SBD/Issue 236/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
By Jon Show, Senior Staff Writer
Peyton Manning Named
Most Marketable NFL Player
METHOD TO THE MADNESS: All respondents were asked to list, in order, who they think are the three most marketable players (rookie or veteran) in the NFL. Points were awarded on a three-point scale, with three points for a first-place vote, two points for second place and one point for third.
RKNAME1ST-PLACE2ND-PLACE3RD-PLACETOTAL POINTS% ALL POINTS% 1ST-PLACE
1) Peyton Manning2971311433.9%51.8% 2) Tom Brady1919510029.8%33.9% 3) Reggie Bush2610288.3%3.6% 4) Ben Roethlisberger143144.2%1.8% 5) Brett Favre053133.9%0.0% 6) Donovan McNabb214123.6%3.6% 7) Tiki Barber123103.0%1.8% 8) Terrell Owens13092.7%1.8% 9) Michael Vick02372.1%0.0% 10) LaDainian Tomlinson01461.8%0.0% t11) Shaun Alexander02151.5%0.0% t11) Chad Johnson10251.5%1.8% t11) Eli Manning02151.5%0.0% t11) Brian Urlacher01351.5%0.0% 15) Tony Gonzalez01130.9%0.0%
MANNING THE HELM: Fresh off signing a new deal with DirecTV that includes brother Eli and father Archie, Manning also has contracts with Sprint, MasterCard, Reebok, and Gatorade, among others. The Manning family’s NFL lineage and charitable contributions in the Gulf Coast were cited by more than one respondent. “His reputation is impeccable, and the work he and his family did after the nightmare of Katrina further solidifies the greatness of his character and work ethic,” said CSMG Int'l Exec VP/Player Marketing Nova Lanktree. “The NFL family connection is also very appealing to Corporate America and he brings a brother and a great father to the marketplace table.” Most respondents heaped praise on Manning, but others pointed out his lack of a Super Bowl title. One ESPN programming exec said, “He needs to win a Super Bowl to bring his marketability to an even higher level.” And while some of his newer TV spots — Sprint in particular — display Manning’s sense of humor, some suggested more of a focus in that area. “Manning has the bloodlines, the mainstream appeal and impressive numbers marketers like to associate with,” said The Bonham Group Chair & CEO Dean Bonham. “Although he needs to display more personality.”
Brady’s All-American Look
Cited By Many Voters
BURNING BUSH: Saints RB Reggie Bush has exploded onto the scene in his rookie NFL season, inking high-profile deals with Subway, PepsiCo, Hummer, adidas and EA Sports. His focus on redirecting some endorsement dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief has also helped expand his exposure. An overwhelming number of voters (83%) also named Bush the most marketable rookie. “His ‘did you see that’ quality can only facilitate, and accelerate, his ability to enjoy significant and immediate marketing success,” said OnSport Senior VP Malcolm Turner. Visa’s Lynch added, “You have to feel like his creativity and poise will translate well at the next level. He's the kind of player that makes you stay up late for the highlight show.” But Insight Sports Networks Senior Dir of Programming & Production Corey Russell cautioned, “Companies are jumping too early on the Reggie Bush marketing bandwagon. Give him a year to establish a presence.”
FOURTH & FIVE: Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger placed fourth in the survey. He has deals with Nike, Campbell’s and ProTrade, among others, and counts his own line of beef jerky and BBQ sauce through PLB Sports. “Big Ben has rugged blue collar appeal that could sell anything from trucks to home improvement products to fast food burgers,” said Pickett Advertising Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman. “His focus so far has been mainly on regional deals, but his future on the national stage looks very bright.” Future Pro Football HOFer Brett Favre placed fifth. Favre’s endorsement portfolio includes Snapper, Prilosec, Sensodyne and Starter/Nike. He also recently signed a two-year deal with Rayovac despite speculation that this will be his final season. Leverage Sports Agency VP Randy Walker: “I think when his playing career is over, he can slide into a class of John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Montana: star NFL quarterbacks who continually stay in the public eye via corporate relationships.” Inside Out Sports & Entertainment Founding Partner Jon Venison: “I believe Brett Favre to have the most crossover appeal of any NFL quarterback since Joe Montana and Joe Namath. He is an MVP quarterback with a Hollywood smile and boy-next-door charm. Quite simply, Brett has something for everyone.”
Some Consider Terrell Owens’
Bad Boy Image A Plus
RETIREES: Retired players were not eligible in our survey, but a few respondents cited the growing marketability of some retirees that have stayed in the spotlight through endorsements and/or media jobs. 16W Marketing Senior Dir of Talent Marketing Bob Philp: “There is a growing number of retired guys that also have an appeal as endorsers, especially when it comes to targeting a more mature demographic. Guys like Howie Long, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms, Joe Theismann and Terry Bradshaw have done well in the corporate world because of their past achievements on the field as well as their success as broadcasters and in the business world.”
Beer Among Categories Selling Well
ESPN: ESPN said that “beer and auto sales are strong,” and the net has also signed some clients “new to the NFL, such as Men’s Wearhouse.” Toyota and Lexus will the sponsor the “MNF” halftime show, Miller Lite will sponsor “NFL Primetime,” which is now on Mondays at 6:00pm ET, and UPS will sponsor “NFL Countdown.” General Motors has product placement during ESPN’s “MNF” intro (SBJ, 9/4 issue). Wal-Mart also signed an integrated multiplatform sponsorship of ESPN's “MNF” telecasts for the ’06-07 (THE DAILY).
