SBD/Issue 142/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Dunkin' Donuts Selects FSG To Handle Sports Marketing Portfolio

    Dunkin' Donuts Taps FSG As
    Its Sports Marketing Agency
    Dunkin' Donuts has selected Fenway Sports Group (FSG) as its sports marketing agency of record. Under the deal, FSG will develop programs that leverage Dunkin's current marketing portfolio and enhance its future partnerships. FSG also will work with Dunkin's national sponsorships team and field marketing managers to negotiate potential sports properties and agreements (FSG). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Eric Fisher writes the long-term deal furthers Dunkin's "push to become a fully national brand." Dunkin' has "sharply increased its marketing activity of late within sports," aligning with six Philadelphia-area Division I schools, the NHRA and Yahoo Sports, among others. FSG Exec VP Mark Lev: "It's no secret that Dunkin' Donuts is on a fairly aggressive expansion." Fisher notes FSG "continues to grow quietly a third business line of corporate consulting and event management run by Lev that will oversee" the Dunkin work. FSG also "works with a handful of other companies in this capacity," including Marriott and EMC (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/14 issue). In Boston, Scott Van Voorhis noted the Dunkin deal is a "major coup for FSG, which has been building a broad portfolio of deals ranging" from a 50% stake in Roush Fenway Racing to consulting deals "with a range of companies," including CVS and grocer Stop & Shop. Lev said of Dunkin, "As they start to grow their footprint nationally, a lot of the sports marketing activity they will be doing will become more national in scope" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/14).

  • Training Company Removes Tim Tebow Images From Web Site Removes Images
    Of Tebow At Request Of Univ. Of Florida
    Operators for, a Web site promoting an “individual athletic improvement program,” removed the name and likeness of Univ. of Florida (UF) QB Tim Tebow yesterday per a request from the school, according to Dave Curtis of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. NCAA rules stipulate that current student-athletes cannot “have their names or images used to endorse or promote commercial products.” However, UF’s “proactive approach in this case likely means that neither Tebow nor the school will face any sanctions.” UF SID Steve McClain said that he “doubted Tebow had any knowledge of the Web site or his involvement.” Curtis notes all references to Tebow and two high school basketball players -- Georgetown signee Greg Monroe and Wake Forest signee Al-Farouq Aminu -- were removed around 5:00pm ET yesterday afternoon. SPARQ VP/Marketing Ken Black in an e-mail said that Tebow “appeared on the cover of his company’s magazine in the summer of 2005.” But the story and related images, which when “used for media purposes were permissible according to the NCAA, became impermissible when SPARQ used them on its site for commercial purposes” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/15). Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury and NFL Draft prospect RB Darren McFadden are the only athletes on the Web site listed by name (THE DAILY).

  • Nike Sues Adidas Over Deal With Chinese Soccer Player Zheng Zhi

    Nike Suing adidas, Zheng Zhi
    For Breach Of Endorsement Contract
    Nike is suing adidas and Chinese men’s national soccer team MF Zheng Zhi, according to Angela Xu of the SHANGHAI DAILY. Nike accused adidas and Zheng of "harming its interest'' and accused Zheng of breach of contract. Nike is seeking US$1.14M in compensation and “requested the defendants to take joint responsibility.” Nike signed Zheng to an endorsement deal in July ’03 that was to expire at the end of ’07. However, Nike claims Zheng “wore Adidas sports shoes … at a match in Japan” in March ’05. Nike’s attorneys said that just days after the match, Zheng “asked to terminate the Nike contract and began to attend commercial activities organized by Adidas in the next two years.” adidas on May 16, 2006, announced that it had signed Zheng to a deal. adidas and Zheng countered that Nike “didn’t pay the player in time according to the contract,” and that Zheng “had the right to unilaterally end the deal because Nike had violated its terms.” adidas also said that Zheng wore the company’s shoes during China national games because adidas sponsored the team (SHANGHAI DAILY, 4/15).

  • On The Clock: Companies Activating Around Upcoming NFL Draft

    Watch Reebok's "Hibernation" Spot
    The NFL in recent years has "proven to be very successful" in making the NFL Draft "more of a marketing, media and fan event," according to Barry Janoff of BRANDWEEK. ESPN this year again will televise the draft, April 26-27 in N.Y., and other NFL partners including Reebok, EA Sports, Hummer and Nike will activate around the event. Reebok NFL Marketing Dir John McMahon: "We want to continue to grow our out-of-season business, moving the emotional start of the (NFL) season from August to April." Reebok through draft weekend will run on ESPN and NFL Network a 30-second spot titled "Hibernation," via mcgarrybowen, N.Y. The ad features two fans watching the last game of the '07 NFL regular season. One fan goes to the bathroom and "doesn't return until 2008 draft day," where he is seen with long hair, a beard, and is a fan of the Dolphins, who went 1-15 last season and own the first pick in this year's draft. Meanwhile, the other fan, wearing a Reebok Giants' draft day cap, has a "beautiful girlfriend and is reveling in the team's Super Bowl XLII win." The spot operates under the tagline, "It's a whole new season." Additionally, ESPN will support its more than 15 hours of coverage with new spots, handled in-house. In one commercial, ESPN folders marked "Confidential Files" spill open to "reveal dossiers from previous drafts with player info and ESPN comments." Another spot "juxtaposes players drafted by the Giants, including [QB] Eli Manning and [WR] David Tyree, with scenes of them winning the Super Bowl." Also, EA will have "TV plus outdoor" in N.Y., Hummer will support its partnership with TV and online, and Nike will have TV and sponsor NFL clinics in Central Park (BRANDWEEK, 4/14 issue).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Randy Moss' Line Of Pony
    Gear Hitting Retail In August
    Pony Int'l has formally agreed to an exclusive partnership to design a signature athletic footwear and clothing line featuring Patriots WR Randy Moss. The first wave of Pony's Moss-branded gear will arrive in stores August 1. The new collection is a comprehensive line of performance shoes. The Moss 1 Molded Signature Cleat features a Moss green color (Pony).

    MAGIC TOUCH: Walt Disney World Resort will serve as a presenting sponsor of the MEAC-SWAC Challenge, an event owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television that features football teams from the two HBCU leagues. The '08 event will feature the MEAC's Hampton Univ. and the SWAC's Jackson State Univ. on August 31 and will be broadcast live at 2:00pm ET on ESPN2 from the Florida Citrus Bowl (Disney).

    MOBILE GROWTH: A Forrester Research study released last week found that while mobile marketing is "still in an infant stage, 83% of marketers believe that its effectiveness will increase over the next three years." Marketers view mobile as "one of the most valuable advertising channels, since consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to get content" (, 4/11).

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