REUTERS' Esteban Israel noted FIFA's licensing agreement with global partner Sony means players have to take Beats by Dre headphones off "when they are in World Cup stadiums for official matches and media events." Marketing experts said that this "probably only amplifies their appeal." Strategist and former Apple and Google exec Ellen Petry Leanse: "When fans see World Cup athletes wearing Beats in their downtime, by choice, it has as much impact as seeing them lace their Adidas (boots) or sip a sponsored beverage. Maybe more, actually -- Beats isn't a sponsor, so the message is more authentic and credible." Officials at Beats "were not available for comment on their strategy at the Olympics and this World Cup" (REUTERS, 6/17).
BELTWAY BOYS: In DC, Scott Allen noted Redskins QB Robert Griffin III on Wednesday "unveiled a burgundy and gold cleat" made by adidas. The company on Saturday "posted a video of Griffin describing the shoe ... but Griffin didn't tweet about it" until Wednesday afternoon. Griffin in the video says, "I feel like the city of D.C. itself is a city of business, but it’s also a city of fun. So, when you see the burgundy in the middle, that’s the business part. But then the outside? That’s all fun. So this shoe is to you guys" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/19).
KD'S NEW LINE: The OKLAHOMAN noted the latest edition of Thunder F Kevin Durant's shoe line "will be unveiled next week." Nike Basketball on Wednesday released a YouTube teaser to "get the hype going about the KD7" (NEWSOK.com, 6/18).
MLBPA'S FRESH PITCH: The MLBPA has set up its first-ever dedicated shop at online retailer Zazzle. The site allows shoppers to create their own customized products using licensed intellectual property, such as player names and images. The union had been working for more than two years on various licensing initiatives with Zazzle prior to the creation of this shop (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).
STRIKING THE RIGHT BALANCE: COMPETITOR.com's David Monti noted former Dartmouth runner Abbey D'Agostino, the "first Ivy League athlete ever to win an overall NCAA cross-country title, wore a New Balance kit and shoes" throughout her collegiate career, and she "will continue to wear that brand for years to come thanks to a multi-year sponsorship agreement she signed recently" with the company (COMPETITOR.com, 6/18).