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NO NEW NBA SNEAKER/APPAREL LICENSEES UNTIL TV DEALS EXPIRE
Published February 15, 1996
As Fila and Adidas sign more NBA players to endorsement contracts, NBA Properties President Rick Welts said the NBA will not sign any new sneaker/apparel licensees until the league's current TV contract with Turner and NBC is up in two-and-a-half seasons, according to BRANDWEEK. NBA Properties initially granted Nike and Reebok use of league marks in exchange for their support of league broadcasts. Welts: "There really is no TV inventory for them. Internationally, there are opportunities, but domestically we've put up pretty high end barriers." Terry Lefton also writes, "One might also note that Nike has yet to sign an NBA apparel license." ... In other league news, Lefton notes NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "hopes to take another play from his old NBA playbook, by targeting Japan." The NHL has preliminary plans for a regular-season tourney in Japan at the start of the '97-98 season. Lefton says to look for the Mighty Ducks to be involved. Ducks wing Paul Kariya is part-Japanese and the team has a following in Japan because of its Disney tie and its products (BRANDWEEK, 2/12 issue).