Nike becomes official footwear, apparel and equipment company of Portland Timbers

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers announced today that Nike will be the official footwear, apparel and equipment provider for the Timbers, a member of professional soccer’s USL First Division.

Nike, based in Beaverton, Ore., will provide on-field team uniforms, training gear and footwear for the Timbers as part of an exclusive multi-year relationship.

“Nike is committed to maintaining Portland’s high standards of quality soccer for the professional player, the developing player, and the fan,” said Joe Elsmore, U.S. Sports Marketing Director for Nike. “Our comprehensive partnership with the Timbers will allow us to satisfy Portland’s appetite for the game on all levels.”

The partnership includes a number of components that will create new opportunities for both the Timbers and Nike, including further development of the Timbers’ youth soccer camps as well as co-promotional activities at PGE Park and throughout the greater Portland area. Nike will outfit all Timbers youth camp participants with club apparel and will team up with the Timbers on innovative promotional activities, community appearances and continued assistance in attracting first-class athletic events to Portland.

"Nike has once again proven its commitment to Portland by entering into this multi-year strategic partnership with the Timbers," said Jim Taylor, general manager of the Timbers. "While this agreement has many of the familiar elements of a traditional sports sponsorship, what's really intriguing is the prospect of utilizing our combined resources to further the growth of the Timbers brands and increase Portland's standing as ‘Soccer City USA.’"

Previously, Nike has lent its resources and support to several successful soccer events at PGE Park, including a Men’s World Cup qualifying match in 1997, the 2002 WUSA All-Star Game, two Women’s World Cups -- highlighted in 2003 with three doubleheader events played before more than 60,000 fans -- and the 2004 Women’s U.S. National Team “Fan Celebration Tour,” a spirited event commemorating the team’s Olympic gold medal achievements and marking Mia Hamm’s final on-field appearance at PGE Park.

Nike’s partnership with the Timbers continues the company’s strong philanthropic and on-field support of soccer at all levels worldwide. Nike’s support can be seen with leading European club teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Juventus and Barcelona, national teams such as Brazil, Holland and Mexico, as well as with the U.S. Soccer Federation.

About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc. based in Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan® a leading designer and marketer of luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.

About the Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers professional soccer team, originally founded as part of the North American Soccer League (NASL) in 1975, is a member of the 12-team First Division of United Soccer Leagues. The Timbers, the defending 2004 USL First Division regular-season champions, annually rank among the league leaders in attendance and were recognized for their efforts during their successful 2004 season, with forward Alan Gordon earning Rookie of the Year honors, head coach Bobby Howe being named the Coach of the Year and general manager Jim Taylor being named the Executive of the Year by United Soccer Leagues.