SBD/Issue 163/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Lewis Hamilton Close To Sponsorship Deals With Reebok, Pepsi

    Hamilton Nearing Personal
    Sponsorship Deal With Reebok
    F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is "about to sign a personal sponsorship deal with Reebok"  that is thought to be worth US$19.4M over a minimum of three years, and he also is "in negotiations with Pepsi on a separate sponsorship deal that could be worth the same as the Reebok contract, or substantially more," according to Edward Gorman of the LONDON TIMES. Hamilton, who over the next five years will earn US$145.7M in basic salary from McLaren Mercedes, will have combined earnings that "take him just past" Galaxy MF David Beckham, whose salary and endorsement deals are "estimated to be a little more than [US$31.1M] a year." The Reebok deal makes Hamilton one of the company's "global brand ambassadors," along with Barcelona FC F Thierry Henry, Chelsea F Andriy Shevchenko and boxer Amir Khan. As part of the deal, Hamilton will be expected to "fulfil appearance commitments and other duties, in addition to the work he undertakes on behalf of McLaren" (LONDON TIMES, 5/14).

  • Fluid Charger: Gatorade Signs Tomlinson To Multi-Year Deal

    Tomlinson Signs Endorsement Deal With Gatorade
    Gatorade today announced it has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson is scheduled to participate in his first Gatorade event later this week in San Diego, a kickoff event for the Gatorade Tiger Moonshot Challenge Tour. Tomlinson will take part in a longest-drive contest in a golf simulator (Gatorade). Tomlinson's endorsement portfolio includes Nike, Campbell's Chunky Soup, Vizio,, EasyTurf and Bioforce's Myomed pain cream. He also has appeared in ads for Vitaminwater (THE DAILY).

  • New Balance, "Sesame Street" Team For Co-Branded Children's Shoes

    New Balance has teamed with "Sesame Street" on a "co-branded collection of children's shoes that will debut in July" across major retailers including Finish Line, Foot Locker and Hibbitz Sporting Goods, in addition to its own stores, according to Eric Newman of BRANDWEEK. The shoes, which carry a premium price point of $43 for infant styles and $65 for grade-school styles, will be backed by a national campaign that includes TV spots during "Sesame Street" and print ads starting in the July issues of both Cookie and Parenting magazines. Themed street sign displays carrying the "Sesame Street" nameplate will "anchor the children's section" within New Balance's own retail network. New Balance Dir of Global Marketing & Brand Management Christine Maddigan said that the partnership is "mutually beneficial for both brands, offering 'Sesame Street' access to the specialty athletic retail segment while providing New Balance with the TV show's name as an anchor for its kids business." New Balance has a four-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement for "Sesame Street" until 2010, and the company is the "exclusive national sponsor" of Sesame Workshop's traveling museum exhibit, "Sesame Street Presents: The Body," which runs through 2010 (BRANDWEEK, 5/12 issue).

  • Sprint Gives Customers Free Tix To All-Star Race, Pit Crew Event

    Sprint Giving Customers Free Tickets
    To All-Star Race At Lowe's Motor Speedway
    Sprint bought 20,000 tickets to Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race and 10,500 tickets to tomorrow's Pit Crew Challenge and "made them available to Sprint subscribers who claimed them from the company's Web site" as part of its Customer Celebration Week, according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The 20,000 tickets "represent the largest single order" of tickets to an event at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS). Sprint did not know exactly how many people took up the offer for the two events, but officials "believe it's between 5,000 and 10,000." Sprint Dir of Sports Marketing Steve Gaffney: "This is the biggest thing we've ever done for our customers. We have customer rewards, but we've never done anything on this scale." Smith writes the deal is "part of an effort to upgrade Sprint's reputation for customer service at retail and through billing and customer-care calls." The total cost for Sprint was not released, but the race tickets cost $40 each and the Pit Crew tickets were $10 apiece. However, LMS officials said that Sprint "was given a volume discount." The Pit Crew Challenge is in its third year at Time Warner Cable Arena and "typically draws about 5,000 to 6,000 fans," but Sprint's ticket buy "could lead to the first sellout of the 15,000 available seats." Sprint will have branded areas at each venue where customers can pick up their tickets. Gaffney said that if the promo is successful, a "similar model could be applied to Sprint's NFL sponsorship on a lesser scale." October is the company's customer appreciation month, and Gaffney said that Sprint might "choose a weekend for a customer celebration at NFL games" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/12 issue). Sprint also offered subs 1,000 "behind-the-scenes tours" of the HQs of Michael Waltrip Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. Gaffney said that "internal research and measurements attribute 1 million of its 54 million subscribers to the NASCAR sponsorship." Gaffney said of the promotion, "When you think of customer service, no one's really good at it. We needed a way to show that's changing. One of the ways you do that is you surprise the customer and give them access to something they really want" (Erik Spanberg, CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/9 issue).

