SBD/September 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBA Reportedly Eyeing Heat, Nets To Test Use Of Nicknames On Jerseys

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Allen would wear "Jesus Shuttlesworth" on the back of his nickname jersey
Some Heat players have been told that the NBA is considering having them and the Nets "wear 'nickname jerseys' in at least one of their four matchups this season," according to Tim Reynolds of the AP. The NBA has "not announced the plan, but teams apparently have been aware of the likelihood of it happening for at least several weeks." For now, only the Heat and the Nets "would be taking part." It is unclear "how many times those teams would wear the nickname jerseys, or if they would ever wear them against other opponents." Heat G Ray Allen "plans to wear" Jesus Shuttlesworth on his jersey. Players were "asked to submit what names they would want on the jerseys." Heat F LeBron James is "expected to wear 'King James.'" Heat G Dwyane Wade "would have any number of nicknames to choose from, with 'Three' ... being his current favorite." Heat F Shane Battier said that he "wanted to wear 'Batman' on his jersey, though was told that Warner Brothers holds the rights to that name." Battier said that he will "go with 'Shaneo' instead" (AP, 9/23).

COOL FACTOR: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Devine wrote for fans of those Heat and Nets players "with long-held, well-established nicknames that every NBA fan knows -- 'King James,' 'The Truth,' 'K.G.' and 'Birdman,' for example ... this could be cool enough." Some diehards "might also appreciate the chance to cop, say, a 'U.D.' Udonis Haslem jersey, a 'AK47' Andrei Kirilenko top." Devine: "But I can't envision lines out the door to pick up a 'Rio' Mario Chalmers jersey, you know?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/23). Allen said, "It shows growth in our league, it shows we do adapt to what’s going on around us and we’re still -- at the end of the day -- playing a kid's game." ESPN’s Mike Greenberg added of the NBA, “This will make them a fortune because they’ll sell a ton of these jerseys. Imagine all the jerseys they’ll sell once LeBron wears one that says ‘King James.’ … I just think it’s terrific. I love it.” ESPN’s Mike Golic said, “I think it’s a neat thing. Remember in the XFL, that one guy that did it had ‘He Hate Me’ instead of his name. I thought that was pretty cool. Without a doubt, the money side of it, it’s a no-brainer for the amount they’ll get.” But Greenberg asked, “Why just one game?" Golic: “There are marketing people that are a lot smarter than us to know why maybe they would do it that way” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 9/24).
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