SBD/October 12, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Jordan Brand Brings On Russell Westbrook, Rolls Out New Chris Paul TV Spot

Westbrook's signing came just after Heat G Dwyane Wade's departure for Li-Ning
Nike's Jordan Brand Thursday announced that it has signed Thunder G Russell Westbrook to a multiyear endorsement deal (Jordan Brand). FORBES' Lance Madden noted the Westbrook announcement comes after Heat G Dwyane Wade formally announced he is leaving Jordan Brand for Li-Ning, but with the addition of Westbrook "Nike’s most profitable sub-brand is doing just fine filling in for him" (FORBES.com, 10/11). Meanwhile, AD WEEK's Sam Thielman wrote Jordan Brand's new commercial featuring Clippers G Chris Paul and his new CP3.VI shoe "is a great spot." The ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy, N.Y., was shot on Venice Beach in L.A. Thielman: "Kudos to director Andreas Nilsson. This spot is destined for many tweets and Facebook shares" (ADWEEK.com, 10/10).

SPANISH CLASS: ELCONFIDENCIAL.com noted adidas and T’Wolves G Ricky Rubio have agreed on a 12-year, US$100M partnership. Reports of a possible deal first surfaced in the spring (ELCONFIDENCIAL.com, 10/11). adidas Global Basketball VP Lawrence Norman said in a statement said, "When you watch Ricky on the court and talk to him after practice, you understand his pure enjoyment of playing basketball and that makes him a perfect fit for our brand." Rubio said, "Growing up in Spain I always loved the adidas brand and their products. The last few years they’ve really changed the game with new technology and style in basketball shoes and apparel, and I can’t wait to be a part of it" (adidas).

PROTECT THIS HOUSE: Under Armour President, Chair & CEO Kevin Plank appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning, and said of becoming more “fashion” than athletic wear, “We're not exactly dressing people for the clubs tonight, but the fact is that we're looking for kids where we want to be authentic on court first and foremost, but you’ll notice after the court and after they're walking home, what shoes are they putting on? So we’re moving ourselves into that.” Plank said if Nike called, he was not looking to sell the company, but the “day that anyone offered me a sum of dollars greater than what I thought the vision or the capability of a company to achieve was, it would be my obligation. It wouldn't be my opinion or choice and we have such a huge idea of what this company can be. There's it no limit. Our goal is to be the greatest athletic sporting brand in the world” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 10/12).
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