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MARKETING

Finish Line and Nike have teamed up for a new back-to-school marketing campaign designed to sell Nike+ running shoes and boost the soft U.S. retail market for athletic shoes. Nike+ shoes, which launched a year ago in partnership with Apple Inc., house a sensor in the shoe’s insole. This collects data, including distance, calories burned and speed, and transmits information from the wearer’s feet to an iPod using a wireless system. The marketing push, which includes in-store displays, television and Internet spots, and free iTunes downloads for trying on shoes, is one of the largest Finish Line has ever done with Nike.… Amazon.com is testing a pilot program in the Seattle area that delivers perishable groceries to consumers. The program expands upon the company’s existing gourmet-grocery and non-perishables businesses.

PARTNERSHIP

Cactus Commerce, aQuebec-based software and services company, has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. to drive product development, partner ecosystem development, marketing, services and support of the Microsoft Commerce Server Platform. The companies will jointly deliver platform enhancements and complementary solution accelerators, which are software applications that work with the platform to speed up implementations for technology or industry deployment. This will begin in the second half of 2008 and continue through to 2010.

INDUSTRY CHATTER

Amazon.com currently leads the first round of investment in AmieStreet, adigital-music site that prices songs of new artists according to their popularity. AmieStreet allows musicians to post songs with a variable-pricing model, which is different from the one-price model used by Apple Inc.’s iTunes Music Store. A new song on AmieStreet.com initially costs 0¢, but the price gradually rises with popularity, to a maximum of 98¢. Amazon said it would open a digital-music store by the end of the year. It plans to sell music from one major record company, EMI Group, and a large number of independent labels.

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