Nike on April 1 is taking over for Reebok as the official apparel provider for the NFL, and CNBC's Darren Rovell asked Nike President & CEO Mark Parker, “How are the ... retailers reacting in the preorder stage and how is it going to manifest itself?” Parker said people “are wondering, ‘Well, what are you going to do? Are you going to get crazy with the uniforms?’" Parker: "We’re actually going to have some fun, but respect the traditions of these teams at the same time” ("Squawk On The Street," CNBC, 2/22).
BUSINESS TRIP: NFL Draft prospect QB Robert Griffin III plans to attend the NFL Combine, which began today, and when asked what Griffin stands to gain by participating, Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said, "RGIII Enterprises is going to be well-served at this Combine because that’s the point. He’s going to be able to market himself. Every time this young man opens his mouth intelligent thoughts tumble out. He’s got a sunny personality.” There is something to gain from attending the Combine “but nothing to do with football. It has to do with his endorsement potential. That could be enhanced greatly by his participation" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/22). Griffin Tuesday signed a deal with adidas.
WHAT'S IN A NAME? Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan “has filed a lawsuit in China against a Chinese sportswear company, accusing the firm of unauthorised use of his name.” Jordan said that Qiaodan Sports had “built its business around his Chinese name and jersey number without his permission.” Jordan is “known as Qiaodan” in China. The lawsuit “did not specify what compensation Jordan was seeking from the company” (AP, 2/22).
START THE MORNING OUT RIGHT: In Grand Rapids, Shandra Martinez noted boxes of Tigers P Justin Verlander’s Fastball Flakes Cereal “are now on sale for a limited time at select Meijer stores across Michigan.” Sales will “benefit VA Hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor.” The cereal is available “exclusively at Meijer stores in the Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids areas and online at www.plbsports.com” (GRAND RAPIDS PRESS, 2/22).
PLAY BALL: Triple-A Baseball and Gildan have signed a three-year agreement making the apparel manufacturer an official national sponsor. Gildan will provide t-shirts, activewear, underwear and socks under terms of the deal. In addition to its sponsorship across all 30 Triple-A clubs, the agreement makes Gildan the title sponsor of the ‘12 Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game and telecast, which will be shown on the NBC Sports Network. Gildan in ‘13 and ‘14 will also be a presenting sponsor of the Triple-A All-Star Game (Gildan).