkins.

Mike Dowse, the president of Wilson, said the company has a rich history of delivering innovations in the sporting equipment industry, and the U-M sensor technology is the next step.

“We are in the midst of a digital onslaught that we believe will revolutionize training and the athlete’s toolbox. We’re focusing development on sensor-enabled products that deliver data to the athlete for analysis and training to help them play and perform better,” Dowse said in a statement.

“For the recreational athlete, this means enjoying a rich digital experience that creates more ways to compete and play. For the avid athlete, this means real-time training feedback that helps the athlete play better in competition.”

Perkins said that with a tennis racket, for example, the technology allows the user to transmit data to help him or her analyze precisely where their stroke needs improvement.

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Adidas Equipment Shining During World Cup

June 25, 2014

The World Cup is Adidas’ time to shine, as they are the premier soccer brand in the World. Here are some tweets to highlight:

darren rovell @darrenrovell Adidas says it has sold a record 2 million World Cup Germany jerseys, record 14 million official Brazuca balls

@snnmoney #Adidas is on track to rake in $2B this year, thanks to #WorldCup sales. @AlisonKosik reports

The brand has sold an incredible amount of jerseys, balls and soccer equipment in general. According to CNN Money, they are on track to bring in $2B in revenue this year!

Under Armour Plans Brand House in Chicago

June 19, 2014

Under Armour will open its newest specialty retail location at 600 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago in March, 2015. Featuring men’s, women’s and youth apparel, footwear and equipment, the Chicago Brand House will be the region’s premiere Under Armour retail destination to shop a full line of Under Armour products that make athletes look, feel and perform their best. The Under Armour Brand House will feature nearly 30,000 square feet of interactive retail space.

Here is what the Under Armour Brand House will look like:

Minnesota Ramps Up Push for MLS

June 13, 2014

With construction underway on their new NFL stadium, the Minnesota Vikings have intensified their pursuit of a Major League Soccer franchise for the facility that team owners designed in hopes of accommodating both sports.

Co-owner Mark Wilf met this week with MLS officials, the latest dialogue between the two parties. The Vikings also announced a partnership with promoter Relevent Sports, a major player in the soccer world that is helping sell an international tournament game between two European teams to be played at the University of Minnesota in August.

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Dick’s SG New Store Openings

June 7, 2014

Dick’s Sporting Goods will be holding grand-opening celebrations from June 6 to June 8 at three locations in Lawrence, KS which is located at 2727 Iowa Street. Another store is opening in Virginia, in the city of Culpeper at 15359 Montanus Drive. The new North Carolina store will be located in Arden store is at 329 Airport Road.