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Will Ferrell's "Semi-Pro": Just One Little Mistake On Sports Gear

Thursday, 28 Feb 2008 | 11:53 AM ET

New Line Cinema has done almost everything right with its promotion of Will Ferrell’s “Semi-Pro,” the story of the fictional ABA player Jackie Moon that hits theatres tomorrow. So much so that Moon is more relevant in the sports business world today than LeBron James.

Ferrell has been everywhere promoting this thing--a media list obviously well refined by the fact that he’s done ridiculous movies in the sports genre before in “Talledega Nights” and “Blades of Glory.”

But Ferrell has also done groundbreaking work to get the movie top of mind. Posing in character in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and starring in character in commercials, Budweiser and Old Spice, before the movie even comes out. Go to Old Spice’s web siteand you’ll see that Ferrell is heading up the entire site.

On YouTube, there’s a contest to make a music video for Ferrell character’s hit song, “Love Me Sexy.” But my favorite touch? Watch this trailer.

Now call the number that flashed on the screen: 1-800-Tropics. To go the extra step and have Will Ferrell’s voice offering a package deal for the upcoming 1976 season is brilliant. In fact, it’s the best use of a number since Sportsbook.com got the number that flashed on screen during “Two For the Money” for nothing. Calls on that number went up 600 percent in the first three weeks after the movie.

If there’s one mistake New Line made it’s that they don’t have official gear available today. It’s probably the one thing Hollywood doesn’t have down yet. When movies like this come out, there’s demand right away for a top-notch product. People will buy Flint Tropics jerseys with Moon on the back of them for $100 today if it were offered on sites like NBA.com, or even better if the 1-800 Tropics number was a merchandise hotline.

Rasta Imposta Will Be Selling These "Semi-Pro" items
CNBC.com
Rasta Imposta Will Be Selling These "Semi-Pro" items

Whatever the case, it’s not out there and it’s why I had to go to www.flinttropicsshirts.com and get mine from a guy named Chris Rosinski, who realized the demand and just started making jersey shirts.

As far as I know, New Line did sell a “Semi-Pro” license to one company--Rasta Imposta. They’re the Halloween costume guysI wrote about for their “Blades of Glory” costumes.

The company did tremendously well selling both “Blades of Glory” and “Talledega Nights” costumes, so company founder Robert Berman said he purchased the costume license for this movie. Berman said he will be selling Tropics outfits for in between $40 and $50. He'll also sell the cape that Ferrell’s character wears when he sings “Love Me Sexy” for over $100. But those items won’t be out until July.

I’m begging New Line to come out with high-end Tropics stuff now. By the way, stay tuned tomorrow when I wear my Jackie Moon on the air. (I'll include some pictures here in this blog as well).

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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