SBD/Issue 95/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Companies Trying To Maximize Post Super Bowl Ad Exposure

    Procter & Gamble Creates Microsite
    To Promote Its Tide to Go Campaign
    The Internet, DVRs, mobile devices "and other technologies are giving a strong postgame presence to the commercials that appear each year during the Super Bowl," and now the "strategy among sponsors is to maximize postgame exposure to help amortize the eye-popping cost of a Super Sunday spot," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Many Web sites, including YouTube, MySpace, AOL, MSNBC and Spike.com, offered clips of Super Bowl ads, as did "specialty Web sites" such as huffingtonpost.com. Additionally, three auto sites operated by Edmunds Inc. are offering the clips and "discussions about car commercials." GoDaddy.com in its Super Bowl spot encouraged viewers to watch another ad on the company's Web site, and the cross-promotion "was indicative of the increasing efforts by Super Bowl sponsors to integrate their TV and online presences." Nielsen Online Strategic Services Exec VP Pete Blackshaw "praised sponsors that created special Web sites, known as microsites, to promote their campaigns," singling out the site for Procter & Gamble's Tide to Go product. Meanwhile, TiVo VP & GM/Audience Research & Measurement Todd Juenger said the commercials "got a higher audience than the game" in homes with the device (N.Y. TIMES, 2/5).

    Parsons Says GoDaddy.com Received
    2 Million Visitors On Super Bowl Sunday
    WEB TRAFFIC:  Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons wrote on his blog that before the Super Bowl was over, the company's Web site had received 1.5 million hits, and "a whopping 2 million visitors for the day." Parsons noted last year the site drew less than 500,000 visitors (BOBPARSONS.com, 2/4). Parsons added 1.2 million of the 2 million visitors watched the video of a rejected Super Bowl spot referred to in the ad that aired (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/5). Adweek's Barbara Lippert said the GoDaddy.com ad was “horrible,” but the company was "damn successful” in drawing people to its Web site ("The Charlie Rose Show," PBS, 2/4). Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, John Eckberg reports mytalkingstain.com, the microsite mentioned in the Tide to Go ad, received more than 30,000 unique hits. The Web site offers downloads, including the talking stain's "voice" as a cell-phone ring tone, and encourages visitors to submit a homemade ad spoof, the best of which will be aired on prime-time TV later this year. By the end of Sunday night, "more than 5,500 customized ads were created" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/5). However, Akamai Technologies reported traffic to Super Bowl advertisers' Web sites "saw no dramatic increase during the game this year." Sites averaged between 150,000-200,000 visitors per hour, "about the same amount of traffic seen in previous weeks." Akamai Dir of Corporate Communications Jeff Young said that his company "delivered the Web sites and advertising content for approximately half of the companies" that aired Super Bowl spots (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/4).

    CLICK-CLANK? Under Armour aired its first Super Bowl commercial to promote the upcoming release of its Prototype cross-trainer, and in Baltimore, Andrea Walker writes while the ad "may not have won many popularity contests ... that doesn't mean it didn't succeed in reaching its target audience." The ad "got smashed in some surveys," but the company said that it chose "marketing strategy over angling for the entertainment quotient that wins a place on the viewer surveys." Under Armour VP/Marketing Steve Battista said, "We knew going in with our hard creative style that we weren't going to fit in the top five for [USA Today's] Ad Meter. We don't poke fun at our brand." Northwestern Univ.'s Kellogg School of Management's review panel "concluded that the commercial did its job in defining the brand, but said some parts ... may have been too much for some." Battista noted that traffic to the Under Armour Web site after the commercial ran Sunday "was 50 times the peak holiday average," and that people "have already put in pre-orders for the shoes," which go on sale in May (Baltimore SUN, 2/5). Battista, in a special to AD AGE, wrote as "people began telling us, 'You can't not be funny in the Super Bowl,' we took the creative to an even harder place. And further over the top." Under Armour has "never been much into focus groups, but the few informal gatherings we did proved beneficial" (AD AGE, 2/4 issue). However, in Toronto, Grant Robertson notes Under Armour stock was down $2.49 a share yesterday to $40.29 after falling almost 50% in January amid concern from investors that "the ad represented a significant portion of the company's quarterly earnings" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5).

