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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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By Blair Henley

There were significant corporate developments last week for both Nike, Inc. and Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc. Nike announced it will divest two of its affiliated brands, Cole Haan and Umbro, in an attempt to streamline focus on the growth of their Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands. Cole Haan is a New York- based company that specializes in luxury leather footwear and bags, while Umbro is a soccer brand based out of Manchester, U.K. Nike, Inc. acquired the two in 1988 and 2008, respectively.

According to Nike president and CEO Mark Parker, the move will provide an opportunity to accelerate profitable growth. "Divesting of Umbro and Cole Haan will allow us to focus our resources on the highest-potential opportunities for Nike, Inc. to continue to drive sustainable, profitable growth for our shareholders,” Parker added.

While Nike is shedding some of its holdings, Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc. of Roswell, Ga. has garnered headlines after raising $7 million in equity from investors on top of the $9 million it raised a year ago, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The retailer, which operates 14 PGA TOUR Superstores in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinios and South Carolina, is majority owned by the parent company for the Atlanta Falcons, AMB Group LLC. Along with Atlanta-based venture capital firm Noro-Moseley Partners, AMB Group has been a significant investor in Golf and Tennis Pro Shop since 2004. Arthur M. Blank is the owner of AMB Group and the retired co-founder of Home Depot.