NBA and Adidas’ ‘Big Color’ jerseys help ignite Black Friday retail sales

(Photo credit: NBA)

The NBA and Adidas’ new “Big Color” jerseys helped drive sales at and in the league’s flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York.

The NBA’s online store had its biggest volume Black Friday ever. Sales rose 150% from the previous year, according to league spokeswoman Amanda Thorn. Black Friday sales on and the bricks and mortar outlet on Fifth Avenue combined were double those of last year.

All 10 NBA teams in action Christmas Day will wear the Big Color unis, which feature a monochromatic color scheme with solid color team logos, name and numbers. The new duds are part of Adidas’ Winter Court collection. The NBA’s official outfitter is also selling Big Color shooting shirts and warm-up jackets for all NBA teams.

The holiday sales boost is being partly driven by what I think is one of the sports world’s coolest ad campaigns in years.  A Big Color video starring the Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and the Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Johnson dribbling to the tune of a Christmas jingle has drawn over five million views on YouTube.

They’re well deserved. The players kill it in this video. Check it out:

Here’s the NBA’s TV schedule of Christmas Day on ESPN and ABC:

12 p.m. Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets ESPN, ESPN
3 p.m. New York Knicks at L.A. Lakers, ABC
5:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat,ABC
8 p.m. Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls, ESPN
10:30 p.m. Denver Nuggets at L.A. Clippers, ESPN


Fireman Ed leading cheers at Jets game. Photo Credit: Al Bello, Getty ImagesEx-New York City firefighter Ed Anzalone is retiring his ‘Fireman Ed’ persona due, he says, because of confrontations with fans in the stands, bathrooms and parking lots of MetLife Stadium, according to the New York Daily News.

The 4-7 Jets are sinking quickly this season. Fireman Ed, known for leading “J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS” chants while wearing a green and white fire helmet, wrote in the free Metro paper that he’s had to leave several games early (including the Jets’ nationally televised 49-19 blowout loss to the New England Patriots Thanksgiving night) due to to heckling from other fans.

The fact that Fireman Ed wears a Mark Sanchez jersey this year, while fan favorite Tim Tebow stews on the bench, hasn’t helped his popularity. He says he’ll still attend games — but without the Fireman Ed persona.

So why would an unpaid, unofficial team mascot even pen a resignation letter? We’ll let Fireman Ed explain via the Metro:

I decided to leave Thursday because the confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common, even though most Jets fans are fantastic.

This is an indication of how society has lost and is continuing to lose respect for one another. The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy as well. The fact that I chose to wear a Mark Sanchez jersey this year and that fans think I am on the payroll — which is an outright lie — have made these confrontations more frequent. Whether it’s in the stands, the bathroom or the parking lot, these confrontations are happening on a consistent basis.

Although I can “hold my own,” I do not want to lose my temper and make a stupid mistake. I have a responsibility to the families and kids that enjoy the game and Fireman Ed.

I agree with him that it’s sad when fans of a bad team turn on each other. But that’s life. Here’s the bottom line. The novelty of these self-appointed cheerleaders eventually wears off.

I’ve been to Jets games — and Fireman Ed was not popular in person. After a while, other fans get resentful of one fan being shown over and over on the Jumbotron — and hogging all the love from TV cameras.

I’ve seen it with “Dancing Larry” at Madison Square Garden during New York Rangers games. I saw it as a kid with my Dad up in the Blue Seats with “The Chief,” a Rangers fan who wore an Indian headdress and ran around trying to lead chants.

That guy in the funny hat who seems eccentric and lovable becomes a natural target when fans want to vent their anger. So Anzalone’s making a smart move putting his helmet away — before he gets punched out in the parking lot.

Whenever I see one of these self-appointed super-fans at a game, I always say to myself: I’m glad I’m not sitting behind that guy. Could you imagine? The guy’s on his feet all game blocking your view and driving you batty with his screaming.

Meanwhile, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports says it’s the kind of three-ring circus only Rex Ryan’s Jets could create:

The defection of Fireman Ed is the latest in the Jets’ bizarre, circus-like season which has included as many soap opera turns as ugly defeats. The fact that a fan would need to write a column explaining his rationale for quitting what is an unpaid, unofficial “job” is comical yet predictable.

The Jets are a disappointing 4-7 on the season and the offseason signing of Tebow has made little impact on the field while leaving the team dealing with repeated sideshows and unnecessary dramas – from teammates anonymously ripping him to an apparent fan division so deep that even Fireman Ed is wary of having to fight someone in the stands.





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