Expect to see adidas roll out its new short-sleeve basketball jerseys around a handful of its teams during the men's NCAA Tournament. adidas VP/Global Basketball Lawrence Norman confirmed that some teams during March Madness will be wearing short-sleeve jerseys similar to those recently worn by the Warriors, but would not specify which schools. "We are still working on teams, but it will be a very innovative story," Norman said. No. 10-ranked Louisville has been told that it will be one of eight men’s basketball teams to wear specially designed jerseys during the postseason and that an announcement is tentatively planned for later this week. Louisville Associate AD Kenny Klein said the school has not been given specifics on the jerseys yet. Officials at Michigan and North Carolina State, two other adidas schools in position to make the NCAA Tournament, said they will not wear short-sleeve jerseys, while Indiana said it has not heard from adidas on any special jerseys. Three women's basketball teams are also expected to sport special adidas uniforms during the postseason.
Marketing and Sponsorship
The Indiana Univ. men's basketball team would appear likely to fall from the No. 1 position in the polls after last night's loss to Minnesota, but the program's "resurgence over the last two seasons has already put bucks in the bank," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. IU officials said that royalties from the sale of licensed merchandise through Feb. 18 have increased 31% "over last season." Licensed merchandise sales last year were up 15% "over the year before." The officials said that those figures combined represent "another mid-six-digit windfall." IU officials added that licensing revenue was "either flat or down a bit each of the four years leading into last season." Sources said that if IU were to win the national championship, licensing revenue increases could be near $1M "during this fiscal year alone." Revenue from merchandise sales is "expected to eclipse" $2M this year. Long Performance Advisors President Mark Long said that if IU could surpass the $2M mark, the school "would rank among the top NCAA basketball powers." Meanwhile, IU AD Fred Glass said the school would explore a naming-rights deal for Assembly Hall "if someone came forward with a sizable gift." He added that there is a "higher comfort level with naming the building for an individual donor rather than a company," and that Assembly Hall "could be kept as part of the moniker." Glass said IU is "about maxed out" when it comes to in-stadium signage and other advertising opportunities. He "refuses to put a corporate logo on the court's surface." The school in recent years has "added sponsor messages to video sideboards and the overhead scoreboard." IU basketball revenue in recent years has accounted for 25-31% of total athletic department revenue, a "higher percentage than any other Big Ten school" (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/25 issue).
Texas A&M VP/Business Development Shane Hinckley yesterday said that while the NCAA would allow QB Johnny Manziel to "collect damages if his corporation's lawsuit against the maker of the 'Keep Calm and Johnny Football' T-shirt pans out," it would "consider an intentional copyright violation for the purposes of funneling money to a player to be a violation," according to Andy Staples of SI.com. Hinckley said the situation is a "three-headed monster" that involves Manziel's likeness and intellectual property rights, as well as Texas A&M's intellectual property rights. He said that about 20% of the "unlicensed Johnny Football merchandise he's seen has also infringed upon Texas A&M's marks." Staples wrote it appears Manziel's case "will not be the one that brings down the NCAA's amateurism model." Despite the "suggestion that the ability to recover damages would be a loophole, the NCAA is aware of that possibility." Hinckley: "They specifically said that if it was an orchestrated event that it would fall under the enforcement proceedings and be a separate issue" (SI.com, 2/26).
MillerCoors and the Brewers yesterday announced a multiyear sponsorship renewal that will keep Miller Lite in place as the team's exclusive beer sponsor. The deal includes the creation of the new Miller Lite Party Deck, a 70-seat deck above the Miller Park right field Loge Bleachers that will open for the '13 season. The Party Deck will feature 1,400 square feet of entertaining space. Financial terms of the deal, which is separate from the ballpark naming-rights agreement, were not disclosed (MillerCoors).
SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS: In Ft. Lauderdale, Nick Sortal noted Florida lottery players who spend $5 on a Fantasy 5 ticket through April 3 "can enter to win a trip to New York, Miami Dolphins 2013 season tickets and more.” Drawings will be held March 15 and April 5 from “vouchers submitted during the entry period for each drawing.” Ten players will each “receive two VIP credentials to the Dolphins Draft Day Watch Party in Miami on April 25; 10 others will win two tickets to a Dolphins regular season home game and 20 winners will each receive two team hats and t-shirts” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 2/25).
THE WHO'S TOMMY: MLB Properties and Tommy Bahama today announced the release of this year’s Collector’s Edition series of apparel featuring Baseball HOFers Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. The brand created two new shirts that feature iconic photographs of Mays and Mantle. The images have been incorporated into custom designed artwork that wraps around the shirt and includes the player’s name, team logo, key stats and landmarks of his home team (Tommy Bahama).
CHIPS & PUTTS: Rory McIlroy has signed a multiyear agreement as a global brand ambassador for Bose Corp.’s headphones, portable speakers, home and automotive systems. It is McIlroy’s first consumer-electronics brand endorsement (Bose)….Perry Ellis Int'l announced that Jason Dufner, Kevin Na, Robert Streb, Darron Stiles, Jeff Maggert and Wes Short Jr. will comprise the brand's initial roster of PGA Tour Apparel brand endorsers. The players will wear the PGA Tour Apparel Pro Series line during competition (Perry Ellis Int'l)….Nautica signed a two-year endorsement deal with Cameron Tringale, who will wear the brand's golf shirts and pants, "as well as complementary sweater, belts and outerwear on course." Tringale will be featured in print, in-store and digital ads (WWD.com, 2/25).