Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Gatorade will debut a remake of the '91 "Be Like Mike" spot during TNT's coverage of Saturday's All-Star events. The new ad, created by FCB, Chicago, stars Michael Jordan, and features appearances by Sheryl Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, Mia Hamm, Chris Berman, Ahmad Rashad, Ernie Banks, Bugs Bunny, Marvin the Martian and Larry Bird. The music for the spot comes from R&B group Take Six and Blues Traveler's John Popper. All of the guest stars sing the "Be Like Mike" song, with the exception of Bird, who refuses (Gatorade). ALL-STAR CAST: In Chicago, George Lazarus: "With such an array [of people in the spot], is Jordan's value to Gatorade being diluted? Gosh, this commercial sounds like a lift from Barnum & Bailey." Lazarus also puts the price of the ad at "upward of $750,000 and perhaps as much as" $1M (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/5). The spot will run through the summer. Gatorade VP/Marketing Sue Wellington, on bringing back the campaign: "People have been asking about it since 1992. It really became a part of the pop culture" (AP/CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/4). On "Access Hollywood," Pat O'Brien called the campaign Gatorade's "most popular commercial ever." O'Brien: "Jordan is proving that classics never go out of style" ("Access Hollywood," 2/4). HAD HIS PHIL? In Chicago, Lazarus also reports that Gatorade approached Phil Jackson about singing in the new spot, but Jackson "turned them down, just as he recently did Nike," which sought him for a spot (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/6).
adidas debuted new TV spots featuring Kobe Bryant and Antoine Walker this week. Bryant's spot, titled "Thank You," has him thanking fans for voting him to the All-Star Game. In his spot, "The Agent," Walker's voice is heard on his answering machine saying he is at practice, while his agent leaves multiple messages. The spots will run regionally in N.Y., L.A. and Boston, and nationally on select NBA telecasts (adidas)...In L.A., Mark Heisler profiles the Lakers' Bryant under the header, "The Kid's Got It!" Heisler: "Youth sells these days, and who's younger or more salable than Bryant?" (L.A. TIMES, 2/6)....The Hornets' Glen Rice will appear at Macy's Nautica Competition Shop Saturday at 2:00pm ET. Macy's ran a full-page ad touting the appearance (N.Y. TIMES, 2/5)....Cynthia Cooper of the WNBA's Comets has signed with NJ-based ISI for marketing representation, and will retain deals with GM, Nike and Houston's Methodist Hospital (ISI).
A day after Reebok announced a 10% staff cut, Nike is "re-evaluating its spending as well," according to Jeff Manning of the OREGONIAN. Nike "instituted a hiring freeze in late January and is analyzing all department budgets in an effort to cut costs" (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/6). REEBOK'S PLAN: In Boston, Chris Reidy examines Reebok's restructuring. Reebok Dir of PR Dave Fogelson said that it could be the end of March before the company "details exactly where and when its announced cuts will occur" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/6). On "The Edge," CNBC's Sue Herera reported that Reebok's "restructuring plan will affect every arm of the company except sales" ("The Edge," CNBC, 2/5).
Schick will use Spurs rookie Tim Duncan "as its standard-bearer" during All-Star Weekend, and "will open a new front in its battle with Gillette" by introducing a new razor called "The Protector," according to Jane Levere of the N.Y. TIMES. Schick, a division of CT-based Warner- Lambert, will begin its "largest advertising program ever" during the NBA All-Star Weekend, including a 30-second spot featuring Duncan airing on TNT during Saturday night's Rookie Game. NBA officials said that this "was the first time" a sponsor had introduced a product during the Rookie Game. Schick said it decided to introduce its new razor during All-Star Weekend because the NBA's demos "enable" them to "reach men 18 to 34." Duncan's spot will air "approximately 75 times" through February 15 on TNT, NBC, ESPN, TBS and MTV. The campaign will involve additional TV, print and online advertising (N.Y. TIMES, 2/5). SHOOT OUT: Duncan and Nets rookie Keith Van Horn will go head-to-head in the Schick "Protector Face-to-Face Celebrity Challenge" at the NBA Jam Session. Spike Lee will coach Van Horn and Antonio Sabato, Jr. will instruct Duncan. The winner of the shootout will shave the face of the losing celebrity coach, and Schick will donate $10,000 to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (Schick).
THE DAILY lists the shoes worn by the NBA's All-Stars:ALL-STAR EASTALL-STAR WEST
Anfernee Hardaway Nike Vin Baker Nike Tim Hardaway Nike Tim Duncan Nike Michael Jordan Nike Kevin Garnet Nike Reggie Miller Nike Eddie Jones Nike Dikembe Mutombo Nike Jason Kidd Nike Rik Smits Nike Gary Payton Nike Shawn Kemp Reebok Mitch Richmond Nike Steve Smith Reebok David Robinson Nike Grant Hill Fila Shaquille O'Neal Reebok Jayson Williams Fila Nick Van Exel Reebok Antoine Walker adidas Kobe Bryant adidas Glen Rice Nautica Karl Malone Apex
NBA SHOE DIARIES: THE DAILY recorded the shoes worn by NBA players as of team rosters from December 1, '97. Nike provides sneakers for 262 players, or 65% of the league, followed by Reebok with 19% of the league's players; Converse 4%; adidas 3%; Fila 3%; And 1 2%; Apex 1%; Karl Kani 1%; Asics 1%; Nautica 1%; and Spalding 1%.
"Welcome to David Stern's $10 million four-day NBA corporate schmooze fest ... Better known as the All-Star Game weekend," wrote Richard Wilner of the N.Y. POST. Wilner: "Against a backdrop of showcasing basketball's best talent, Stern's marketing juggernaut will begin today to use New York City as its own corporate park as the NBA wines, dines and entertains more than 4,000 corporate executives from two dozen companies." Wilner wrote that the NBA Jam Session at the Javits Center will attract more than 100,000 fans paying between $8-$15 to enter. The event is backed by sponsors, including Fleer, Nestle, Nike, IBM and AT&T. Foot Locker is also setting up a 13,000-square-foot out-post, for 30 hours of business at the Jam Session where it will sell NBA/NBC merchandise, Starter hats and Spalding basketballs (N.Y. POST, 2/5). Estimates have All-Star Weekend providing a $52M economic boost to New York City (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/6). CNBC's Barbara Monaco examined corporate involvement during the Weekend and noted Sony, which has presence at the Jam Session. Sony Business Planning Manager Thom Casadonte said the benefits of being at Jam Session with over 150,000 attendees gives the company a unique chance "to demonstrate our product." Casadonte: "It gives you a whole new arena to be in." CNBC's Monaco: "The NBA says it may not make money this weekend, but the business relationships and partnerships it's established with businesses will pay off throughout the year" ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 2/5). JAMMED-PACKED: Tickets for the Saturday morning session of the Jam Session are sold out. Tickets remain only for Friday, Saturday afternoon and Sunday sessions (NBA). NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani yesterday "rattled home a shot to kick off" the NBA Jam Session, "which guaranteed him a $100,000 donation for New York City schools" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/6). GRANTING EXPOSURE: Grant Hill appeared on the NBC's "Today" show this morning touting Sprite's promo of a free throw shooting contest in which spectators were given the chance to win All-Star tickets. Hill held a bottle of Sprite as he greeted the winners (NBC, 2/6). Saul Holcman, who will attempt the Sony Million Dollar Shot on Saturday Night, was interviewed on "GMA" this morning. He appeared with Muggsy Bogues from the Reebok Sports Club (ABC, 2/6).