    CELEBRITY INFLUENCE: USA TODAY's Horovitz, Petrecca, Howard & Kutz write celebrities "of various sorts showed up in 18 ads this year, but not one cracked the top five in USA Today's Ad Meter." Pepsi's spot with Justin Timberlake, Vitaminwater's with Heat C Shaquille O'Neal, Icebreakers' with Carmen Electra and Bridgestone's with Alice Cooper and Richard Simmons all finished outside of the top 10 (USA TODAY, 2/5). Adweek's Lippert ranked the Icebreakers ad as one of the worst because it was a “complete waste of Carmen Electra, and what was the message? I think it was invisible” ("The O'Reilly Factor," Fox News, 2/4). However, MEDIAPOST's David Goetzl reports in TiVo's listing of "highest-rated spots, ads with celebrities sprinkled the top 10." Pepsi's Timberlake ad ranked No. 2, Coke's spot with former U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Democratic strategist James Carville ranked No. 4, Icebreakers was No. 5 and Vitaminwater was at No. 8 (MEDIAPOST.com, 2/5). 

    DISAPPOINTING ADS: In Chicago, Lewis Lazare writes there was a "pervasive sense that ad agencies and clients have simply stopped trying to grab for the really big idea and the eye-popping execution, preferring instead to settle for the little idea, shock value or a glitzy star to get viewers' attention." If things "continue in this vein, the Super Bowl of Advertising will eventually become a hugely diminished event. It's already well along the way to becoming just that" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/5). Univ. of Wisconsin marketing professor Chuck Tomkovick "questioned the Super Bowl's pervasive commercialism." Tomkovick: "For some consumers, it's information overload. Before their ad even ran, Hyundai told viewers to go to the USA Today ad meter for feedback. Why? These marketers are getting caught up in the process, not the product." SpotBowl.com's David Shoffner said, "People had problems with the guy in the rat costume who seriously beat up some other guy for Doritos and Careerbuilder's pretty little fairy who got eaten by the spider" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/5). In Toronto, Jennifer Wells scored the Bridgestone ad "no stars" and writes, "Who could have imagined that a commercial could make one feel sorry for Richard Simmons?" Bridgestone "managed to accomplish precisely that with an egregious spot in which the faded disco king of exercise is nearly flattened." The Under Armour commercial was "not very" clever, but the ETrade talking baby clip was "a neat creative trick" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5). CNBC’s Donny Deutsch said of ETrade, “This is not the first time we’ve seen talking babies but it was done very real and it was done very charming." He added Coca-Cola’s Charlie Brown ad was “one of the best commercials ever in the Super Bowl” (CNBC, 2/4). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "The ETrade commercials with the baby were spectacular. The Clydesdale as Rocky was spectacular." But ESPN's Michael Wilbon said the commercials "are all overrated. ... Only the Victoria's Secret commercial and the (Charles Barkley/Dwyane Wade T-Mobile) commercial were any good at all. The rest of them were junk" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/4).

    OTHER RESPONSES: Massachusetts-based Allen & Gerritsen received 340 responses for its fifth annual Super Bowl ad survey, which rates each ad "for the value it established for the product, the respect it showed potential customers and potential for customer response." The survey showed the "most meaningful" ads were the NFL personal stories, Tide to Go and the Diet Pepsi Max spot "that featured sleepy people." Survey participants "also gave high marks" to FedEx's carrier pigeons and Budweiser's Clydesdale/Dalmatian ad. The Salesgenie.com and GoDaddy.com commercials were both "panned by survey participants" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/5)....The National Organization for Women gave "failing grades" to GoDaddy.com, Planters, Anheuser-Busch for the Bud Light spot featuring comedian Carlos Mencia, Victoria's Secret and Taco Bell (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/5).

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  • Eli Manning Likely To Score On Madison Avenue With SB MVP

