MMA PAYOUT’s Jason Cruz cited a Straits Times report as stating Nike “seems to be unwilling to yield to the UFC sponsor fees,” with the latest sign being the "lack of the swoosh” on Jon Jones during his most recent fight at UFC 172. At the weigh-ins, “any signs of the Nike were taped over,” including “the shirts worn by Jones’ brothers” who accompanied him to the scales. The report noted UFC is calling a Nike-sponsored world tour, which touts appearances by Jones, Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, as “false advertising” (MMAPAYOUT.com, 5/5).
ON THE MEND: A spike in Clippers licensed merchandise sales since April 27 could indicate the team's brand is rebounding in the wake of the Donald Sterling comments. The NBA reports a triple-digit percentage increase in sales of licensed Clippers merch from the league's e-commerce site since April 27, the day after the Sterling news broke. Certainly, some increased sales were catalyzed by a playoff series win. However, the NBA also says that the "We Are One" T-shirts are a top-selling item on NBAStore.com. Fanatics.com, which administers the NBA's e-commerce, reports similar sales gains (Terry Lefton, Editor-At-Large).
NEW TRAILS TO BLAZE: In Portland, Allen Brettman noted Trail Blazers merchandise on Fanatics.com has “spiked more than 230 percent and gear has been sold in 35 different states” since the team advanced to the second round of the NBA Playoffs on Friday. Fanatics data showed the “secret’s out about a team experiencing its first post-season success in more than a decade.” Blazers G Damian Lillard “has been the No. 3 selling NBA jersey on the site for the last three days.” Over the same time, Blazers F LaMarcus Aldridge “ranks 10th in jersey sales” (OREGONLIVE.com, 5/6).
JERKY BOYS: Beef jerky brand Oberto this week launched a new marketing campaign called “You Get Out What You Put In." The 15- and 30-second spots feature Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Sounders F Clint Dempsey, FS1 NFL analyst Brian Urlacher and snowboarder Louie Vito. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith serves as the voice in the athletes' stomachs (Oberto).