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SBD/July 18, 2014/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
Thunder G Russell Westbrook on Thursday debuted a new fashion line at N.Y. retailer Barneys, which includes a "range of technical and eccentric pieces" that show his "affinity for all things big, bold and colorful," according to Jake Woolf of GQ. The Westbrook-XO-Barneys New York collection features the "iconic Jordan elephant print ... all over the place." It also includes "fashion forward details like ombre and split hems" (GQ.com, 7/16). Westbrook said that he "did think about price points when collaborating with Barneys for his new line." He said, "That was a big thing. But also, if it's in Barney's ... it's got to be higher than your normal (price)." Westbrook noted that other companies "approached him about collaborating on a fashion line." But he said, "There's no better place than Barneys.'" The AP's Mesfin Fekadu noted it is "no surprise that fashion houses want to cash in on the Westbrook brand," as his style "has made noise, from his polka dots to colored rimmed glasses to knee-high fitted pants." He said of whether he considers himself the most stylish NBA player, "I just feel like I have my own style. A lot of guys have stylists and things, which I don't. ... It's not something that I have to do, it's something I like to do" (AP, 7/17).
adidas Group North America President Mark King has only been on the job since April, but he does "not appear phased by the thought of the head-to-head competition" with Nike, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. adidas in May reported a decline in its Q1 earnings, "citing slumping revenue at TaylorMade Golf as well as a poor euro exchange rate, among other things." But King said that he is "undaunted." Referring to his athlete endorsers, King said, "We have more assets than we know what to do with. Do the guys across town have more than we do? Sure they do. But we have enough." King was "reluctant Thursday to discuss specific aspects" of adidas' strategy in North America. He said that operations there were "likely to be cut back somewhat in the future." King: "We have so many categories and we do almost everything and we do it broadly and about this deep. I'd like to focus in on a few things and spend more money on a few things rather than less money on a lot of things." King added that adidas "hadn't decided which areas would be de-emphasized but said soccer would not be one of them." King: "It's who we are, it's the soul of the company. It's what drives the economic engine globally." King said that on "top of that, Adidas' success in the just-ended World Cup -- with two of its sponsored teams competing in the final and Germany, from the company's home country, emerging as the winner -- 'has energized the company.'" King said that he will travel to N.Y. soon to "meet with representatives of several other professional sports leagues." A separate meeting is "planned Sept. 5" with the NHL, for which Reebok is the uniform supplier. That contract "extends through" the '17-18 season. adidas last season was "rumored to be planning to replace Reebok as the logo on NHL jerseys." King said that that decision "remains in the air until the company is certain of its direction with the NHL after the current contract expires" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/18).
The end of Yankees SS Derek Jeter's playing career is presenting an "irresistible opportunity" for Steiner Sports Founder & CEO Brandon Steiner and other entities "with marketing stakes in No. 2's farewell tour," according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. Steiner and his company, who have had a relationship with Jeter since his rookie season in '96, are "geared up" for the last few months of Jeter's career. Steinber said that because of Jeter's image, it is "important to choose products carefully." He said, "I take the responsibility extremely seriously ... I really try to check over the quality and make sure things are done in a first-class, tasteful manner." Dirt "often figures in Steiner's product line," and Jeter's retirement is "no exception." Steiner said, "We'll create a whole bunch of dirt promotions." Best reports Steiner later this month plans to "offer a free capsule of infield dirt from Jeter's last season simply for registering on Steiner Sports' website." A framed collage from Tuesday's All-Star Game that "includes dirt from Target Field already is available on the site for $69.99." Steiner also worked with former Yankees P Mariano Rivera during his final season in '13 and said it was not until after the All-Star Game at Citi Field that his marketing profile "really started to take off, whereas Derek was already at that level" (NEWSDAY, 7/18).
VERY WELL DONE: MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Joe Torre appeared briefly in the new Jordan Brand "RE2PECT" ad centered around Jeter, and Torre said, "I thought it was great. I thought it was very, very respectful. I thought it was done with a lot of class. In this age where we glorify bad things, it's nice to see something that will make you smile and you can let the kids watch" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/18).
FIFA will not allow German F1 driver Nico Rosberg to use an image of the World Cup trophy on his helmet for this weekend's German Grand Prix, as the organization is "keen to enforce its 'intellectual property rights,'" according to Sarah Ebner of the LONDON TIMES. Rosberg on Tuesday "tweeted a picture of the commemorative headware." But FIFA "did not like the design, which was in German national colours and included a depiction of the World Cup trophy and four stars for Germany’s four World Cup triumphs." FIFA contacted Rosberg's manager, Georg Nolte, to "inform him his driver would have to remove the image due to an infringement of its rights" (LONDON TIMES, 7/18). In London, Daniel Johnson notes Rosberg's helmet "still had the trophy emblazoned on the top" when F1 arrived at the track Thursday. It had been changed with "one larger star in place of the trophy" by the time of the drivers' afternoon press conference. Rosberg: "It’s amazing that even a trophy has its trademark, just sticking it on a helmet." Johnson notes Italian F1 driver Jarno Trulli in '06 "used an image of the trophy on his helmet" during a race following Italy's World Cup win that year "with no sanction" (London TELEGRAPH, 7/18).
Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Breitling is hoping to turn active NHLers from its home country into a team of unofficial brand ambassadors through the formation of what it is calling the “Transatlantic Flyers Club.” The brand earlier this month hosted seven of the 10 active Swiss NHLers -- Flyers D Mark Streit, Avalanche G Reto Berra, Flames G Jonas Hiller, Predators D Roman Josi, Wild RW Nino Niederreiter, free agent D Raphael Diaz and Canucks D Yannick Weber -- at its HQs for an inaugural skydiving expedition with its air fleet. Each of the players received the new Breitling Emergency watch, which was designed for use in aviation, and a certificate commemorating the club’s formation. The group will continue to get together regularly during future offseasons to take part in various aeronautic activities and will add more Swiss NHLers as they emerge. A Breitling spokesperson explained that the brand’s goal in creating the group is to form relationships with the players with the hope that the players will spread brand awareness -- a strategy known as celebrity seeding -- and represent the company in client relations at various events. The latter has already started, as Josi, Niederreiter and Hiller attended a late-June boutique event in Zurich. Breitling said the players made a positive impression on several Breitling clients. Breitling does not pay the players to appear at these type of events. The brand has worked to build similar relationships with other Swiss sports stars, but the difference in this instance is that the NHLers are visible in the U.S., as well as in Switzerland. The spokesperson said, “We first of all think that we can take advantage that in Switzerland, but of course we also want to include them in the U.S. in the long term. I guess we can profit in both countries.”
THE WORD ON THE STREIT: Breitling noted that the brand’s relationship with Swiss players began several years ago with Streit, who has attended several company events both his home country and at the company’s boutique in N.Y. Through Streit, the brand reached out to the rest of the league’s Swiss players, individually inviting them to attend various Breitling brand events. The spokesperson said, “We will try to make it bigger and bigger by adding some other Swiss NHL hockey players. There are not a lot, but we hope that more will come.”