In Florida, Evan Williams reported the Florida Gulf Coast Univ. men's basketball team's trip to the Sweet 16 last year "attracted new retailers" to the school. Ft. Myers-based skateboard maker Aerial Action Sports and Scream Guitars were "added to FGCU's list of licensees for the fall semester." Scream Guitars Founder Kurt Kiehnle said, "As soon as Dunk City came to be and they won all those games, I went and applied for a license." Williams notes FGCU students "frequently skateboard to class" (NAPLES DAILY NEWS, 12/6).
SIBLING SUPPORT: ADWEEK's Tim Nudd notes several players from MLS NYC FC's "high-powered sister club" -- the EPL's Manchester City -- recently filmed "some nifty promos" in support of the MLS expansion team. A video recently debuted on YouTube showing players "juggling and kicking a ball back and forth, while trying not to let it hit the ground," around famous N.Y. landmarks. The idea "came from Man City's marketing team" (ADWEEK.com, 12/6).
DA COACH'S DOMINION: SPORTS ON EARTH's Dan Pompei noted ESPN analyst Mike Ditka is "earning seven figures in endorsement income." Fans can "purchase Ditka Polish sausage, Ditka Cabernet Sauvignon, Ditka cigars, Ditka flags, Ditka pens and pencils, Ditka lapel pins and Ditka bobbleheads." Depending on the time commitment, Ditka "usually commands between $30,000 and $75,000 per appearance, and his agent Steve Mandell says he could be booked every day if he wanted to be." Ditka "has cross-generational appeal" as much as anyone. Old timers "think of him as the player they wished they could be." To many of the baby boomers, he is the "most memorable coach of their lives," and even kids who "have no idea of his life story come up to him and tell him they loved him as Will Ferrell's costar" in "Kicking and Screaming" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 12/5).
GOLDEN RULE: Golf HOFer Jack Nicklaus said of why he got back into the golf ball business, "I think part of it is part of our brand, part of it is the golf ball business. The golf ball is very confusing for somebody to walk in a place where you buy golf balls, it's very complicated." Nicklaus: "The method that we are using, selling most of the golf balls through nicklaus.com, through the Internet, is not a conventional way of doing something. ... We are able to sell a golf ball ... basically at a wholesale price" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 12/5).