L.A. Gear hawks hockey footwear via NHL

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L.A. Gear is stepping up its battle with Nike in the street hockey footwear business by signing deals with National Hockey League superstars Brett Hull and Mark Messier. L.A. Gear plans to introduce signature shoe lines from the athletes next spring, while agency Chiat/Day, Venice, is currently shooting TV spots featuring Messrs. Hull and Messier, along with Wayne Gretzky, whose line of L.A. Gear street hockey shoes hit stores in late spring. Nike, an NHL marketing partner, recently launched its own street hockey shoes, with ad support from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

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