Nike pitches into baseball gear in Japan

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TOKYO -- Tokyo-based Nike Japan is to market baseball merchandise on the back of the game's new popularity in the country. The move was fueled by the success of Japanese player Hideo Nomo with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the U.S. The market for baseball gear had leveled off over the past two years.

The company is introducing clothing such as under shirts, jackets caps and spikes, but not more technical equipment such as gloves and bats. Its spikes, branded "Nikeair Nomo Metal" and designed to meet Nomo's demand for an air cushion function, will launch in December.

Nike's baseball range will initially be sold through Nike shops of which there are 20 across Japan.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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