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  • BUSINESS WEEK EXAMINES IF VENUS' ENDORSEMENT STAR WILL SHINE

              The "appeal" of Venus Williams is profiled by Brad
         Wolverton in BUSINESS WEEK.  At the U.S. Open, some
         "declared Williams the Tiger Woods of tennis, other players
         on the tour took potshots at her, and her father complained
         about racism in the sport.  In the aftermath of all that
         unpleasantness, the unavoidable question is: Has Venus
         damaged her potential as a star spokesperson?"  Wolverton:
         "Hip youth brands might embrace Venus as a feisty young
         woman taking some of the starch out of the largely white
         world of tennis."  Daisy Sinclair of Ogilvy & Mather: "She's
         definitely sellable."  Other than her five-year, $3M deal
         with Reebok for shoes and apparel, Venus "has no endorsement
         deals."  Wolverton: "She is one of the few pro players
         without a racket contract.  Her agent, Seattle lawyer Keven
         Davis, who also represents Tonya Harding, won't disclose the
         names of corporations interested in Williams.  But he says
         25 companies called the day after Venus lost at the Open. 
         Now, if they'll just call back" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/29 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Reebok
  • FILA TO DRESS UP NBA COMMERCIALS; ADIDAS CLOSE TO NFL DEAL?

              Fila USA "has inked a deal that would allow it to use
         NBA uniforms in TV ads for the first time," while adidas "is
         close to signing a deal that would get its shoes on NFL
         fields and apparel on NFL sidelines," according to Terry
         Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  Industry sources told Lefton that
         adidas will "ink a top level NFL Pro Line pact ... possibly
         as soon as next year."  While sources said that adidas could
         possibly land the Bucs and the Raiders, NFLP VP/Worldwide
         Licensing Jim Connelly, through a league rep, denied the
         report.  In regards to Fila, Lefton reports that sources
         said the company "will not initially receive apparel rights,
         but the rights to use NBA uniforms in ads with its marquee
         endorsers."  Lefton: "Thus, the first TV work from agency
         The Arnell Group, N.Y., for the Grant Hill IV shoes, will
         include" Hill in his Pistons uniform.  Lefton: "Fila is also
         expected to get WNBA rights, which it will leverage into its
         new deal with Nikki McCray" (BRANDWEEK, 9/22 issue). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Pistons, Fila USA, NBA, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Nationals, WNBA
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              In USA TODAY's "Ad Track," the Nike Tiger Woods spot,
         "I am Lucky," scored "big" among 18-29-year-olds, as 46% of
         respondents liked it "a lot" (USA TODAY, 9/22)....Reebok has
         "commissioned" a 150-by-170-foot mural of ABL Blizzard
         players Kara Wolters and Carla Berube to be featured on a
         building in downtown Hartford (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/20). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Nike, Reebok
  • NFL CLEANING UP ITS ACT WITH TEAM BODY-CARE PRODUCTS

              In a licensing deal "linked to the burgeoning men's and
         children's body-care segment, the 30 NFL teams are about to
         come out with their own lines" of body-care products,
         according to USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz.  The body-care
         division of CA-based MGI, will begin selling the products at
         JCPenney stores "within weeks."  NFL Manager of Corporate
         Communications Brian McCarthy: "[Fans] like to make the NFL
         part of their lifestyle, even in the bathroom."  The NFL
         "wants its piece of the male toiletry market, whose sales
         exceeded" $3.5B in '96.  The league "is expected to collect
         about a 10% royalty on each product" (USA TODAY, 9/22).
    
    

    Print | Tags: NFL
  • WASHINGTON ERVING MOTORSPORTS INKS ANOTHER DOCTOR

              Dr Pepper Co. announced it will sponsor Washington
         Erving Motorsports' Ford race car on NASCAR's Busch Grand
         national circuit in '98, marking the first time the soft
         drink brand has sponsored a race car.  The maroon Dr Pepper-
         sponsored Ford Taurus will debut in February at Daytona
         Beach during Speedweeks, '98 (Dr Pepper).
              AROUND THE TRACK: The QVC network announced that it
         will not sponsor Geoff Bodine's car next year.  QVC said it
         planned to step up its involvement in NASCAR in other ways,
         but did not reveal its plans (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD,
         9/20)....Brett Bodine unveiled sponsorship from the Royal
         Purple Motor Oil Co. at Dover Downs Int'l Speedway Sunday. 
         Bodine "terminated" his sponsorship agreement with FL-based
         Catalyst Communications, Inc. on Friday after they "failed
         to meet its payment obligations."  The CA-based Royal Purple
         will provide Bodine with "full financial support" for the
         remainder of the '97 season (Indianapolis STAR-NEWS, 9/19).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Dr Pepper/7UP, NASCAR
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