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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Univ. of Georgia and Nike yesterday unveiled a "new secondary logo and some subtle changes to their uniforms" as part of the school's "brand identity launch," according to Chip Towers of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. But it seemed UGA AD Greg McGarity's "primary message" was that "nothing much was changing." McGarity emphasized that "nothing changed regarding the general look of the traditional football uniform or, most important, Georgia’s 'Power G.'" He said, "We're not touching the G. That will never be altered as long as I'm here." McGarity said that UGA officials evaluated "all 20 teams that Georgia fields and that every team had a different number font and letter font on their uniforms." UGA and Nike felt the need to “bring some clarity to the program” by providing a consistent style across the board. Over the past 15 months, Nike’s "creative arm worked to identify that consistent look." They ended up "creating a font specifically for Georgia and called it 'Bulldog Bold.'" That now will be used for "all lettering and numbering for all sports," but McGarity was "skeptical as to how noticeable it will be to fans." McGarity: “If we had kept it under wraps and not said anything before we ran out on the field for the [Aug. 31] Clemson game, nobody would have noticed." Towers notes more buzz was "generated by the secondary bulldog logo Nike created." Featuring a wide bulldog head in a red, spiked collar, the “Secondary Dawg” will be "utilized only in 'non-uniform use.'" It will be "prominently displayed" on the field during UGA's G-Day spring game "near the two end zones and at other points throughout Sanford Stadium" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/3).

: In Georgia, Marc Weiszer notes UGA's new football uniforms now will be in the "same 'Pro Combat' style the team wore against Boise State to open the 2011 season, but with the traditional look of a red jersey with numbers and letters outlined in black, and white jerseys with black numbers and letters outlined in red." QB Aaron Murray said, "It’s a lot more flexible, breathable, lighter. Yeah, definitely I love the material. That’s something we asked coach (Mark) Richt. ‘Hey, we know we’re not going to keep these uniforms, but if we can get this material in our colors, that would be pretty awesome.’” Nike Senior Graphic Designer Clint Shaner said that the uniform is the "most innovative that Nike produces for football." It now will include a "Flywire collar that LSU, Missouri and Florida are already wearing." Weiszer notes there are "no new football uniform color combinations on the horizon" (ATHENS BANNER-HERALD, 4/3).

BBVA Compass bank will "end its sponsorship of Birmingham’s college football bowl game" after the '14 edition, according to Stan Diel of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS. The bank's Birmingham City President Alan Register yesterday said that BBVA "elected to not renew its four-game contract with ESPN and will pursue other promotional opportunities instead." Register said, "We're looking at a variety of different sponsorships." He added that BBVA made its announcement now, eight months before the final game, in "an attempt to give ESPN and the city sufficient time to find a replacement." The game has "had just two title corporate sponsors in the made-for-television era of bowl games." Papa John’s "sponsored the game" from '06-10. In addition to the BBVA Compass Bowl, the bank currently sponsors La Liga, the MLS Dynamo's BBVA Compass Stadium and is the "lead bank sponsor" for the NBA (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 4/3).

Blackhawks RW Jonathan Toews remained atop the list of best-selling NHL player jerseys for the month of March, despite the club’s record-breaking point streak ending last month, according to data from Additionally, Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane jumped from the No. 5 spot during the month of February to No. 2, while RW Marian Hossa moved up to No. 6 from No. 11. Two new players cracking the top 10 -- Rangers LW Rick Nash (No. 4) and Bruins C Patrice Bergeron (No. 9) -- were previously unranked. The most notable drop-offs include Sharks C Joe Thornton (previously No. 9) and Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin (previously No. 16). The Bruins, currently fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, were the most well-represented team on the list, with five players in the top 20.

Blackhawks RW Jonathan Toews
Bruins LW Brad Marchand
Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane
Penguins D Kris Letang
Penguins C Sidney Crosby
Penguins C Evgeni Malkin
Rangers LW Rick Nash
Penguins LW James Neal
Rangers RW Ryan Callahan
Kings RW Dustin Brown
Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa
Bruins LW Milan Lucic
Flyers RW Claude Giroux
Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist
Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk
Kings C Anze Kopitar
Bruins C Patrice Bergeron
Avalanche C Matt Duchene
Bruins D Zdeno Chara
Bruins RW Tyler Seguin

The Univ. of Louisville’s "second-straight Final Four appearance, coupled with its football team’s upset victory in the Sugar Bowl earlier this year, has propelled the school’s revenues from merchandise royalties to an estimated" $1.4-1.6M, according to a front-page piece by Chris Otts of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. UL Associate AD/External Affairs Brent Seebohm said that the figure "could go far higher" if the team wins the national championship Monday in Atlanta. UL's share of merchandise sales has "roughly doubled" since FY '06. The school's athletic success has "translated into good business the past couple of years for" Louisville-based Synergism, a company that supplies T-shirts, hoodies and other UL merchandise to retailers like Kroger. Synergism’s revenue jumped 30% "when Louisville and Kentucky played each other in the 2012 Final Four." Sales are up 25% "more so far this year" with the Sugar Bowl win and now the Final Four. Local retailer The Neutral Zone yesterday already had "worked through its initial shipment of 5,000 Final Four T-shirts" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 4/3).

SHOCK IT TO ME: In Wichita, Jeffrey Lutz noted business at local sporting goods store Tad's Locker Room "has been booming" during Wichita State's run through the NCAA Tournament. The shop received "three shipments of Final Four T-shirts on Monday." Tad's Locker Room employee Tessa Gehrer said, "We had to close the store for an hour in the middle of the day (Sunday) because we sold out of everything we had" (WICHITA EAGLE, 4/2). Also in Wichita, Molly McMillin in a front-page piece notes WSU's marketing office is "fielding nonstop media calls from across the country." WSU Associate VP/University Relations & CMO Barth Hague said, "We're being looked at from all over the world right now." He added, "The idea here is to make sure that we're taking advantage of this opportunity as people are watching us, that we can make sure that the Wichita State University message gets out here" (WICHITA EAGLE, 4/3).

CONNECT FOUR: In Michigan, WXMI-Fox' Tim Swore reported retailers in West Michigan are "struggling to meet the demand for" Univ. of Michigan Final Four gear. Kentwood-based MC Sports "sold out of items," while Woodland-based Campus Den "had a limited number of items" (, 4/2). In Syracuse, Alex Dunbar noted retailer Holy Shirt "set up a temporary shop ... just to meet demand" from Syracuse Univ. fans. The store has been "working around the clock to produce the officially licensed" Final Four shirts (, 4/1).