SOURCE: NexCen Brands, Inc.

November 07, 2007 10:41 ET

Grand Street Campus Wolves to Meet New York Knicks Power Forward David Lee at Local Athlete's Foot Store

Local Team Enjoying "Storybook" Season Looks to Pro for Playoff Inspiration

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 7, 2007) - The Grand Street Campus Wolves are hungry to win and have been setting and achieving goals all year in the pursuit of a PSAL (Public School Athletic League) championship. At the beginning of the school year, a number of players on the team entered The Athlete's Foot (TAF) back-to-school In My Shoes contest. As a reward for their participation in the footwear retailer's campaign, the team will have the opportunity to learn from another athlete who has worked hard to reach his goals -- New York Knicks forward David Lee. Members of the Grand Street Campus Wolves will meet Lee at The Athlete's Foot at 1053-1055 Liberty Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11208, on Thursday, November 8th.

"The goal of the In My Shoes campaign is to help young athletes in their quest to achieve their goals and perform at their highest level," commented Robert W. D'Loren, President and CEO of NexCen Brands, Inc., parent company of TAF. "Through our network of local TAF franchises, we are thrilled to provide everyday athletes like the Wolves the opportunity to meet pros who can provide insight on what it takes to succeed."

The Grand Street Campus Wolves have had an 8-1 football season and are heading into the playoffs this Saturday against Tottenville High School. This has been a "storybook" season for the Wolves, who pulled off wins against two higher ranked teams outside of their division. The team attributes these wins to their goal-focused mentality and their ability to work hard to achieve those goals -- in sports and in their personal lives. In fact, in addition to an athletic coach, Ed Gazillo (who founded the team in 1999), the Wolves also have an academic coach to assist them with any off-the-field issues and ensure that they stay on track with their schoolwork. It was this academic coach, Craig Lustman, who encouraged the student athletes to enter the In My Shoes contest to help them cement their aspirations and commit to making them a reality.

"The team was so thrilled to hear that they would have the opportunity to speak with a professional athlete who has also set goals and has achieved great success in his sport," said Lustman, upon receiving notification that the Wolves had been given the meet-and-greet opportunity. "Our team members face real challenges on and off the field and an opportunity like this wouldn't be easily attainable for them on their own. We are very grateful to The Athlete's Foot for the chance to reward them for their hard work and to hear some words of encouragement from a pro athlete."

As a high-school baller, David Lee was named McDonald's All-American his senior year. To achieve that status, he overcame an early obstacle: a broken left arm. As a natural leftie, Lee trained himself to be ambidextrous and played with his right hand, a skill he still relies on today. After high school, Lee played for four years at the University of Florida. Lee was installed as the Knicks' starting small forward for a stretch of 13 games in December 2005 and January 2006 and his career highs with the Knicks include 23 points and 20 rebounds each occurring in a single game. On February 16, 2007, Lee was named the Most Valuable Player in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, finishing with 30 points on 14 of 14 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds.

The athletes will meet on Thursday, November 8th, at the Athlete's Foot store located at 1053-1055 Liberty Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11208. There, Lee will sign autographs for the public from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and will meet the team from 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. There is a cost of $30 per autograph for members of the public.

"It's always a pleasure to bring passionate athletes together to 'talk shop' and learn from each other," said Harry Malhotra, local franchisee of The Athlete's Foot. "Providing the athletes in my community with the tools they need to succeed is one of the highlights of owning a TAF franchise."

The TAF In My Shoes campaign, which the retailer launched in late July invited students ages 13 to 18 nationwide to submit written or video (YouTube) entries stating their performance goals for the new school year.

The New York area regional contest winner, a freshman basketball player at Brooklyn College, will also receive a TAF gift card. His regional winning entry stressed a commitment to success on and off the court, pledging to take school seriously, stating that "gaining an education is a privilege that many do not have, and I refuse to waste it."

In addition to the New York event with David Lee, nine other regional winners have met pro athletes from their communities, including:

-- Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis

-- Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward

-- Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle

-- Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn

-- Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley

-- Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna

-- Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Reggie Brown

-- Houston Texans running back Ahman Green

-- New Orleans Saints receiver Marques Colston

One national winner will have a one-on-one coaching session with one of the hottest professional athletes in the country. The winner and athlete will be announced in early November.

The Athlete's Foot is thrilled to contribute 10% of the proceeds from the memorabilia sales at each regional meet-and-greet to Achilles Kids, a division of The Achilles Track Club (ATC) (www.achillestrackclub.org), which enables young people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics, to promote personal achievement, enhanced self esteem and the lowering of barriers between people.

About The Athlete's Foot (www.theathletesfoot.com)

The Athlete's Foot® (TAF) is the world's first franchisor of athletic footwear stores and is recognized today as the world leader in athletic footwear franchising. Robert and David Lando opened the first The Athlete's Foot store in 1971 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first athletic footwear specialty store of its kind in the United States. Soon thereafter, TAF began franchising domestically, with the first franchise store opening in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The first international franchise store opened in 1978 in Adelaide, Australia, the beginning of TAF's expansion into over 45 countries. In June 2007, NexCen Brands launched a global re-branding effort for TAF. Plans for reinvigorating the 36 year-old brand include an innovative new modular merchandising system, new in-store design, a modernized company logo, and a line of TAF branded apparel.

About NexCen Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: NEXC) (www.nexcenbrands.com)

NexCen Brands, Inc. is the premier 21st century vertically integrated global brand acquisition and management company focused on assembling a diversified portfolio of intellectual property-centric companies operating in the consumer branded products and franchise industries. The Company owns, licenses, franchises and markets a growing portfolio of consumer and franchise brands including The Athlete's Foot®, Bill Blass®, MaggieMoo's®, Marble Slab Creamery®, Pretzel Time®, and Pretzelmaker® and Waverly®. The Company licenses and franchises its brands to a network of leading retailers, manufacturers and franchisees that includes every major segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market in the U.S. and in over 50 countries around the world, and consists of more than 1,500 franchised stores. NexCen, through its information technology, franchisee support systems and advertising, marketing and public relations team, markets its brands to continually drive greater consumer awareness and brand equity for each of its brands. NexCen touches nearly every aspect of a consumer's lifestyle from the food they eat to the furnishings in their homes and the clothes and footwear they purchase.