Imagine watching last night's Western Conference playoff game between the Lakers and the Suns, getting up to make something to eat and being able to have your toaster brand the Suns logo onto that slice of toast. Not only would your hunger have been abated, but perhaps your frustration at the Suns bench would have been too. The NBA, in its infinite wisdom, has recently signed licensing deals with a handful companies to brand various NBA team logos onto toast, pizzas, even outdoor grills. Reportedly, a team logo panini press is also in the works.
"A lot of people watching NBA games on TV tend to eat," says Sal LaRocca, head of global merchandising for the NBA. And if your rabid Lakers fans are going to order pizza, why not order them emblazoned with purple and gold?
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"Most Americans don't make it to an NBA game," says Rick Ellison, the licensee who makes Pizza Fest Edible Image toppings, which will be available next season for all 30 teams, are made of sugar, starch and food coloring, and will add about $5 to the pizza price. "This is how they create the experience for themselves." If you don't want to eat your logo, you can grill your food on an outdoor grill painted Celtics green, or go the toaster route, our personal favorite. Of course you'll probably have to have a whole cabinet full of different toasters, depending on who your favorite team meets in which round, but hey, that's the price of being a fan.