Knicks F Carmelo Anthony currently controls the No. 1 spot on the NBA's top-selling jerseys list, and the Knicks remain the top-selling team since the beginning of the season. Anthony is the first Knicks player to lead the jersey rankings since the league first began tracking sales in '01-02. The rankings are based on combined sales at the NBA Store in N.Y. and NBAStore.com. Anthony took the top spot from Heat F LeBron James, who slipped to No. 2 on the list (THE DAILY).
TOP-SELLING NBA PLAYER JERSEYS SINCE START OF '12-13 REGULAR SEASON
Knicks F Carmelo Anthony
Heat F LeBron James
Thunder F Kevin Durant
Lakers G Kobe Bryant
Bulls G Derrick Rose
Nets G Deron Williams
Heat G Dwyane Wade
Celtics G Rajon Rondo
Clippers G Chris Paul
Clippers F Blake Griffin
Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving
Lakers C Dwight Howard
Thunder G Russell Westbrook
Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire
Celtics F Paul Pierce
TOP-SELLING TEAM MERCHANDISE SINCE START OF '12-13 REGULAR SEASON
USOC sponsor Kellogg's today announced the addition of alpine skier Ted Ligety and ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson to its roster of athletes for the '14 Sochi Games. Ligety and Hendrickson join a roster of nine athletes previously named in February. All 11 athletes will be featured in Kellogg’s marketing and promotions around the Sochi Games. Ligety grew up in Park City, Utah, and won an Olympic Gold Medal at the '06 Turin Games. Hendrickson hopes to be among the first women to compete in ski jumping at the Olympics when the sport makes its debut in Sochi. Stories about the athletes are available at Kelloggs.com/TeamUSA.
Izod is launching a new ad campaign, multiyear sponsorships of three golfers and several brand activations at The Masters in connection with its Izod Golf platform. The company will sponsor The Maxim Clubhouse at The Masters; maintain a social media presence; sponsor a launch party tomorrow; create a building wrap at Washington and Berckmans Roads in Augusta; and advertise on TV, print and digital. The Maxim Clubhouse sponsorship is a first for Izod. The back patio of the clubhouse will be made into the “Izod Social Media Hub,” with dedicated workstations for media and brand partners, including PGA Tour and SB Nation. Izod signed golfers Webb Simpson, Scott Piercy and Spencer Levin in ’12, and they will be featured in point-of-sale at retail partners nationwide (Izod). Phillips-Van Heusen Exec VP/Marketing Mike Kelly said of the brand, “We’re trying to take the golf world back.” SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Michael Smith notes the Pinnacle building, a hospitality structure, will be “wrapped on two sides with images” of Piercy, Simpson and Levin. At the Maxim Clubhouse, PGATour.com “social media team members and reporters, the golf writer from SB Nation, radio shows and other bloggers will be working from and referencing the Izod social media studio throughout the week.” Kelly said that the social media outreach “will give Izod a stronger voice with the younger readers and fan base.” Matter and Edelman Digital are “working with Izod on its social media strategy.” Kelly said that the Maxim Clubhouse deal was “part of a large ad buy with the magazine.” Because advertising on CBS for The Masters telecasts is “limited to just three primary sponsors -- AT&T, Exxon Mobil and IBM -- brands have developed ways to activate away from the golf course in Augusta” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/8 issue).
Some of the fashion and apparel that will be worn at The Masters this week was on display during Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show yesterday. Ashworth Golf displayed its clothing on mannequins -- a lineup that will be worn by Fred Couples, Stewart Cink and Michael Thompson. Golf Channel’s Holly Sonders said, “When I think of Ashworth I think classic. You're not going to be seeing any crazy colors.” Sonders said the green colors of the outfits give them a “Masters feel” and it is “kind of understated but again, classic.” Golf Channel’s Gary Williams said the belt buckle the players wear “has become a big opportunity for men to accessorize,” and many designers and fashion companies “now are incorporating their logo in these buckles.” Golf Channel’s Damon Hack said, “At the beginning of the year and this week at Augusta National, you see a lot of players wearing their best clothes.” Puma later in the broadcast also displayed its clothing, which will be worn by Rickie Fowler during the tourney. Williams said, “They're very creative, they're very sporty, they trend very very, young, and these outfits reflect that.” Hack said of Fowler, “The man knows how to dress. Fashion is important to him, but I also know that winning was important to him when he won at Quail Hollow last year. He doesn’t just want to be known for a guy that’s a sharp dresser, he wants to be known as a winner as well.” The Nike outfits Tiger Woods will wear for The Masters also were shown, with Williams noting the Nike line is “very traditional stuff" for Woods, "including that Sunday red.” Hack added, “Very traditional and very clean. It reminds me a lot of Ben Hogan and the Hogan mystique.” Hack said of Woods’ fashion, “I think that Tiger’s a little bit of a throwback, not necessarily with the red shirt but the grays, kind of the muted tones. Very, very old-school stylish” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 4/8).
