CHAMPION TAPS WNBA RETAILERS

NEW YORK--Champion's licensed Women's National Basketball Association apparel will have limited distribution during the league's inaugural season, which begins June 21.
It will be available exclusively at WNBA stadium shops, Lady Foot Locker, J.C. Penney Co. and Sears, Roebuck & Co.
The 12-piece line features replica jerseys, shorts and coverups from the league's teams--New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets, Charlotte Sting, Utah Starzz and Sacramento Monarchs. The collection is expected to retail from $15 for a T-shirt to $45 for a fleece sweatshirt.
The line and its distribution will be expanded for the WNBA's second season, said Michael Flatow, president of Champion, at a press conference Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Champion, the official apparel sponsor of the WNBA, expects to generate "several million dollars" from sales of its licensed WNBA apparel during the first season, said Flatow, who declined to be more specific.
In addition to unveiling the uniforms of the league's eight teams at Wednesday's event, the WNBA and its key sponsors--Champion, General Motors and its Buick Motor Division--announced plans to promote breast cancer awareness during the league's first season.
They will donate funds to the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organization, a nonprofit group that offers information about breast cancer. Champion will donate up to 5 percent of the purchase price of each licensed item sold, Flatow said.
Officials from the Council of Fashion Designers of America were also on hand. The CFDA, which helped General Motors develop "Concept: Cure," a drive against breast cancer, also advised GM about its latest venture, said Fern Mallis, executive director of the CFDA.
As for the uniforms, the CFDA wasn't asked for any input.
"I sure wish they had," quipped Stan Herman, president. "I have to talk to that guy from Champion."

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