SBD/August 12, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Akron Students' Shirt Causes Stir With Suggestion It Was Nike's Doing

Font used on "Akron" shirt is the same used by James' Heat
A T-shirt worn by Heat F LeBron James last week "has attracted some heat on the Internet, with bloggers suggesting it was the work of Nike," but that is not the case, according to Katie Byard of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. Univ. of Akron student Willie Harper, who created the shirt with fellow UA student Thomas McFarland, said, "I'm the culprit." The T-shirt "simply says Akron," James' hometown, but the "printing type font is the issue." The word "Akron" on the shirt is "shown in the same font used" by the Heat, and has a flame emerging from the "n" in the city's name. Harper's creation gained "big-time attention when LeBron, using his Twitter feed, posted a photo of himself wearing the T-shirt." After the post, Deadspin blogger Emma Carmichael suggested that "Nike likely was behind the shirt." But Harper is "going online to try to dispel the notion of a Nike connection." Harper stressed that he and McFarland "were not out to offend anyone." Regardless, Harper since the spring has "sold dozens of the shirt" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 8/11).
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