By Barry Janoff
September 27, 2016: During his Hall of Fame career in the NBA, Julius "Dr. J" Erving played alongside the likes of Darryl Dawkins, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Doug Collins and World B. Free.
Now, Erving has joined a roster that includes Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson.
Erving, 66, today signed what was called a “strategic partnership” with Authentic Brands Group, which will “own and manage the intellectual property” of Erving in marketing, licensing and other deals worldwide.
Financial terms of the pact were not shared.
New York-based ABG said it would "collaborate with Erving on the development and global expansion of the Dr. J brand, pursuing strategic collaborations and long-term partnerships that will provide a platform to reach new markets and ignite the legacy of Dr. J."
"Dr. J was the first basketball player to be connected with global consumer brands," Nick Woodhouse, president and CMO for ABG. "His most notable endorsements span Coca-Cola to Colgate to Converse. We are excited to pick up that mantle and continue his legacy in consumer brands as well as foraying into luxury, travel and corporate sponsorships."
In addition to the representing the rights for O’Neal and the estates of Monroe, Presley and Jackson, ABG oversees such brands as TapouT (MMA), Prince (tennis), Viking (tennis), Spyder (outdoor apparel and gear), Ektelon (racquetball), Juicy Couture, Aeropostale and Frederick’s of Hollywood, which last week signed actress Megan Fox as an investor, design collaborator and global spokesperson.
“I am thrilled to join the ABG team to preserve my legacy and grow my brand,” Erving said in the ABG offices. “I consider it a personal mission to use my influence to make a difference in people’s lives and look forward to working with the team to find new and innovative ways to reach my fans and engage with new audiences.”
According to Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO for ABG, “We are honored to welcome such a distinguished and esteemed figure in basketball to the ABG family. Dr. J is a living legend whose legacy goes well beyond the game and we see a real opportunity to build this brand for multiple generations.”
Erving, who played his entire NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers (1976-87) following several years in the former ABA, scored more than 30,000 points and had more than 10,500 rebounds and nearly 5,200 assists during his pro career. He won the NBA championship with the Sixers in 1982-83 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 1996, he was named as a member of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All-Time.
PHOTOS: COURTESY ABG
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