XFL names Spalding first official licensee

STAMFORD, CT/EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - The XFL, a new professional football league jointly owned and operated by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NMS: WWFE) and NBC, announced today that Spalding Sports Worldwide has been named the first official licensee of the league. As part of the multi-year license agreement, Spalding will be the official ball of the league and will market a line of footballs under the XFL name. Made with Spalding's patented all-weather construction, the Spalding XFL game ball will be used in all of the games beginning with the season opener on February 3, 2001.

"Spalding is one of the most recognizable names in sports and we're very excited to have Spalding on board as our first on-field partner," said Basil V. DeVito, Jr., President of the XFL. "The Spalding game ball, with its unique and high-impact black, silver, and red color combination, will be one of the strongest icons of the XFL."

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to be part of such a cutting-edge organization," stated Eddie Binder, Executive Vice President of Spalding Sports Worldwide. "The sporting goods industry has been flat for the past five years in both participation and sales. We feel the XFL will bring a new perspective to the sports arena with its wide-open style of football combined with savvy marketing campaigns. The league's success will be great for football, fans, and retailers."

Spalding's official line of XFL footballs will roll out this October, in time for the key holiday selling period. The line will consist of seven SKU's, and price range from $10.00 to $80.00. Spalding will support the XFL football series with a multi-million dollar advertising and promotional campaign beginning this fall.