Posted by Abe Sauer on March 4, 2013 01:13 PM
"It never hurts when people are talking about you relative to a guy whose every statement is picked up by a microphone."
That was the assessment of Brian Cupps, Brand Initiatives Director at Li-Ning, of the recent news that Dwayne Wade's new Li-Ning-inspired nickname "Way of Wade" (WoW) was called "corny" by MVP teammate LeBron James. "It's more tongue in cheek than anything," said Cupps. "It doesn't hurt."
Li-Ning's fledgling partnership with Wade has certainly not hurt either brand. Though hard numbers are yet to come, Cupps said anecdotally that "all of our indicators, be it social media or future sales, are up based on Wade." Cupps added, "Particularly in the US, where we had little to no real consumer following, we have a very strong pull right now and demand for our products because of Wade. Now we have to feed that demand."
Feeding the demand is going to be a huge challenge for Li-Ning for a number of reasons. For starters, it's a Chinese brand facing a mountain of existing consumer prejudice against China. Worse, negative China news outside of Li-Ning's control impacts this effort. Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2013 05:12 PM
Sports teams are always looking for new revenue and having their players wear alternative uniforms or caps have proven to be a nice moneymaker. Usually, those alternates are simply different colors or throwbacks to the uniforms of yesteryear, however the NBA’s Golden State Warriors are going a different direction Friday evening.
The Warriors will take the court tonight in short-sleeved jerseys—the “adizero NBA short sleeve uniform system”—the first such shirts worn in the NBA since probably the 1940s when the Boston Celtics donned them. Made by Adidas, the shirts could start a fashion trend, former NBA All-Star and current New York Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston tells Bloomberg. “The younger guys set the trends and set the market,” Houston said. “If they embrace it and everybody likes it, then it could catch.” Those younger guys were the same ones who helped the trend of longer shorts replace the short shorts that had been worn for years back in the mid-’90s, Houston points out. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 25, 2013 11:11 AM
Time to buy up all the New Orleans Hornets gear you can: The NBA team has announced it will become the Pelicans.
“This isn’t something that was just done overnight,” said team owner Tom Benson, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We are not just changing the name to change the name. The Hornets name came from Charlotte. That fits in with Charlotte. It doesn’t fit into New Orleans, La., or our area here."
He continued: "The Hornets don’t mean anything here. We needed something that symbolizes New Orleans and Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. And nothing does that better than this name.”Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Andrew Chan on December 6, 2012 09:28 AM
On Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant became the fifth and youngest member to enter the NBA's exclusive 30,000 point club. He joins Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as the NBA celebrates in its video recounting Bryant's journey.
Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 5, 2012 10:29 AM
Uncle Drew (Cleveland Caveliers' breakout star Kyrie Irving) and Wes (Minnesota Timberwolves' star Kevin Love) are back and on a mission: to go out and get the old team back together. The players and spectators at a Los Angeles basketball court had no idea what was about to happen and were told that they would be filmed for some "basketball B-roll footage" for a local TV station. The resulting video, a mix of product placement and branded entertainment, was uploaded by Pepsi MAX on Oct. 30 and already has more than 1.5 million views.
The LA crowd is in disbelief when these two old-timers give it a go in the court, and reveal how much better they really are. It's quite a spectacle, the second in the series so far, and a definite win for Pepsi MAX — although surely they can't keep fooling locals with NBA All-Stars in disguise much longer. The PepsiCo-owned brand released the first "Uncle Drew" video with Irving earlier this year, which was then turned into a 30-second commercial that ran during the NBA finals last season. More details in the ESPN interview and behind-the-scenes clips below.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 14, 2012 10:07 AM
If yo-yoing was a major sport, Chinese athletics brand Li-Ning would have a lock on the market for yo-yo gear. In the last four years, the brand has gone from potential global dominance to firing its CEO to moderate success at the London Olympics.
But struggling Li-Ning may be about to catch a big break. If rumors are true — and they appear to be — Li-Ning just drafted NBA superstar Dwyane Wade.
As first reported, and then confirmed, by blog Sneakerwatch, two-time world champion, NBA Finals MVP, and Miami Heat star Wade is going to pass on renewing his deal with Michael Jordan's Nike-backed Jordan Brand and instead sign onto Li-Ning's roster. That's huge news for Li-Ning, and a blow to Jordan Brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2012 01:01 PM
The fever pitch of Linsanity has died down a bit since mid-February, when every move New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin made was scrutinized and revered. His spot on his brother’s couch was ballyhooed as the mark of a man who overly impressed with himself and his status as an NBA player. His entire manner was an antidote to the general self-promoting boorishness that is generally expected from his fellow NBA players.
Plus, the guy went to Harvard! And helped build the Asian market even further and bring in more bucks for the sport! Not to mention being the very model of a modern Asian American. What else could the league ask for?
A few others, of course, saw Lin’s rise as a big opportunity to make some money for themselves as well and went ahead and filed for the “Linsanity” trademark. As we recently noted, Lin — who is not yet confirmed to be returning as a Knick — did the same in an attempt to keep himself from potentially seeing his own name on hot pads and t-shirts and ice-cream flavorings (and, naturally, make a few dollars down the road as well).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 29, 2012 02:55 PM
New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin couldn’t take the court for the final five weeks of the regular season or the initial round of the playoffs due to a partially torn meniscus in his left knee, but the guy certainly left his mark on NBA basketball and the world this season, even if his gear is half-price in the NY Knicks web store.
For most of the month of February, Lin was seemingly unstoppable both as a basketball player and as some sort of cultural healer, bringing together people (and punsters) of all stripes, as well as cable TV execs who needed to get a deal done pronto. The guy could do no wrong. Everywhere you turned: Linsanity.
There were more than few people who jumped at the chance of making money off the pun-worthy moniker name, of course. And a few ever filed to get the trademark “Linsanity.” One of them, though, was the guy with the degree in economics from Harvard, Jeremy Lin himself. The Huffington Post reports that Lin is the last man standing in the battle for the “Linsanity” trademark.Continue reading...