Excel Sports Management agent Mark Steinberg said of potential sponsorship deals for client Tiger Woods, "We’re not going to do three more deals in the next two months just because he’s No. 1 in the world and we want to strike while the iron is hot. That’s a fairly archaic way to approach a business as sophisticated as his. Tiger and I have gotten to the point where he has the proper balance in his life. ... He already has a lot of sponsors. We’re looking for maybe one more large global deal" (BUSINESSWEEK.com, 4/4).
GREAT SCOTT: Uniqlo yesterday announced that it has signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Adam Scott, marking the first time the Japan-based retailer has partnered with a pro golfer. Scott will wear Uniqlo apparel in all competitions, starting with The Masters. He also will take part in a range of promotional activities, including a global polo shirt campaign launching in mid-April. Scott is currently ranked No. 7 in the world (Uniqlo).
PERCENTAGE PLAY: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith writes the TaylorMade marketing team in the span of less than three weeks from the end of January into February "blew up one advertising campaign, created another one and launched it with the help of ad agency NYCA." TaylorMade spent the fall of '12 "planning a campaign for the R1 driver built around the club's adjustability." The campaign was "themed '80%' because TaylorMade contends that 80 percent of all golfers play drivers with the wrong loft." But the R1 "took off even faster than expected," and by the second tournament of the PGA Tour season, the Sony Open, 21 players "had put the R1 in their bag." Just two weeks into the season, the "story had changed." It "wasn't just about the logical '80%' anymore." The story was about how the R1 had "taken the tour by storm" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/8 issue).
ADVERSE EFFECT? ESPN's Curtis Strange said of Rory McIlroy's new Nike clubs negatively impacting his play, "Nike has matched the clubs to the exact dimensions that the Titleist were." He added, "If there’s an equipment issue, it could be the Nike ball is a little, little, little tiny different. I don’t think it’s enough to make a difference. I don’t think you can tell to be honest with you. I’ve read all of this in the last month, two months, because Rory hasn’t played well, and I can honestly tell you I thoroughly believe it has nothing to do with the equipment." Strange: "I think it’s really overblown, and I think, quite frankly, [CBS'] Nick Faldo and [NBC's] Johnny Miller, who have the stage to say things right or wrong about people, have been a little bit misleading because they’ve been so negative on it, and they both switched clubs" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/6).
NBC Sports Network’s Michelle Beadle said of Knicks G Iman Shumpert being forced by the NBA to shave an adidas logo he had cut into his hair, “That seems like a lawsuit." Beadle: "If I’m one of those ambulance chaser lawyers out there, like a Gloria Allred, I’m all over that thing" (“The Crossover,” NBC Sports Network, 4/8). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, “I don’t believe your employer can say, ‘Oh you can’t have an unusual hair design.’” But columnist Kevin Blackistone noted the NBA “can do whatever they want." Blackistone: "They’ve been doing it, telling guys how to dress and now they’re telling them what logos you can put in your hair. Who knows what they’re going to tell you next. That’s the way Stern runs this league” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 4/8).
WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP: Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson yesterday announced that sportswear maker Fila is "reintroducing a KJ7 shoe next winter, honoring Johnson's days as an NBA star." In Sacramento, Kasler & Lillis note because Johnson "isn't allowed to accept royalties as mayor, Fila is making a $25,000 donation to the Sacramento Public Policy Foundation." In addition, the company will "make a donation of $25,000 to Think Big Sacramento, the task force devoted to building a new arena for the Kings." Fila officials said that the shoes "will be introduced at next year's NBA All-Star Game" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 4/9).
FLY THE COOP: In Baltimore, Alison Matas reports a federal judge last week "threw out a Baltimore security guard's copyright infringement case" against NFL Properties, saying there was "no evidence the NFL had licensed the use of the Ravens logo he'd designed to a software company." Frederick Bouchat has been "credited with designing the Ravens' first logo, known as the 'Flying B logo.'" Bouchat claimed that he "wasn't getting credit for the use of the logo in some Madden NFL video games" (Baltimore SUN, 4/9).
CHECK MATE: In N.Y., Sarah Lyall noted chess player Magnus Carlsen is at the "center of a campaign carefully constructed by him and his handlers to use his intelligence, looks and nimble news-media-charming skills to increase his profile outside the sport." Carlsen has been profiled on "60 Minutes," has "modeled (along with Liv Tyler) for a major clothing label" and was "offered a role" as a chess player in "Star Trek Into Darkness." Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein said that his client earned about $1.2M last year, some 60-70% of it "from sponsorship deals." Most recently, Carlsen signed a deal with Seattle-based cloud-computing firm Parallels, "which flew him over to impress its customers at a conference" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/8).