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Volume 26 No. 181
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Zion Williamson Stars In New "Unite" Jordan Brand Campaign

Pelicans rookie F Zion Williamson appears in a new "Unite" campaign for Jordan Brand, according to Ella Chochrek of FOOTWEAR NEWS. For the campaign, Jordan Brand "created a series of films, the first of which celebrates people coming together through the game of basketball." Celtics F Jayson Tatum, Wizards rookie F Rui Hachimura and WNBA N.Y. Liberty G Kia Nurse "appear in the campaign alongside Williamson." In addition to the films, Jordan Brand has "scheduled a series of international activations celebrating local communities," including the first one which was held in New Orleans this weekend. Williamson also "appears on a 'Unite' billboard" in New Orleans just outside of Smoothie King Center (FOOTWEARNEWS.com, 9/29). In New Orleans, Scott Kushner noted the billboard carries the caption, "Impossible Alone, Possible Together." The Williamson "hysteria dwarfs anything New Orleans experienced when Chris Paul and Anthony Davis entered the league." Williamson has "served as a willing public figure ever since" being taken No. 1 overall, including appearing at Tulane, LSU and Saints football games and "hosting several community events," including the one this weekend with local artists designing shoes (NOLA.com, 9/29).

CUT THE MUSIC: In New Orleans, Jeff Nowak noted the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office "officially denied" Williamson's request to trademark "Let's Dance," the phrase he "popularized on draft night." In their response to 10 of the 14 requests, the USPTO "cited the phrase as a 'commonplace' expression." Williamson and the Pelicans "filed initial trademark requests within hours of each other the same day as the press conference." The Pelicans' requests were "filed first, meaning they likely had priority, but they chose to withdraw them" (NOLA.com, 9/27).

FEELING THE LOVE: Williamson last night appeared on NBC's "FNIA" in New Orleans prior to Cowboys-Saints, and the net's Liam McHugh said of the cheering crowd around Williamson, "They love you here. ... What have you learned about this fan base here?" Williamson responded, "It's incredible, man. When I first got here, (Saints QB Drew Brees) told me that if I love this city, they'll love me right back, and it's held true. The city shows a lot of love." McHugh noted Williamson received a personalized jersey from Brees and asked, "What did that mean and what's your relationship been like with him?" Williamson: "As a 19-year-old kid, to see the king of the city give me a signed jersey, it meant a lot. We have a great relationship. He says if I need anything, holler at him, and he gives the best advice" ("FNIA," NBC, 9/29).