Jan 26,2007 00:00
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.
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 Payless.com. Exeter's Starter brand also is announcing this week a new relationship with NASCAR's Joe Gibbs Racing Team to provide footwear and apparel.