SBD/Issue 20/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • FINA Puts Sponsored Bibs On Swimmers; No Conflict For Phelps

    FINA Hopes Bib Program Will
    Eventually Finance All Swimmers

    Swimmers competing in the FINA World Championships in Indianapolis this week for the first time ever are “obliged to wear bibs” promoting a FINA sponsor, which Thursday was Argent Mortgage, according to Craig Lord of the LONDON TIMES. Under a deal between FINA and its marketing agency Dentsu, competitors including Michael Phelps wore Argent-logo bibs “as they walked out to the race and when being presented with medals.” Phelps, who has made about $5M in endorsement deals since the Olympics, is sponsored by Argent. Lord: “The issue of what happens should the likes of Ian Thorpe ... be required to wear the logo of a rival company to one of his private sponsors remains to be seen.” Thorpe is not competing in Indianapolis. FINA Dir Cornel Marculescu said that the deal was designed to “help the whole sport, not just a few individuals,” adding, “Our dream is that by the World Long-Course Championships in Melbourne [in ’07] we will be able to pay for every swimmer and team to be there” (LONDON TIMES, 10/8).

  • Marketplace Round-Up

    Abercrombie & Fitch’s Shirt
    Draws Colarossi’s Ire

    New Balance has extended through ’07 its sponsorship of The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, an event it has sponsored since ‘97. For more on the sponsorship, please see Wednesday’s issue of THE DAILY (THE DAILY).

    FITCH FIGHT: In response to an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt that shows a male gymnast with the phrase “L is for Loser,” USA Gymnastics President & CEO Bob Colarossi wrote in a letter to A&F CEO Michael Jeffries, “USA Gymnastics is seeking the immediate removal of the item from your stores and on-line store. Pending your response, USA Gymnastics will encourage the more than 4 million gymnastics participants, their families and friends, sponsors and fans of USA Gymnastics, and proponents of all sports to reconsider their support of A&F’s corporate policies and retail products that promote such ideas” (THE DAILY).

    GLOBAL SEARCH: Manchester United has launched a road show in Southeast Asia to locate new sponsors. ManU Commercial Dir Andy Anson met with electronics companies, airlines and a telecommunications firm during the show's stop in Bangkok. After Bangkok, the road show will head to Malaysia (AFP, 10/7).

    ILLEGAL OPERATION: In N.Y., gossip columnist Elisa Lipsky-Karasz notes that Rockets C Yao Ming was “caught using his Dell laptop on a flight from Houston to New York” (N.Y. POST, 10/8). Ming has a deal with Apple (THE DAILY).

    CORRECTION: United Talent Agency, which will represent Anna Kournikova for all off-court marketing, entertainment and endorsement related ventures, is not affiliated with Interpublic Group (IPG). IPG's Octagon will continue to represent Kournikova for all on-court tennis activities.

    Print | Tags: Basketball, Houston Rockets, Manchester United, Olympics, Soccer, USOC
  • No Ties: adidas Set To Launch Laceless McGrady Shoe

    The T-MAC 4, adidas’ First
    Laceless Performance Shoe

    adidas is set to launch the T-MAC 4 with HUG Systems Technology, which the company calls the first laceless performance shoe, on October 29. Rockets F Tracy McGrady will showcase his signature shoe during a preseason visit to China on October 12 on a specially-created court along the Shanghai waterfront. The design of the shoe includes a closure device, which uses a slider/lever system used to control the fit. The T-MAC 4 will be supported with the global TV ad campaign, “Unstoppable,” which is set to launch October 26 and continues the “Impossible is Nothing” theme. The campaign has online ad partnerships with,, and The marketing campaign will also include print ads in ESPN The Magazine, Dime, Inside Stuff, School Sports, SLAM, Source, Rides and XXL. There are also global print and outdoor components. The T-MAC 4 will retail for $125 and come in two initial color schemes: white/black (October 29) and black/white (December 10), with additional colors hitting the market in January and February of ’05. An apparel line of T-MAC 4 shorts, shirts and jackets will accompany the footwear (adidas).

    Print | Tags: Basketball, ESPN, Houston Rockets, NBA, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals
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