SBD/8/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

GATORADE RUNS SIDELINE ROUT, RENEWS NFL PACT FOR $125-130M

          Quaker Oats' Gatorade has renewed its sponsorship
     agreement with the NFL and its clubs through 2004.  The deal
     provides Gatorade with national and local marketing
     exclusivity for the league and clubs in the sports drink
     category, in addition to beverage exclusivity on NFL
     sidelines (NFL).  In N.Y., Stefan Fatsis reports that
     Gatorade, whose cups, coolers and towels are "a fixture" in
     TV shots on NFL sidelines, will pay the league more than
     $125M over six years, "three times" the annual amount the
     company currently spends on the NFL.  Gatorade VP/Sports
     Marketing Bill Schmidt, on the sideline exposure: "That's
     where we get our visibility."  Fatsis adds that the deal
     "could irk the NFL's TV partners," who are "having a tough
     time persuading advertisers to fork over big rate increases"
     to pay for the combined $18B in broadcast deals.  Gatorade
     counts on its sideline exposure and doesn't buy a great deal
     of ad time (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/8).  BRANDWEEK's Terry
     Lefton, who puts the deal at $130M, reports that Gatorade's
     "ramped up commitment" supports NFL execs' contention that
     its recent "lowball" $5M per-year deal with Coca-Cola "was
     constrained more by category dynamics than any fading of the
     NFL's luster."  Lefton adds that Gatorade will continue to
     "underwrite" some of the league's youth marketing
     initiatives, and will gain entitlement to the Punt, Pass &
     Kick program (BRANDWEEK, 6/7).  In Chicago, George Lazarus
     reports that Gatorade's sports marketing group's "close ties
     with the NFL were key" to renewing the deal.  One observer
     said that sideline placement is "where you want to be if
     you're an advertiser or marketer" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/8).

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Related Topics:

Coca-Cola, NFL

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