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Nike's Denson Among Featured Speakers at NSGA Conference

Nike Brand President Charlie Denson and Men's Wearhouse Founder, Chairman & CEO George Zimmer are among several speakers confirmed for the NSGA Management Conference.

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Nike Brand President Charlie Denson and Men’s Wearhouse Founder, Chairman & CEO George Zimmer are among several speakers who will be featured at the 44th Annual NSGA Management Conference & 10th Annual Team Dealer Summit May 4-7, 2008 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.

Denson, who learned the business from the ground up at Nike, starting in 1979 as an assistant manager at Nike’s first retail store, will be the opening speaker on Tuesday, May 6. During his tenure at Nike, he has run the company’s U.S. and European operations and pioneered Nike’s expansion into China, India and Brazil.

He has been a constant innovator in developing sales and distribution strategies and driving global growth as the company expanded into more than 160 countries.

Denson will discuss today’s consumer and how Nike and the industry need to evolve in order to lead. Through insight into where Nike is headed, Denson will offer a glimpse into the future for the entire sporting goods industry.

Zimmer opened the first Men’s Wearhouse store in Houston in 1973. Since then he has led the company through every phase of its growth. At the end of 2006, the company operated more than 775 stores with nearly $1.9 billion in annual sales. Last spring, the company completed the acquisition of the After Hours chain of more than 500 tuxedo rental stores.

Zimmer attributes much of the company’s success to integrating his Servant Leadership values into the corporate culture, and he will share those values with those in the retail track on Monday, May 5. The corporate culture he built has been recognized as one of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies To Work For in seven of the last eight years.

Also confirmed as speakers are Warren Kornblum, former Global Chief Marketing Officer of Toys “R” Us, and Robert Kriegel, a leading authority in the field of change and human performance.

Kornblum, who created Geoffrey, the “Spokes Giraffe,” as the face of Toys “R” Us, will focus on the successful strategies that generate growth. He will discuss the importance of having an acute understanding of the customer, so that the company can communicate to the market in a relevant and compelling way.

Kriegel, a New York Times best-selling author, will discuss the bold innovative thinking necessary for keeping ahead of the changes, challenges and competition in a dynamic marketplace. He will present out-of-the-box strategies for out-thinking, not out-working, your competition; streamlining your operation; and not just satisfying, but surprising, your customers.

The Management Conference title sponsor is the Sport Finance Program from GE Money. Summit co-sponsors are Mueller Sports Medicine, Russell Athletic, Sporting Goods Dealer and the NSGA Team Dealer Division.

A complete schedule of speakers, panel discussions, workshops, networking time and social activities has been posted on the NSGA website ( and will be included in brochures that will be mailed in January.

For more information, please contact Sue Wenderski or Chuck Suritz at NSGA, (800) 815-5422, or e-mail:

About NSGA:
NSGA, which has served the sporting goods industry since 1929, organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry’s premier educational and networking event (Next: May 4-7, 2008 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, Ariz.).

For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (; call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 131; e-mail:; or fax (847) 391-9827.