SBD/Issue 168/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Lucky Duck: Aflac Inks Deal To Be Edwards' Primary Sponsor

    Aflac To Be Primary Sponsor Of Edwards'
    Sprint Cup Ride Beginning In '09
    Aflac has finalized a three-year, $78M deal with Roush Fenway Racing to be the primary sponsor on Carl Edwards' No. 99 Sprint Cup car beginning in '09, sources said. Aflac has been an associate sponsor and part-time primary sponsor on Edwards' car this season, spending about $6-7M, but the new primary sponsorship is expected to run about $26M per year, according to industry insiders. The deal is believed to be the second-most lucrative team arrangement in NASCAR, trailing only the Amp Energy/National Guard sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr., valued at just more than $30M. Office Depot, which has been Edwards' top sponsor for the last three years, recently concluded its negotiating window with Roush Fenway for the No. 99 car without reaching a primary deal. Aflac is expected to sell a handful of its '09 primaries, possibly eight to 10, to other sponsors. Career Sports & Entertainment, Atlanta, represents the Georgia-based company.

  • Rays Merchandise Sales Up, But Share Of Market Still Small

    Jersey Redesign Helping Rays
    See Increase In Merchandise Sales
    Rays merchandise sales this season have "risen faster than all" MLB teams except the Rockies, with a "70[%] increase in sales over last year," according to SportScan Info data cited by Tom Zucco of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. But SportScan, which tracks retail sporting goods sales, reported that the Rays hold a 0.51% share of the market, ranking "second to last in total market share, ahead of only" the Blue Jays. SportScan analyst Matt Powell said of the Rays, "It's a great team to watch. But the market is too small." Rays Senior VP & Chief Sales Officer Mark Fernandez believes that if "only retail numbers are used (and stadium sales were excluded), sales of Rays merchandise could fall into the upper third." Fernandez credits the team's name change, its uniform design and its performance -- the Rays' 27-19 record trails only the Red Sox in the AL East -- for the sales gains. Fernandez said that visits to the team's Web site in the past six weeks were "up nearly 8[%]." TV viewership also is "up about 15[%]" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/21).

    STADIUM OR BUST? St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce's baseball task force co-Chair Steve Raymund, whose group is studying the Rays' $450M waterfront stadium proposal, said that "rejecting the plan may be the end" of MLB in St. Petersburg. Raymund said that if St. Petersburg "won't build the Rays a new stadium, some other city will." Raymund: "The reality is that the Rays say they need a new stadium to remain viable, that it's critical to their organization. If it's not here, it'll be somewhere else" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/21).

  • Affliction Clothing Formally Announces Debut MMA Venture

    Affliction Clothing yesterday formally announced it will hold its first live MMA event on July 19 at Honda Center, according to Miguel Lopez of the Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM. While it has been rumored Affliction would "join the fighting ranks ... the story is who it's bringing to its coming out party." The card will be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko fighting former UFC champion Tim Sylvia. Affliction Clothing VP Tom Acendo said that the company is "not a money-first MMA operation," and that its goal is "providing quality shows." Many boxers and MMA fighters regularly wear Affliction apparel, and Acendo said, "We didn't think our clothing brand was going to get as big as it is and we hope our Affliction MMA branch will have the same result." He added that the company "isn't on the scene to replace, or rival any company, but that it's simply out to produce the fights you can't see elsewhere." Sylvia: "Affliction was willing to pay me more and give me an opportunity to fight other people outside of the UFC" (Long Beach PRESS-TELEGRAM, 5/21).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    RBS Nearing Extension Of
    Endorsement Deal With Donald
    Coca-Cola and the Special Olympics yesterday said that they will renew their partnership through 2011, covering the Special Olympics' '09 World Winter Games and the 2011 World Summer Games. Coca-Cola has sponsored the Special Olympics since its founding in '68 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/21)....RBS is near an extension on its endorsement deal with PGA Tour member Luke Donald through 2011, according to an industry source. Financial terms could not be determined. RBS also has ties to all four men's majors, Jack Nicklaus and LPGA player Paula Creamer (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal)....Titleist has launched, a Web site dedicated to the wedges designed by Bob Vokey. The site has five content areas and two stores for "online purchases of limited edition product" (DETROIT NEWS, 5/21)....Nova Scotia-based Pure Power Athletics Group Inc. Marketing Dir Terry Klironomos said that Red Sox LF Manny Ramirez, P Jonathan Papelbon and 2B Dustin Pedroia are among the MLBers who have been fitted with the Pure Power Mouthguard (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/21).

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