J.R. Smith ups the brand ante and is slam dunked by the NBA


Raising the Branding Stakes.

NBA superstar J.R. Smith has posted training pics on his Instagram account showing off his new Supreme calf tat. Smith is an ambassadors of a Supreme collaboration with Nike and the NBA.

This latest brand statement reflects an escalation of tension between the NBA (and other sporting organisations), brands and the sportspeople who get paid to promote them (the sport loving public is lost somewhere in-between). Last season Smith was one of the first players to wear a branded ‘shooting sleeve’. He was instructed by the NBA mid-game to remove the sleeve – we assume due to it contravening league sponsorship agreements.

Smith’s latest branded tattoo has raised the stakes again, but has immediately been met by the NBA issuing an edict that Smith will be fined unless the tattoo is covered during games.

Like it or not, we’re living in the age of celebrity. Never before has the social popularity of a high profile personality (be it J.R. Smith or Kim Kardashian) been so commercially influential, and so worth so much in sponsorship. With such big bucks at stake, we wonder; where does this go from here?



Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pics: J.R. Smith Instagram & Jack Morrissey Instagram

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