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The Inside Track | The Hot Corner

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

May 22, 2000|LARRY STEWART


If you're a famous athlete, why just endorse a shoe? Why not sell it directly, using the Internet?

That's what Shaquille O'Neal and his agent, Leonard Armato, have done with the creation of They're using this Web site, which was launched last month, to sell shoes and sports apparel.

Move over Nike and Reebok.

A pair of Chromz basketball shoes, which O'Neal wears in games, sells for for $84. Basketball shorts are $30, a jersey $18.

The price of some merchandise--such as the Chromz shoes--is less than what you'd pay in many sporting goods stores.

By the end of the year, the company claims users will be able to order a wide variety of sports products, many of them made to order, customized to their liking.

Mike Piazza and Rebecca Lobo have signed on to be a part of the company, and the site contains feature stories about them.

O'Neal and Armato have been working on since failing to come to terms with Reebok on renewing O'Neal's $5-million-a-year contract in 1998.

Among other things, they found investors--CBS Sportsline and Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) of Palo Alto are the main ones--and settled on a company logo that incorporates symbols meaning heart, peace, power and game.

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