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Win One for the...Zipper?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Levi Strauss' CEO Chip Bergh has been throwing out some interesting phrases that his company is looking into trademarking. 

"Win one for the Zipper" and "Field of Jeans" are both in the process of being trademarked by the denim company. Both plays on famous sports quotes, Levi is hoping to leave a smile on the faces of sports fans in San Francisco.

Yes, it was announced earlier this week that Levi Strauss and the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a 20-year deal that gives Levi's naming rights to the NFL team's newest stadium. The deal is estimated to cost $220 million dollars, with an option Levi can extend the deal five more years for an additional $75 million.

In the beginning of 2013, it was reported that sponsorships and the sports industry were going to have a big year. Who knows if the forecasters had an idea that purchases like this was coming, but it sure looks like those people knew what they were talking about. 

It is interesting that in today's environment there are only a few truly "live" events that we can be exposed to. Sports, in the moment, are one of them. Whether we are listening to them on the radio (normal or online) or watching them (mobile, TV, tablet or computer), consumers/sports fans cannot "escape" the presence of the sponsors. The messages brought to them are intertwined with the actual entertainment.

Sponsorships in sports were doing native advertising before it was cool.

Levi's isn't jumping in this haphazardly either. Not only is the stadium itself (worth approx. $1.2 billion) going to be the most high-tech stadium in the league, but being located in Santa Clara isn't going to hurt either. It only makes sense that a denim company has a stadium in the state that has the city known as the " premium denim capital of the world."

Well played, Levi's. Though we've enjoyed its "Go Forth" campaign, it will be interesting to see where it goes next.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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