SBD/Issue 165/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
Virgin Money Signs Five-Year, US$33M
Deal To Title Sponsor London Marathon
Watch Discover Card's New WNBA Spot
TEAM MARKETING NOTES: In Detroit, Chris Silva reports the WNBA Shock has turned to F Cheryl Ford "to be the face of the franchise" after the offseason departure of F Swin Cash to the Storm. The team is "asking more from [Ford], especially when it comes to off-the-court duties." Ford appeared in the league's new marketing campaign concerning "misconceptions about the WNBA," but when asked about making additional commercials, Ford said, "Hey, I made one. I got my two minutes of fame" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 5/16)....In Seattle, Greg Johns notes the Storm's marketing slogan this year is "The Perfect Storm," which deals with the "convergence of new ownership, a loyal fan following and the addition of big-time talent," including Cash and F Sheryl Swoopes (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 5/16).
Mercury's Kelly Mazzante And Kelly Miller
Take Orders At Phoenix-Area McDonald's
Bank Of China Reaches Consumers As
Official Vendor Of Olympics Tickets
adidas Launches Olympic Campaign Early To
Avoid Advertising Clutter Surrounding Games
HUMAN RIGHTS EFFECT ON SPONSORS: Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research President Michael Maslansky appeared on CNBC Thursday to discuss whether China's human rights record is hurting Olympic sponsors. Maslansky said the majority of fans are "not going to pay attention" to the issue during the event. Maslansky: "They’ll watch the Games, they’ll be excited by the Games, but they’re not going to pay attention to the politics." He said the larger issue for sponsors is that they "haven’t done a great job of creating a positive message. The protesters have really owned the debate about the Olympics. They’re making it about Darfur, they’re making it about Tibet." Maslansky: "If they what to make this a productive sponsorship for them ... I think they have to change the way that they talk about the Olympics and really get out in front of this in a way that they haven’t done so far” (CNBC, 5/15).
Motorsports Authentics will hold its first “NASCAR Collector Memorabilia Show” on Saturday at the Embassy Suites near Lowe’s Motor Speedway. More than 40 dealers, wholesalers and other licensees are expected to attend the show, which will include question-and-answer sessions with drivers, auctions and panel discussions. Among the licensees expected to attend are Fathead, Sam Bass Gallery, NASCAR HOF, Press Pass, Mounted Memories and Tissot. NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, ESPN's Rusty Wallace and NASCAR President Mike Helton will be among the speakers. One of the panel discussions will be dubbed “Guard Rails and Tall Tales” and will feature driver Terry Labonte and former drivers Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson and Ernie Irvan.
Rice Signs Two-Year Deal To
Become RCN Spokesperson
STICKING WITH ANNIKA: Despite LPGA member Annika Sorenstam Tuesday announcing her retirement effective at the end of the year, Cutter & Buck said that it "plans to grow the athletic-styled Annika brand on a global basis." Also, Callaway, whose contract with Sorenstam expires in 2010, said that it "plans to continue its relationship with Sorenstam and her golf academy." However, several other of Sorenstam's endorsement deals are "expected to be renegotiated while others simply end" (BRANDWEEK.com, 5/15).
NOTES: Blue Jackets LW Rick Nash will appear on the cover of 2K Sports' "NHL 2K9" videogame, which will be released this fall (2KSports)....Sony Ericsson WTA player Venus Williams said she entered into a endorsement deal with Powerade Zero because it "targets an audience aligned with my lifestyle [that] made the partnership interesting from the outset." She added she was "intrigued that Powerade Zero is bringing a new dimension to the beverage world" (BRANDWEEK.com, 5/15)....IRL driver Sarah Fisher has signed deals with Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis and Hartman Oil "that should cover her May budget" (USA TODAY, 5/16).
Vendt's Agent Says His Agency Will No Longer
Work With TYR Sport Following Lawsuit
ON CALL: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell reported State Farm for its sponsorship of the MLB Home Run Derby will choose a fan to come onto the field at Yankee Stadium and call where Red Sox DH David Ortiz "will hit his first pitch." If Ortiz hits the shot where the fan guesses, the fan will win a '08 Chevy Tahoe hybrid and an '09 season-ticket package for his/her favorite MLB team (CNBC.com, 5/15).
RING-ING ENDORSEMENT? Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 99 Ford driven by Carl Edwards that will carry a wedding proposal at Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway was discussed on ESPN's "PTI" Thursday. ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "I don’t understand the culture of NASCAR where ... there’s nothing that is without sponsorship and signage. So why not a wedding proposal?” But ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said a wedding proposal on a car “seems awfully cheesy to me" ("PTI," ESPN, 5/15).
UNSTOPPABLE: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan reports while the Cubs were able to get vendors selling MLB merchandise around Wrigley Field to stop selling the "racially insensitive" T-shirt featuring a "cartoon of a slanty-eyed bear Cub with oversized, Harry Caray-style glasses," the ban "hasn't stopped individuals with city licenses from selling them." But a Cubs spokesperson said that the company that manufactures the shirts "has agreed to stop making them" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/16).