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Feb 1, 2002

AMA Launches Merchandise Program, Offers Featured Riders/Teams 15 Percent On Sales Of Their Products

From a press release:<BR><BR>AMA PRO RACING LAUNCHES LICENSED MERCHANDISE PROGRAM WITH SIGNING OF OFFICIAL LICENSEE<BR><BR>PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- AMA Pro Racing, the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the U.S., has launched an officially licensed merchandise program, bringing a new level of authenticity to race fans. An official line of AMA Pro Racing products will be produced, giving race fans the opportunity to display their passion for each of the company's U.S. Championship racing brands. <BR><BR>The program kicks off with the announcement of a three-year licensing deal with the Rock Hill, S.C.-based Wateree Sports Group who will produce an officially licensed product and apparel line for AMA Pro Racing. The lineup will include series apparel for all AMA U.S. Championships, as well as merchandise for various teams and riders. <BR><BR>"Introducing an official merchandise program of this caliber is one more way we are building on the growing awareness of AMA motorcycle racing. Our long-term goal of this program is to increase the exposure and level of professionalism for the participants in each of our Championship series. Most importantly, race fans will be able to support their favorite forms of two-wheel racing with the authentic products that will be available to them," said Chris Bradley, AMA Pro Racing associate vice president of commercial development. <BR><BR>Race fans will find the new line of official AMA Pro Racing products at multiple distribution points this year, including several AMA U.S. Motocross, Superbike and Flat Track Championship events. At the races products will be for sale under the roof of Wateree's newly created, 18-wheel interactive merchandise tractor-trailer, and soon online via amaproracing.com. <BR><BR>Located in the heart of NASCAR country, Wateree Sports Group has extensive experience in merchandise distribution and corporate identity programs. The company's impressive list of corporate clients includes General Mills, Sprint and Conseco Financial Services; Winston Cup drivers Kyle Petty, John Andretti, Buckshot Jones; and retired drivers and teams owners A.J. Foyt and 7-time Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty. <BR><BR>"We are excited about the opportunity to work with AMA Pro Racing on developing and implementing its officially licensed merchandise program," said Scott Clyburn, president, Wateree Sports Group. "Wateree's experience in creating merchandise programs in NASCAR, combined with the AMA Pro Racing brand, will create a new level of awareness for the riders, manufacturers and sponsors. By creating a merchandise venue by which riders, teams and manufacturers may participate, we will increase value for the sport, but most importantly, for the fan." <BR><BR>Jim Hannigan, vice president of licensing for Petty Enterprises said, "Wateree Sports Group has become a single source for Petty Enterprises to depend on for its merchandising needs. Wateree's NASCAR experience will help AMA Pro Racing build a successful program for the teams, riders and fans." <BR><BR>According to Bradley, it was the scope of Wateree's experience and capabilities that made the company an ideal partner. "Wateree Sports Group provides us with a turnkey solution for this venture. The company has a history of executing high-visibility licensing programs. Combine that with its high quality in-house production, distribution and fulfillment capabilities, and it makes for an obvious choice," said Bradley. <BR><BR>For more information on how to become involved in this exciting new merchandise program, contact Wateree Sports Group's Jeff Reeves at (803) 327-2776. <BR><BR><BR><BR>(Editorial background note: Not stated in the release is the fact that Wateree and AMA Pro Racing take 85% of the retail sales generated by the sale of merchandise featuring a professional rider and team, leaving 15% for the rider and team to share. On the other hand, Wateree must cover all operational costs, including a sales 18-wheeler at all races, product artwork, design and manufacturing.)