    Manning Looking To Follow In Footsteps
    Of Older Brother As NFL's Premier Pitchman
    Giants QB Eli Manning's MVP performance in Super Bowl XLII could take him "from advertising second-stringer to Madison Avenue star," according to Sucker & McCarthy of USA TODAY. Ketchum Sports Marketing VP Shawn McBride said that Manning's "gutsy performance will enable him to break free of the shadow of his brother [Colts QB Peyton Manning], ... arguably the NFL's most recognizable pitchman." McBride added that Eli "should be able to score his own solo endorsement deals." McBride: "He's certainly poised to be a new go-to guy on Madison Avenue." Baker Street Partners VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said Manning has N.Y. "in his back pocket. He can make seven figures just in regional deals. Then you add in the national deals from the ring on his finger. All of a sudden, he's got a new air of legitimacy he didn't have before" (USA TODAY, 2/5). Steiner Sports Managing Dir Steven Weinreb said, "Eli is already an established name in the New York market. Now, he's a household name across America." In N.Y., Pete Donohue notes Manning earned $6.5M in salary and another $5M in endorsements this season, as his endorsements "had been growing" before Sunday. Manning has been the pitchman for Citizen Watch Co., Toyota of New Jersey, Reebok and ESPN Radio (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/5). Nabisco runs a full-page ad in today's N.Y. Times featuring a graphic of Manning from the Oreo’s “Double Stuf Racing League” spot with the copy, “Eli: Congrats On The Championship You Won In Your Other ‘Sport’” (THE DAILY). 

    HOLDING PATTERN: In L.A., Bob Pool reports Manning did not appear at a scheduled celebratory parade at Disneyland yesterday "even though he shouted the familiar ["I'm going to Disneyland!"] catchphrase on television Sunday night." Park execs said that Manning was unable to leave Phoenix in time for the 10:30am PT parade "because of crowded post-Super Bowl air traffic conditions," and that Manning's visit "would be rescheduled, although no date had been set" (L.A. TIMES, 2/5). Manning also missed a scheduled appearance on last night's "The Late Show," but that has been rescheduled for tomorrow night (N.Y. POST, 2/5).

    PERFECT PLEX: In Boston, Jay Fitzgerald notes while stars like Patriots QB Tom Brady will "always attract lucrative sponsorship deals" despite Sunday's loss, SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said it is a "lost opportunity for other players." Ganis: "What you would have seen was similar to the phenomenon that occurred after the (championship) '85 Chicago Bears season, when even offensive linemen became in-demand stars." Ganis estimated that the Patriots' loss could "easily cost millions of dollars in blown sponsorship opportunities" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/5).

    STILL SWIMMING: CNBC’s Darren Rovell said some members of the undefeated ’72 Dolphins are making $50,000-100,000 a year "just from appearances and autographs,” and that the team “might be bigger winners overall than some of the Giants” (CNBC, 2/4). Rovell yesterday wrote on his blog team members' "yearly appearance money would be cut in half" if the Patriots had gone 19-0 (CNBC.com, 2/4).

    TOM TERRIFIC: MP3 downloads of the four songs Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played during the Super Bowl halftime show "shot up wildly" yesterday, with "Free Fallin'" increasing 1,672%, rising to tenth place from 319th overnight on the Amazon charts (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/5).

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  • Super Bowl Merchandise Sales Could Top Record of $125M

    NFL Says Super Bowl Merchandise
    Sales Could Surpass Record
    The NFL yesterday estimated the total sales of official Super Bowl merchandise "could surpass the $125[M] record set" after Super Bowl XXXIX in '97, which saw the Packers beat the Patriots, according to David Porter of the AP. NFL VP/Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy noted that each NFL team receives "an equal share of the revenue from official Super Bowl merchandise sales." Angelo Rizzo, the co-Manager of the Sports Authority store in Clifton, New Jersey, said fans "bought up 1,000 items immediately after the game, then snapped up about 1,500 more by mid-afternoon Monday." Dan Fisher, the manager of the Dick's Sporting Goods location in Princeton, New Jersey, opened shortly after the game ended, and "five customers were already at the door" (AP, 2/4). 

    BLUE MAN GROUP: In N.Y., Rudish & Gaskell report Giants merchandise was "flying off the shelves so fast yesterday, the Modell's delivery trucks were having trouble keeping pace." Modell's Manhattan store manager Daniel Yalley said, "It seems as if we can't keep stock. We're getting trucks in every two hours." Brooklyn-based APSCO Screen Printing Owner Philip D'Pietro said that he "started printing championship T-shirts before the clock even ran out on Sunday night's game." D'Pietro: "We started the second the Giants won -- literally the second, that one second that was left." An autographed jersey of Giants QB Eli Manning was selling on eBay for $5,000 (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/5). In Westchester, Modell's store manager Scott Hicok said that $30 championship hats "sold out quickly, helped in part by a [6:00am ET] store opening to take advantage of the day-after demand." Sports Authority store operations manager Paul Tivey said, "We had people here at 7 o'clock buying merchandise" (Westchester JOURNAL NEWS, 2/5).

