Sports So far, our local pro teams haven’t succumbed to Olympic Fever when it comes to official-izing products. The Cowboys shun “official” thises and mats, opting for subtle phrases like “the thirst quencher used by” etc. The Rangers and Mavericks have only a few official brands. There’s no official breath mint, official jock strap, or official video store.
But a list of “officials” from this past season does include such marginally sports-related items as official hot dogs (Rangers: Decker), car (Mavericks: Jeep & Eagle), and water (Rangers: Ozarka; Mavericks: Sparkletts).
Sponsors become official through buying a certain amount of advertising from the club; in turn, the team agrees not to sell advertising to competing companies. Other considerations-such as team spokesmen for the product and exclusive use by the team itself-vary from deal to deal. For instance, Gatorade, the Mavs’ “official” thirst quencher, is the only such drink used on the team bench.
As for the players, they’re free to make their own deals. Any Maverick can agree to quaff gallons of USA Wet-as long as he’s not wearing a Mavs uniform. And don’t forget athletic shoes (a real mint for players) and other gear. The leagues also have their own contracts that supersede any arrangements by the clubs. Rawl-ings, for example, provides all baseball uniforms for the pros, and the teams must wear them.
So, the next time you fly Delta, make sure to limber up that pitching arm. You’re on the “official” airline of the Texas Rangers.