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ADIDAS TRIES TO GET ITS PHIL, BUT NCAA SAYS IT'S "TOO MUCH"
Published January 13, 1999
An adidas ad congratulating the Univ. of TN (UT) football team on its Fiesta Bowl victory, which began running less than 24 hours after the game, was a "violation of NCAA rules [which] prohibit student athletes from appearing in ads that feature the ad-makers' merchandise," according to SI's "Scorecard." The spot "clearly shows" the adidas logo on the shoes, wristbands and jerseys of UT players. NCAA Dir of PR Wally Renfro: "There's nothing wrong with Adidas or any other company producing a congratulatory ad that includes the company's logo, so long as its product isn't identifiable. To continue using the spot, Adidas will have to remove those clips or sanitize the ad so that the logos on the products don't appear." UT had "instructed Adidas to fix the ad immediately or take it off the air." The NCAA "had no plans to punish" UT, because the school "took measures to correct Adidas' error" and its players did not give the company permission to use their likenesses. An NCAA spokesperson, on possible penalties for adidas: "We can't really do anything" (SI, 1/18 issue).