Fast Break - April 2006

You Are Entering a Caffeine-Free Zone; Let's Paint, Paint, Paint for the Home Team

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April 2006
Fast News
You Are Entering a Caffeine-Free Zone No one minds if Fairfax County, Va., student-athletes continue to get amped as part of their pre-game warm-ups. But what can't continue is their drinking of AMP and other so-called energy drinks.

Concerned that a growing number of the county's high school athletes were guzzling highly caffeinated energy drinks to boost their sports performance, Fairfax County school system officials recently banned student-athletes from consuming the beverages before, during and after school. Individuals caught drinking an energy beverage will now face possible sanctions from their coaches, including game suspensions or extra conditioning sessions.

Enforced toward the end of the winter sports season - after several student-athletes required medical attention for heart trouble brought on by the drinks' sugary caffeine kick, coupled with strenuous exercise - the ban follows the district's 2004 prohibition of weight-loss supplements containing ephedrine.

Energy drinks, a $3 billion enterprise increasingly targeted at young people, is one of the fastest-growing segments of the beverage market. One 8.3-ounce can of the popular drink Red Bull contains 80 milligrams of caffeine, twice as much as a 12-ounce soda or roughly the equivalent of an 8-ounce cup of coffee. Red Bull also boasts "energy-boosting" additives such as sugar, taurine and vitamin B12.

While it's yet unclear as to the effects of high-caffeine doses on athletes and their performance, Fairfax County officials don't want to take any chances. "We'd been seeing kids drinking two or three of these things prior to games in the locker room," Paul Jansen, director of the school system's office of student activities and athletics, told the Connection of Fairfax County. "We're saying, 'Don't drink a case of Red Bull and go out there because you have no idea what can happen to you. Worst-case scenario, it can kill you.'"

Let's Paint, Paint, Paint for the Home Team Stuffed pillows, bobble-head dolls and other memorabilia may prove your loyalty to the home team. But nothing screams, "Go, team, go!" like a fresh coat of Carolina Blue.

In April, Atlanta-based home improvement retailer The Home Depot, in partnership with ICI Paints and Glidden, announced Team Colors, a new sports-themed paint line that allows customers to buy paint in the exact colors of their favorite professional and college sports teams.

Available exclusively at The Home Depot, the program offers more than 400 paint colors representing more than 125 different teams through agreements with Major League Baseball, the National Football League, 44 colleges and universities, NASCAR and 14 drivers/teams, Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer, the Federation of Mexican Fútbol and the U.S. Olympic Team.

A Web site created for Team Colors ( features a downloadable version of the 12-page color brochure, Team Colors Room Visualizer, where fans can create their fantasy Team Colors room, painting tips and a variety of inspirational room photography.

In the Field
Company News
  • Schelde North America (Grand Rapids, Mich.) has joined forces with Architectural Flooring Systems Inc. (Arlington Heights, Ill.) to market HARO and other hardwood sports floors.
  • Gill Athletics Inc. (Champaign, Ill.) signed a non-binding letter of intent to purchase nearly all of the assets of Porter Athletic Equipment Company (Broadview, Ill.), manufacturers of indoor and outdoor sports equipment.
  • Southern Aluminum (Magnolia, Ark.) was awarded the 2005-2006 Platinum ADEX (Award for Design Excellence) for its Copper Swirl design. Sponsored by Design Journal, ADEX is the largest competition for product design of furnishings marketed through the design community.
  • Contec Inc. (Spartanburg, S.C.) has renamed all products in its line to reflect the parent brand's name. The product formerly known as XWipes Equipment Cleaner wipes will now be called Athletix Equipment Cleaner wipes.
  • Lochinvar (Lebanon, Tenn.) will host a webcast at on May 2 for the Knight Heating Boiler. Viewers will see the boiler and its features and there will be a live question-and-answer session.
  • Athletic Business welcomes these new members to its Editorial Advisory Board: Fred Engh, president and CEO of the National Alliance For Youth Sports; Kathleen Hatch, executive director, university recreation & student union at Washington State University; Susan Trautman, director of parks and recreation for the City of Des Peres, Mo.; and Jan van der Sanden, recreation program and facility supervisor for the Margaret W. Carpenter Recreation Center in Thornton, Colo.

Want to see your name in lights? Send press releases and news to our Web Editor for consideration:

It's Show Time
Nike's former "Katalyst" to Speak at Athletic Business Conference Kevin Carroll, author of the highly successful Rules of the Red Rubber Ball, will be the opening keynote speaker at ABC on Nov. 15 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Kevin's pursuit of play and his red rubber ball took him overseas as a language interpreter and translator with the Air Force, where he became fluent in Croatian, Czech and Serbian. After the Air Force, Kevin landed a job as athletic trainer at a private school in Philadelphia, which led to his job as head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers. While at the 76ers, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight tapped Kevin to bring his unique experiences to the sneaker giant and help inspire their creative people. The force of his personality is such that Nike hired him simply to act as "Katalyst," someone who helped turn creative ideas into reality.

Kevin left Nike in 2004 to found The Katalyst Consultancy, where his "job" is to inspire new ways of thinking. He is now traveling the world promoting the importance of play in everyday life. At his keynote, Kevin will show you how to become a change agent who inspires and motivates your organization, allowing it to reap the benefits of a healthy, fun environment where people enjoy their jobs - and their lives.

Conference fee: $395 for the first person, $340 per person for the second and third person from the same organization, and $160 per person for each additional person (4th and beyond) from the same organization.

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St. Andrews Parks and Playground in Charleston, S.C., is seeking an assistant general manager. This is a full supervisory position with responsibility for heading membership sales efforts, ensuring positive customer service and supporting all upper-level fitness center staff. St. Andrews offers a fun, friendly working environment and a chance to make a difference in the lives of others.

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Don't Miss This
In our next issue: Effective crowd management in the post-9/11 era.

Subscribe to Athletic Business magazine.

Did You Miss This?
In our previous issue: Gender equity hasn't translated to the marketing of women's sports.

Read "Sex & Sensibility"from the April issue

And the Survey Said
In response to last month's Quick Question about the NCAA basketball tournaments, nearly a third of you said you'd devote an hour or two to the games and another third would give them four or more hours.

Complete Results: Over the next few weeks, how many hours each day do you estimate you'll spend watching, discussing or simply thinking about the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments?

  • 4 hours or more - I just can't get enough March Madness: 30%
  • 2 to 4 hours - Why is it so tough to get any real work done this month?: 19%
  • An hour or two - I'll catch the second half of a game after I put the kids to bed: 31%
  • 0 - I have neither the time nor interest to engage in such nonsense: 20%
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