Class of 2010
Category: 2010 Distinguished Sportsman
Newsome, a graduate of Woodlawn High School and Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, started his career in sports working at Dixie Sporting Goods in Birmingham, where he worked part timefrom 1958 through 1962 while attending college. After working full time for Dixie Sporting Goods in 1963 and 1964, he went to work for Hibbett Sporting Goods as they were in the process of opening their second store in Huntsville in August of 1965; two years later when Hibbett opened a third store in Birmingham, he moved to Birmingham to be the District Manager.
He became the Regional Manager for Hibbett for Birmingham and south Alabama in 1970 and in 1980 when the company had 13 stores, he became the President of Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc. When Hibbett went public in 1996, the chain had approximately 82 stores. At the end of 2009, Hibbett had 770 stores. Sales in 1997 were $113million; sales were approximately $590 million in 2009.
Newsome was on the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) Board of Directors for seven years and was the Chairman during his last year on the Board. He was the Chairman of the NSGA Hallof Fame Committee for eight years, from 1998 to 2006. He was elected to the NSGA Hall of Fame in 2007. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Brock School of Business at Samford University.
In the addition to his life long commitment to Hibbett Sports, he has also collected a significant amount of sports memorabilia including such items as: first issue of Sports Illustrated (1954) signed by Eddie Matthews; baseball gloves signed by Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Don Newcomb and many other famous baseball players. He also has a large number of books and memorabilia from the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.