In Baltimore, Chris Korman cited Fanatics.com data which notes that sales of Ravens LB Ray Lewis’ No. 52 jersey have “risen nearly 2,000 percent since he announced his retirement” last week. Lewis’ jersey since that time is the “top-selling NFL jersey for the online retailer." The popularity of Lewis’ jersey “helped all Ravens gear sell at a 68 percent increase (from the last week of the season) in the days leading up to the first round of playoff games, more than any other team” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 1/10).
REV IT UP: Kia Motors will extend its sponsorship deal with the Australian Open for an additional five years through '18. The automaker has been associated with the tournament for 17 consecutive years, making it the longest-running major sponsor of the event. Kia will continue to supply more than 100 cars each year for the transportation of players, officials and visitors. In addition, branded and integrated on- and offline experiences, including the interactive Grand Slam Oval fan area at Melbourne Park, the live site at Fed Square in Melbourne, "Kia Fan of the Day" and "Kia Fan of the Tournament" contests will remain (Kia).
SPACE CADET: AD AGE’s Jack Neff reported Unilever is “linking its first Super Bowl commercial for Axe to a chance for one person to win a trip to space.” The effort is “part of a global promotion by Axe and Lynx, its U.K. equivalent, promising to send a total of 23 people beyond the Earth's atmosphere as part of what the brand bills as its biggest product introduction ever -- Apollo deodorant and personal-care products.” Unilever has “enlisted former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin as pitchman” (ADAGE.com, 1/10).
CHECK THIS: REUTERS’ Jonathan Stempel reported Nike “won a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court barring a smaller rival from suing to void the company's trademark for its top-selling Air Force 1 sneakers.” Chief Justice John Roberts “wrote for a unanimous court on Wednesday that Nike's promise not to pursue an infringement lawsuit against Already LLC, maker of Yums sneakers, meant that the Texas company could not pursue its own trademark challenge.” Wednesday's decision “upheld a November 2011 ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.” In addition, Wednesday's decision “may help companies such as Nike rival Adidas SE and luxury goods makers Coach Inc and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which often sue to prevent alleged imitators from interfering with their revenue streams and customer goodwill” (REUTERS, 1/9).