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$129 million worth of swoosh

Nike spent zilch on Super Bowl television commercials, but the athletic shoe and apparel giant may have run away with nine digits worth of free advertising from the game.

Sponsors Report, a company that studies sponsor exposure during televised sports and special events, found that Nike's "swoosh" logo appeared clearly on camera for 28 minutes. With 30-second commercials selling for $2.3 million, the company calculated Nike's Super Bowl benefit at about $129 million.

Raymond Howland, a spokesman for the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based firm, noted the symbol not only appeared on the players' jerseys, but on their shoes, gloves and pants.

The New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens are among the 13 NFL teams that Nike supplies with apparel this season, said Scott Reames, a Nike spokesman.

But watch out. Reebok recently signed a 10-year deal to be the exclusive supplier of uniforms to all 31 NFL teams, beginning in 2002.

Associated Press

The barometer is rising

In case you missed it, the January Barometer points up.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 4.3 percent in January, a signal that 2001 will be a good year for the stock market.

Since 1950, the S&P 500's performance in January has indicated its direction for the rest of the year 46 of 51 times.

In odd-numbered years when new U.S. Congresses convened, such as this one, the index's January direction has been a perfect indicator of the market's performance for the year, said market historian Yale Hirsch, who tracks the "January Barometer" in his Stock Traders Almanac.

Hirsch's theory works out "because there's so much reinvestment that typically comes into the market at the beginning of the year that if the market doesn't respond, it's a measure of a lack of investor confidence," said Steve Shobin, president of Americap Advisers and the former chief technical analyst at Lehman Brothers Inc.

Bloomberg News

The name's Bond, GMBond

What goes into your car? Steel, aluminum, plastic, leather if you're lucky -- and pork and turkey byproducts.

Hormel Foods Corp., famous for Spam, will supply General Motors Corp. with a binding agent made from the animal protein collagen for use in forming sand molds used for casting metal parts.

"Who would have guessed that a food product would be used in the production of your automobile's engine block?" said Joel Johnson, Hormel's president, chairman and chief executive, at his annual shareholders meeting last week.

Traditionally, Johnson said, toxic chemicals have been used to bind sand to create molds. The sand they bind is not recyclable, and this presents a "severe pollution problem," he said. The new collagen-based GMBond product is an alternative to those chemicals.

"General Motors determined that Hormel Foods, with its pork and turkey slaughtering operations, has the best access to raw materials necessary to produce GMBond," he said.

Associated Press

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