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SBD/January 20, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Published January 20, 2011
PLEASE ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF: In Chicago, Robert Channick reports Li Ning this summer will launch an "advertising campaign to introduce the essentially unknown" Chinese apparel brand to the U.S., "with most of the new product hitting store shelves by year's end." Li Ning, which sponsors Celtics C Shaquille O'Neal and 76ers G Evan Turner, among others, opened a flagship U.S. store in Portland last year, and Li Ning CEO Zhang Zhiyong noted that "more company-owned stores may be in the works." Zhang: "We are going to consider opening more stores, possibly in Chicago, but the purpose is for brand image -- for people to feel, touch and see our product. It's to build a brand, not as a retail channel" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/20).
PREVENT DEFENSE: Pennsylvania-based Turtle Creek Sportswear in court documents filed Tuesday claims that it "hasn't violated" any NFL or Steelers trademarks. NFL Properties and the Steelers "filed a motion Jan. 4 in a 2005 trademark case claiming the company violated a 2005 court order to stop selling items similar to official Steelers merchandise." Turtle Creek Owner Nicholas Wohlfarth said that "items his 12-employee company makes and sells are no different than those made and sold by other companies throughout the area" (PITTSBURGHLIVE.com, 1/19).