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Volume 26 No. 231

Marketing and Sponsorship

Under Armour has "launched a campaign celebrating the 15th anniversary of its first national TV ads," and one of the new spots features Panthers QB Cam Newton and the Baltimore-area St. Frances Academy football team, according to Holden Wilen of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. UA's new campaign, like its predecessors, emphasizes "hard work, practice and teamwork." UA's in-house creative team produced the ads. The new spot shows Newton and the St. Frances players "participating in rigorous workouts." Additional ads will air "throughout the fall" and will feature Phillies RF Bryce Harper, Knicks G Dennis Smith Jr. and heptathlon athlete Georgia Ellenwood. In addition to the TV spots, there also will be "digital advertising content." The timing of the campaign also "matches up with start of school and youth sports" and allows UA to have its "marketing at full strength ahead of the all-important holiday season" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/10). In Baltimore, Glenn Graham noted UA has "long been a sponsor" of St. Frances athletics, and this "isn't the first time the football team has starred in one of its ads." The team in '13 was "featured in a spot that was directed and produced" by Pro Football HOFer Ray Lewis (BALTIMORE SUN, 9/11).

The "Taco Tuesday" application submitted by LeBron James' company LBJ Trademarks was "denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, citing 'Taco Tuesday's' established place in American lexicon as a 'commonplace message,'" according to Zack Guzman of YAHOO FINANCE. But there was also "another preceding trademark filing ... for 'Techno Taco Tuesday' that proved to be a key piece in the downfall of James' attempt to lock up the rights to Taco Tuesday." The techno phrase was "actually trademarked by a Las Vegas entertainment company" in '18, "specifically for the 'advertising and marketing services' category for which James was seeking protection." James "could still respond to the USPTO filing with added or adjusted language within six months" (FINANCE.YAHOO.com, 9/12). A spokesperson for James said the application was filed to "ensure LeBron cannot be sued for any use of 'Taco Tuesday." The spokesperson added that "finding 'Taco Tuesday' as commonplace achieves precisely what the intended outcome was, which was getting the U.S. government to recognize that someone cannot be sued for its use" (ESPN.com, 9/11). The L.A. Times recently reported that a Wyoming restaurant already trademarked "Taco Tuesday" (THE DAILY).

"A" UNIVERSITY: The USPTO said that the word "'the' doesn't belong to Ohio State University," and it is partially due to a fashion line from Marc Jacobs. In Cleveland, Eric Heisig notes the USPTO rejected an attempt by the university to "trademark the word, stylized as 'THE' in all caps, in ways that signify its association with the school on T-shirts and hats." In the ruling, the USPTO cited a Marc Jacobs fashion line that "beat the university to the punch, seeking to trademark 'the' on May 6 for its use on handbags, knapsacks and other items." Ohio State "didn't file its application until Aug. 8." The USPTO cited an "other reason is that Ohio State's proposed use of it on clothing 'is merely a decorative or ornamental feature of applicant's clothing.'" The word, as presented, is an "add-on and not something that would help people associate it with the university" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/12). In Columbus, Mark Williams notes as of last fall, OSU had "about 150 patents in 17 countries, plus other pending applications." Among its trademarks are the "names of former football coaches Urban Meyer and Woody Hayes." The university had "Meyer's name trademarked" in '15 and Hayes' in '16 (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/12).

Fanatics started getting new Minshew merchandise in for its online store on Wednesday
Photo: FANATICS
Fanatics started getting new Minshew merchandise in for its online store on Wednesday
Photo: FANATICS
Fanatics started getting new Minshew merchandise in for its online store on Wednesday
Photo: FANATICS

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew and his mustache "have been stealing hearts" since he took over for injured QB Nick Foles on Sunday, and now the men's version of Minshew's No. 15 jerseys are "sold out on the NFL shop website, with only women's and kid's sizes left," according to Emily Bloch of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Jaguars PR Manager Alex Brooks said, "Fanatics informed me that they will have more Minshew merchandise, including men's sizes, available online starting (Wednesday) morning." He added the site also expects to "have some for our next home game next Thursday." Screen-printers "far and wide are capitalizing" on the rookie QB's "allure with merchandise that pays tribute to Minshew's 'stache and swagger" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/11).

BIG WEEK 1 FOR SALES: The opening NFL weekend was a strong one for sales of licensed NFL products. Fanatics reports that across its sites -- which include NFLShop.com and Fanatics.com -- sales were up 30% from the same Thursday-Sunday period from opening weekend in '18. The top-selling teams were the Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, Chiefs and Bears. The top-selling players were Patriots QB Tom Brady, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Bears LB Khalil Mack and Giants RB Saquon Barkley (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

THE KING OF AUGUST: Browns QB Baker Mayfield's No. 6 jersey "was the best seller" for Fanatics during the preseason, followed by Mahomes and Mack. Mahomes during the '18 season ranked "third on the list of the top 10 best sellers" (K.C. STAR, 9/11).

Th GLOBE & MAIL's Andrew Willis notes U.S. Open champ Bianca Andreescu "expects to sign at least two major endorsement deals in the next few months." Repped by Octagon, Andreescu is "currently sponsored by Nike, BMW and vegan restaurant chain Copper Branch, which signed her for approximately $50,000 annually last year." Her agent Jonathan Dasnières de Veigy said they are "turning down a lot of opportunities and offers" right now. Andreescu "began working with Octagon three years ago" and the agency currently has "eight employees working for Andreescu" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/12).

YOUNG & FREE: ADWEEK's David Griner noted Nike’s new spot “You’re It” is the "first for Nike Kids from agency Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam." The ad "brings the brand’s high-adrenaline and visually fluid approach to a younger demographic." It "spans the globe, showing kids embracing their power and potential at activities ranging from tennis and soccer to skateboarding and dance" (ADWEEK.com, 9/11).

BREAKFAST CLUB: In DC, Scott Allen notes Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin on Tuesday embarked on a promotional tour at local schools for his new Ovi O's cereal, set to be released next week, and "available exclusively at Giant stores in DC, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware." A portion of the proceeds from Ovi O’s will "benefit the Maryland-based Children’s Cancer Foundation Inc., a nonprofit committed to funding local researchers, programs and facilities" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/12).