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  • COCA-COLA RENEWS NFL PACT: $4M ANNUALLY AND LOCAL "AUTONOMY"

              Coca-Cola has renewed its pact as the official soft
         drink of the NFL through the 2001 season.  The company will
         execute a national promotion during each NFL season geared
         toward specific fan development efforts and Coke will also
         be the official soft drink of the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. 
         Coca-Cola receives the right to use all league marks,
         including the NFL shield, and the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl
         logo, in advertising and promo activities.  It has also been
         granted the collective use of the 31 team trademarks, and
         Coca-Cola will co-sponsor the NFL Experience (NFL).  
              STANDOFF: In N.Y., Stefan Fatsis writes that in
         negotiations that "were acrimonious from the start," the NFL
         "blinked," signing with Coca-Cola for "slightly more" than
         $4M per year, a "fraction" of the $15M a year under its
         previous contract and "nowhere near" the $36M per year the
         league sought in January.  As part of the deal, Coca-Cola
         has relinquished its local marketing rights, freeing each
         team to negotiate its own local soft drink sponsor.  NFL
         execs estimate that an average local deal of $750,000 a year
         would more than make up for the lost income on the new deal. 
         The local autonomy is "just what Coke wanted," as it can now
         focus spending "on fewer properties in key markets."  Fatsis
         adds that there "are no guarantees clubs will get rich
         sponsorships," as smaller markets will likely be at a
         disadvantage to larger ones (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/22).   
              WHAT IT MEANS: Fatsis reports that the new agreement
         "contains a larger message" to the sports-sponsorship
         industry: In an era of "sponsor overload," the value of
         being an official sponsor "may be eroding."  After rejecting
         asking prices as low as $15M, Coca-Cola last month argued
         for paying no rights fee at all but using its "marketing
         muscle to sell the NFL worldwide, as it currently does" with
         the NBA.  But the NFL "countered that the league, awash in
         TV revenue ... didn't need Coke's marketing muscle," as NFL
         owners and players set aside $100M for grassroots marketing.
         Coke "was ready to walk away from the NFL as recently as
         Monday, but the league responded with a new, lower-fee
         offer."  Meanwhile, NFL execs said that they were prepared
         to "walk away from Coke if it couldn't structure a favorable
         marketing deal."  NFLP President Sara Levinson: "Would we do
         a deal just to have one in the soft-drink category?  I don't
         think so" (Stefan Fatsis, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/22). 
              
    

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, NBA, NFL
  • HALFTIME BREAK: ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES TO NEW VACATION SPOT

              FL-based Royal Caribbean Cruises will not return as
         sponsor of the Super Bowl XXXIII halftime show at Pro Player
         Stadium January 31, 1999, according to Tom Stieghorst of the
         Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL.  Royal Caribbean, which spent
         $5M to host the halftime event last year, said it "would
         rather spend the money elsewhere."  Royal Caribbean Int'l
         President Jack Williams said the money was "well spent," but
         not two years in a row: "We spent a pretty good percentage
         of our marketing budget on it.  This year we're going to do
         some different things."  Stieghorst reports that Royal
         Caribbean spent $62.5M on advertising in '97, and the Super
         Bowl show "ate up 8 percent" (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/22). 
         BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton also notes that Royal Caribbean
         dropped its sponsorship but says with the Super Bowl in the
         cruise line's "home port" of Miami, "look for some locally
         based marketing activity" (BRANDWEEK, 5/18 issue). 
    
    

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  • IRL ADDS PEP TO ROSTER, GOING THE (LONG) DISTANCE WITH MCI

              MCI was named the official long distance and local
         service provider of the Pep Boys IRL and IMS.  As part the
         deal, MCI and Pep Boys will offer a race fan and an IRL
         driver the chance to split $1M.  The MCI Pep Boys Million
         Dollar Driver sweepstakes begins June 15.  To enter, fans
         must successfully pick the IRL driver who wins three of the
         IRL's TNN-televised races -- Charlotte, Atlanta and Las
         Vegas.  The fan who picks the driver will be entered for a
         chance to share $1M with that driver.  Fans who chose the
         winning driver of two the races will have the opportunity to
         split $100,000 with the winning driver (Pep Boys).
              RACING NOTES: TNN, Texas Motor Speedway and True Value
         have committed to an Indy 500 sponsorship deal with the
         IRL's Greg Ray's Thomas Knapp Motorsports team (DALLAS
         MORNING NEWS, 5/22).  Also at Indy, FL-based TransWorld
         Diversified Services will sponsor the McCormack Motorsports'
         G Force Oldsmobile Aurora driven by Raul Boesel this
         weekend.  The car showcases TransWorld's logo on the top
         rear wing, the two front wings and the side engine covers
         (TransWorld). ...ProLink golf measuring system wil sponsor
         Team Scandia driver Billy Roe at the Indy 500.  ProLink's
         logo will appear on both sides of Roe's racecar (ProLink).
    
