MLB has named the Rockies its Club Retailer of the Year and the D-backs its inaugural Hard Goods (non-apparel) Retailer of the Year. The awards were given at MLB's annual hard goods retail summit, held earlier this week in Las Vegas. The Rockies were credited for devising a traffic-building gift-with-purchase program with licensee That’s My Ticket, and for an effective multimedia marketing campaign. Both were said to increase store traffic and sales (Terry Lefton, Editor-At-Large).
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING: FOXBUSINESS.com's Thomas Barrabi wrote Under Armour "experienced the wrong sort of brand exposure on Wednesday when its logo was prominently displayed while UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill apologized for shoplifting during the university’s trip to China." UA is paying $280M over 15 years to "secure shoe and apparel sponsorship rights for UCLA’s sports team." It is "unlikely that the incident will have discernable impact" on UA’s sales. But brand experts said that the incident marks an "inauspicious start to the most lucrative apparel partnership in college sports history." All three players wore UA logos "while acknowledging their mistakes" (FOXBUSINESS.com, 11/16).
READY TO PITCH PRODUCT? DIGIDAY's Ilyse Liffreing writes there is an argument that Colin Kaepernick "could be the ideal ambassador for certain brands, especially given how he gets the power of speech and imagery." Marketing consultancy firm Prophet Chief Growth Officer Scott Davis said that brands that "take strong stances like Starbucks, Abercrombie & Fitch or Urban Outfitters would be 'natural landing places.'" Experimental agency Fake Love Dir of New Business Sam Ewen said that he "could see the quarterback starting his own clothing line or launching one through another brand like Levi’s." He added that brands like Amazon and Ford "wouldn't fit." But Kaepernick himself "might not want to partner with a large brand" (DIGIDAY.com, 11/17).