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Volume 24 No. 158

Marketing and Sponsorship

The newest Nike commercial features Thunder F Kevin Durant as the “No. 1 pick of the Seat Pleasant 2:35 p.m. draft” after he is in a “hot, sweaty gym in Maryland, waiting to be drafted for a five-on-five pick-up game,” according to Dan Carson of BLEACHER REPORT. The ad features ESPN’s Jay Bilas and “some local analysts on the scene attempting to answer the biggest question of the draft: Who will the ‘Shirts’ pick?” From an advertising standpoint, the commercial “delivers on a number of levels.” The spot is “hilarious.” Anton Barrels, the “local guy who’s been moving up the pickup ranks with his unique ability to project himself like a human cannonball and his unrivaled mean-mugging,” appears with a “tie knotted over a tank top.” Barrels says of Durant, who was the No. 2 pick in the '07 NBA Draft, “He can’t ball, he just tall.” The commercial also is “relatable and reaches their target audience.” Viewers know in a pick-up game of basketball there is “always one stubby guy who’s fighting like a pitbull for every possession and somehow scores points.” Carson wrote, “All in all, an A+ job for Nike” (, 6/27). USA TODAY’s Sean Highkin wrote the spot is “a good nod to that part of Durant’s past that also works as an excuse to show some highlights and give fans a glimpse of Durant staying active in the summer.” Highkin: “Well done, Nike” (, 6/27).

EPL club Swansea City will kick off the ’13-14 season “with a new kit sponsored by Chinese finance company Goldenway,” and the $3.05M deal (all figures U.S.) is the “biggest in the club’s history,” according to Chris Wathan of The Hong Kong-based brand, “who specialise in financial exchange and precious metal trading -- have agreed [to a] 12-month deal to sponsor the Swans' shirts, taking over from gambling company 32Red,” whose $1.52M deal was bought out last season. The new deal was “announced at the launch of Swansea's new home and away strips” for the ’13-14 season -- “where the company's GWFX logo will adorn the shirts -- with both the club and the new sponsors aiming to increase their profile in new markets.” There is an “option on both sides to extend the deal after the initial year-long agreement.” Goldenway is “sponsoring a sports team for the first time and admitting the Premier League's huge profile in Asia was a major reason behind the decision.” Swansea Chair Huw Jenkins, whose club is in its third season at the top level of U.K. soccer, said being a part of the EPL is "of paramount importance" in attracting sponsors to the team (, 6/28).

TOFFEE RECIPE: In Liverpool, David Prentice reported EPL club Everton “unveiled a new home strip" for '13-14. The new Nike strip is “23 per cent lighter than previous Nike kits.” The new home kit is “made from recycled polyester in accordance with Nike’s commitment to a low environmental impact.” The shirt and shorts of each kit are “made from up to 13 recycled plastic water bottles” (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 6/27). In London, Joe Mewis noted the new home shirt “will feature the Toffee's controversial new club badge for the first time.” It also “features Nike's Dri-Fit technology and comes after the American sports giant underwent a programme of 3D body scans of leading footballers to produce a more tailored, athletic fit” (, 6/27).

ALL SAINTS DAY: In London, Matthew Morlidge notes the new kit for EPL club Southampton “was leaked" Wednesday on Twitter and "received negative feedback” from fans of the club. Fans “completed a poll on a forum showing the response to the kit, and several fans posted 'Save Our Stripes' on the site.” The “only stripes on the strip are those of new partner Adidas, who were unveiled as the new sponsor at the beginning of June,” replacing Umbro (London DAILY MAIL, 6/28).

In Boston, Donna Goodison reports Puma on Thursday “became the latest company to announce it was ending its endorsement deal” with former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez. Puma announced a “two-year deal with Hernandez in April and said he would be a face of its men’s training category.” Hernandez was to be featured in Puma’s “Nature of Performance” campaign. Sports nutrition company CytoSport also has “ended its deal with Hernandez” (BOSTON HERALD, 6/28).

LONE STAR KICKOFF: ESPN and AdvoCare on Thursday announced a four-year title sponsorship deal for the Texas Kickoff. The early-season college football matchup will be known as the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, taking place on Labor Day Weekend at Reliant Stadium. The inaugural game will feature Mississippi State-Oklahoma State on Aug. 31 at 2:30pm CT, with coverage on ABC (ESPN). The company also sponsors the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La. (THE DAILY).

BURNING RUBBER: SPORTING NEWS’ Bob Pockrass noted Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans “can not only buy T-shirts with their favorite driver’s car number (88) on it, but they can now buy them with tire rubber on it, too.” Burn Rubber Productions is “selling Earnhardt shirts that have race-used tire rubber as part of the design.” The shirts will be available “at the track and online.” They are “being sold as part of a licensing agreement between JR Motorsports, Earnhardt’s Nationwide Series team, and Burn Rubber Productions, which has a video on its website that shows how it makes the T-shirts” (, 6/26).