Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 135

Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike execs are "extensively reviewing" why the back of Cavaliers F LeBron James' jersey "split down the middle" during Tuesday night's Celtics-Cavs NBA regular season opener, according to sources cited by Darren Rovell of When Celtics F Jaylen Brown "grabbed at James' jersey while defending him, the jersey tore, separating the Nos. 2 and 3" on the back of his uniform. Nike's new NBA jerseys on Tuesday were "being worn for the first time in a regular-season game" after the company "signed an eight-year deal that sources say is worth" approximately $1B. However, this is the "second time a Nike NBA jersey tore." Lakers G Tyler Ennis during the team's preseason opener against the T'Wolves "had his jersey ripped, and the 0 in his No. 10 uniform was left hanging." While Nike "makes the materials and provides blank uniforms to the squads, it often is the team's responsibility to find a vendor to custom-stitch the names and numbers on the official jerseys" (, 10/19). QUARTZ' Marc Bain wrote this is the "sort of contact that happens all the time, and probably shouldn't have been enough to rip the jersey." Why the jerseys "seem to keep ripping isn't exactly clear." But a public problem with its products is "not what Nike needs right now." Nike has been "hoping its NBA deal would reignite some heat around the brand." Two torn jerseys "aren't an unfixable disaster." but it is "not how Nike wanted to start off its new role as the NBA's official outfitter" (, 10/18). BUSINESS INSIDER's Tyler Lauletta wrote it is "still early, but if problems like this persist, Nike may have to make adjustments to the way they construct their jerseys" (, 10/18).

Carnival Cruise Lines has signed a deal with Saints QB Drew Brees' foundation and will use him in a sweepstakes promotion offering a free cruise any time he and the Saints throw for more than 300 yards in a game this season. “Cruising brings people together and nothing unites the New Orleans community more than the Saints and Drew Brees,’’ said Carnival VP/Partnership & Loyalty Scott Becher. Carnival is the largest cruise operator out of New Orleans. Marketing support includes Saints social, Saints digital and in-stadium game day elements. Carnival has sponsored the Saints for some time, along with the Texans and Heat, which is owned by Carnival Chair Micky Arison.

First Data has debuted its first NASCAR TV spot that it recently shot with Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson. The payment processing company, which entered the sport this year with a two-race deal with CGR plus some track deals, shot the spot a few weeks ago near Charlotte. The spot shows Larson running a host of errands around town, like going to McDonald’s (another CGR sponsor), while paying for the services with First Data products. The spot was originally slated to debut later this month during Martinsville’s race weekend when First Data is the entitlement sponsor of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. However, the company took advantage of an opportunity to debut it this past weekend on NBC during the airing of the race from Talladega Superspeedway, one of its two events in which it was to serve as primary sponsor of Larson’s No. 42 Chevy this season. First Data, which is leveraging its sponsorships to try to get its payment processors used at NASCAR tracks, is working with Bespoke Sports & Entertainment on its NASCAR marketing.

The PBR is launching its own record label, PBR Music, and publishing company, Down in the Well, and "has signed U.S. Army combat veteran Ryan Weaver as the label's first singer-songwriter," according to Dave Brooks of BILLBOARD. While PBR has "worked with dozens of artists over the year to provide music for their events, the launch of PBR Music is a significant move into the music space for the organization owned by Endeavor." Weaver will "release his 'Celebrate America' EP with PBR Music and record music for the league and perform at its events as the Official Patriotic Voice of the PBR’s Celebrate America campaign." PBR will "feature Weaver’s songs, at upcoming events, and in digital marketing, television broadcasts and social media campaigns." PBR CEO Sean Gleason said, "Music has always been at the heart of the PBR experience, and Ryan Weaver represents the latest incarnation of our music strategy as PBR Music’s first artist." Weaver "honors America's deceased military veterans with the song 'Never Forgotten'" (, 10/18).'s Nick DePaula reported Pelicans F Anthony Davis and Nike "agreed to a multi-year shoe deal extension before the season." Davis' Air Max Dominate shoes this season "feature a custom tongue icon with his name, unibrow logo, 'Chi / IL' hometown and 'Fear The Brow'" (, 10/18).

THEM BOYS UP TO SOMETHING:'s Peter Walsh reported Knicks G Tim Hardaway Jr. "became the newest member" of the Jordan Brand family. Asked how he connected with the brand, Hardaway said, "It was more of a mutual thing with Jordan Brand. My pops (Tim Hardaway) was a big part of it. I was with adidas for all of college and for my first three years [in the NBA], but I played my fourth season in the NBA as a sneaker free agent." He added, "After the season, I was talking to my agent and told him, ‘Hey, what’s up with Jordan? I don’t care what they give me, it’s just the honor to be able to play for the Jumpman and go out there and represent him in a great way.’ That was the pitch I gave them. And then my pops tried to talk to Jordan personally" (, 10/18).

CURRY FAVOR: Investment firm Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said he believes Warriors G Stephen Curry's new Curry 4 show will be a "resounding success." In Baltimore, Lorraine Mirabella notes Konik is "keeping a buy rating" on Under Armour shares and "praised Under Armour’s strategy of launching several designs of the Curry 4 in phases and limiting distribution and colors." Konik: "With competitor products aging, we believe Curry 4 will become the No. 1 sneaker in basketball this year, which should also help Under Armour shares rebound" (Baltimore SUN, 10/19).

TIME FOR MORE TUNES: In Cleveland, Joey Morona noted Pandora "offered to hook up" Cavaliers F LeBron James with a "fancy, commercial-free premium account" that typically costs $9.99 a month. In an interview that aired Monday, James admitted, "I still got Pandora with commercials." In response, Pandora tweeted out, "Hey @KingJames how about we hook you up with a Premium account so you can ditch the commercials?" After James responded on Twitter accepting the offer, Pandora "upped the offer to include the entire team and some fans" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/18).

AD AGE's E.J. Schultz noted Bud Light is debuting a "football-themed ad" that plays off Sunday's Super Bowl LI rematch between the Patriots and Falcons on "SNF." The spot, developed by Wieden + Kennedy, N.Y., is a "colonial-themed dramatization of a man returning from a beer run" at Gillette Stadium. The spot continues Bud Light's "Famous Among Friends" theme (, 10/19).

LOOK ALIKES: ESPORTS OBSERVER's Ferguson Mitchell reported ELeague has had its trademark "challenged" by Adidas. Adidas is opposing ELeague's "trademark application over concerns that the similarities in trademarks may lead to confusion and dilution." The logos are "relatively similar." Turner, which owns ELeague, "now has 40 days to file a response to the opposition, where it can either confirm or deny Adidas’ allegations." It could go to trial, though "most trademark oppositions end up in some sort of settlement" (, 10/18).

DIGITALLY SPEAKING: ADWEEK's Patrick Coffee reported Packers TE Martellus Bennett has "collaborated with Giphy ... to create a 'text back pack' featuring hundreds of gestures and potential memes from his fellow Packers." He "sold the content as something that the players could share along with thousands of fans, and it seems to have worked." The Packers "even used one of the GIFs to promote Aaron Rodgers as clutch performer of the week" (, 10/18).

Knowledge is Power: Become a Better Sports Marketer

SportsBusiness Journal/Daily’s Resource Guide LIVE, an invaluable industry database and business development resource, is a must-have for every sports marketer. With exclusive corporate sponsorship data, valuable insights on naming rights and athlete endorsements, Resource Guide LIVE is trusted by hundreds of teams, agencies, brands and other sports properties around the world.

Take a look for yourself by visiting or scheduling an online demo today.