In Miami, Douglas Hanks notes Heat F LeBron James’ new deal with China-based Internet service provider Tencent “gives James another foothold into the lucrative Chinese market.” James already is “a paid endorser for Dunkin’ Donuts in Asia, but the agreement with Tencent puts James front and center with a company operating solely in the Chinese marketplace.” Forbes recently estimated that James earned $18M playing basketball in '12 and $42M from endorsements, and while the U.S. market “dominates that income stream, experts see growing Chinese affluence and prosperity as the future for growing endorsement dollars” (MIAMI HERALD, 6/12).
OPTIONS ACTION: In Chicago, Bruce Blythe notes the city’s “major exchange companies, CME Group and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, advertise rink side” at Blackhawks games in United Center. The CBOE-Blackhawks pairing “began in 2008, when the exchange became a ‘presenting sponsor’ with the team.” The agreement “includes a trading component, with two ‘CBOE seats’ on the glass at center-ice auctioned online to the highest bidder before each game” (CHICAGOGRID.com, 6/12).
HOT CORNER, HOT PIZZA: In St. Louis, Joe Holleman notes Cardinals 3B David Freese “has inked a three-year deal as the main spokesman” for local chain Imo’s Pizza. An Imo’s spokesperson said that Freese will appear in TV, radio, print and digital ads, which “should debut in a month.” Imo's also “will donate $10,000 to Variety, the Children’s Charity of St. Louis, in conjunction with Freese” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 6/12).
ON THE CATWALK: GQ's Oliver Franklin reports Nike “has revealed the kit" that Roger Federer will be wearing during Wimbledon and the outfit includes a “monogrammed Nike Premier RF crew.” What is not in the ensemble is “Fed's signature trim in favour of a classic white-and-orange colourway.” But Franklin added he would not "be surprised if the gold makes a comeback" if Federer win an eighth Wimbledon title (GQ-MAGAZINE.co.uk, 6/13).