SBD/Issue 1/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Bearing Point Set To Replace Nissan as PGA Tournament Sponsor

    Bearing Point To Replace Nissan As
    Title Sponsor Of PGA Tour Event
    Bearing Point will replace Nissan as the title sponsor of the PGA Tour event formerly known as the Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club in L.A., according to Thomas Bonk of the L.A. TIMES.  Bearing Point, a management and technology consulting company based in Virginia, "is believed to have a contract with the PGA Tour through 2010," although no official announcement has been made and officials from the PGA Tour would not comment. This is Bearing Point's "first time sponsoring a professional event, although it has an endorsement association with Phil Mickelson." Mickelson, "who has not been a regular at Riviera," played in this year's $5.1M tournament. Nissan has been the title sponsor of the event for 21 years, but recently moved its corporate office to Nashville. Riviera GM Michael Yamaki said that after the move "a change in title sponsorship was inevitable" (L.A. TIMES, 9/12).

  • Go Daddy To Sponsor College Football on ESPN

    Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons revealed Monday that the company has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with ESPN "to sponsor this year's college football broadcasts," according to Jane Larson of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Parsons indicated that ESPN announcers "will introduce the Saturday games as 'ESPN college football presented by' and the company will run its Go Daddy Girl commercials more than 500 times during the season." Go Daddy has bought ads during the Super Bowl the last three years and has recently sponsored ABC's broadcast of the Indianapolis 500, as well as IRL driver Danica Patrick. Parsons indicated that the college football sponsorship starts September 22 and will run all season. The company will also sponsor "one of the big college bowl games," which he did not name. Parsons, on why the company is investing in college football: "We like the age and the demographics. It fits with our customer base and the people we want as customers." Parsons also acknowledged that Go Daddy has signed an NFL player as an endorser. Although he declined to identify the player, the company began shooting a commercial with him yesterday. Parsons said that Go Daddy "continues to review whether it will advertise on the Super Bowl" this season (, 9/10).

  • Toyota To Break Comedic Ads Aimed At NASCAR Fans

    Toyota To Launch Comedic
    Campaign Later This Month
    Toyota has a “humorous campaign breaking this month online and on national TV” during NASCAR races, according to Jean Halliday of AD AGE. The campaign, via Saatchi & Saatchi, L.A., features Toyota’s fictional “Department of Fan Operations,” which is touted in a trailer at The department’s mission is to “enhance the fan experience, sometimes with absurd solutions.” The first of ten one-minute Web-based episodes breaks Sunday, the same day as three national 30-second TV spots.  The ads feature actors who “ad-lib the ways Toyota helps NASCAR fans get closer to the action.” One 15-second teaser video, “Fan-Dangler,” shows a man flying over a racetrack in an “amusement-park-type ride.” Toyota Motor Sales USA Corporate Manager of Marketing Communications Kim McCullough said that fans will be able to “vote or comment on their favorite webisodes and suggest ways the fictional fan department can bring them closer to the action” (AD AGE, 9/10 issue).

    UNGER: Toyota Motorsports Manager Les Unger said of what a Nextel Cup win would be worth for Toyota, “I don’t know that anyone anymore can translate a [single] win or being in competition to an immediate sale that follows doing well on the race track. I think it’s something that happens over time, as you build a greater awareness with the fan base, and they see that you’re in the sport for the long haul” ("On the Money," CNBC, 9/12). 

  • Marketplace Round-up

    GPS Industries, a provider of WiFi-enabled golf management systems and targeted media, today announced a binding agreement to acquire the business and assets of UpLink Corp.  The acquisition includes the North American customer base of over 200 golf courses, as well as intellectual property, trademarks and patents. The newly-merged business will operate under the GPS Industries Inc. name with closing expected to occur by October 31. As part of the deal, GPS Industries’ base of Golf Management Systems will now be directed to over 300 golf courses worldwide, and it will expand the media network that offers advertisers access to a targeted audience of more than nine million golfers annually (THE DAILY).

    NOTES: The Women's World Cup kicked off Monday, and the N.Y. TIMES' George Vecsey writes ESPN's broadcast included a "totally inappropriate commercial from Nike showing a creepy publicist wearing a [Brandi] Chastain-style sports bra, advising the players to focus on glitz. A few of the younger guns shoot him a  hard look, and one of them boots a shot directly to some unspecified but vulnerable sector of the publicist's anatomy" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/12)....NASCAR team owner Bobby Ginn said Tuesday that "he was surprised by a lawsuit asserting he hadn't honored the contracts" of drivers Sterling Marlin, Joe Nemechek and their crew chiefs.  Ginn: "Sterling and Joe's contracts ran through the end of the year, and I have paid them through August -- all of their winnings and salary, per the contract. And I intend to pay through the end of the year. I always have" (USA TODAY, 9/12)....USG Corp. has signed on as the presenting sponsor for the '07 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Chicago this fall. The competition from October 23-November 3 will draw nearly 700 boxers from more than 120 countries, and the championship bouts on November 3 will be broadcast live by Fox Sports (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/11).


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