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Adidas Snags Deal With Number One NFL Draft Pick

Adidas’ bet on NFL prospect Trevor Lawrence appears to be paying off so far, as the collegiate star from Clemson was the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. Adidas announced last Wednesday—the day before the NFL draft —that it had signed the top 2021 draft prospect to a multiyear partnership. “I’ve always been a fan of Adidas and I’m excited to join the team as I take the next step in my career,” said Lawrence, who also pulled an Adidas bandana over his forehead. “Adidas’ brand attitude of ‘Impossible Is Nothing’ is a message that really resonates with me both on and off the field. We are building for the future and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead with this partnership.” In three… . . . read more

Nike Loses Kobe Bryant License As Talks Fail

The estate of basketball legend Kobe Bryant declined to renew its deal with Nike this month as talks between the parties fell apart, according to an exclusive report from Complex that was later confirmed by Nike. Unless something changes, that could end the long-established relationship between Bryant and Nike. Potentially, Bryant’s estate could also partner with an outside footwear firm on a new range. In fact, Bryant originally signed a deal with competing shoe company Adidas at the beginning of his NBA career in 1996, and signed on to Nike seven years later. Bryan became one of Nike’s most important brand ambassadors, appearing in several ad campaigns and jointly releasing 11 sets of basketball sneakers with his branding. Even though Bryant retired in 2016, Nike continued to release co-branded products, and also released… . . . read more

Under Armour Slashed Sponsorships in 2020

The sporting gear company Under Armour has been shedding sponsorship deals over the past year, and now we know how deep the cuts have gone. Under Armour Inc. released its annual report in late February, which shows the company slashing its sponsorship spending by an astounding 47 per cent in a single year. The cuts reduce Under Armour’s spending on sponsorships from $679.1 million in 2019 down to $361.6 million in 2020. Under Armour’s CFO David Bergman explained the move on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, saying it’s all about getting more bang for the marketing buck. “That allows us to have a bigger war chest, to be nimble on a marketing front going forward and making sure we’re deploying that marketing in the areas of highest return,” Bergman… . . . read more

Under Armour Ending Licensing Deal With NFL

Sports clothing and equipment company Under Armour is preparing to end its licensing contract with the National Football League, according to a report in the Financial Times. Under Armour has not officially confirmed the contract termination, but the Financial Times reported this week the deal will end later this year. The company’s licensing deal with the NFL allowed the brand to be displayed on accessories such as gloves and boots during games. The arrangement has been somewhat awkward over the past week, as Nike is the official supplier of uniforms and apparel for the NFL, but Under Armour has a licensing agreement with Tom Brady, who took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an historic Super Bowl victory on Sunday. During a post-game interview, Brady courted some controversy as some sports… . . . read more

Fanatics & Lids Reach Long-Term Deal With BNED

The sports merchandise company Fanatics has added to its long list of critical deals in 2020 with a long-term merchandising partnership with Barnes & Noble Education Inc. (BNED), the campus store division of the Barnes & Noble parent company. Fanatics will offer BNED campus stores an expanded product selection and a direct-to-consumer platform. Fanatics’ partly-owned Lids will also provide BNED trend and sales performance data on licensees, product styles and design treatments from more than 1,200 Lids stores. As well, Fanatics and Lids will jointly make a $15 million strategic equity investment in BNED and receive 2.3 million shares of BNED in exchange, representing a share price of $6.50 per share. BNED expects to use these proceeds for its strategic growth initiatives. BNED is a college retailer that was spun off from bookseller… . . . read more

Casetify Kicks-Off Bruce Lee Collaboration

Casetify has announced the latest partnership from its collaboration program, inspired by film star and martial arts legend Bruce Lee. The new collection spans an wide ranging lineup of tech accessories and limited-edition lifestyle products commemorating what would have been Lee’s 80th birthday. In the Bruce Lee x Casetify collection, Casetify introduces Lee-inspired motifs and licensed artwork to the brand’s signature accessories. Custom elements invite consumers to add their names to two best-selling iPhone cases, including a VHS tape-inspired Impact Case and a reflective Mirror Case with a “shattered glass” effect, resulting from Lee’s powerful kick. More designs round out the collection, paying homage to Lee’s legacy, including vegan leather iPhone cases inspired by the martial arts star’s iconic black and yellow tracksuit, and protective accessories featuring his action shots… . . . read more

Jordan Brand Partners With UCLA

UCLA Athletics has announced a six-year agreement with NIKE, Inc. to make Nike and Jordan Brand the Bruins’ official athletic footwear, apparel and equipment provider beginning July 1, 2021. “UCLA is elite, and our student-athletes deserve every resource in their pursuit of excellence. We sought to partner with the best in the world; that is Nike and Jordan Brand,” says UCLA Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond. “Going into this process, our top priority was to secure the best quality and most innovative product to help our student-athletes and coaches compete for championships.” Extending across the university’s athletic department, the agreement comprises all 25 of UCLA’s varsity sports teams. NIKE, Inc. will supply each with uniforms, apparel and equipment, with Jordan Brand outfitting the football and men and women’s basketball programs. With this agreement,… . . . read more

Celebrity

Celeb Watch: Lifestyle, Fitness & Fashion

The latest on Jane Fonda; Cindy Crawford, LeBron James, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lindsey Vonn; Amy Schumer and Leesa Evans; Jessica Simpson; and more…


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Sports

Sports-based Brands & Goods Score a Goal

As sports-based licensing continues to grow—soaring 3.5% worldwide in 2016—we look at the latest developments in brands and merchandising this week. Featuring: Fanatics takes its model worldwide, Mattel breaks boundaries, and more…


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Business

Deals in Short

See some of the latest licensing deals that needed a little more detail.

Featuring: Moose Toys, Square Enix, Fanatics, Nike, Mattel, and more…


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