SBD/25/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              With the NFL "struggling to net an increase in a soft-
         drink category that has been its cash cow, NFL owners ...
         may finally be ready to address the question of whether" the
         league "should fundamentally change the way it sells
         corporate sponsorships," according to Terry Lefton of
         BRANDWEEK.  Recent "industry buzz" has incumbent Coca-Cola
         offering $18M and Pepsi $14-15M, "but with little
         enthusiasm," for the category.  And while NFLP Senior Dir of
         Corporate Sponsorships Steve Phelps said that fast-food
         negotiations have been "put aside" pending a soda deal,
         "insiders say Taco Bell balked" at the $10M price tag the
         league was "hoping to get from incumbent McDonald's." 
         Without being specific, Phelps said that those numbers have
         changed and added, "we will land a soft-drink deal within a
         month, and we will get an increase if we grant certain
         rights."  Strike Ten VP/Marketing John Sohigian on the NFL's
         negotiations: "Rights fees are going down as far as pure
         cash, so to get an increase, the value has to go up
         significantly."  MLS Exec VP Randy Bernstein: "Sponsors
         don't care so much about logo exposure, it is their caseload
         and are you moving that?" (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 3/23).
              HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? Lefton adds that the "larger
         issue" is whether the NFL should expect rights fee increases
         "when sponsors may see as much as a 30% increase in the cost
         of advertising on NFL games."  Sprint VP/Advertising &
         Sponsorships Tim Kelly, on the $24M annual rights the
         company pays: "I'm pretty confident in telling you we won't
         be able to buy much more."  The NFL has 17 categories up for
         renewal, and Phelps said, "We are going to have a record
         year as far as renewal percentage as well as renewal dollars
         and activation."  Lefton adds that the value of the TV and
         Sprint deals "may have also convinced ownership that there
         is similar revenue potential in corporate sponsorship." 
         IMG's Gary Jacobus, a former NFLP Sales Exec, said, "Some
         owners think they should be getting that (amount) in every
         big category.  It just can't be done" (BRANDWEEK, 3/23). 

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, IMG, McDonalds, MLS, NFL, PepsiCo, Sprint

              SPONSOR SEARCH: The Detroit Free Press Int'l Marathon
         Presented by M-CARE is searching for a title sponsor.  The
         October 16-18 event is managed and operated by IMG (IMG).
              NOTES: In AZ, D'Backs Manager Buck Showalter is
         starring in TV ads for Bank One.  A future ad will include
         one that is tied to Bank One Ballpark's 8,000 tons of air
         conditioning.  It will feature Showalter and D'Backs
         pitching coach Mark Connor wearing parkas (ARIZONA REPUBLIC,
         3/25)....NY-based ANC Sports Enterprises has signed multi-
         year agreements with the Braves, Dodgers, Devil Rays and
         Padres to serve as the exclusive supplier of rotating
         signage at their ballparks.  ANC Sports now serves six MLB
         teams, and will work with the Dodgers in selling inventory
         for the signage (ANC Sports)....The MLBPA has licensed WA-
         based Pacific Trading Cards to create and distribute MLB
         player trading cards.  The first product released under the
         new license will ship to retailers in May (MLBPA)....MA-
         based Woolf Associates has been retained by Boston College
         QB Matt Hasselbeck for representation (Woolf Associates).
              SOUTHERN MEN: The Southern League of Professional
         Baseball Clubs announced a new marketing partnership with
         FL-based AirTran Airlines that includes several advertising
         components, an AirTran home run/triple promo and presenting
         sponsorships.  In addition, Southern Ford Dealers have been
         named title sponsor for the '98 Southern League All-Star
         Game June 22 in Mobile, AL (Southern League).  

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, IMG, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays

              Fishing is a $108B-a-year industry "that marketers are
         turning into one of the hottest marketplaces" in the U.S.,
         according to USA TODAY's J. Taylor Buckley in a "Money"
         section cover story.  Mass marketers from GM to General
         Mills are now "solidly hooked," and companies from Northwest
         Airlines to Land O' Lakes "are writing checks of $250,000
         and more just to be identified" as fishing event sponsors. 
         The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 35.2
         million recreational anglers spent $37.8B directly on
         fishing trips and gear in '96.  Making those numbers "light
         up even brighter are the sport's demographics."  Close to 11
         million of the 35.2 anglers are ages 15 and younger, and
         about three quarters of them male, "an especially attractive
         group for marketers."  Buckley calls General Mills' decision
         to put a pro fishing champ on a national Wheaties box "a
         breakthrough" that sends "a powerful message to mass
         marketers."  General Mills joins a list of "nontraditional"
         sponsors that includes Coca-Cola, Fuji film and Citgo. 
         Citgo even "shelved its usual regional promotion" tied to a
         PGA Tour event in Hartford, CT, this year in favor of one
         built around the Wal-Mart FLW bass tournament slated for
         June.  Teamed with other tournament sponsors, Citgo will be
         giving away a truck, soft drinks and merchandise coupons
         redeemable at Wal-Mart (J. Taylor Buckley, USA TODAY, 3/25).

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, PGA Tour, Wal Mart, Wheaties
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