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adidas-Salomon completes three-pillar e-commerce strategy

Global partnership with SportsLine.com and Sports.com E-commerce criteria established for retail partners adidas online store in Europe and America

May 03, 2000

Herzogenaurach, 03/05/2000 - adidas-Salomon AG has signed a letter of intent to enter a global co-marketing relationship with SportsLine.com (Nasdaq: SPLN), the leading global Internet sports media company, and its majority-owned European subsidiary, Sports.com. The deal includes a extensive e-commerce relationship with Sports.com and promotion for adidas' brand and product offerings on SportsLine.com's flagship Web sites, CBS SportsLine (http://www.cbssports.com/) and Sports.com's sites (http://sports.com/). This unique partnership makes adidas-Salomon the first major sporting goods company to team up with a company that distributes sports information online. The relationship has global reach, initially covering the United States and Europe, and at a later stage Asia.

This partnership will allow adidas-Salomon to benefit from the know-how and experience of SportsLine.com and Sports.com in the development of e-business. It will foster innovative co-marketing activities through virtual and real events and create new entertainment possibilities to mutually promote the adidas, SportsLine.com and Sports.com brands. Also, the cooperation will open a huge potential for the contextual sales of adidas products on Sports.com sites by linking product offers to information on sports events, teams and players.

"This premium and privileged partnership with SportsLine.com and Sports.com assures us access to the primary e-business markets of the world. It increases our exposure towards our target group. And it aligns adidas-Salomon AG with real e-business experts that will help us to move quickly and decisively in this new area," said Herbert Hainer, Chief Operating Officer of adidas-Salomon AG. "It signifies a major step forward in our innovative and comprehensive Internet strategy announced as an integral part of our Growth and Efficiency Program earlier this year."

"adidas is one of the truly great global brands," said Mike Levy, founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of SportsLine.com and Chairman of Sports.com. "The ability to leverage the worldwide reach generated by SportsLine.com's and Sports.com's global leadership in the online sports business has enabled us to establish this relationship with adidas-Salomon."

"adidas-Salomon will significantly accelerate our Sports.com e-commerce success," said Thomas Jessiman, Managing Director of Sports.com. "Now with adidas-Salomon we can offer our customers the finest sports e-shopping experience."

In an effort to build the second pillar in its Internet strategy, adidas-Salomon has secured agreements with key retailers that are selling through their brick and mortar outlets as well as via the Internet. This Trilogy program integrates the adidas brand, its partners and the respective technology into an online retail marketing strategy. adidas-Salomon has established a series of selection criteria for key retail partnerships. Basically, retailers have to put the adidas brand into the right environment, position it as a premium brand and ensure customer-friendly service and technology to qualify for this Internet program. In Europe, cooperation has started with some retailers, with others the extended partnership is in the process of being finalized. In the US, adidas has signed a limited number of agreements with top retailers that fulfill these criteria. The huge interest on the side of retailers reflects the strong standing that adidas-Salomon has already established as a partner in e-commerce.

Creating an online store was the third pillar of the adidas-Salomon AG e-commerce strategy. In the USA, since mid-1999, over 500 products have been available to consumers via the Internet at thestore.adidas.com. Since March 17th, adidas-Salomon has also offered a limited number of products to European consumers at adidas.com/thestore . With this step, adidas became the first global player in the sporting goods industry to sell its products directly to end-consumers via the Internet in Europe.