SBD/Issue 198/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Reggie Bush Inks Two-Year Endorsement Deal With PepsiCo

    Saints draft pick Reggie Bush has signed a two-year deal with PepsiCo and will shoot his first commercials for the company next week, according to CNBC’s Darren Rovell. PepsiCo has an NFL sponsorship deal running through 2011. Rovell said, “Bush is earning millions of dollars which is a lot to be said for a rookie. There are less than ten guys in the league who earn more than a million dollars (in endorsements)” (“Closing Bell,” CNBC, 7/11). Bush’s other deals include adidas, Subway, Hummer and EA Sports (THE DAILY).

  • King Of The World: LeBron James Looks To Go Global

    LRMR Marketing Hoping To Put
    LeBron Brand In Global Spotlight

    Cavaliers F LeBron James’ new marketing company, LRMR Marketing, passed out materials and several black Nike “Witness” T-shirts at its first annual sponsor summit in Akron this week setting August 8, 2008, as the “target date” to turn James “into the next Pele or Muhammad Ali, athletes who transcended their respective sports on a global stage,” according to Rich Thomaselli of AD AGE. James’ agent, Maverick Carter, said, “We have an opportunity here. But it’s not something that we want to rush. We have to have a plan.” James told the sponsors, “As we’re building our relationships, I don’t look at it as endorsement deals. Maybe I did when I was younger. Now that I’m trying to form a business company, I look at you guys as partners.” Thomaselli noted Carter “seemed most impressed” by a plan called “Go Inside,” which would be the “lynchpin of a social responsibility effort that’s already started” by James and his James Family Foundation. The marketers “compared the ‘Go Inside’ plan to Lance Armstrong’s ‘Livestrong’ message and its yellow bracelets, going so far as to say they would like to see the ‘Go Inside’ message printed on Nike sweatbands that Mr. James wears during games” (, 7/11).

    Print | Tags: Nike
  • WNBA Sponsors Running Activations Around All-Star Game

    By John Lombardo, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal

    The WNBA All-Star Game takes place tonight at MSG and the league’s corporate activations include Discover Card unveiling a new WNBA affinity card that includes access to The Discover Card Fan Lounges at each WNBA arena. Discover will also showcase the WNBA on its rotating billboard in Times Square.

    AOL: AOL kicks off its sponsorship of the WNBA’s Greatest Moments program that gives fans the opportunity to vote online for the greatest shot, pass, milestone and inspiring performance and, ultimately, the single greatest moment in the league’s ten-year history. The top moment in WNBA history will be revealed during Game Two of the WNBA Finals in September.

    RITTENHOUSE: Rittenhouse Trading Cards will release its second edition of WNBA trading cards, and a card sheet of four sample cards will be given to fans at tonight’s game.

    WNBA All-Stars To Debut
    Customized Reebok Uniforms

    REEBOK: For the first time, WNBA All-Stars will be wearing customized uniforms made by Reebok. The uniforms will be available at the NBA Store,, MSG and at retail outlets around the country.

    TOYOTA: Toyota is activating around its Toyota Heroes Moving Forward program, which this year honors a woman battling breast cancer who helps military widows. She will receive an all-expense paid trip to N.Y. where she will be honored at tonight’s game and receive a check for $5,000.

    SOUTHWEST: Southwest Airlines has its Shoot For Hope program and will fly in a boy stricken with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and his family for the All-Star Game and all of the surrounding events.

    ALL-STAR SALUTE: Laurent-Perrier and Kohler are official partners of the first-ever WNBA All-Star Salute luncheon that takes place today at the New York Hilton, with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright serving as the keynote.

