Tricon Global Restaurants, the food-service coglomerate that owns KFC
(formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken) hopes to succeed where Fred Smith and FedEx
failed. The group hopes to attract a NBA franchise (most likely the Charlotte
Hornets) to its home base in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tricon also wants to rename the team the Louisville Colonels after KFC's
iconic white-suited trademark, Colonel Sanders. Though other sports, most
notably NASCAR, are more lenient when it comes to the visibility of corporate
sponsorship, the NBA set a strong precedent by not allowing FedEx to rename
the Grizzlies the Memphis Express when they relocated to the Bluff City
earlier this year.
On the other hand, the fact that Louisville once hosted an ABA team named the
Kentucky Colonels may help Tricon score a branding coup.
According to AP sources, Rick Burton, director of the sports marketing center
at the University of Oregon, was quoted as saying, "The international long-
term exposure resulting from an NBA team called the Colonels that plays in an
arena dubbed the KFC Bucket would likely lead to increased sales for KFC."
And it might. That is, if sports announcers can actually say "Live from the
KFC Bucket" without laughing out loud.