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Sports Biz Chargers sign $102 million worth of new players



Lamkin Grips Is a Step Closer To China Pact

The San Diego Chargers entered the NFL’s free agency period with the idea of bringing in new players to fill the team’s weak spots and bringing them in fast.

In one week, the team signed defensive end Marcellus Wiley from Buffalo, cornerback Ryan McNeil from Dallas, and cornerback Alex Molden from New Orleans.

But the Bill that attracted the most attention is former Buffalo quarterback Doug Flutie.

The team signed Flutie, 38, on March 9, and reported selling about 100 new season tickets that day.

The team wasn’t frugal in their spending to attract the new players. Wiley was signed to a reported six-year, $40 million contract, McNeil got a five-year, $15.5 million deal, and Molden signed a six-year, $17.1 million contract. Flutie’s contract is reportedly for six years and just over $30 million.

Every NFL team works under a $67,405,000 salary cap. Although Chargers vice president of football operations Ed McGuire wouldn’t disclose how much the team has spent so far, he did say, “We’re getting close.”

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Overseas Venture: San Diego-based Lamkin Grips recently moved a step closer to expanding its operations to China. The company broke ground on a new golf grip manufacturing and assembly plant in the city of Guangzhou in southeast mainland China.

“A growing number of golf clubs are being assembled in mainland China, so it makes good business sense for us to have a manufacturing presence there,” said Bob Lamkin, president of the company. “And the fluctuation of world economics and currencies can make it more cost efficient for our customers to buy our products out of China compared to Mexico.”

The 70,000-square-foot plant, located in a major industrial zone controlled and regulated by the Chinese government, is expected to begin operation in July. The new facility will produce Lamkin’s full product lineup of 64 grip models, and will employ 250 people.

Lamkin currently operates a manufacturing and assembly plant in Tijuana, Mexico.

Coursework: UCSD is taking fitness to another level.

The university recently partnered with the American Council of Exercise, based in San Diego, to develop a newly revised professional certificate in fitness instruction and exercise science.

“The UCSD certificate program has been re-designed specifically to meet the growing need for highly educated, technically skilled fitness professionals who possess an in-depth knowledge academically as well as practically in all aspects of exercise science and fitness instruction,” said Lenita Anthony, UCSD program coordinator.

Through the 20-unit program, students will complete academic courses and practical, hands-on training including an individualized 60-hour internship to be completed at a local fitness or health facility. Once the core program is completed, students will move on to either the personal training or group fitness track.

Courses start in April. For information, call (858) 964-1010.

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Global Marketing: TaylorMade-adidas Golf in Carlsbad named Joe Moses as its senior director of global tour marketing. Moses will continue the company’s efforts to globalize its reach of products on all professional tours. He will also lead the integration of TaylorMade-adidas’ tour marketing efforts with all divisions, including sales, marketing and product development.

Before joining TaylorMade, Moses was the president and a board member of David Leadbetter Enterprises, based in Naples, Fla. He has also worked for Dunlop Slazenger Corp. and Nike Golf.

Home At Last: The San Diego Spirit recently moved from its temporary home inside Cox Communications’ CableRep Advertising offices in Hillcrest to its Mission Valley headquarters at 2650 Camino del Rio N., Suite 200. The 5,400-square-foot space features 20 offices, a reception area, break room, copy room and enlarged work areas for the staff of 13.

The deadline for the next Sports Biz column is March 22. Send related items to dward@sdbj.com.

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