While "a few players have balked" at adidas' sleeved NBA jerseys, they "should remember" that merchandise sales are included in their 50-50 split of basketball-related income with the league, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. adidas Head of Global Marketing Chris Grancio said, "Sales of the short-sleeved jersey have exceeded expectations. That to me is the ultimate vote of confidence." Zillgitt writes with sales of the jersey going well, “don't expect the sleeved jerseys to go away." Grancio said, "There is no grand vision from NBA or Adidas that this will be the new uniform for every team forever. But we do want to find partners who embrace. We want to use league-wide platforms like Christmas Day and (the) All-Star (Game) to introduce it and celebrate it." Zillgitt notes the sleeved jerseys for this weekend's NBA All-Star festivities "are different" than previous All-Star uniforms, "starting with the color." The West will "feature a purple fleur-de-lis, and the East will feature a green one," which represents "a break from traditional colors, which normally have been shades of red and blue, save for the era when players wore their team jerseys." Each conference's initial -- 'W' and 'E' -- is "incorporated into New Orleans' ubiquitous symbol." The players also will "wear shorts that are lighter than those worn in regular-season games." The jerseys are "fit for the players,” but a "more relaxed design is sold to fans." Grancio: "We thought it was an opportunity to give fans to embrace their team. The standard (tank-top) jersey is hard for a lot of people to wear" (USA TODAY, 2/13).
Marketing and Sponsorship
A pair of AutoTrader brands, AutoTrader.com and Kelley Blue Book, have struck sponsorship deals with two of NASCAR’s most prominent teams. AutoTrader.com will have an associate sponsor’s position with Penske Racing driver Joey Logano’s NASCAR Sprint Cup No. 22 Ford team. That deal includes a primary paint-out for a single race, the July 13 Sprint Cup event in New Hampshire, in addition to the season-long associate sponsorship. In a separate but similar deal with Hendrick Motorsports, Kelley Blue Book will be a season-long associate on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Sprint Cup No. 88 Chevrolet, with one race as the primary. Both multiyear deals were negotiated by AutoTrader Senior Dir of Consumer Marketing & Creative Services Jessica Stafford. “We’ve had longstanding relationships with the dealer side of both businesses,” Stafford said of Penske and Hendrick. “These proved to be great chances to get both brands into the racing world and get them in front of millions of car shoppers.” Kelley Blue Book’s two-year deal gives the brand rights to NASCAR’s most popular driver, a 19-time Sprint Cup winner. Stafford said approximately 60% of car shoppers visit KBB.com to evaluate prices for new and used cars, “but we’re always trying to grow it,” she said. The relationship with the 23-year-old Logano, who made the Chase last season for the first time and finished eighth overall, provides a strong fit for AutoTrader.com, Stafford said, because a third of AutoTrader’s audience is made up of millennials. AutoTrader will look to add hospitality at New Hampshire and several other races throughout the Sprint Cup season. Advertising plans are still in the works. For Penske, the New Hampshire race represented the last open primary sponsorship the team had for ’14 (Michael Smith, Staff Writer).
THE NEED FOR SPEED STICK: Swan Racing yesterday announced that Colgate-Palmolive's Speed Stick GEAR brand will be the primary sponsor for the Sprint Cup Series No. 26 Toyota driven by Cole Whitt for the Daytona 500. As part of the deal, the deodorant brand will film a documentary series chronicling Whitt's preparation for and in-car experience at the Feb. 23 race. The videos will debut on Speed Stick's official YouTube channel starting March 1 (Swan Racing).