SBD/Issue 141/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • McDonald's Looking To Reprise "Nothin’ But Net" Campaign

    McDonald’s Looking To Update
    “Nothin’ But Net” Campaign
    McDonald’s is in talks with Heat G Dwyane Wade and Cavaliers F LeBron James to star in a remake of the company’s “Nothin’ but Net” TV ads, according to MacArthur & Thomaselli of AD AGE. The ads began with a ’93 Super Bowl spot, via Leo Burnett, Chicago, in which Michael Jordan and Larry Bird faced off in a shooting contest, with the prize being Jordan’s Big Mac and fries. McDonald’s USA CMO Bill Lamar said the idea is to “contemporize ‘Nothin’ but Net’ to 2007 and make it relevant for [Wade and James] and fit their personalities and relationship.” Lamar said the “goal is to have it ready for the NBA finals.” He added that the effort will be “executed across multiple platforms,” and he noted that “this is not an endorsement deal.” Lamar said Translation Consultation & Brand Imaging Founder Steve Stoute “came up with the idea.” MacArthur & Thomaselli note Stoute will consult on the project to “ensure it stays culturally relevant.” The project has been assigned to Omnicom Group’s TBWA, California (AD AGE, 4/16 issue).

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, NBA
  • Titan-ic Weight: Young Hopes To Buck Madden Cover Curse

    Young To Be Cover Athlete
    For EA’s “Madden NFL 08”
    Titans QB Vince Young will appear on the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 08,” according to Jim Wyatt of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. EA would not confirm Young’s selection, but the company will officially announce the cover athlete tonight on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander was on the cover last year, and was the sixth straight “Madden” cover athlete to sustain an injury during the season. The “Madden curse” has claimed stars including Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, who was on the cover in ’05, Ravens LB Ray Lewis (’04), Falcons QB Michael Vick (’03), former Rams RB Marshall Faulk (’02) and then-Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper (’01). But Major Adams, Young’s agent, said, “We don’t believe in no jinx. People said when they put Vince on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated’ (that) it was going to jinx him in the Rose Bowl game, and (Texas) won the national championship” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 4/17).

    DON’T CURSE LT! Unlike Adams, a group of Chargers fans apparently does believe in the “Madden curse.” The fans started a Web site and MySpace page called “Save LT From Madden,” designed to keep LB LaDainian Tomlinson from landing on the cover. Their online petition drew over 1,100 signatures, which they planned to send EA (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, EA Sports, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Sports Illustrated, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
  • Crosby First Hockey Player To Endorse Gatorade In U.S.

    Crosby Becomes First NHLer
    To Endorse Gatorade In U.S.

    Penguins C Sidney Crosby reached a multi-year agreement about a month ago to become the “first hockey player ever to be endorsed by Gatorade in the U.S.,” according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Crosby already has a deal to endorse Gatorade in Canada, and the U.S. deal is separate. Crosby will be featured alongside T’Wolves F Kevin Garnett, Yankees SS Derek Jeter, Colts QB Peyton Manning and former U.S. women’s national soccer team member Mia Hamm on gatorade.com this week. The company has also created online ads that will begin appearing in the next week before “SportsCenter Minute” segments on ESPN.com. Gatorade is the exclusive isotonic beverage of the NHL (SBJ, 4/16 issue).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Yankees, NHL, PepsiCo, Pittsburgh Penguins, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • Winner Of Boston Marathon’s Masters Title Wears Banned Shoe

    Spira Makes Splash At Boston
    Marathon With Bright Yellow Shoes
    Oleg Strijakov won the men’s masters division of the Boston Marathon yesterday while wearing a pair of Spira running shoes that have been banned by the USATF, but the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) “will uphold [his] victory, which earned him $10,000,” according to Dan Duggan of the BOSTON HERALD. The USATF banned the shoe “because it has spring technology that gives runners an advantage.” BAA spokesperson Jack Fleming: “The shoe company has promoted the shoe as illegal, but no one else has said that. The race officials have not received any protests or complaints.” But the possibility that Strijakov “could have his victory challenged” concerned Spira CEO Andy Krafsur, who said, “I’m somewhat surprised [by the BAA upholding the victory]. The rule is the rule, but the BAA has decided not to enforce the rule as written. It creates a circumstance where the second-place finisher could challenge, saying (Strijakov) wore an illegal shoe.” A number of other runners wore the banned shoe. The top overall finisher wearing the shoe was Tamrat Ayalew in 42nd place (BOSTON HERALD, 4/17).

