ESPN Moving Full Shows To Arizona NFL: Deflategate Inquiry Ongoing Rolex 24 Sees Increasing Impact SI Lays Off Remaining Photographers NFLPA Grievance Challenges Conduct Policy Winter X Draws Record Thursday Crowd Veteran ESPN Exec John Walsh Set To Retire Weekend Plans With Disney's Christen Harris OSU Celebration Meets NHL All-Star Brady, Belichick Deny Deflategate Involvement
SBD/Issue 73/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and the WTA Tour formally announced today a six-year, $88M global sponsorship making the company worldwide title sponsor of the WTA Tour, which will now be called the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. The deal was first reported in yesterday’s Closing Bell. A joint logo representing the partnership has also been unveiled. The WTA calls the deal, which marks Sony Ericsson’s first global sponsorship, the largest and most comprehensive sponsorship in the history of tennis and in women’s professional sports. In addition to the WTA Tour as a whole, Sony Ericsson becomes global title sponsor of the season-ending WTA Tour Championships. The company also receives on-court presence at WTA events. Sony Ericsson becomes the eighth title sponsor in WTA history, and the first since the end of the '02 season when body care brand Sanex ended its backing of the Tour (THE DAILY).Sony Ericsson To Recieve WTA
Net Signage With That Deal
PATCH WORK: During a conference call to unveil the deal this morning, WTA CEO Larry Scott said WTA players “will be an integral part of this agreement,” adding, “The players that don’t have otherwise have clean contracts or conflicting deals will be wearing Sony Ericsson WTA Tour patches outside the U.S. in 2005 and including the U.S. after that. Players will wear Porsche patches in the U.S. in 2005.” Notably, Maria Sharapova has a deal with Motorola. Scott added, “Players will be appearing in Sony Ericsson WTA Tour advertising and promotions.” Some of those, featuring Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Anastasia Myskina, among others, will break as early as next week in Sydney, Australia. Scott also said Sony Ericsson will have net signage similar to Mercedes-Benz’ on the ATP Tour, where the Mercedes logo is sewn into the net at each end. Additionally, the Tour will establish a Net Judge chair that will feature more Sony Ericsson signage.
TECHNOLOGICAL SYNERGIES: Sony Ericsson President Miles Flint indicated that with the sponsorship, WTA fans “may well be able to communicate with officials and players using wireless technology, or even express themselves on digital billboards around events.” WTA Tour Chair & CEO Larry Scott added that another concept “being explored has the match umpire keeping score with a Sony Ericsson handset, rather than traditional means.” Scott: “We are moving from pencil and paper to the digital age” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/5).
HISTORY: The following charts present the major sponsors of women’s tennis since Billie Jean King and others started forming separate events for women in ’71. The first chart represents the years before Virginia Slims returned as a sponsor of women’s tennis, replacing Avon and Toyota, to sponsor the first unified circuit of more than $10M (THE DAILY).WTA TITLE SPONSORS FROM 1971-1982
SPONSORYEAR Virginia Slims/Pepsi1971 Virginia Slims/Commercial Union1972-73 Virginia Slims1974-75 Virginia Slims/Colgate1976-78 Avon/Colgate1979-80 Avon/Toyota1981-82WTA TITLE SPONSORS FROM 1983-PRESENT SPONSORYEAR Virginia Slims1983-89 Kraft General Foods1990-93 Corel1995-98 Sanex2000-02 Sony Ericsson2005-10
Title sponsor FedEx broke six new spots on ABC’s broadcast of the Orange Bowl last night. The half-dozen spots continue the “Relax, it’s FedEx” campaign from longtime agency BBDO, N.Y., which debuted in September ‘03. The new spots tout the company's core overnight delivery capabilities, along with its int’l, ground, FedEx Kinko’s and FedEx.com offerings. Competitor DHL had its array of signage at Pro Player Stadium covered up last night, in deference to the FedEx Orange Bowl entitlement (THE DAILY). In Chicago, Lewis Lazare writes the new series of FedEx spots “falls short of the inspired work seen” in BBDO’s recent FedEx spots (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/5)."Shower""Sweeps"
SHIP IT: In L.A., T.J. Simers notes that USC shipped tickets for the FedEx Orange Bowl to their season-ticket holders via DHL (L.A. TIMES, 1/5). But Traveler VII, USC’s horse mascot, is being shipped home by FedEx. The horse’s trainer said it was coincidence (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/5).