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Dallas Stars, Madison Square Garden, NBA, Reebok, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, WNBA
  • WNBA Liberty Using New “Raising The Game” Ad Campaign

    The WNBA Liberty are using a new ad campaign tagged “Raising the Game,” which celebrates the team’s tenth anniversary, pushes ticket sales and encourages children to attend games in an effort to “lay a foundation for a bigger fan base,” according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The campaign, via the team’s new ad agency, The Watsons, N.Y., is appearing on TV and radio; in print; online at; and on signs and posters in transit systems and inside and outside of MSG. Liberty Senior VP & GM Carol Blazejowski said, “Going into our next decade, we wanted to come out with an entirely different approach.” Blazejowski also said the team is “trying to sell on motivation, not just on the sports page.” She cited research that showed that “fans, casual fans and potential fans would respond to a broader range of subjects that include ‘the woman’s cause, a fun time out in [N.Y.] and role models for their children.’” The Watsons Partner Jennifer Williams said that the team’s strategy would be to focus on “families and single women in the city and suburbs” and “building out your existing audience.” Williams said the campaign includes “outreach to groups and schools,” as well as special game events and themes (, 7/10).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, New York Liberty
  • USTA Launches National Ad Campaign Around U.S. Open Series

    USTA Spending About $3M
    On New Marketing Campaign
    The USTA during NBC’s coverage of the Wimbledon women’s final last Saturday broke a new marketing and advertising campaign for the ’06 U.S. Open Series with the tag, “The Greatest Road Trip In Sports ... 6 Weeks, 10 Tournaments, $2 Million On The Line.” The multimedia effort includes national TV, radio, print, online and customized local executions in U.S. Open markets. Two 30-second TV spots, via Arnold Worldwide, N.Y., feature tennis stars in an off-court setting discussing the summer series, and conclude with the tagline, “When the greatest tennis players in the world hit the road ... anything can happen.” The spots will air nationally in and outside of tennis programming on CBS, NBC, ESPN2 and The Tennis Channel. Print executions will appear throughout the summer in USA Today, SI and the N.Y. Times, and for the first time ever in Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler and Architectural Digest (USTA). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Daniel Kaplan reports the USTA is spending about $3M on the campaign, “with the events locally spending up to $2[M] more combined.” Seven of the ten tournaments are using the ad template and “tweaking it for their local campaigns”

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NBC, Sports Illustrated, Tennis Channel, USTA, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • Laugh Tracks: New NASCAR Ads Reach Out Through Humor

    Jeremy Mayfield Stars In
    Humorous Nextel TV Spot

    An influx of “big-ticket companies into the [NASCAR] Nextel Cup Series has resulted in a rise of big-budget ads featuring drivers in self-deprecating situations,” according to a sports section Cover Story by Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. During the June 25 telecast of the Nextel Cup Dodge/Save Mart 350, “roughly one out of four commercials involved a driver doing something humorous.” NASCAR team owner and driver Kyle Petty said, “The sport has grown to having companies spending as much as $40[M] on a program, and that can’t all be motor sports-specific marketing.” Sports Business Group President David Carter said, “NASCAR drivers always have been approachable. This series of advertisements really reinforces that and makes them appear to be everyday guys who don’t take themselves too seriously.” Just Marketing Founder Zak Brown said drivers “love the creative spots because it helps bring out their personality, which then attracts a larger audience that translates into merchandise sales.” However, Ryan notes “there are limits to the jokes.” Roush Racing President Geoff Smith said that his team has “nixed a few of its sponsors’ ads because they were ‘in extremely poor taste and used our team to ridicule the sport.” NASCAR Dir of Business Communications Andrew Giangola said that the series has “final approval of commercials involving official sponsors,” although it has not “nixed any” (USA TODAY, 7/12).

    Print | Tags: NASCAR, Nike, PepsiCo
  • adidas Leads Advertisers On ABC’s World Cup Final Broadcast

    The following chart presents the national advertisers on ABC’s broadcast of last Sunday’s FIFA World Cup Final presented by adidas. The feed was monitored from Charlotte’s WSOC-ABC, but regional ads are not included in the chart. The advertisers are listed in terms of frequency and length.

