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SBD/January 17, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship
NBA, Adidas Stick With Sleeves For All-Star Jerseys To Chagrin Of Players, Fans
Published January 17, 2014
HEARTS ON THEIR SLEEVES: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser noted there has been a "big push for sleeved jerseys lately" and asked, "Is the traditional NBA tank top doomed?" ESPN's Michael Wilbon replied, " It depends how long adidas is in charge of those uniforms. ... adidas doesn't have any sort of footprint in terms of American team sports. adidas is about futbol, about soccer, and those are soccer jerseys." The apparel company wants to "sell these to people like you and me, who they know are not coming in tank tops." Wilbon: "This is about adidas and their ability to make money. And players hate these." He also rhetorically asked "where can you put advertising" on jerseys without sleeves. Kornheiser acknowledged ads "could be placed on the sleeves" before adding many soccer teams "just put advertising patches right in the middle" of their jerseys. Kornheiser: "I don't think the NBA is going to go for that." He added while NBA players "don't like" the sleeved jerseys, they "will accept it" if it results in more money coming in. Kornheiser: "If pros accept it and then colleges accept it, then you're wearing them all the way up" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/16). CBS Sports Network's Doug Gottlieb said adidas and the NBA would not be making the sleeved jerseys unless kids "like them and they were going to buy them." He added most of the media members commenting on the jerseys are not in the demo "they're supposed to be appealing to." Gottlieb: "Eighteen to 25 is who they're trying to appeal to. Apparently, it must work, otherwise they wouldn’t be making them for the NBA's biggest event" ("Lead Off," CBS Sports Network, 1/16).