SBD/February 13, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Adidas' Sleeved NBA Jerseys Selling Well Heading Into All-Star Showcase

While "a few players have balked" at adidas' sleeved NBA jerseys, they "should remember" that merchandise sales are included in their 50-50 split of basketball-related income with the league, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. adidas Head of Global Marketing Chris Grancio said, "Sales of the short-sleeved jersey have exceeded expectations. That to me is the ultimate vote of confidence." Zillgitt writes with sales of the jersey going well, “don't expect the sleeved jerseys to go away." Grancio said, "There is no grand vision from NBA or Adidas that this will be the new uniform for every team forever. But we do want to find partners who embrace. We want to use league-wide platforms like Christmas Day and (the) All-Star (Game) to introduce it and celebrate it." Zillgitt notes the sleeved jerseys for this weekend's NBA All-Star festivities "are different" than previous All-Star uniforms, "starting with the color." The West will "feature a purple fleur-de-lis, and the East will feature a green one," which represents "a break from traditional colors, which normally have been shades of red and blue, save for the era when players wore their team jerseys." Each conference's initial -- 'W' and 'E' -- is "incorporated into New Orleans' ubiquitous symbol." The players also will "wear shorts that are lighter than those worn in regular-season games." The jerseys are "fit for the players,” but a "more relaxed design is sold to fans." Grancio: "We thought it was an opportunity to give fans to embrace their team. The standard (tank-top) jersey is hard for a lot of people to wear" (USA TODAY, 2/13).
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