Fleet Feet, Inc. reported a record number of franchisees – representing 70 stores – and 38 apparel and footwear vendors attended its annual Winter Franchise Conference January 7-10. Nike, Inc. was honored as Fleet Feet’s Outstanding Apparel Vendor of 2007 for its growth in sales to Fleet Feet stores, as well as its customer service, product quality, shipping and overall commitment to the Fleet Feet organization.

Franchisees from 30 states attended workshops and an exclusive trade show featuring key apparel vendors such as adidas, Asics, Brooks, Champion, Mizuno, Moving Comfort, New Balance, Nike, Saucony and Sugoi among others. An awards dinner on Tuesday highlighted the record breaking financial results for the Fleet Feet franchise in 2007 – more than $75 million in sales and a 14 percent comp store gain – as well as Nike’s honor and an annual community service award.

Balega International, a sock manufacturer and Fleet Feet vendor partner, awarded its third InDuna Award to Susan Frankel and Jeremy Perlin, owners of Fleet Feet Sports in Cincinnati, OH The InDuna Award is presented annually by Balega in recognition of a Fleet Feet Sports store that has made substantial contributions in their local communities.

Balega and Fleet Feet work jointly on the Lesedi Project, a fundraising project to support the Ethembeni School in South Africa which serves 300 children with disabilities. This year’s fundraising efforts resulted in the purchase of a long-awaited school bus for the children in South Africa.

Frankel and Perlin, 2007 InDuna award winners, supported their local school district’s physical fitness program by awarding children who met certain fitness goals with Lesedi bracelets made by the Ethembeni School children. Fleet Feet in Cincinnati also partnered with Balega to sponsor the “Lil Bug Run for Kids” at the annual Women’s Distance Festival, serving as the culminating fitness event the year.