Cross-trained marketing

Allen Iverson is one of those divisive celebrities-of-the-moment who can make chitchat meaningful; a simple mention of this NBA star tends to initiate a lively debate over age, race and music. The recent controversy about the misogynistic, homophobic and violent lyrics on Iverson’s forthcoming rap album is a recent example. Iverson’s insistence on keeping it real, with his “threatening” ghetto image (complete with cornrows, tattoos and platinum jewelry, not to mention anti-authoritarian leanings) tends to rile up old people. Therefore, Iverson is highly marketable to young people! Look no further than the Reebok Iverson line of athletic apparel for proof; for only $27.99 (at www.eastbay.com) you can have an Iverson jersey or a long-sleeved T-shirt featuring images of Iverson’s bulldog and “Only the Strong Survive” tattoos. Included on the sleeve is “jewelz,” the name of Iverson’s rap alter ego — which he stole from Samuel Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction.

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