Who knew that sports marketing could be so hard? Well, apparently it is.
Royal palm trees wrapped with Kumho tire ads in front of the American Airlines Arena in downtown Miami. (Photo by Walter Michot/Miami Herald)
Miami city officials are demanding the Miami Heat take the wraps off the trunks of 16 Royal palm trees in front of the city’s American Airlines Arena.
So far, the team has refused to do so, according to the Miami Herald.
The tree wraps tout Heat sponsor Kumho Tire USA, but are illegal by city code. Dade County owns the arena and the city ordinance governs outdoor signage. The team, though, manages the facility and approved the white trunk wraps, emblazoned with the phrase “Drive to the Championship” and Kumho logos, as part of its sponsorship deal with the tire company.
Problem was the team didn’t have the power to approve the wraps, and didn’t even apply for city or county permits.
According to the newspaper, the team has refused to take the wraps off, and Heat spokeswoman Lorrie-Ann Diaz said, “The team would remove the sponsorship message from the banners but leave them up ‘until the end of the playoff run’ while applying for a permit.”
In addition to the tree wrap controversy, some local citizens and government officials are questioning temporary digital signage draped on the arena that carries ads for Kumho and other team sponsors.