SBD/October 30, 2012/NBA Season Preview

NBA Marketing Notes: Wizards Rookie Beal Inks Shoe Deal With Nike

Beal has agreed in principle to a multi-year shoe deal with Nike
Priority Sports & Entertainment Founder & CEO Mark Bartelstein, who represents Wizards rookie G Bradley Beal, said that his client has “agreed in principle to a shoe deal with Nike." Terms were not disclosed, but Bartelstein said that Beal "plans to sign 'a multi-year' deal" with Nike. In DC, Michael Lee noted Beal “has worn Nike throughout his high school, AAU and college career, but Under Armour made a push for his services as well” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/26).

LEAVING A MARK
: Digital Li-Ning USA GM Ray Grady said since the China-based sportswear company signed Heat G Dwyane Wade as an endorser and minority owner earlier this month, “We’ve seen an uptick in Twitter followers, Facebook friends and direct traffic to the brand’s website.” ADWEEK’s Joan Voight noted Li-Ning has “more than 24,300 followers on Twitter and 372,000 Facebook friends” (ADWEEK.com, 10/29).

IN THE CARDS
: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes the NBA and Panini Group yesterday formally announced a multiyear extension of their partnership, under which Panini will continue to be the league's exclusive trading card and sticker partner globally. The tie-in has been extended for "another five years" through the '16-17 season. Panini under the new deal has "expanded global rights, allowing it, for example, to sell a Chinese-language version of NBA cards" in China. It also can issue "as many as 25 annual NBA releases; this season it will have 22" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/29 issue).

BEARD TRIMMING: In Oklahoma City, Jennifer Palmer notes with the Thunder’s trade of G James Harden to the Rockets, T-shirts featuring Harden’s signature “The Beard,” have “moved from fan favorite to the clearance rack.” The shirts were “marked 50 percent off” at USA Screen Printing & Embroidery Co.’s retail store in Oklahoma City. Store officials “contacted Adidas to ensure they wouldn't receive any more Harden gear and ordered shirts for the new players, which should be available in a couple of weeks” (OKLAHOMAN, 10/30).
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