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NIKE AND NISSHO IWAI TO EXTEND PARTNERSHIP INTO 21ST CENTURY

 BEAVERTON, Ore., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- NIKE Inc. (NYSE: NKE; PSE) and the Nissho Iwai group, which includes Nissho Iwai Corp. (NIC) and Nissho Iwai America Corp. (NIAC), have agreed to extend the strongest partnership in the sports and fitness business into the 21st Century.
 The agreement will extend NIAC's exclusive worldwide trade financing of NIKE products from its current expiration in 1995 to the year 2000 and beyond. NIKE products are manufactured in more than 25 countries on four continents, and sold in more than 80 countries around the globe. Worldwide NIKE sales in FY93, ending May 31st, amounted to $3.9 billion.
 The new agreement also calls for a strengthening of the NIKE brand presence in Japan. NIC will have responsibility for trade financing and importing of NIKE products for NIKE Japan Corp. (NIJAC), while NIKE Inc. will assume all product development, sales and marketing roles, as well as all equity, in NIJAC. The agreement is expected to be implemented before the end of December.
 Japan is one of NIKE's oldest markets outside of the United States. Nissho Iwai Corp., one of Japan's most innovative trading firms, and NIKE, the world's largest sports and fitness company, have been partners since 1971. "The Nissho Iwai group has been one of the keys to NIKE's successful growth for more than two decades," said Philip H. Knight, NIKE co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer. "When we were a small and struggling brand, no one wanted to risk investing in our future. Nissho Iwai stepped in and carried us forward. This new agreement launches our partnership into the next century, allowing NIKE and Nissho Iwai each to bring our strongest resources to bear, in Japan, and around the world."
 NIKE Inc., the world's largest sports and fitness company, is headquartered in Beaverton.
 -0- 12/13/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Parham of NIKE, 503-671-3079; or Richard Lewis of Richard Lewis Communications, 212-827-0200, for Nissho Iwai America/
 (NKE)


CO: NIKE Inc.; Nisshao Iwai Corp.; Nissho Iwai America Corp. ST: Oregon IN: TEX SU:

IC -- SE015 -- 3419 12/14/93 00:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 14, 1993
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