NEW NIKEWOMEN: Nike has opened a Nikewomen store at the Fashion Valley Shopping Center in San Diego. The 5,000-square-foot store is located on the center’s upper level and includes a range of Nike fitness apparel, footwear and accessories for women.
The unit is the seventh Nikewomen store; others are located in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo and Palo Alto, all of which are in California, and Atlanta. The company had been operating these stores under the nameplate NikeGoddess, but changed the name earlier this year to communicate a global image and convey a clear connection between Nike and women.
Nikewomen also recently launched a national Nikewomen catalogue, marking its first  stand-alone catalogue for women. The Nikewomen stores are designed to be an interactive experience where female consumers test and provide feedback on new products. Nike doesn’t break out sales of this division, and a spokeswoman declined to divulge sales for the store.

AXM SWIM SOLD: Mexican swim manufacturer Modeplaya has bought the AXM swimwear line. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. AXM, based in Washingon, D.C., was launched about two years ago and includes fashion-forward looks and is sold in about 100 doors, including upscale boutiques and swim chains. “Modeplaya can add the necessary manufacturing and swimwear industry expertise that AXM needs now,” said AXM founder Alisa Beyer, who will stay with the firm.

ESPN SETS UP SHOP: ESPN junkies now have a themed shopping destination. The sports media company has partnered with footlocker.com for an ESPN-branded direct-mail catalogue and e-commerce destination where fans can purchase ESPN-branded and other athletic footwear, apparel and equipment. Among the products available are team jerseys and fan merchandise and sports gear such as basketballs and sneakers from brands including Nike, Reebok and New Balance.

EXECUTIVES ON THE MOVE: Howe Burch, the former senior vice president of sports marketing at Fila, has launched a sports marketing and communications firm called Twelve. His Baltimore-based company offers a variety of services, including strategic and business development and event marketing. Elsewhere, yoga and lifestyle company The Marika Group has tapped Shelley Marks as vice president, a new post. She was most recently president of both Etonic Apparel and Jockey Activewear at Jacques Moret and has also held sales posts at Adidas.RUSSELL/NBA DEAL: Fresh off a deal to buy Brooks Sports, Russell Corp. has entered into a $125 million, eight-year partnership with the National Basketball Association. Russell’s Spalding division has provided the official basketball of the NBA since 1983, and this deal will ensure that Spalding will be the only basketball used during all NBA practices, games, exhibitions and international competitions. In addition, Russell’s Huffy division will make several lines of NBA backboards featuring the Spalding and Huffy brand names. Under the terms of the agreement, Russell will promote Spalding and Huffy NBA products through NBA.com and other NBA outlets.

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