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SBD/January 27, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Published January 27, 2011
FORD'S FOCUS: Ford Dir of North American Motorsports Jamie Allison said that the manufacturer is "confident it will return to the mix" as a competitor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship this season. In Charlotte, Jim Utter notes Ford has "not seriously challenged the last two seasons." However, Ford drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards both won Cup races in '10, with Edwards "qualifying for the Chase and taking the final two races." Allison said that Ford motorsports are "on more solid ground this season with the ownership and financial issues resolved at Richard Petty Motorsports," which plans to field two teams this season instead of the four Cup entries it had in '10 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/27).
TRYING TO STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT: Pennsylvania-based Turtle Creek Sportswear Owner Nicholas Wohlfarth "admitted in federal court Wednesday that his unlicensed T-shirts and hoodies are intended to make money off the popularity" of the Steelers and the team's players. NFL Properties LLC and Pittsburgh Steelers Sports Inc. sued Wohlfarth in '05 for trademark infringement. Wohlfarth claims that his company's "latest products don't violate the 2005 order because they don't use the word 'Steelers' and don't use the full image of the three diamond-shaped hypocycloids that are part of the team logo." He added that Turtle Creek gear "carried a disclaimer that it wasn't licensed by the Steelers or the NFL" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/27).
NOTES: Tennis equipment manufacturer Prince has extended its partnership with Vera Zvonareva, the No. 2-ranked women's tennis player in the world. Zvonareva today lost to Kim Clijsters in the semifinals of the Australian Open....Apparel brand J. Lindeberg has signed a renewal of its deal with golfer Camilo Villegas, who will continue as the brand's primary endorser for another four years. Villegas also will begin wearing J. Lindeberg belts (THE DAILY).