SBD/February 5, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sara Germano reports adidas yesterday sued Under Armour, "alleging it infringed on 10 Adidas patents used in the German company's fitness tracking system called miCoach." UA last year paid $150M to acquire MapMyFitness, and adidas' complaint alleges that MapMyFitness and other UA products "resemble Adidas's own products too closely." Germano writes the lawsuit "underscores the growing importance of gadgetry and personal technology for sportswear makers that traditionally focused on shoes and apparel" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/5). The lawsuit alleges that adidas intellectual property is "being used in UnderArmour39 products" (Baltimore SUN, 2/5).

KICKING THE TIRES: The LPGA and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trails yesterday announced that Yokohama Tire Corp. "has signed a three-year contract to serve as title sponsor of the LPGA Tour tournament" at Capitol Hill Golf Club in Prattville, Ala. Yokohama Marketing & Product Planning Dir Andrew Briggs said, "This is an opportunity for Yokohama to get our brand in front of a new audience." He added that it "fits into Yokohama's expanding sports marketing program," which includes the Clippers, Colts, Ravens, Angels and Yankees (AL.com, 2/4).

THE STUFF OF LEGEND: PGA Tour Senior VP/Market Development Ric Clarson confirmed that "serious talks are ongoing with Bass Pro Shops to become the new title sponsor" of the Champions Tour Legends of Golf event. GOLFWEEK.com's Adam Schupak reported if a deal is reached, the 36th edition of the "popular two-man team event could be held in June at Branson Creek Golf Club in Branson, Mo." The tournament's title sponsorship deal with Liberty Mutual ended in November (GOLFWEEK.com, 1/31).
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