DISNEY: As part of a campaign for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, Disney gave away theme park tickets at the end of the third quarter to all attendees of last night’s game. When ABC returned from commercial to start the 4th quarter, Brad Nessler said, “During our commercial break Mickey Mouse finally revealed his big surprise, let’s take a look.” As the stadium PA announcer explained that fans received the tickets, ABC showed Mickey in the crowd at Pro Player Stadium. The PA announcer asked, “You just received a ticket to the biggest celebration in Disney history, what are you going to do next?” The crowd then shouted, “We’re going to Disneyland!” (“FedEx Orange Bowl,” ABC, 1/4). The AP noted that Disney plans to use the reactions from the crowd in its next “What’s Next?” commercial. Disney spokesperson Duncan Wardle: “It is the biggest giveaway ever for our company” (AP, 1/4). The tickets are valid at any of Disney's worldwide theme parks. The company began the global ad campaign for the 50th anniversary with an ad during the Tournament of Roses Parade, where Mickey served as grand marshal (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/5).Web Site Selling Merchandise
Around Auburn’s Perfect Season
APPAREL: In Ft. Lauderdale, Richardson & Gorten report the Collegiate Licensing Company “scoured South Florida for unlicensed Orange Bowl merchandise.” CLC Senior VP & General Counsel Bruce Siegal said the company found “a couple hundred” items on South Beach and at Pro Player stadium prior to the game (SUN-SENTINEL, 1/5). KNIGHT RIDDER’s Christa Turner reports that immediately after Monday night’s Sugar Bowl, “there were T-shirts available touting Auburn as the national champions. Official Auburn merchandise celebrating the 13-0 season could be found soon” on www.auburntigersshop.com (KNIGHT RIDDER, 1/5).
By Scott Warfield, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal
NASCAR announced today that it is working with its media partners, sponsors and tracks to launch the ‘05 season under a unified campaign, “NASCAR Acceleration 2005.” The branded platform —- a first for the sport — includes a marketing, public relations and media plan that comprises broadcast, print and online ads; a “destination page” on NASCAR.com featuring special content and a link to track ticket sales; millions of NASCAR pocket schedules and fan guides; and local events and activation in some of the nation’s largest markets. NASCAR Acceleration 2005 will be supported with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign. Three new ads will air on Fox, FX and Speed Channel, in addition to radio spots on MRN, PRN and NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio. Print ads will appear in NASCAR-licensed publications and online at NASCAR.com. Three million NASCAR pocket schedules and 300,000 fan guides will be distributed at retail outlets nationwide, by NASCAR sponsors, in NASCAR.com SuperStore shipments and through grassroots marketing in major cities. The guides will be produced in Spanish, as well as in French and Japanese for overseas distribution.
PepsiCo is “dropping a new advertising campaign featuring [Real Madrid MF] David Beckham on a surfboard in the wake of the tsunami disaster,” according to Stephen Brook of the Manchester GUARDIAN. The company has also canceled a January 17 event in Madrid to promote the campaign, which also was to feature Arsenal F Thierry Henry, Real Madrid MF Roberto Carlos and FC Barcelona F Ronaldinho. PepsiCo “acted after a photo of the advert, which showed Beckham and a host of other sports stars surfing, leaked out in Europe.” PepsiCo has donated around $1.8M to the tsunami relief fund (Manchester GUARDIAN, 1/5).
Red Sox, State Lottery
Teaming Up For Trophy Tour
The Red Sox have inked a deal with the Massachusetts State Lottery to serve as presenting sponsor of the team’s World Series trophy tour to cities and towns throughout Massachusetts (Red Sox). The AP’s Karen Testa reported the Lottery “will spend $225,000 of its $10[M] advertising budget to sponsor the tour” and will “work with the team on sites, security and logistics of the tour” (AP, 1/4). In Boston, Greg Gatlin reports the Lottery will pay $250,000 for the sponsorship. Lottery spokesperson Eileen O’Connor: “The reason the lottery exists is because a large portion of proceeds go back to cities and towns in the form of local aid. This is an opportunity to do some grass roots communication about how the lottery benefits communities” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/5).
MY LIFE, MY CARD: In Boston, Scott Van Voorhis reports the Red Sox have sold over 20,000 credit card-sized “citizenship cards” for $9.95 each to fans all over the U.S. and in several countries including Australia, Scotland, Holland, Japan and the Philippines. The team is pledging a “variety of perks for card-carrying members of Red Sox Nation, including a newsletter and even special lotteries for prized seats atop the Green Monster and the right-field roof.” Red Sox COO Michael Dee: “It’s kind of a Red Sox insiders’ club” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/5).
In N.Y., Richard Wilner reports a new line of interactive gear from Motorola and Burton Snowboards, due in stores by next fall, includes a jacket, helmet and beanie cap, and will allow the wearer “to enjoy music or phone calls or to toggle between the two with their Bluetooth-enabled Motorola phone and iPod wired into a padded pocket.” The pieces of equipment “are believed to be the first fully integrated tech-clothing items” (N.Y. POST, 1/5).
STAYING HEALTHY: BRANDWEEK reports Andre Agassi “contemplates his career after retirement in a TV campaign breaking this week” for 24 Hour Fitness. The 30- and 60-second spots, via Publicis & Hal Riney, S.F., feature Agassi “on an early morning run, passing visions of himself at a retirement ceremony, becoming a sportscaster and selling a George Foreman-like grill” on an infomercial. The ads, the first by Agassi for the company since he signed an endorsement deal in January ’04, end with Agassi running into a 24 Hour Fitness club (BRANDWEEK, 1/3 issue).
HAVING A BALL: Reebok and Lifetime Products are partnering to develop a collection of new RBK basketball systems, including in-ground and residential portable equipment, backboards and rims. In addition, in early ‘05 Reebok will be producing its own line of competitive balls, including RBK-branded basketballs, footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs (Reebok).