In Portland, Erik Siemers noted Nike celebrated Heat F LeBron James’ third NBA MVP “by anointing him ‘Employee of the Year’ in a new ad released over the weekend.” Nike also “used the opportunity to release a special edition LeBron 9 basketball shoe dubbed the MVP in Miami’s colors of red, black and yellow.” The shoe features an “MVP logo on the heel and trophies printed on the sockliner.” Nike said that “a limited number will hit the market next month” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/14).
LIFE'S A BEACH: FORBES.com's John Clarke Jr. noted Loudmouth has signed a four-year deal to dress the U.S. gold medal-winning men's beach volleyball team of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers for the London Games. The company in '10 "sponsored the Norwegian men’s curling team at the Olympic Winter Games" in Vancouver. Loudmouth CEO Larry Jackson said, “They were in front of millions of eyeballs." Clarke added the orders started "flooding [in] and the company was caught by surprise since the team agreed to wear the gear less than one week before the Games" (FORBES.com, 5/14).
FREE FALLIN': Former NFLer Trevor Pryce appeared on ESPN2’s “Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable” last night and was asked him, “Above all else, what would you say you missed about football?” Pryce: “The thing I miss most is my Nike deal.” Pryce said getting free shoes from Nike “is the greatest perk of the NFL.” Pryce: “Forget the paycheck, free Nike stuff. … Nike will give you a secure website and you get to pick like whatever you want.” Pryce said that every time “we lost and I was depressed, I’d just get like 10 pairs of sneakers and some socks and I’d feel better about myself.” After he retired from the league, access to the website is shutoff. Pryce called it the “saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life” (“Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 5/14).
NOTES: Brewers LF Ryan Braun “appears to have parted ways with CytoSport," which makes sports-oriented nutritional products and supplements. It “could not be determined when Braun stopped working with the company.” Braun's name “has been removed” from the firm's website (JSONLINE.com, 5/14)....Citgo recently launched "Boston's Greatest Moments Under the Sign 'Good Moments Make Great Memories'" campaign with sports radio WEEI to celebrate Fenway Park’s 100-year anniversary. Baseball fans each week can submit their picture from under the Citgo sign and have the chance to win a $50 Citgo Gift Card (Citgo).