    YELLOW SUBMARINE: CNBC’s Darren Rovell noted the bright yellow Spira shoes were also worn by Jared Nyamboki and Josephat Ongeri, two “complete unknowns (who) ran away from the pack” at the start of the race. At the time, Versus announcer Larry Rawson said, “Take a look at these guys who are out front right now. ... They’re probably advertising some sponsorship.” But the Spira brand was never mentioned and they stayed out front for 1 hour, 32 minutes before dropping out. Advertising and PR author Laura Ries said of Spira, “The best thing they ever did was make these shoes bright yellow and everyone noticed them.” Krafsur: “Our goal now is to get our shoes on more and more people and to create the buzz and create the word of mouth, because we don’t have an advertising budget that can compete with our competitors.” Rovell noted Spira sued USATF last week saying that the rule banning its design violates anti-trust laws (“On The Money,” CBNC, 4/16).

    Print | Tags: USA Track and Field
  • HBO Examines Success Of Stephon Marbury’s Starbury One Shoes

    HBO Examines Marbury’s Discount
    Shoe Line At Steve & Barry’s

    Knicks G Stephon Marbury and his $14.98 Starbury One shoes were examined on HBO’s “Real Sports” last night, and HBO’s Bernard Goldberg said, “Marbury dismisses critics who say this is just one big PR stunt, designed to rehabilitate his image from ball hog to Mr. Nice Guy. As for money, he says he didn’t get a penny upfront and won’t say how much he makes on each pair of shoes sold. But it’s believed to be a dollar and change.” Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, who wore a pair of Starbury Ones at a recent game against the Knicks in N.Y., said creating the shoe was “one of the most ingenious business moves ever ... (and) it’s rare that somebody takes the initiative and takes on a business that not only might be profitable, but can change culture.” Goldberg reported Steve & Barry’s, which produces and distributes the shoes, said it has “sold millions of pairs of shoes” (HBO, 4/16). On Long Island, Shaun Powell writes Marbury’s attempt to “revolutionize the sneaker industry and his decision to look out for kids has been nothing short of a smash. The guy showed a lot of guts sticking to a cause that came straight from his soul, or rather his sole.” The shoes have been selling out in stores, and Steve & Barry’s President Andy Todd said, “That’s been our only problem. They’re sold out everywhere, coast to coast. We wish we had more product. The shoes have held up well, but the supply hasn’t. Customers are buying them too fast” (NEWSDAY, 4/17).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Dallas Mavericks, HBO, New York Knicks, Time Warner
  • Marketplace Round-Up

    The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Brian Steinberg examines the trend of ad agencies parting ways with their clients and writes, “Walking away from a client might seem counterintuitive. But some agencies are choosing to do just that, rather than sink more resources into accounts where it isn’t clear that either financial success or creative harmony is guaranteed.” With Converse splitting with Butler, Shine Stern & Partners, Butler CEO Greg Stern indicated that Converse “had ‘changing needs’ and was interested in using agencies for project work rather than tapping a single agency of record.” Stern: “It would not cover the cost of time of our staff” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/17).

    Waltrip’s Early-Season
    Struggles Could Be Costly
    WALTRIP: In Winston-Salem, Mike Mulhern wrote that “according to one unconfirmed report,” NASCAR team owner and driver Michael Waltrip, who has missed the last six Nextel Cup races, “is having to return $300,000 to his sponsors for each race he misses” (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 4/16).

    DODGERS: The Dodgers and Mexican airline Aeromexico have signed a multi-platform promotional agreement that includes title sponsorship of the postgame show on the Dodgers’ Spanish radio network. In addition, Aeromexico will give away trips during games, and travelers on Aeromexico flights will have the opportunity to receive discount vouchers for Dodgers tickets. Aeromexico joins Cacique, Las Palmas, Camacho’s and Los Defensores among the Hispanic-owned businesses advertising with the team (Dodgers).

    Print | Tags: Converse, Los Angeles Dodgers, NASCAR, Nextel, R J Reynolds
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