NBC: Ourand notes “heavy buyers on NBC include the expected categories such as telecom (Sprint and Verizon) and beer (Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Miller).” NBC has signed Chevrolet as presenting sponsor of its pregame show. NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Senior VP/Sales Peter Lazarus said that ad buyers are “supporting NBC’s flexible schedule in a big way, with a ‘higher sellout level at the back end of the schedule than we anticipated.’” Carat USA’s Mike Law: “NBC’s in a nice position with the flexible schedule. If they have held back inventory during those games, that will help them at the end of the year” (SBJ, 9/4 issue). Lazarus: “I think the majority of our clientele either came from [ABC], or even more so from CBS or Fox” (TV WEEK, 9/4).
SUNDAY VS. MONDAY: TV WEEK’s Jon Lafayette notes NBC is anticipating an 11.0 Nielsen rating for “Sunday Night Football,” and Starcom Senior VP Sam Sussman “expects NBC to outperform” the 10.8 Nielsen rating that ABC averaged for “MNF” last year. Sussman called Sunday night “one of the most competitive nights in all of prime-time television,” adding, “The question will be who owns the remote control in the house when it comes to prime-time television after watching a day full of football. We have some healthy debate about what that number is going to be in terms of a rating.” Sussman said NBC has a “tougher job to do [than ESPN, CBS or Fox] because they don’t have any incumbencies out there” (TV WEEK, 9/4 issue).
Bud.TV Should Go Live
After Super Bowl XLI
Derek Jeter Signs On With Movado
Soccer United Marketing (SUM) and JPMorgan Chase have entered into a marketing partnership, under which the Chase Ultimate Fan Rewards credit card program will offer exclusive soccer event experiences, memorabilia and authentic merchandise. The cards will feature designs for all 12 MLS teams, the U.S. national team and the Mexico national team (SUM). BRANDWEEK’s Barry Janoff reports the rewards card is part of a five-year deal between Chase and SUM that includes a national marketing campaign and in-stadium signage. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but analysts put the deal’s worth “in the ballpark of the deal ESPN signed last month to broadcast MLS games through 2014,” which was valued at $7.5M annually. It is below the ten-year deal adidas signed with SUM in ’04 worth $10M per year (BRANDWEEK, 9/4 issue).
Rogers Communications has signed a multi-year deal to become Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s (MLSE) preferred supplier for telecom services and business solutions. Rogers also becomes a Platinum Sponsor for the Maple Leafs, Raptors and AHL Marlies, as well as the expansion MLS Toronto FC, and will obtain sponsorship rights within Air Canada Centre and supplier rights to Maple Leaf Square, a development that will be adjacent to Air Canada Centre scheduled to be completed in ’09 (MLSE). In Toronto, Catherine McLean notes Rogers replaces Bell Canada as MLSE’s telecom sponsor. MLSE Exec VP & COO Tom Anselmi: “The proposal from Rogers was the most comprehensive.” McLean notes Rogers has broadcasting rights to the Leafs and Raptors for Sportsnet, and distributes Raptors TV and Leafs TV on its cable service. MLSE “aims to tap into Rogers’ expertise to deliver its content over different devices, including cellphones.” Anselmi added, “Clearly technology is going to have more and more of an impact on the consumption of sports.” Bell Canada parent BCE Inc. has a minority stake in Bell Globemedia, which has a 15% holding in MLSE (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/6). In Toronto, Lance Hornby notes MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum has the “right of first refusal” on the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s 58% stake in MLSE “should they look for other investments to add to their estimated $100[B] assets.” There are “whispers Teachers wishes to get out of the local professional sports picture” (TORONTO SUN, 9/6).
Red Sox T-Shirts For Sale
In Several Languages
SCRATCH & WHIFF? Sales of $5 Red Sox scratch lottery tickets “have plunged” since the team’s recent slide in the standings. The scratch game launched in April and ticket sales “soared to nearly $12[M] in one week. More recently sales averaged nearly $2.7[M] a week.” But Massachusetts state lottery officials “dismissed speculation that the team’s poor performance is pummeling sales,” saying that all scratch tickets “experience high sales at first, then decline after a few weeks.” The $5 scratch tickets are the “second-biggest sellers in the Lottery’s history, with almost $100[M] sold so far” (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/2).
O.J. Simpson Involved In Legal
Fight Over Publicity Rights
German TV network ARD is terminating its deal with former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich at the end of the year. Ullrich was one of several cyclists banned from this year’s race for doping allegations. Under his deal with ARD, Ullrich had been paid up to US$250,000 annually for exclusive interviews, background stories, race diaries and show appearances. ARD is a sponsor of Ullrich’s former T-Mobile cycling team (AP, 9/5).
SKINS GAME: Yankees manager Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation is hosting a fund raiser next week in conjunction with Nivea, and in N.Y., Michael Schmidt reports the invitation to the event says, “Rub and Be Rubbed, Grip and Be Gripped, Tickle and Be Tickled.” Inside, it reads, “Touch and Be Touched,” with a picture showing a “woman in black panties lying atop a man wearing jeans.” The words and images are part of Nivea’s new ad campaign. Torre, whose foundation approved the image, said that Nivea “had made a significant contribution” to the foundation. Torre: “They support what we are trying to do” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/6).
BODY WORKS: 76ers G Allen Iverson has signed a three-year deal with Barelle Development to serve as spokesperson for its Dap Body Spray for Men (Dap Body Spray).
Mark Martin To Drive No. 88 Car?
TRACY: Paul Tracy is joining with Toyota “to run an even more aggressive stock car schedule” in ‘07. Tracy, who is running a limited Busch schedule this year, said, “If you are a young driver, especially a young American driver, and you are looking to go racing with a lot of frequency and make a lot of money, (NASCAR) is the place to be” (TORONTO SUN, 9/5).
RIDING IN CARS WITH GIRLS: Ophthonix will be the primary sponsor of the Dreyer & Reinbold IRL team and driver Sarah Fisher in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway this Sunday (Ophthonix).