SBD/Issue 193/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Geico Paying Players Up To $5,000 To Wear Patches At Wimbledon

Geico Paying Players For Patches At Wimbledon
Geico is paying some lower-ranked men's and women's tennis players up to $5,000 to wear "ambush advertising patches ... during high-visibility matches" at Wimbledon, according to Filip Bondy of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The patches are being worn by players who "receive no money from Nike, Adidas or Reebok, and who are often strapped for cash." First-round losers at Wimbledon earn about $20,000 in prize money, and the added income from Geico can "pay for travel expenses." While there are "other makeshift patches" at the tournament -- Sony Ericsson WTA Tour player Urszula Radwanska wore one for computer company Prokom -- the Geico patch has "become the ultimate signal than an athlete is hopelessly overmatched by a higher-ranked, better-financed opponent." Deals often are "struck through on-site marketing agents," and a seamstress "goes to work on deadline" to add the patch, which measures three square inches. Geico has "been stretching patch laws to the max," as the rules permit a player to "wear a commercial patch only on his or her sleeve." But if the player does not have a sleeve, regulations "permit the patch to travel anywhere in the front" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/26).

Djokovic Says adidas Gave Him Permission
To Wear Nike Shoes At Wimbledon
ALL ABOUT SOLE: ATPer Novak Djokovic at his post-match news conference yesterday following his second-round loss to Marat Safin discussed his decision to wear Nike shoes instead of adidas, with which he has an endorsement deal. Djokovic: "I was wearing another brand of the shoe. This was an agreement between adidas and myself. I had a lot of difficulties with the movement. ... I thank them for the support, because it was a big step for all of us. A bit risky, but it was the only way that I could imagine myself far in the tournament." CNBC's Darren Rovell noted Djokovic, the world No. 3-ranked player, withdrew from his Wimbledon semifinals match last year due to toe problems and asked, "If the shoe was one of the reasons that contributed to his foot problem from last year, why wasn't he custom fitted for grass court shoes by adidas?" (CNBC.com, 6/25).

FALLING SHORT: In N.Y., Korin Miller reports "minuscule hemlines hit it big" at Wimbledon. WTA player Caroline Wozniacki Tuesday played in a "groin-level skirt with teensy shorts underneath," and WTA player Maria Elana Camerin "flashed her hot pants -- often -- under a tiny skirt" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/26).

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