SBD/Issue 177/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

One Celtics Pizza Coming Up: Edible Logos Among New NBA Deals

NBA-Logoed Pizzas Will Be Available
Next Season For All 30 Teams

The NBA recently signed licensing deals with companies that offer "outside-the-box food items" such as "edible team logos," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. Lucks Edible Images will make NBA logos on pizzas "available next season for all 30 teams," with the images "made of sugar, starch and food coloring." The logos, which will "add about $5 to the pizza price," will not be "sold directly to consumers but to some 1,200 independent pizza parlors nationwide." The images are "placed atop the pizza after it has been fully baked and sliced," and then it "melts into the cheese." Meanwhile, NBA Pro Toast Toasters will be available next month for $34.99 and are "specially made to 'burn' golden brown team logos onto bread as it toasts." Horovitz notes NBA logos also are "showing up on everything from headphones to gardening gloves to outdoor grills." With sports licensing "hit by the recession, major pro leagues and licensees are rolling out creative deals to attract new fans, particularly more women and teens." The Licensing Letter Publisher Ira Mayer estimated that retail sales of licensed sports merchandise "fell 17% last year in the U.S. and Canada." Boosting revenue "means expanding the fan base and creating buzz." NBA Senior VP/Global Merchandising Sal LaRocca said, "As key licensing categories have matured, it's an ongoing goal of the NBA to expand the brand into places that may attract new customers" (USATODAY.com, 5/26). The NBA said that its global business "has continued to grow and overall sales of NBA merchandise have been up over the past two years." The NBA Store in N.Y. and NBAStore.com "are on pace to have their best years ever," with sales up more than 20% versus last year (THE DAILY).

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