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Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

adidas is the official supplier for BCS-licensed apparel and has created merchandise for the Univ. of Oregon in advance of their Rose Bowl appearance, but it was “prohibited from using the stylized ‘O’ that appears often on Nike-licensed merchandise, as well as the Disney-licensed Duck mascot image,” according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. adidas' Oregon apparel instead “feature a block-letter ‘UO.’” Oregon Senior Associate AD/Marketing & PR Craig Pintens said in situations when the bowl's apparel partner is non-Nike, schools "would have a choice of our secondary marks," which does not include the "O" or the Duck. The Oregon T-shirt also “lacks a feature Adidas or any sporting goods apparel company would like to display on the fabric: the company logo.” adidas PR Manager Michael Ehrlich said, "There are some limitations to licensing agreements." Brettman noted those limitations are “why there is no Adidas logo incorporated into the graphics for Stanford or LSU, either,” as Nike “also is the uniform supplier for those schools.” But Nike is the supplier for BCS schools Alabama, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State as well and the adidas logo “appears on their BCS apparel” (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/18).

Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban has "struck an informal partnership" with Skechers after an "employee spotted him wearing a pair," according to Matthew Garrahan of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Cuban will “appear in some of its commercials and promote the brand on his Twitter feed (he has 800,000 followers) and wear them.” Skechers in return is “working with his coaching staff at the basketball team, using the technology created for its footwear to devise new training techniques and reduce impact injuries suffered by players.” Garrahan notes “no money has changed hands.” Cuban said, “They’re not paying me anything.” Cuban was in L.A. this past weekend “to address an audience of employees of Skechers" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/19).

An attempt to "auction prime advertising space on Downtown Indianapolis buildings for the Super Bowl failed to attract a single bid," according to Shari Rudavsky of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The auction, which closed Friday night, included “about 50 Downtown buildings, all willing to be wrapped in Super Bowl-related advertising for a fee.” Plans called for bids “to reach as high $100,000” for the right to hang banners, but “no one bit -- at least not until the auction closed.” Mattison Corp Partner Chris Price, whose company orchestrated the website,, which hosted the auction, said that “one media group has placed a hold on 11 buildings.” He declined to identify the company “until the contract is final.” Rudavsky noted that the idea “was that advertisers themselves would bid as well as media companies.” But Price said, "It didn't work out that way. Maybe the auction itself was a mistake, maybe having a set price might have been the way to go." Price said that “at least 60 percent of each banner must promote” the Super Bowl or the NFL (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/18).

POSTER CHILD: YAHOO SPORTS’ Chris Chase noted the official poster for Super Bowl XLVI was unveiled last week and it was “designed by famed Indiana artist, Walter Knabe.” Chase wrote after viewing the poster, he was “aware that Super Bowl XLVI is in Indianapolis and will be played with a football.” Chase named some other pluses and minuses of the poster (, 12/16).'s Bob Pockrass noted if an "expected deal with Best Buy doesn't come through," driver Matt Kenseth has "confidence in team co-owner Jack Roush and general manager Robbie Reiser that his team's performance won't sag." Kenseth said, "We have too competitive of teams and run too good to be unsponsored. There's got to be somebody out there that's going to jump on there." Roush has "pledged to run Kenseth's No. 17 team unsponsored if it has to, but sources said [last] week that Best Buy is leaning toward moving from Richard Petty Motorsports to Roush to sponsor Kenseth next year." Kenseth has had "two main primary sponsors throughout his career -- DeWalt and Crown Royal," but both "got out of the sport." Kenseth: "There's still a little bit of concern. It's December and we don't have anything for Daytona yet. Things are starting to look up a little bit" (, 12/16).

DRY ARENA: In Miami, George Richards noted the Florida Department of Transportation was scheduled to sponsor Sunday's NHL game between the Hurricanes and Panthers. Richards noted with the sponsorship came a "rarity in professional sports: Limited alcohol sales." The Panthers were not going to "sell alcohol at any concession stands in the upper or lower level at BankAtlantic Center" and planned to close the two bars in the 100 level. Fans would "able to drink in suites or in various clubs on the suite and club level." Team President & COO Michael Yormark said that the Panthers "wanted to take part in the FDOT's campaign to curtail drunken driving but admitted it was easier to do such a promotion on a Sunday afternoon game than, say the New Year's Eve game" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/18).

BREAKING INTO BIG TEN: Northwestern Univ. and Under Armour on Saturday announced a new multiyear partnership that designates Under Armour as the official outfitter of the university's athletic program. The company will outfit all of Northwestern's 19 men's and women's varsity athletic teams beginning in the '12-13 season. The partnership also includes marketing and promotional rights. It is UA's first partnership with an athletic program in the Big Ten (Northwestern).