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SBD/Issue 222/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
NFL VP/Partnership Marketing & Corporate Sales Peter Murray said that the league is asking its 20 corporate partners to purchase “sponsored ‘vignettes’ that would be interspersed with game action during telecasts this season,” according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY. Three companies –- IBM, FedEx and EA Sports have made agreements, and Murray said that “more are coming.” The NFL ended sponsored messages during game broadcasts after the ’97 season to avoid “over-commercializing games.” Murray said that the league will now “limit them to one 30-second, or two 15-second messages, a game.” He added that the league will charge sponsors “about the same price they’d pay to buy a national 30-second TV spot.” Murray said that the NFL “may cut in its TV partners for a slice through a ‘joint venture’ but will produce all of the content itself through NFL Films.” He said that the clips “will focus on the game and the players, not the products.” Murray: “We want vignettes that provide added perspective on the game or some historical context” (USA TODAY, 8/15).
BUSH WHACKED: The NFL fined Saints RB Reggie Bush for wearing his new adidas cleats during Saturday’s preseason game against the Titans. Bush said of the fine, which is believed to be $10,000, “adidas took care of it” (USA TODAY, 8/15). Reebok, Nike and Under Armour are the only brands with NFL supplier deals that allow players to wear their shoes on field without covering the logo (THE DAILY).
Li-Ning’s Zhang Zhiyong (l) And O’Neal At
Announcement Of “Dunkman” Shoe Deal
MENDING FENCES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Fowler & Fong write the deal could help O’Neal “overcome perceptions of racism, which were initially sparked when [he] allegedly made derogatory comments” about Yao. O’Neal later said he was joking and that he was friends with Yao, but “many Chinese sports fans were rankled nonetheless.” During the announcement of the deal yesterday, O’Neal “drew snickers from the audience when he said, ‘I’m Shaquille O’Neal and I love China’” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/15).
POPULARITY CONTEST: Last year through November, O’Neal’s No. 32 Heat jersey was the eighth-best selling NBA jersey in China. The following lists the top ten (THE DAILY).
1) Rockets F Tracy McGrady 2) 76ers G Allen Iverson 3) Rockets C Yao Ming 4) Lakers G Kobe Bryant 5) Cavaliers F LeBron James 6) Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony 7) T’Wolves F Kevin Garnett 8) Heat C Shaquille O’Neal 9) Suns G Steve Nash 10) Heat G Dwyane Wade
SPIRIT OF ’92: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s John Lombardo reports USA Basketball and Nike “will bring back apparel from the original Dream Team ... as part of its revamped merchandise strategy” leading into the World Championships beginning Saturday and the Beijing Games. NBA Senior VP/Global Merchandising Group Sal LaRocca said, “There will be a primary focus in recreating the first Dream Team from 1992, with every jersey from every player to be on sale with a November launch.” Lombardo notes a marketing deal with the league calls on the NBA to run USA Basketball’s merchandising efforts. USA Basketball and the NBA will split 10-15% of merchandising revenue generated from the World Championships to the ’08 Olympics. The ’04 Athens Games generated just $1M in merchandise sales (SBJ, 8/14).
Switzerland-based hearing aid firm Phonak will shut down its cycling team at the end of the year, citing “continuing doping issues within the sport and an inability to sell the team,” according to Erica Bulman of the AP. Phonak, which sponsored the team of Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, was to be replaced at the end of the year by iShares, but Phonak Chair Andy Rihs said the deal was cancelled. Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone after Stage 17 of the Tour, and Rihs said, “I am deeply disappointed because what he did was what led to this decision.” Bulman notes several other riders for the team “have been involved in drug cases since it was launched seven seasons ago,” including U.S. Gold Medalist Tyler Hamilton. Rihs said that he “tried to sell the team for [$0.80], or one Swiss franc” (AP, 8/15).
By Scott Hamilton, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal
Woods To Debut SP-8 TW Tour
Spikes At PGA Championship
CLOTHES: Woods will wear his usual Sunday red during the final round of the PGA Championship. Nike Golf officials, in a well-planned fashion script completed more than a year ago, have Woods wearing an atom red drop needle polo shirt this week. A French blue dri-fit fine stripe polo is planned for the first round, followed by a dark melon brush statement polo on Friday. Woods will sport a sail-colored tattersal jacquard polo for Saturday’s third round. All of the shirts are available to the public as part of the Tiger Woods Fall/Winter Collection for $70-90 each.
Tiger Woods’ Nike Apparel Schedule At PGA Championship
Nike + iPod Receives Lukewarm Review
Lines Of Women’s Rackets
AD AGE’s Abbey Klaassen reports cable’s upfront will finish flat to 2% below the $6.5B it brought in last year. Turner Sports President David Levy said, “I don’t believe we’ll see an upfront marketplace that wraps up over a two-to three-day period. (Upcoming markets) will be spread out over a couple of months ... and it will be moving to a 52-week marketplace.” He added that his networks “grew volume in the mid-single-digit range on flat to slightly up cost-per-thousand rates” (AD AGE, 8/14 issue).
COME BACK? NASCAR driver Mark Martin said of reports he has been offered $8M to return to Roush Racing in ’07, “I wouldn’t hesitate a second to come back full time based on those crazy figures. But that’s not going to happen, I don’t think.” In Charlotte, David Poole noted NASCAR’s team limits would prevent Roush Racing from fielding a part-time team for Martin. Martin: “If I do any Cup driving at all, it’ll have to be with someone else.” Poole noted with Robert Yates Racing “seemingly rebuilding, rumors surfaced linking Martin to potential ownership there” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/14).
PUT ME IN, COACH: Dan “Rudy” Ruettiger, the subject of the ’93 film “Rudy,” has launched a line of sport drinks. Rudy’s Revolution and a children’s drink, Rudy! Rudy! Flying Colors, will be carried by Gas City, the “first Chicago-area retailer to carry the drinks.” The Rudy drinks “went on the market about a month ago on the East Coast.” Ruettiger partnered with Drew Carver, son-in-law of former Notre Dame football coach Dan Devine, to found Scottsdale-based Rudy Beverage Inc., which is part of Global Beverage Solutions Inc.’s portfolio of companies (DAILY SOUTHTOWN, 8/12).