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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In Columbus, Dan Crawford reports that PepsiCo's pouring rights deal to the Columbus Crew's new 22,500-seat stadium is a five-year deal worth "at least" $1-2M for the team, with the potential to reach the "mid-seven figures or higher" (BUSINESS FIRST, 1/15 issue)....UCLA QB Cade McNown has signed with IMG, as IMG President of Football Tom Condon will handle McNown's contract negotiations (IMG)....Tiger Woods' caddie, Mike "Fluff" Cowan, filmed a promo spot for the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida on Monday (FL TIMES- UNION, 1/18)....In Boston, Fee & Raposa wrote that the Celtics are teaming with adidas to develop a "larger-than- life" high-tech mural of F Antoine Walker to go on a wall along the Mass Pike (BOSTON HERALD, 1/18).
NEWSWEEK's cover-story features Michael Jordan under the header, "The Michael Jordan We Never Knew." Samuels & Leland report that Jordan "plans to launch a music label later this year" with the brother of Nike Marketing Dir Fred Whitfield, and "he's talking about" making another film. Nike Dir of the Jordan Brand Erin Patton said that Jordan "will probably become more active" in social causes (NEWSWEEK, 1/18 issue). Jeff Ballinger, head of Press For A Change, a workers' rights group, said Jordan should fulfill his intention to visit Nike-contracted factories in Asia: "With the NBA lockout, he kind of got off the hook because his own career was up in the air. He's got plenty of time now" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/18). In N.Y., Ira Berkow suggests Jordan become more socially active: "If [Jordan] isn't playing basketball, he should have enough time to read up on issues. And there are a few people in the world who might have the influence Jordan does" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/17). MJ IN 2000: In Baltimore, Andy Knobel wrote that a Draft Michael Jordan for President Web site, paid for by "MJ2000," would be "among the best pieces of parody going on the Internet. Except it's serious" (Baltimore SUN, 1/17). JORDAN TEAMS ON A'S SALE? In Chicago, Fred Mitchell wrote that the "latest Michael Jordan rumor has him joining forces" with ESPN/NBC MLB analyst Joe Morgan in possibly "purchasing" the A's and Warriors (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/18). ...In N.Y., Adam Buckman wrote that the 60-second Nike ad which pays tribute to Jordan was "completed months ago as rumors persisted" that he would retire. Buckman called the spot a "work of commercial art" (N.Y. POST, 1/18)....REUTERS reported that news of Jordan's retirement "was splashed across the front page of China's top newspapers and sparked a scramble" for Jordan merchandise (REUTERS, 1/15)....The N.Y. TIMES reported that sales of Jordan merchandise at Michael Jordan's Steakhouse in N.Y. "tripled," to about $4,000 a day from $1,400, after the announcement (N.Y. TIMES, 1/17)....In N.Y., Michiko Kakutani reviews David Halberstam's "Playing For Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made." Kakutani: "Much of the volume is a compendium of compelling but familiar stories fleshed out with new reporting -- the volume is animated by the author's own passion for the game" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19).
Fox is ready to "reel in a staggering" $150M on Super Bowl Sunday by turning the game "into an even bigger all-day event -- making it the largest day in ad revenue for any network," according to Wayne Friedman of AD AGE. Of the $150M Fox will earn from Super Bowl ad revenue, "about" $45M will come from pregame inventory, with about $93M in-game ads already sold. Friedman notes that NBC received $10-15M from pregame ads last year. Fox also "hopes to make another" $2-4M from its postgame show, or $700,000-800,000 per 30-second spot. Fox is selling "large TV commercial packages to four, possibly five, advertisers" for pregame coverage (AD AGE, 1/18 issue). USA TODAY'S Bruce Horovitz wrote that marketers "clearly ... are buying into the concept" of pregame advertising, as Super Bowl programing stretches all day. Fox President of Broadcasting Sales Jon Nesvig said that 80% of the 150 pregame slots in its 7 1/2 hours of pregame programming "are already sold." Nesvig: "We'll bill as much in half a day as the network billed in an entire year 10 years ago." Media First Int'l Richard Kostyra said advertisers like the pregame buy because, "You can look like you're in the big leagues, but for a lot less money." Horovitz reported that 30-second pregame spots "closer to game time could" cost almost $1M. Among some pregame advertisers: Qantas, which will air a new spot about an hour before kickoff; Blockbuster, which will have 15 pregame and one in-game spot; and Pizza Hut, which "won't make a peep during the game," but will air 17 pregame spots and "expects" to sell 2.2 million pizzas on game day. Pizza Hut marketing exec Randy Gier: "We want to get into their heads before they make their orders" (USA TODAY, 1/18). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir puts Fox's "gross" at $180M in ad revenue for Super Bowl Sunday, including the Fox net and its 22 O&Os. Some advertisers are paying as little as $60,000 for a 30-second pregame spot (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19). DAILY VARIETY's Richard Morgan reports that Fox "has only two of 58 in-game ad slots left," but it expects the rest of its inventory to move "as early as this week." Apple Computer backed out of its in-game buy, but Fox "is simply re- shopping" the spot at a "per-eyeball rate" (VARIETY, 1/19). FOR THE EARLY AD LINE: AD AGE lists its Super Bowl ad roster, including creative and placement (AD AGE, 1/18). MIAMI NOTES: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports that in an effort "to influence the many media buyers" in Miami for the Super Bowl, Fox will use transit, outdoor and on-premise items to tout its "top-rated" pregame show (BRANDWEEK, 1/18). PA-based Jeremy's MicroBatch Ice Creams was selected by San Diego-based Mail Boxes, Etc. as its "entrepreneur of the year" in its second annual "See Your Small Business on the Super Bowl Search." The company wins $5,000 and a 30- second spot during the second quarter (BRANDWEEK, 1/18 issue)....The Falcons have elected to wear their home black jerseys, meaning the Broncos will wear white (DENVER POST, 1/19)....In Miami, Paul Brinkley-Rogers reported that ticket brokers are selling Super Bowl end-zone seats at Pro Player Stadium for $1,650 and up, midfield seats for "more than" $3,000 and club-level seats for $5,000. The tickets' face value range from $325-400 (MIAMI HERALD, 1/18)....Falcons gear in GA is hot. All 180 Falcons NFC Championship T- shirts ordered by Champs Sports in Duluth "were gone within an hour." The "hottest" selling T-shirt at The Sports Authority in Marietta, GA, was the official Starter locker room T-shirt bearing an image of the Super Bowl tickets. Stadium Stuff store in Atlanta said it sold about 2,500 T- shirts and 2,200 hats (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/19).
A-B has "quietly" inked a "major four-year NBA ad agreement" with NBC, according to Langdon Brockinton of the SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. A-B VP/Corporate Media & Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo: "We did not let the lockout influence our positioning long-term with the NBA." Ponturo said that A-B would run "multiple spots" per NBA broadcast. Ponturo stressed the NBA's "broad appeal to different ethnic groups." Ponturo: "You like the dimension of the NBA because of its appeal to the Hispanic market and the African-American market and the Anglo market" (SBJ, 1/18). IS COORS LOOKING TO TAP THE NBA? In Chicago, George Lazarus reports that although A-B will "probably" become the Official Beer Of The NBA after Miller Brewing chose not to renew, it "continues to play hardball with the TV networks." Lazarus reported that CO-based Coors Brewing, which has sponsored the NBA during the Playoffs and Finals, but not during the regular season, "wants to get more involved" as a league sponsor (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/18).