IOC Marketing Commission Chair Gerhard Heiberg confirmed that the organization is "'very close' to finalizing an eight-year extension of McDonald's TOP sponsorship through 2020." He "expects the new deal to be announced in the next couple of weeks." Heiberg said that he also "is 'still in talks' with Acer to renew through 2020." Heiberg: "The PC category is a little more difficult. They are interested. Maybe we will find an agreement before London (2012)." Heiberg also "revealed that he does now expect to secure a 12th sponsor for the 2014/2016 quadrennial" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 12/21). SportsBusiness Journal in October first broke that McDonald's was close to renewing its deal.
QUIETLY MARKETING JIMMER: SI.com's Sam Amick noted for NBA Kings G Jimmer Fredette, the "building of a marketing machine continues quietly in the background." Fredette "surprised the shoe industry recently when his partnership with Spalding was revealed, and he has since worn two different versions of the company's first basketball shoe at Sacramento-arena exhibition games." His DVD, "The Making of Jimmer," is expected to be "released in mid-February." His agent, Chris Emens, said that there is "more to come soon in terms of endorsement deals, though he would not offer specifics." Kings co-Owner Joe Maloof said, "We've had to have two people working full-time on (Fredette's) jersey (because of the demand). On the black jerseys, we had a bunch of them with no name on the back, so we had to have two people downstairs putting the name on the back of his jersey, working day and night to get as many out as we could" (SI.com, 12/19).
FIGHTING A BRAVE FIGHT: In L.A., Carla Caldwell noted the Braves are "fighting Walt Disney Co.'s applications to register 'Brave' as a trademark in preparation for the June 2012 release of the Disney Pixar animated movie titled, 'Brave.'" Disney wants to "register 'Brave' for merchandise and other items that tie in with the film." The Braves "object to all of Disney's trademark applications, saying the public is likely to be confused by Disney's use of the word 'Brave'" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/20).
COLLECTIBLES: Panini America in February will release its '12 Preferred Basketball trading card set, a new addition that will include three autographs and one six- or eight-swatch memorabilia booklet card in every pack. It will cost $200. Preferred will be followed by the return of Hoops brand in March, whose retail pack price will be $1 (Panini America).