(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 25--Nike paid $1.525 million last year to longtime Phil Knight confidant Howard Slusher for his management of the company's World Headquarters expansion, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday.
The consulting agreement payment is mentioned in a proxy statement the company issued in advance of its annual shareholders meeting, to be held Sept. 18 at the World Headquarters campus.
Slusher, a Knight adviser for decades, has previously helped oversee the construction of the Matthew Knight Arena and Football Performance Center, both at the University of Oregon.
And he is the father of John Slusher, Nike executive vice president of sports marketing. That relationship and the consulting agreement terms are mentioned in the proxy statement's "Transactions with Related Persons."
"Howard Slusher manages the planning, design, and construction of new buildings at, and improvements to, NIKE's World Headquarters," the proxy statement says. "Howard Slusher was selected due to his deep history and experience with the Company, as he has managed several significant construction projects for the Company, including the original World Headquarters construction and later expansions.
"In addition, Howard Slusher's previous engagement with the Company garnered the trust of management and makes him uniquely qualified to oversee the project."
The statement also says the company paid for health and life insurance policies totaling $129,801 for Howard Slusher "following expiration of the agreement."
It was not clear Friday when the agreement expired. As the project has yet to begin construction, it also was not clear what role Slusher continues to exercise in the campus expansion project.
Nike announced in 2013 that it planned to build two office buildings, expand parking and make road and other campus improvements at its massive headquarters near Beaverton. The two buildings would add more than 500,000 square feet of office space to a campus that has about 2.2 million square feet now.
The company has since said the project, announced after Gov. John Kitzhaber signed an agreement with Nike giving the company tax certainty for three decades, will be bigger than announced in 2013.
The "Transactions with Related Persons" section also notes that Nike employs three of chief executive Mark Parker's siblings in non-executive roles: Bob Parker, marketplace director, a 30-year employee; Stephen Parker, vice president and general manager, Converse Asia-Pacific, a 26-year employee; and Ann Parker, executive talent scout, an employee for more than 24 years.
In addition, the "Transactions with Related Persons" section says the company is paying Georgetown University men's basketball coach John Thompson III base compensation of $200,000 annually and up to $112,000 per year of product and merchandise, for use by him, the basketball staff and team, effective August through August 2019, in an endorsement agreement. The agreement includes annual incentive payments of up to $100,000 based on his team's performance.
The proxy includes the disclosure because Thompson is the son of Nike board member John R. Thompson, Jr., head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team from 1972 until 1998 and head coach of the 1988 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team.
-- Allan Brettman
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