Nike announces new leadership at Exeter Brands Group
Jan 26,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

NIKE, Inc. announced Monday that Clare Hamill, a 26-year Nike executive with broad global product, merchandising and general management experience, has been named President and CEO of the company's wholly-owned Exeter Brands Group, which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear and apparel under the Starter, Team Starter, Asphalt, Shaq, Dunkman and Tailwind brands.

NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.
Hamill joined Nike in 1981 as a technician in the company's world-renowned Sports Research Lab. She subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility in footwear, apparel, and equipment in Europe and the United States. She served as Vice President and General Manager of Global Footwear for five years, as well as Vice President of Nike Equipment, Global Women's Business and USA Commerce.

Most recently, Hamill was Vice President of New Business Development for Nike, Inc. affiliate brands, in which she has helped Exeter develop new products, brands and distribution and marketing partnerships to drive growth. In her new role, she continues to report to Lee Bird, President of Nike, Inc. Affiliates, which in addition to Exeter includes Converse, Cole Haan, Hurley International and Nike Bauer Hockey.

"Clare's breadth of experience at Nike will be a tremendous asset for Exeter as we accelerate growth with a broader product and brand portfolio, deeper relationships with retail partners such as Wal-Mart and Payless ShoeSource and new sports marketing relationships with organizations such as NASCAR," Bird said. "Clare has the skills and experience needed to grow a strong brand portfolio with multiple distribution partners and diverse sports marketing relationships."

Hamill succeeds Lisa Kempa, who has headed Exeter since 2005 and previously was Chief Financial Officer of Converse. Kempa has developed a strong team with value channel competencies and led Exeter's transition from a licensed to direct wholesale business model, building in-house product design and development capabilities and expanding Starter's athletic apparel and footwear product lines. Kempa will now work with Bird on new business development for the affiliates group.

Over the past two years, Exeter has reasserted Starter's leadership in the value channel, steadily expanding its line of Starter performance apparel and repositioning athletic footwear, while also developing new brands and business relationships. This spring, Exeter is launching the Tailwind brand, featuring stylish performance athletic shoes designed to fill a high-growth potential market in the women's athletic footwear category for shoes that combine contemporary fashion appeal with technical performance. Tailwind branded product, expected to retail initially at under $35 a pair, will be available exclusively at Payless stores and Exeter's Starter brand also is announcing this week a new relationship with NASCAR's Joe Gibbs Racing Team to provide footwear and apparel.