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SBD/Issue 82/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
Andre Agassi Getting Fit
With 10-Year, $15M Deal
Andre Agassi "will become the spokesman for the 24 Hour Fitness chain of health clubs in a 10-year deal" worth about $15M, according to a source of Liz Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, who notes some new 24 Hour Fitness clubs "will be named `Agassi Sports Club.'" Agassi's agent Perry Rogers, who jointly reps Agassi with SFX Sports Group, said Agassi will make personal appearances and appear in print and TV ads for 24 Hour Fitness. SFX Sports Group consultant Ivan Blumberg: "It is absolutely one of the more complex deals I have been involved in. It is not a typical annual base compensation/royalty deal, it's a partnership with mutual incentives for success." Mullen notes Agassi's endorsement income "was estimated at more than $20[M] a year prior to the 24 Hour Fitness deal" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/19).
While Coca-Cola's NHL sponsorship includes a presence at All-Star Weekend in St. Paul next month, Pepsi is a sponsor of some of the St. Paul Winter Carnival events, "including the highly touted sound-and-light show for the ice palace, which is being built across the street from" at Xcel Energy Center, according to Karl Karlson of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. There has been "substantial buzz in the city's public relations/advertising circles about tension between the league and the Winter Carnival, but that is denied in polite tones by officials on both sides." Karlson noted when the '01 All-Star Game was played at Denver's Pepsi Center, the NHL "decided not to print the arena's name on the game tickets," and when league officials scouted out places in Minneapolis/St. Paul for parties, "they looked at the Mall of America but raised concerns about all the Pepsi signs and displays." NHL Dir of Group & Special Events Frank Supovitz and Winter Carnival officials indicated that Pepsi's presence at the Ice Palace "has not changed the league's plans to give the carnival an undisclosed part of the ticket revenue from the" February 7 All-Star practice and five-day FANtasy event. Winter Carnival Communications Dir Angela Yender said that the organization "has been working well with the league and that their joint ventures, such as the NHL-sponsored ice rink within the Ice Castle, are going forward" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/16).
SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Steve Woodward reports Germany-based auto components brand Continental AG, which has become a first-time sponsor of FIFA and the '06 World Cup, "occupies a new category of global soccer sponsorship." Deutsche Telekom and Dubai-based Emirates Airlines "also are new to the FIFA global partner roster since the conclusion of the most recent World Cup" in '02 (SBJ, 1/19 issue).... TNT has a mural on Hotel Figueroa in L.A. promoting the net's coverage of the February 15 NBA All-Star Game, and in L.A., Larry Stewart wrote, "One problem, though. The TNT mural faces away from Staples Center. That's because ESPN owns rights to the wall on the other side of the hotel" (L.A. TIMES, 1/18)....In Jacksonville, Jordan Rodack wrote the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee "inched its way closer to a $10[M] fund-raising goal as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida agreed to a $1[M] sponsorship." BCBS agreed to give $500,000 "to outfit and train volunteers as well as $500,000 toward the [NFL's] Youth Education Town Center" (TIMES-UNION, 1/18).
McDonald's three-year endorsement deal with Lakers G Kobe Bryant expired December 31 and will not be immediately renewed, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. McDonald's Dir of Sports Marketing John Lewicki said McDonald's will "maintain an open dialogue with him in the future." Rovell noted that McDonald's is the second company to let its relationship with Bryant expire since he was accused of sexual assault last summer. Ferrero USA, which signed Bryant through January '04 to endorse its hazelnut spread Nutella, announced in August that it would not renew Bryant's deal. Sports & Sponsorships President Scott Becher: "The last thing McDonald's needs is to have to wrestle with all the questions out there while maintaining their relationship with Kobe. If they had any interest in keeping the relationship alive, they wouldn't let him go like that." Rovell noted that McDonald's is an official sponsor of the NBA (ESPN.com, 1/16). 16W Marketing co-Founder Steve Rosner: "McDonald's basically had no choice. Being associated with Kobe at this time is not a benefit to the company" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/17).
CBS has sold "all but five or six 30-second spots" for its Super Bowl broadcast, according to sources of Phyllis Furman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. With 30-second ads going for an average of $2.3M a 7% increase over what ABC got last year CBS is "set to take in about $140[M] for the game." For several blue-chip companies, the Super Bowl's "appeal is stronger than ever after the fizzling of this year's TV season that saw a massive flight of young male viewers." Staples Exec VP/Marketing Shira Goodman, whose company has an ad during the game, said, "It makes the Super Bowl all the more valuable" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/19). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Brian Steinberg reports there is one 30-second ad "available in the first half." CBS has sold about 90% of Super Bowl inventory, but "can still make blue-chip space available to an interested party" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/19).
THE FAMOUS MR. E.D.: AD AGE's Rich Thomaselli reports all three erectile dysfunction drugs will have spots on CBS' Super Bowl broadcast. Eli Lilly and Icos' Cialis, which launched a new 15-second ad on yesterday's conference championship games on CBS and Fox, will run a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, via Healthy Grey Village, N.Y. GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer's Levitra, an NFL sponsor, will also run a 30-second Super Bowl ad, via Quantum Group, NJ. The 30-second spot for Pfizer's Viagra is from Cline Davis & Mann, N.Y. (AD AGE, 1/19). Pharma Marketing News Publisher John Mack is not "sure how effective it will be to spend big money on football for a drug [Cialis] that's trying to appeal to both men and women." Mack: "They want to compete with Viagra and Levitra, so they need to air during football games, but a full strategy would put these ads on shows that women watch, like 'Oprah'" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/17).
PETA BREAD? NO THANKS: The AP's David Bauder reported that in addition to an ad for liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org's anti-President Bush ad, CBS has also rejected an ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The PETA ad "asserts that meat-eating causes impotence." CBS Exec VP Martin Franks: "We do not accept advertising on one side or the other of controversial public issues." PETA spokesperson Lisa Lange believes that CBS' policy is "inconsistent, because she's seen ads condemning smoking and drunken driving on past Super Bowl telecasts." But Franks responded, "If you can find a respectable group that is for drug abuse or kids starting to smoke, then I would find that to be an intellectually rigorous argument." Bauder noted that some TV insiders "believe organizations put forth ads they know will be rejected in the hope of attracting publicity" (AP, 1/17). The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Quick: "The big winner is PETA. ... They got turned down for their ads and yet we're all talking about it. They've gotten so much coverage out of this and they didn't have to pay the $2.25[M]" ("Bullseye," CNBC, 1/16). On "Weekend Update" during NBC's "Saturday Night Live," Tina Fey said, "CBS announced that it will not air MoveOn.org's winning anti-Bush ad during the Super Bowl saying that they don't air so-called 'issue ads' unless the issue is that girls are sluts for beer" ("SNL," NBC, 1/17).