Nike Inc. has named Clare Hamill president and chief executive officer of its wholly owned Exeter Brands Group, which creates athletic footwear and apparel under the Starter, Team Starter, Asphalt, Shaq, Dunkman and Tailwind brands.

After 26 years with the Portland, Ore., athletic giant, Hamill most recently was vice president of new business development for Nike Inc. Affiliate brands, for which she helped Exeter develop products, brands, distribution and marketing partnerships. Hamill joined Nike in 1981 as a technician in its sports research lab, and later was vice president and general manager of global footwear for five years, and vice president of Nike Equipment, global women’s business and USA Commerce.

In her new role, she continues to report to Lee Bird, president of Nike Inc. Affiliates, which includes Converse, Cole Haan, Hurley International, Nike Bauer Hockey and Exeter.

“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 in a statement.

During the past two years, Exeter has expanded its Starter line, which this week is unveiling a new relationship with NASCAR’s Joe Gibbs Racing Team to provide footwear and apparel. This spring, Exeter is launching the Tailwind brand exclusively for Payless.

Hamill succeeds Lisa Kempa, who has headed Exeter since 2005 and previously was chief financial officer of Converse. Kempa will now work with Bird on new business development for the affiliates group.

This story first appeared in the January 24, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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