    1, :60 2, :30
    1, :30
    3, :30
    Celador Films
    1, :30
    1, :60 1, :30
    1, :30
    3, :30
    1, :30
    2, :30
    1, :30
    2, :30
    New Line Cinema
    1, :30
    2, ;30
    1, :30
    TGI Friday's
    4, :15
    S.C. Johnson
    1, :30
    1, :60
    1, :30
    1, :30 2, :15
    The Weinstein Company
    1, :30
    2, :30
    Warner Bros.
    1, :30
    1, :30
    Yum Brands
    1, :30
    1, :30

    NOTES: Yum Brands promoted Taco Bell. Anheuser-Busch touted its Budweiser brand. S.C. Johnson advertised its Edge Active Care Shave Cream.

    MOVIE NEWS: The following movie studios promoted these upcoming theatrical releases: The Weinstein Company’s “Clerks II”; WB’s “Lady In The Water”; New Line Cinema’s “Snakes On a Plane”; and Universal’s “You, Me and Dupree” and “Miami Vice.” Celador Films touted the DVD release of “The Descent.”

    BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Sponsored elements included “AIG Overtime”; “AIG Penalty Kicks”; “Guinness Brilliant World Cup Moments”; “Hyundai Halftime Report”; “Taco Bell Highlights”; “T-Mobile Man of the Match”; and “Vonage World Cup Pre-Game.”

    WHAT’S THE SCORE? The following FIFA Official Partners sponsored the scoreboard at the top of the screen during the commercial-free match: adidas, Budweiser, Hyundai, Philips, T-Mobile and Toshiba. Philips and Toshiba also sponsored the scoreboard during the penalty kick phase of the match.

    WORLD MUSIC: The opening segment of ABC’s broadcast featured footage of people from around the world playing soccer with U2’s “Where The Streets Have No Name” playing. The closing segment had U2’s “One” playing as highlights of the ’06 World Cup tournament were shown.

    PROMOS: ABC aired the following network promos: “The One” (2), “Brothers & Sisters” (1), “Help Me Help You” (1), “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (1), “One Ocean View” (1), “Six Degrees” (1), “The Nine” (1) and “Ugly Betty” (1). There were five promos for

    Print | Tags: ABC, Anheuser Busch, FIFA, Walt Disney
  • Marketplace Round-Up

    Mayo (r) Could Skip College For
    Professional Barnstorming Tour
    SPORTING NEWS’ Mike DeCourcy writes O.J. Mayo, a rising senior basketball player at North College Hill High School in Cincinnati, is “at least as likely [to] spend 2007-08 earning endorsement money and performing on a professional barnstorming tour designed specifically to showcase and enhance his celebrity,” as he is to go to college. Shoe company execs “acknowledge Mayo likely would become a more valuable endorser if he played at a Division I college and enjoys extraordinary success as a freshman, a la Carmelo Anthony.” However, the execs suggested that Mayo, even without playing in college, is “likely to sign an apparel endorsement deal more lucrative than Anthony’s initial Nike deal –- reportedly more than $20[M] over six years” (SPORTING NEWS, 7/14 issue).

    LADIES NIGHT: WNBA Storm F Lauren Jackson will wear a pair of bright orange Nikes with “LJ15” on the heel during the All-Star Game tonight that are “designed to complement the Reebok All-Star East and West uniforms,” which will be orange and white (USA TODAY, 7/12).

    LOOKING UP: NHL Senior VP/Consumer Products Brian Jennings said that the league’s licensed sales for the past season were more than 37% ahead of original estimates and are “on track to reach pre-lockout levels next season –- a year ahead of schedule” (SBJ, 7/10 issue)....Trading card industry sources said that Upper Deck’s wholesale hockey card revenue for this past season will approach $50M, and that hockey “now ranks ahead of basketball and football in the company’s pantheon of revenue producers.” Upper Deck Senior Marketing Manager for Sports Kerri Stockholm said, “Our hockey business is actually performing at a remarkably high level compared to all other sports and entertainment lines” (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 7/12).

    Print | Tags: And 1, Carolina Hurricanes, LPGA, NBA, NHL, Nike, Reebok, Seattle Storm, Upper Deck
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