FORBES.com's Lance Madden wrote Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's "recent partnership with Hudson Jeans and the involvement with the brand’s social photo sharing spring marketing campaign, #InstaCampaign, makes perfect sense." Gronkowski "had already been a fan and wearer of Hudson Jeans when he met a member of Boston-based Fireman Capital Partners, the equity partners for Hudson." Hudson President & CEO Peter Kim said, “We haven’t ever gone the sports route, but we wanted to stay open minded. When we met Rob and his family and all of his team, it made sense.” Gronkowski as part of the #InstaFam "frequently posted photos to his personal social networking accounts throughout the winter" in preparation for the Hudson '13 spring launch (FORBES.com, 3/21).
BRYANT'S BLING: Watchmaker Hublot named Lakers G Kobe Bryant a brand ambassador. The company will release a signature Bryant timepiece called the King Power Black Mamba (Hublot).
BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGAN: In Boston, Gary Washburn noted Upper Deck will release a card set featuring Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan "during his North Carolina days." The company will release "just 250 sets of 23 cards of Jordan in college, four Jordan autograph cards, one replica 1982 championship ring, and two other premium cards." The set "could be valued as high as $5,000" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/24).
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? The AP noted the Izod IndyCar Series has "signed a two-year extension with Verizon Wireless that expands its sponsorship to cover the pole award." Verizon's pole award "contingency money and trophy will be for all 19 IndyCar races" this season. The company also is "planning enhancements to the IndyCar 13 app" (AP, 3/22).