SBD/March 21, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Look Out, Young Fella: Announcer Gus Johnson Prepping Signature Line Of Apparel

Johnson will sell hats and T-shirts bearing his "Rise And Fire" catchphrase
Announcer Gus Johnson "plans to launch a Web site some time before the NCAA men's basketball tournament ends" where fans can buy New Era-licensed hats and T-shirts bearing his "Rise And Fire" catchphrase, according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Johnson, who is calling NCAA tournament games for CBS and Turner, trademarked the saying last fall. Christian Gesue, Johnson's marketing agent, said, "The reason to trademark the phrase was to create a brand and a movement out of his signature call that can be instantly recognizable by his fans to inspire passion." Gesue added that in addition to the apparel line, there "will be other initiatives such as graphic design exhibits, picture galleries and books with 'Rise and Fire Moments.'" Rovell noted Johnson in the past year "has begun to capitalize off his fame." Johnson is the voice of a Buffalo Wild Wings ad and "is in his second year of voicing lines" for EA Sports' "Madden NFL" franchise. Fans also can "buy some of his favorite lines on iTunes for $9.99" (CNBC.com, 3/18). 
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