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  • Swing Time: Taylormade-adidas To Air First Golf TV Ad This Year

    Taylormade-adidas Golf Promoting Tour360,
    Powerband Sport Footwear In New Campaign
    Taylormade-adidas Golf will air its first over-the-air network TV ads later this year. The three spots, via NYCA, will introduce the new Tour 360 Limited and Powerband Sport footwear and ClimaCool apparel. The ads reinforce adidas Golf’s “Equipment For Your Body” platform, which seeks to extend equipment phrases into the apparel and footwear realm. “Just like store clerks ask shoppers, ‘What clubs do you play,’ We want them to ask questions like, ‘What spike do you play?’” said Taylormade-adidas Golf Senior Dir of Marketing Bob Maggiore. “We’re positioning this as a performance brand, not a lifestyle brand.” Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose are in all three ads while Jason Day will appear his first as an adidas endorser. No decision has been made on the inclusion of LPGA members Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis. The ads will break on Golf Channel on April 1 and later air on CBS’ weekend coverage of PGA Tour events. Print ads will start running next month in golf publications and Sports Illustrated.

    BRIDGESTONE: Bridgestone Firestone Tire will film a new ad later this month at the Northern Trust Open that ties together its tire and golf technologies. In the spot, Stuart Appleby will race in a car against a golf shot hit by Fred Couples, as Charles Howell III and Brandt Snedeker wait at the finish line to declare the winner. The spot will likely air on Golf Channel and network TV. Meanwhile, Bridgestone Firestone has become the official tire of Golf Channel under a one-year deal with options. It gains network exclusivity in the tire category and presenting sponsorship of the network’s post-round show during The Masters.

    PUMA: Puma Golf is expanding its traveling golf/casino event to six cities in '08. It will visit N.Y., Chicago, L.A., Boston, Ft. Lauderdale and Austin after only going to the first three last year. The event is open to the general public and consists of a nine-hole scramble, gambling, food and beverage, and other entertainment. Maxim has replaced the now-defunct Stuff magazine as the event’s main sponsor. Meanwhile, Puma Golf’s apparel advertising this year will mostly feature PGA Tour member Geoff Ogilvy. A porcupine will appear in ads for the company’s new golf spike technology, dubbed Smart Quill. Print ads will run in golf publications and Maxim.

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  • Marketplace Round-Up

    AT&T has extended its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event held annually at Pebble Beach. A source with knowledge of the contract said the annual price of the new deal, which runs through 2014, is the same as the previous contract, estimated at around $8M a year. AT&T (Pebble and DC), Wachovia (Charlotte) and Stanford Financial (Memphis) are the first three PGA Tour tournament sponsors to agree to terms past 2012. Roughly 40% of tour tournament deals expire in 2010. AT&T is ending its title sponsorship of the Atlanta PGA Tour event after this year, and the California Champions Tour event after ’09 (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).

    Team Owner Lobbying NASCAR To Allow
    AT&T To Keep Running In Sprint Cup Series
    CALLING CARD: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith cites sources as saying that Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Owner Richard Childress is "lobbying NASCAR to keep AT&T in [NASCAR Sprint] Cup racing" despite its negotiated deal to leave at the end of the season. Sources said that AT&T is in the first year of a three-year deal with RCR to sponsor the No. 31 Chevy driven by Jeff Burton, and "there are no exit provisions or refunds for AT&T in the deal." The company's annual sponsorship costs are believed to be $16-18M. NASCAR Managing Dir of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston said, "The fans certainly don't want to hear any more of this. As far as I know, this is a closed issue" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/4 issue).

    SPREAD THE FLOOR: adidas' new "Basketball as a Brotherhood" campaign does not contain endorsers Rockets F Tracy McGrady and Wizards G Gilbert Arenas, but the company is "looking pretty smart," as both have missed time due to injuries. Davie Brown Talent Senior Client manager Matt Delzell said adidas "looks smart. ... They didn't put all their eggs in one basket" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/5).

    OUT TO SEA: The NFL has dropped its opposition to the use of the name and logo of Sea Hawaii, a company that charters dolphin- and whale-watching tours, snorkeling and kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. The league was concerned fans would confuse it with the Seahawks, but determined there were "no similarities" between the company and the team (PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS, 2/1 issue).

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