    

    Print | Tags: General Motors, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, Speedway Motorsports Inc., TNN
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              PITCHER PERFECT: David Wells could earn $350,000 in
         endorsements following his perfect game.  In Boston, Nick
         Cafardo reports that one company "hot for his services" is
         South Paws, which sells a line of T-shirts and jeans.  Two
         memorabilia companies have offered "upwards" of $175,000 for
         a collection of "perfect game" balls signed by Wells (BOSTON
         GLOBE, 5/22)....Kerry Wood jerseys went on sale in the Cubs
         gift shop this week for $129 (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/22).
              NOTES: Sabres G Dominik Hasek has "deals in works" for
         an arcade game, memorabilia and "Dominator" clothing to be
         sold in the Czech Republic (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/22).
         ...In CA, John Reger wrote that Liquidmetal clubs "could be
         one of the most important innovations in golf since the
         introduction of titanium."  With a set of irons costing as
         much as $2,700, Liqiudmetal CEO James Kang said, "We're
         trying to reach the purist.  We want the guy who wants the
         Ferrari or the Rolls Royce" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 5/21).
         ...In L.A., Greg Johnson examined Magic Johnson's business
         dealing, and wrote that if his upcoming TV show and
         businesses are successful, he may eventually join a "select
         group" of former athletes, including Roger Staubach and
         Roger Penske, "known as much for their business coups as
         their sporting achievements" (L.A. TIMES, 5/21).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Cubs, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports
  • NO KITTING AROUND: UMBRO SECURES $80M DEAL WITH ENGLAND FA

              England's Football Association yesterday agreed to the
         country's largest kit deal ever, a five-year deal with Umbro
         worth $80M, according to the AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE.  The FA
         decided to stick with British-based Umbro despite "big-money
         bids" from Nike and Puma.  The design of future English kits
         will change on a "strict" two-year cycle.  As part of the
         deal, the FA will make a $20M investment in youth football,
         including "cash for redevelopment of Wembley as England's
         new National Stadium as well as money for a sports science
         unit and support for Centres of Excellence and Football
         Academies" (AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, 5/21).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Nike, Puma
  • WELL-KNOWN DC LOBBYIST TOM BOGGS JOINS SPORTS VENTURE

              TX-based sports management group Capital Sports
         Ventures and Washington, DC-based law firm Patton Boggs have
         joined to provide sports representation and sports property
         development.  Capital Sports Ventures is led by William
         Stapleton, who represents cyclist Lance Armstrong, pro
         golfers Larry Rinker and Jenny Lee and beach-volleyball
         player Lisa Arce.  Patton Boggs is led by partner Herbert
         Hecht, who has represented sports figures and worked on
         various sports-related initiatives, and lawyer/lobbyist
         Thomas Boggs, Jr.  Other Patton Boggs firm members include
         former NBA player Len Elmore, former pro baseball player
         Michael Hoog and MLBPA advisor John Fithian.  The groups
         will remain in Austin, TX, and Washington, DC (CSV).
    
    

    Print | Tags: NBA
  • WOMEN'S APPARELMAKERS ENTERTAINING IDEAS OF EXPANDING BRANDS

              Five women's activewear makers "are working with the
         entertainment industry in an effort to put their products in
         the youth market," according to Rosemary Feitelberg of
         WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY.  Puma, Groove, adidas, Crunch and
         Rollerblade are "trying approaches" which include sponsoring
         concert tours, hosting a hair-cutting contest and courting
         costume designers.  As part of its plan to launch a women's
         apparel line in the U.S. next year, Puma is "working
         closely" with Arnon Milchan's Regency Enterprises.  Milchan
         founded Regency and is Puma's principal stockholder.  The
         company recently acquired worldwide TV rights to the Corel
         WTA Tour.  In addition, Regency "is considering" using Puma
         endorser Serena Williams for video, TV and film appearances,
         and in the recent Regency film "City of Angels," actress Meg
         Ryan sported Pumas (WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY, 5/21).  
              OTHER COMPANIES: Groove, a subdivision of CA-based
         Groove Track Productions, "is suiting up" Boyz II Men for
         their tour this summer, which will feature a stage and light
         show with images of the Groove logo.  adidas sponsored a
         hair-cutting contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater which had
         more than 500 participants, and finalists in the contest
         received $500 worth of adidas merchandise.  Rollerblade is
         planning to offer demos and giveaways during this summer's X
         Games in San Diego, where fans can test Rollerblade
         equipment.  The company plans to spend "more than" $100,000
         for its presence at the event (WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY, 5/21).
    
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Puma, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals
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