SBD/20/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL TO SPORTS APPAREL MAKERS

     ESPN's "Cover Story" examined the marketing of the color
black in pro sports apparel.  ESPN's Bob Ley: "Is this a
coincidence?  The top five marketing teams in the NHL all use
black as a predominate uniform color.  Two of football's top six
teams in terms of sales -- they wear black.  Two of the NBA's top
three, and three of baseball's top four -- they all wear and
market the color black."  Ley adds: "Black is mean ... and the
color black sells."  Scott Carmichael, VP of Marketing for the
L.A. Kings:  "I see a lot of people around the country and around
North America wearing the Kings colors and I am not so sure that
they are Kings fans, though some of them are, some probably buy
it for the color."  Ley noted the Sacramento Kings and the
Cavaliers changed their uniform schemes to include black, and the
expansion NFL Panthers "are on the black list, too."  Asked
whether black will over-flood the market, Michael Nichols,
publisher of TEAM LICENSING BUSINESS: "There is so much product
out there already, how do you make yourself different.  Right
now, instead of black, we are seeing a lot of teal, purple and
silver."  The piece also addressed the issue of whether black is
used simply to appeal to urban youths.  N.Y. POST columnist Phil
Mushnick:  "These are all gang-favored colors. ... We have
allowed our most violent street gangs in this country to serve as
the sports world's unpaid fashion consultants."  NFL President
Neil Austrian said the league is concerned when "school
principals say that they don't want Raiders gear or any
professional logo into school":  "It suggests that it is, in
fact, a problem.  And I think we feel we have a responsibility to
try and deal with that" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/19).
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