SBD/Issue 128/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Bears Choose Two By Four For First Brand Campaign In Decade

    Bears Select Two By Four, Chicago
    To Work On Brand Campaign
    The Bears have selected Two by Four, Chicago, to "develop the team's first brand campaign in more than a decade," according to Lewis Lazare of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Two by Four beat out seven other local agencies, finally earning the account over Romani Bros. Bears Senior Dir of Corporate Communications Scott Hagel said that the team last worked with an agency, Beyond DDB, when the club moved games to the Univ. of Illinois in Champaign during renovations to Soldier Field in '02. However, he said that those efforts were "more informational and did not involve a full-blown brand campaign." Lazare reports the Bears include corporate promotions, community outreach, special events and radio and TV programs as "part of a total marketing effort." Two by Four was the White Sox' agency of record until White Sox VP & CMO Brooks Boyer "initiated a review last summer." Two by Four President & Creative Dir David Stevenson said that the brand campaign, likely to launch this summer, "probably won't be the same spec concept his agency presented to Bears executives during the review." Lazare: "Clearly, the Two by Four campaign will have to rev up a lot of loyal fans who were frustrated by a disappointing season in 2007."

    BULLS: Meanwhile, Lazare reports while Bulls ad agency DiMeo & Co., Chicago, will remain the team's agency of record, Tom Dick & Harry (TD&H), Chicago, will "create the radio campaign" for the '08-09 season. Sources said that the TD&H radio efforts will "probably be made to mesh with DiMeo's new campaign via the overarching tagline DiMeo will create for next season" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/26).

  • Firestone To Title IRL Development Circuit; DirecTV Near Deal

    Bridgestone Firestone and the IRL have signed a multi-year deal in which the Firestone brand will be the title sponsor of IRL's development circuit. The series, which had been known as the Indy Pro Series, will be called the Firestone Indy Lights. The series previously used the Indy Lights name from '91-'01. In addition, the circuit's event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 23 will be known as the Firestone Freedom 100 (Firestone).

    IRL NEARING DEAL WITH DIRECTV: Sources say the IRL is close to finalizing a deal that would make DirecTV the presenting sponsor for the league's top circuit, the IndyCar Series. It is uncertain how DirecTV would be integrated into the name and logo of the series. IndyCar still is searching for a title sponsor as well. Both the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights open their seasons Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Meanwhile, the IRL is also expected to announce this week that Coca-Cola will become the circuit's official soft drink (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

  • Serving It Up: adidas Debuts New Arenas Hibachi Shoe At Benihana

    adidas Unveils Arenas' Hibachi
    Shoe At Benihana In N.Y.
    adidas yesterday at a N.Y.-area Benihana restaurant unveiled the latest signature shoe from Wizards G Gilbert Arenas called the Hibachi, according to Darren Rovell of CNBC. The name is from a nickname Arenas “actually gave himself when he caught fire during a game two years ago.” Rovell: “The shoes, which are red and black and have the word ‘Hibachi’ written on them, actually also have the word ‘Benihana’ written in the back and the company’s logo inside the shoe." The shoes, which are limited to 1,000 pairs and cost $110 each, will be available on adidas' official Web site on Friday and at the company's flagship retail stores on Sunday. The company is utilizing "grassroots marketing of these shoes," including having Arenas film an online spot for adidas' Arenas-themed Web site Meanwhile, the shoe is a “good promotion for Benihana,” as the chain is “not paying to be on this shoe” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 3/25).

  • Cleared For Take-Off: American Airlines Agrees To Deal With MLS

    American Airlines has signed a multi-year, seven-figure deal with MLS, the airline's "first [deal] with any sports league," according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The agreement also marks MLS' first deal with an airline. American will have the national rights to MLS and the new Superliga tournament, including "intellectual property rights, field-board signage, and print and online advertising." The airline plans to support the deal with TV, online and in-stadium advertising. Weber-Shandwick, Zubi, Momentum and McCann-Erickson's TM all worked together on creating the airline's campaign for the '08 season. Opportunities also exist for American to "promote MLS in what amounts to a promotional swap by showcasing league content in the airline's in-flight magazines and videos." American joins a "growing list of companies, including Anheuser-Busch and NAPA, to affiliate itself" with both MLS and Superliga "in order to reach Hispanic consumers" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/24 issue).

  • Marketplace Round-Up

    adidas and Brazilian shoe company Vulcabras SA have agreed to form a joint venture "to sell shoes, shirts and other sports apparel from Reebok" in Brazil and Paraguay. The venture will begin April 1 (AP, 3/26)....BB&T Bank has become one of the six Premier Partners for the PGA Tour Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but previous packages on that level have been worth more than $250,000 (BUSINESS JOURNAL OF THE GREATER TRIAD AREA, 3/21 issue)....English Coca-Cola Championship club Queens Park Rangers have signed a five-year, US$40M jersey sponsorship deal with Lotto (Manchester GUARDIAN, 3/26).

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