  • AT&T Classic's Title Sponsor Search Hindered By Economy

    Downturn In Economy Affecting Atlanta PGA
    Tour Stop's Efforts To Land New Title Sponsor
    The PGA Tour AT&T Classic's effort to land a title sponsor has been "hampered by the downturn in the economy and by the reversal of fortunes of many companies that might otherwise jump at the chance to put their name on the event," according to David Markiewicz of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. AT&T in November announced that it will drop its title sponsorship of the tournament at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia, after this weekend's event, and if no sponsor is found soon to spend "about $7[M] a year for five years, plus related marketing costs," the tournament "could disappear." While there is "no drop-dead date to find a sponsor," the PGA Tour will release its '09 schedule in November, and a company "needs to be found before then." Tournament Dir Dave Kaplan and other officials since January have "contacted 149 companies, made presentations to 23 and formal proposals to seven." Five of those prospects are "still classified as 'active,' meaning that one might agree to serve as title sponsor." Local companies that have passed on the sponsorship include Coca-Cola, UPS and Georgia-Pacific (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/14). Kaplan: "We have not been given any hard and fast deadline. There is some point where if we do not have [a sponsor], the PGA Tour has to go on and do their business." The ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE's John Manasso notes the PGA Tour PODS Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, is in a "similar situation," as it still is without a title sponsor for '09. If one or both of the tournaments "cannot find a sponsor in time, it will lose its date, and the Tour will select a tournament that already has a sponsor from its Fall Series to move up." The Valero Texas Open in San Antonio would be the "first tournament in line" (ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 5/9 issue).

    NOT GOING ANYWHERE: HP yesterday agreed to acquire EDS for $13.9B, but EDS CEO Ron Rittenmeyer said that EDS will "continue to be the main sponsor" of the PGA Tour Byron Nelson Championship (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/14).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    The WNBA yesterday formally announced a deal with McDonald's to put the company's logo on teams' jerseys to promote the QSR's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit Sandwich. In DC, Tim Lemke wrote, "you have to give credit to McDonald's for finding a way to get some unique exposure in an era when advertisers struggle to find a way to set themselves apart." However, he added, "I'm not precisely sure what the [sandwich] has to do with women's hoops. But I never believed that Tiger Woods drives a Buick" (, 5/13).

    JUMPING AHEAD: In Kentucky Jim Jordan reported more than $500,000 worth of memorabilia for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games "have been sold through retailers and the Internet in the past year or so." World Games 2010 Foundation CEO Jack Kelly said that the amount is "'twice as much' as the tally for the entire 2006 games" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 5/12).

    NOTES: Peter Jacobsen Sports has been named the global sports and sponsorship marketing agency for Nurtilite. PJS worked with Nutrilite on its recent multi-national campaign featuring FC Barcelona MF Ronaldinho (THE DAILY)....Steve & Barry's is adding 70 new store locations this year, and the chain will be the sole retailer to carry official T-shirts related to the May 30 release of "Sex and the City: The Movie" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/14).

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