The New Hanover County, N.C., Board of Education "approved a contract with Nike" to use the logo of Laney High School, the alma mater of Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan, according to a front-page piece by Powell Latimer of the Wilmington STAR NEWS. The BOE per the deal will receive 5% of the profit "from sales of any product using the Laney logo.” New Hanover County Schools Chief Communications Officer Valita Quattlebaum said that Nike “called her office about a month ago to ask about permission to use the Laney logo.” Latimer notes Nike in ’04 signed a contract to produce a series of retro Laney “jerseys, T-shirts, shooting jackets and headwear,” but that contract ended in September ’10. Laney Principal Al O'Briant said that the school “likely won't see any money" until '14. Nike “hasn't told the school system" exactly how it will use the Laney logo. Nike reportedly will "release a new line of Air Jordan shoes during the 2013 holidays" (Wilmington STAR NEWS, 3/7).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Roger Federer spent Tuesday "on the tennis courts at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert shooting TV spots in advance of Wilson Tennis’ 100th anniversary" next year, according to Denise Goolsby of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. Federer said, "It’s nice doing a commercial together and promoting the brand. It’s fun doing it here in the desert. It’s a different location than in a studio somewhere in front of a green screen.” Federer filmed a "series of commercials Tuesday, culminating with a spot entitled, 'A Whole New Generation,' featuring members of Wilson’s Junior Tennis Team." The spot called for 15-year-old Raquel Padraza and Federer to "high five every time she hit a shot." Wilson's film crew has "been at the resort since Friday night, working 10-hour days shooting commercials for future products and apparel" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 3/6).
Texas-based Leaf Trading Cards “caused a stir on Wednesday when it announced that a high-profile redemption card already inserted in packs of two of its football sets could be redeemed” for an autographed card of Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Leaf maintains that it is “doing nothing illegal and won't compromise Manziel's eligibility.” Leaf President Brian Gray said that his company “acquired the signatures from third parties with the intention of putting them into product, but neither Manziel at the time he signed them nor the sellers of the signatures knew of Leaf's intention.” Gray did not comment on how many autographed Manziel cards would be distributed, but said that Leaf "commissioned unique artwork for each card, which in the company's opinion satisfies the requirements of the First Amendment.” Texas A&M Compliance Dir David Batson said the school is aware of Leaf's Manziel cards and "will investigate accordingly." Batson: "Johnny has informed the Athletic Compliance Office that he has not authorized these cards’ production or sale; he has not knowingly provided his autograph for use in these cards; and he will not receive any compensation from the sale of these cards” (ESPN.com, 3/6).
AD WEEK's Anthony Crupi cited Kantar Media data as showing that the '12 NCAA men's basketball tournament last year “scared up more ad dollars for CBS and Turner Sports than the respective playoffs and championship series” for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV from March 13 to April 2 last year “generated just over" $1B in tournament ad sales revenue. Kantar's figures do not take into account the $60M in "digital inventory sold by CBS and Turner.” Last year’s tourney “marked the second year of the 14-year CBS-Turner collaboration.” Ad spend has “soared" 64% from $614M in '10, when the nets began live telecasts of all 67 tournament games (ADWEEK.com, 3/6).
WALL TO WALL COVERAGE: In DC, Sarah Kogod wrote the welcome message on Wizards G John Wall's website "has adidas written all over it." The message reads, "The only destination for all things JW2." Wall confirmed that both adidas and Red Bull were “involved in the creation of the site.” The site is “certainly a marketing effort.” Wall was asked if he was “ready to join RGIII in the initials game,” referring to adidas’ relationship with Redskins QB Robert Griffin III. Wall replied, “Somewhat, maybe. Adidas is probably pushing that one more. I might use that one, but I don’t know yet” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 3/6).
BIG MAN, LITTLE CAR: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith yesterday said of Shaquille O’Neal’s TV ads for Buick, “I don’t understand him in these commercials with these little cars. I don’t get it.” ESPN’s Jay Crawford replied, “If it’s good enough for Shaq, it’s good enough for small people too.” But Smith said O’Neal’s “feet are so big I don’t even know if they can fit under” the dashboard to the pedals. Crawford noted, “That’s the whole idea. If he fits in the car, anyone fits in the car.” Smith: “I guess that’s the message they’re trying to send” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 3/6).
SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass reported Dale Earnhardt Jr. "will carry the Amp sponsorship" at this Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, but "instead of the familiar green and white paint scheme, his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports car will be orange and black." The new paint scheme will "feature Amp's Active Orange flavor." Earnhardt's "one-off" paint scheme will "likely generate merchandise sales, and Lionel NASCAR Collectibles already is selling diecast models" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/6).
SMOKING GUN: In Orlando, George Diaz writes under the header, "NASCAR Fires Self-Inflicted Wound With NRA Sponsorship." Diaz writes the NRA's title sponsorship of Texas Motor Speedway's April 13 Sprint Cup Series race is "bad for NASCAR's public image." Partnering with the NRA "only dilutes earnest efforts by NASCAR to break down stereotypes and shape its image differently." Diaz: "This isn't about pandering to the politically correct crowd. It's about building and expanding your brand as a major sports organization" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/7).
QUEENS LOGIC: ESPN.com's Paul Lukas reported caps and jerseys for this year's MLB Home Run Derby at Citi Field will "have a Mets-themed design." The caps and jerseys "won't be officially unveiled for at least another month and a half," but screen shots from Sony's "MLB 13 The Show" offer a "sneak peek at the designs." Lukas wrote of the designs, "Everything is in Mets colors -- blue and orange. No black, thankfully." The typeface on the jerseys is "based on the Mets' road jersey insignia." On the caps, an "A" and "N," to represent the AL and NL respectively, are "superimposed on the Mets' skyline logo" and they "look pretty sharp" (ESPN.com, 3/6).
SPICE IT UP: In Baltimore, Jill Rosen reported Old Bay Seasoning parent company McCormick is "releasing a limited edition commemorative can to celebrate the Ravens Super Bowl victory." The commemorative Old Bay Seasoning cans are "purple, with the Ravens logo and the date of the Super Bowl win." The company "plans to make 30,000 of the 16-ounce collector's tins and sell them in Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and Delaware" (Baltimore SUN, 3/5).