ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES, WILSON SPORTING GOODS DEPLOY FOOTBALL TRACKING TECHNOLOGY FOR NFL GAMES

Zebra Technologies in a collaboration with Wilson Sporting Goods, will deploy RFID-tagged footballs for every game on the 2017 NFL schedule. The football tracking technology enables the collection of real-time location, speed and rotation data; providing fans with new visualizations, statistics and fantasy recommendations. The data collected will be used by in game broadcasts and distributed through other league media partners, to enhance the fan experience.

Howie Long-Short: Wilson Sporting Goods is a subsidiary of the Amer Sports Corporation (HEL: AMEAS). Amer is a Finnish sporting goods company that owns several brands including; Louisville Slugger, Atomic and Salomon. The company recently updated its 2020 growth target, prioritizing sustainable profitable growth to consumer advances. AMEAS now targets annual mid-single digit organic, currency-neutral growth (previously said $3.5 billion EUR).

Fan Marino: Speaking of Wilson Sporting Goods, the company recently announced the launch of the Wilson Custom Racket Shop. The Shop is the first web based platform that provides players with the opportunity to design a performance tennis racket to their personal specifications. Grigor Dimitrov (ATP #11) was the first tour player to use the Shop and has been playing with the Pro Staff he designed since.

ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES COLLABORATES WITH NFL AND WILSON SPORTING GOODS TO DELIVER UNIQUE INSIGHTS DURING 2017 FOOTBALL SEASON

GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS LEAVING RUSSELL ATHLETIC; SIGNS 6 YEAR APPAREL DEAL WITH ADIDAS

Georgia Tech University has announced a 6-year deal that will make Adidas (ADDYY) the official apparel provider for 17 GT varsity sports. The partnership, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, will replace the school’s existing deal with Russell Athletic (BRK.A). The mutually beneficial agreement provides Adidas with a presence in the Atlanta market, while providing GT with a boost in revenue and a significant improvement in apparel quality.

Georgia Tech to exchange Russell Athletic gear for Adidas starting in 2018

Howie Long-Short: When GT first signed on with Russell Athletic in 1992, sporting goods companies like Russell (BRK.A), Rawlings (NWL), Wilson (HEL: AMEAS) controlled the uniform market. 25 years later fashion and apparel retailers (NKE, ADDYY, UAA) dominate the space. Times have changed!

Fan Marino: You hear a lot of talk that GT’s relationship with Russell Athletic has damaged their recruiting efforts. I’m not buying that. Football struggles to recruit because they run a version of the wishbone offense that hasn’t been popular since the 1980s. Basketball can recruit. Josh Pastner has a 5 star, Nassir Little, on campus this weekend.