SBD/March 26, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sportiqe To Launch T-Shirt Line Merging Grateful Dead Artwork With NBA Team Logos

Grateful Dead album cover art has been modified for the Sportiqe t-shirts
Apparel brand Sportiqe has partnered with Grateful Dead Productions to launch a T-shirt line featuring artwork inspired by the Rock & Roll HOF band merged with NBA team logos. The Grateful Dead by Sportiqe collection will debut with T-shirts featuring the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Nets, Celtics, Bulls, Heat and Warriors. The shirts will retail for $35-45 (Sportiqe). WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY's Karyn Monget noted the T-shirts will debut "in mid-April" on Sportiqe's website. The line for men and women has distribution aimed at “major department stores and better specialty retailers.” Sportiqe co-Founder & co-Owner Jason Franklin said that the collaboration was “inspired by his love of basketball and music.” Franklin at age 13 “watched the Lithuanian national basketball team wear Grateful Dead-inspired jerseys and warm-up apparel” during the '92 Barcelona Games. Franklin said, “This relationship with Grateful Dead Productions brings Sportiqe full circle” (WWD.com, 3/22). SI.com’s Ben Golliver noted the collaboration is “the first for the Grateful Dead with a pro sports league.” The group is “well-known for its support of the 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team.” The band stepped in to sponsor the former Soviet Republic “by providing money and tie-dyed t-shirts.” The designs on the men’s Sportiqe shirts “feature a modified version of the Grateful Dead’s signature skull logo, which appeared on the 'Steal Your Face' album cover in 1976.” A basketball design “replaces the lightning bolt in the center of the skull.” The women’s shirts “star one of the group’s ‘dancing bear’ figures that was included on 'History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One' in 1973.” Both designs include “team names and logos in 1970s era lettering" (SI.com, 3/22).
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