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Feb112010

Tattoo Me: Dwight Howard Inks (Clothing) Deal With Ed Hardy

February 11, 2010: Dwight Howard is unique among NBA players in that he has no tattoos. But that hasn't prevented the All-Star center for the Orlando Magic from signing a deal with Ed Hardy, the clothing line by Christian Audigier inspired by and under the auspices of legendary tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy.

Howard will appear in marketing that will include outdoor breaking in Dallas during NBA All-Star weekend and then rolling nationally, print and Internet. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Creative, overseen in-house, makes reference to Howard's tattoo-free body with text, "Ed Hardy. The only ink I wear." Ed Hardy said that Howard was at the corporate offices in Los Angeles in January "shooting the first of his ad campaigns" for the clothing company.

"I'm a fan of the designs, and I feel blessed to be provided this opportunity," Howard said in a statement. According to Ed Hardy, "Dwight embodies the Ed Hardy brand in its entirety; he's an original, dedicated to his sport, ambitious and self confident, everything that the Ed Hardy line stands for."

Howard has been on a roll this week, appearing in his first TV spot for McDonald's, along with LeBron James, that broke during Super Bowl XLIV on CBS; and was named to the USA Basketball Men's National Team for 2010-12, which will compete in the FIBA World Championship in Turkey Aug. 28-Sept. 12 and in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

"Superman" is quickly becoming the NBA's version of Peyton Manning, who often has numerous TV spots running at the same time. D-Howard's other marketing deals include adidas, T-Mobile, EA Sports, AirTran and Gatorade. He earns about $12-$15 million annually in endorsements, according to industry analysts. Howard is handled by Goodwin Sports Management, Seattle.

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