Spalding, XFL Aim for Super Publicity

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Spalding is hoping for a Super Bowl bounce for its XFL ball.

The sporting goods company is paying for an airplane to pull a banner advertising its football for the new league near Raymond James Stadium during Sunday’s NFL title game.

“We want to build the awareness of our football with football fans,” Chris Waldeck, Spalding’s category manager for the sport, said Tuesday. “Our intention is to talk to football fans, and they’re a captive audience there, so it’s a good opportunity.”

The banner, which will be visible from inside the stadium, has the logos of Spalding and the XFL, a picture of the red-and-black ball, and the slogan “Toughest Football Ever.”

“We have no control over what companies have a banner above the Super Bowl. Secondly, we do not comment on the affairs of other business organizations,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

The XFL starts its first season Feb. 3.