SBD/July 15, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

Cavaliers draftee Kyrie Irving has "struck an endorsement deal" with Nike. Irving, the No. 1 overall NBA draft pick this year, announced the deal Thursday via Twitter, posting, "Feels good to officially be part of @nikebasketball!" A tweet from Nike basketball read, "Welcome, Kyrie. Your game and hard work earned you this. Expect greatness!" Irving joins Kemba Walker, who was selected ninth overall by the Bobcats, as first-round draft picks who have signed shoe deals. Walker signed with Under Armour last week (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/14).

TOUR OF DUTY: In Ft. Worth, Barry Shlachter reports the Cowboys “have severed a long-standing relationship with a North Texas package tour company, Maximum Sports Connection of Dallas, after complaints from out-of-town fans that the firm failed to secure tickets and hotel rooms, then delayed refunds or made only partial payments.” The team has sold the "official Cowboys fan tour partner" sponsorship to Texas-based Star Sports Tours. Cowboys Dir of Corporate Communications Brett Daniels: "We terminated our partnership with Maximum after the season.” Daniels said that Maximum Sports “held the sponsorship for three years” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/15).

PROJECT PINK: Actress Nina Dobrev is joining Puma "in kicking off its second year of ‘Project Pink.’" Many brands reserve their "fight against breast cancer" efforts for October, but Puma calls the project a "more-than-just-October initiative." Dobrev joins Puma endorsers and WPS players Tasha Kai, Karina LeBlanc, Marta, Leslie Osborne, Amy Rodriguez and Alex Scott in the initiative, as well as ESPN’s Julie Foudy (MEDIAPOST.com, 7/13).

ROUNDUP: Rays P David Price, who gave up Yankees SS Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit, has “agreed with Steiner Sports to autograph collectibles, including baseballs and pictures,” related to the milestone. Some of the souvenirs will bear the inscription “I Gave Up DJ’s 3K,” and will be signed by both Price and Jeter (AP, 7/14)....Golfer Steve Stricker has signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Avis Rent A Car. Stricker began wearing the Avis marks on his collar during Thursday's opening round of the British Open (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).
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