Fitness: Did You Hear?…

FedEx CFO joins Nike board; adidas adds distribution center; Obesity risks underscored; American Media buys Weider;
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>> FedEx Corp. CFO Alan Graf Jr., 49, joined the Nike board of directors, effective Dec. 1. Graf will fill an open seat on Nike's 13-member board of directors, and will serve on the audit committee. Graf has worked at FedEx since 1980, becoming CFO in 1991. In 1998, he was named executive vice president in addition to his CFO role. He will infuse a more youthful element to the board, which has been criticized because of the ages of members.

>> adidas will add a distribution center in Northern Kentucky. ProLogis said it has signed adidas Sales Inc. as its newest tenant at its Airpark Distribution Center. adidas is leasing 628,507 square feet in three facilities at Airpark, which is located near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. According to a news release, adidas will use the facilities for distribution of its full line of apparel and sportswear, as well as a portion of its Salomon NA apparel and sporting equipment business.

>> Sad, but true: Obesity and ills linked to it, including heart disease and high blood pressure, have joined the World Health Organization's list of the Top 10 global health risks. Rates of obesity are going up in developing countries as well as industrialized ones, with the greatest increases taking place in the last 10 years. In the United States, 64.5 percent of adults and 15 percent of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight.

>>American Media Inc., publisher of tabloids The National Enquirer and The Star, has agreed to buy Weider Publications Inc. for $350 million. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will give American Media all seven of Weider's privately held fitness magazines, including Shape, Men's Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness. The Weider titles, including multiple international editions, have a total circulation of nearly 4.1 million and employ more than 400 workers. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2003. It does not include Weider Nutrition International, a vitamin and nutrition business, which is publicly owned. Los Angeles-based Weider was begun in 1939 by Joe and Ben Weider, who also founded the Mr. Olympia contest.

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