March 23, 2006

Maria Sharapova Debuts Custom-Designed Nike Apparel

Apparel features a unique Dri-FIT sport corset and skirt that are adapted from Nike's fitness dance collection.

Miami, FL (23 March, 2006) – Fresh off her win at last weekend’s Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif., Maria Sharapova will step onto the tennis court at the NASDAQ-100 Open tennis tournament in Miami, Fla., and debut new custom made Nike apparel that features a unique Dri-FIT sport corset and skirt that are adapted from Nike's fitness dance collection.

After learning of Maria's interest in Nike's fitness dance collection, Nike designers adapted two key pieces for Maria to wear on the tennis court. The Nike Speed Corset is pearl and black and features a state-of-the-art ventilation system in the front and back for breathability to keep Maria cool while playing in Miami's heat. The black Nike Shimmer Mix Skirt is made of moisture-wicking Dri-FIT fabric and features an adjustable roll top waist that allows for a custom fit. Nike’s proprietary, tested and re-tested, moisture-wicking technology, Nike Dri-FIT helps sustain body temperature by drawing sweat away from the skin and moving it to the outside of the fabric where it quickly evaporates

Maria, who traditionally has preferred playing in dresses, was so pleased with corset and skirt design that she decided to wear the separates.

“The corset is definitely something you don’t see much on the tennis courts, but Nike made it very comfortable to wear and the vents keep me cool,” said Maria Sharapova. “I’m sure that my fans are going to think it’s different because I’ve never worn anything like this, but I’m excited about it and since it’s Miami you can get away with things being a little edgier.”

“Maria loved the current Nike fitness dance collection so for the NASDAQ-100 Open, we acted quickly to create a special look for Maria,” said Mindy Grossman, Vice President of Global Apparel for Nike. “Nike designers translated the fitness dance apparel into a corset and skirt that offer bold style, but also provide the performance features critical for the heat and elite level of play in Miami.”

Maria's Nike apparel will be available in a limited quantity at the NASDAQ-100 Open retail tent on site at the tournament and Nike’s current fitness dance collection is available at nikewomen.com and at sporting goods retailers across the country.

About Nike NIKE, Inc. based in Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, a leading designer and marketer of luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.