SBD/February 21, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup's Darren Rovell wrote a ruling by a California Court of Appeals last Wednesday "might have significantly affected the lawsuit brought about by former NCAA college football and basketball players against the NCAA, Collegiate Licensing and Electronic Arts for including their likenesses in EA games without being compensated." A three-judge panel "allowed a lawsuit filed by the rock band No Doubt against video [game] maker Activision Blizzard to proceed." Activision "had a contract to use No Doubt" in "Band Hero," but the panel ruled that it was "outside Activision's rights to manipulate the avatars of band members and have them sing songs that they don't sing." Rovell wrote Activision's argument is "similar to what EA lawyers used" last Tuesday "when defending the lawsuit in front of an appeals court in California." If the appellate court "decides that EA is indeed using" players' likenesses, the court "will likely have to take into account the No Doubt decision when making its ruling" (, 2/18).

GREENS FEE: Golfers Cristie Kerr and Ricky Barnes have signed endorsement deals to represent Duff & Phelps, an independent advisory and investment banking firm. Kerr and Barnes will wear the Duff & Phelps marks during competition and the golfers will be featured in client events. The deals were negotiated by New Jersey-based Blake Sports Group, which represents the golfers (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

SCORE ONE FOR THE STEELERS: In Pittsburgh, Rich Lord reported the Steelers Friday won a "contempt of court order against clothes maker Nicholas Wohlfarth and his firm Turtle Creek Sportswear." U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry ruled that Wohlfarth "violated a 2005 consent order enjoining him from marketing knock-off shirts, hoodies and hats by selling a slew of products with symbols that suggested Steelers trademarks." Wohlfarth must give up "a season's worth of profits from his sale of various black-and-gold goods" (, 2/18).

NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: In Nashville, Mike Organ writes the “push to save” the Nashville Fairgrounds “went national Sunday during the Daytona 500,” as Brian Keselowski’s No. 92 Dodge featured a black stripe with in white lettering. Fox’ Darrell Waltrip, a Tennessee native, “mentioned the local sponsorship during the race as did Kyle Petty during a pre-race show on Speed Channel.” Save My Fairgrounds is a group “trying to keep the quarter-mile track” in Nashville from being part of Mayor Karl Dean’s redevelopment plan (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 2/21).
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