SBD/Issue 174/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Under Armour To Enter Running Shoe Market In First Half Of '09

    Under Armour To Begin
    Selling Running Shoe In '09
    Under Armour (UA) President & CEO Kevin Plank Thursday during the company's Investor Day at M&T Bank Stadium said that UA will "begin selling a running shoe during the first half of next year," according to Andrea Walker of the Baltimore SUN. The running shoe will "feature six styles, two for trail running and four for road running," and other styles will be "offered for people who pronate ... as well as those who are more stable runners." The shoe will cost $90-100. Plank said that UA will "target a consumer who doesn't necessarily have an allegiance to a particular brand." UA on May 3 launched its New Prototype cross trainer, and SportsOneSource indicated that the shoe "sold about 40[%] of its initial stock." Walker notes when UA launched the shoe the company was "criticized by analysts because it increased marketing at the expense of earnings, including millions spent on" an ad that debuted during Fox' coverage of Super Bowl XLII. Plank said of running a second such ad for the running shoe, "We don't intend to run a Super Bowl ad for this one. I promise." Meanwhile, Plank Thursday said that he "expects athletic shoes to eventually surpass apparel sales" (Baltimore SUN, 5/30). The BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL's Ryan Sharrow reported the running shoes will feature the new ad slogan, "Athletes Run." During the meeting, UA execs also "outlined plans to increase its market share in women's clothing and international sales, as well as enter the market for basketball apparel" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/29).

    INVESTOR DAY: The SUN's Walker in a separate piece reports at UA's Investor Day the "name of an analyst or investor attending the event hung from each locker" at the stadium, while jerseys of teams that wear UA uniforms also hung from each locker. Some attendees "changed into [UA] workout gear and cross-trainer shoes and were led through a series of drills on the field." UA Senior VP/Brand Marketing Steve Battista: "We wanted them to see life behind the numbers, and this is the perfect environment" (Baltimore SUN, 5/30).

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  • DuPont, Hendrick Extend Sponsorship Of Gordon's No. 24 Chevy

    DuPont To Sponsor Gordon's Ride
    Through 2010 NASCAR Season
    DuPont, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon have signed an extension of DuPont's sponsorship of the No. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy through the 2010 season, by which point the agreement will have existed for 18 years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The announcement was made Thursday during the annual DuPont NASCAR Day, an employee appreciation event at the company's HQs in Wilmington, Delaware (DuPont). Gordon: "DuPont has a long tradition of excellence in the automotive world, and we're proud to be a part of it. The fact that we're now in our 16th year together speaks volumes about the success of this partnership" (Wilmington NEWS JOURNAL, 5/30). 

    MORE DEALS FOR GORDON: In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay reported Gordon is partnering with Florida-based N2Revolution to promote the company's PurigeN98, a "high-purity nitrogen tire inflation system" that helps keep tires "properly inflated." Racing schools for both Gordon and Mario Andretti currently use the system (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 5/29).

    WHAT A GEM: Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM) has signed driver Elliott Sadler to a multi-year contract extension. Sadler, who joined GEM in '06, drives the No. 19 Sprint Cup Dodge sponsored by Best Buy, Stanley Tools, McDonald's and Siemens (Dustin Long, HAMPTONROADS.com, 5/29). Sadler during Sunday's Best Buy 400 benefiting Student Clubs for Autism Speaks will drive an "Autism Speaks-themed car" (Wilmington NEWS JOURNAL, 5/30).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Nike Saturday in collaboration with Massachusetts-based store Concepts will debut the Nike SB Concepts Lobster Dunk sneaker, which is “inspired by the seafood heritage of New England.” Two hundred pairs of the $150 sneakers will be available exclusively at Concepts, and the first 50 pairs will come in wood crates. Besides the sneakers, each crate will contain a lobster bib, a fork and “other items keeping with the crustacean concept” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/30).

    IN THE CARDS: The latest iteration of the MLB Cardinals’ “Play Like a Cardinal” campaign features OFs Ryan Ludwick, Brian Barton and Skip Schumaker and Baseball HOFer Red Schoendienst. The ads, which appear on the main scoreboard at Busch Stadium, feature sayings such as “Play Smart,” and “Play a Hard Nine,” as well as an ad featuring Baseball HOFer Ozzie Smith referring to his jersey number that reads, “To be Number One” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/30).

    Oakley Launches Integrated U.K. Marketing
    Campaign For Its Square O Collection
    OAKLEY: Oakley has launched an integrated U.K. marketing campaign featuring “six top British freesport athletes.” The focus of the campaign will be Oakley’s “growing lifestyle collection, in particular the ‘Square O.’” The athletes will pen web diaries where fans can “follow the athletes over the course of the year.” The diaries are “hosted by a microsite which is linked to Oakley’s existing channel on social networking site Bebo” (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 5/29).

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