How big a phenomenon is logo creep? So big that it’s spawned its own semi-dirty joke (contributed by reader Brian Hauck):
A stud athlete is getting down and dirty with a female fan. Off comes his shirt, and there’s a swoosh tattooed on his arm. “Oh my gosh! What’s that?” asks the wide-eyed vixen.
“My swoosh? It’s an endorsement. Nike paid me $5000 to get that tattoo.”
Things get a little hotter, and off come the athlete’s pants, revealing a Reebok logo on his calf. “Wow! You endorse Reebok, too?”
“Yep, they paid me $10,000 for this tat.”
Finally, things are really getting hot and heavy between the two, and the fan pulls off the player’s underwear. She looks at his, uh, Lousiville Slugger and sees “AIDS” tattooed in black letters. With a look of horror, she exclaims, “Oh no! You have AIDS?”
“Naw, babe! Give it a sec, and it’ll spell ADIDAS!”
Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Try the brisket, it’s terrific.
In a related item, I reported last month on ESPN.com that Nike had brought logo creep to new depths by paying for swoosh placement in Marvel comic books. Now James Huening reports that last month’s issue of the X-Men featured the Nike 6.0 logo as bathroom graffiti. It’s not clear if this is part of the exposure Nike’s paying for or, as Huening suggests, if the toilet placement was surreptitiously done by the Marvel editorial team as a way of “letting us know what they think about this marketing strategy.”
That makes two straight days that the X-Men have been referenced in this blog. I want to make it really, really clear that they will not be mentioned tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in actual sports-related news:
• I’ve previously mentioned that Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy intended to change the team’s jerseys as soon as he got some paperwork issues straightened out, and now the new design has been leaked. The good news is that the new uni numbers are a big improvement; the bad news is that the jersey feature’s Nike’s loathsome wraparound bib template, which is spreading, avian flu-like, throughout college football. Toss in the orange color and, gee, does this new design remind you of anything?
• In last week’s ESPN column, I mentioned that the green piping on the Buffalo Bisons’ jersey was missing from C.C. Sabathia’s uni when he made a recent minor league rehab start. Okay, so mistakes happen in the minors. But the same thing happened last Sunday in Atlanta, where the white piping on the Braves’ red jerseys was missing from Chad Paronto’s jersey. Between this and the move away from vertically arched player-name lettering, the Braves’ quality control has gone straight to hell.
• And with the NHL conference finals about to begin, the secret behind the Hurricanes’ playoff run is obvious: Goalie Cam Ward has “Have Fun” written on his stick (look closely — it’s inside the last “O”).