SBD/Issue 204/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Nike Signs U.S. Sprinter Walter Dix To Record-Breaking Contract

    Dix Inks Multi-Million Dollar
    Endorsement Deal With Nike
    U.S. Olympic sprinter Walter Dix, who won the 200-meter race at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, has signed an endorsement deal with Nike. Terms of the deal were not released (Icon Management). Dix' agent, Icon Management's Kimberly Holland, indicated that Dix and Nike agreed to a "'record-breaking' multimillion-dollar contract" through December 2012, which makes Dix the "highest-paid endorsed track athlete to come out of college." In Ft. Lauderdale, Sharon Robb reports Dix must make 10 appearances each year for Nike, either "at meets or other endorsement-related functions." Dix: "This definitely shows where I am at in my career. You have to be a pretty elite athlete to be in the same (Nike) family as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods." Robb notes prior to graduating from Florida State Univ. this year, Dix was "offered what was believed to be $6[M] over six years." But Holland said that deal is "is worth 'much more.'" Dix "saw his stock rise" when he won the 200 meters at the trials and finished second in the 100 meters (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 7/14).

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  • Obama Campaign Declines BAM Racing Sprint Cup Sponsorship Offer

    Obama Campaign Declines Offer To
    Sponsor Car In Upcoming NASCAR Race
    Bill Burton, a spokesperson for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, said that there "would be no sponsorship" of BAM Racing's No. 49 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry, according to Chris Jenkins of the AP. Burton: "The Obama campaign will not be sponsoring a car in the Sprint Cup series, though we will continue to look for ways to reach out to voters and convey Senator Obama's message of change." An SI.com report Friday stated that BAM Racing had presented the campaign a deal that would see it sponsor the No. 49 car driven by Ken Schrader at the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway on August 3. Jenkins wrote it "would have been a fairly bold move within a sport whose competitors spend all year turning left on the track but tend to lean to the right politically" (AP, 7/11). In L.A., Kate Linthicum reported BAM approached the presidential campaigns of Obama, John McCain and "at least one third-party candidate about a sponsorship deal." BAM spokesperson Rhett Vandiver confirmed the offer, but said, "I don't know how far along the discussions are" (L.A. TIMES, 7/12). In Charlotte, Jim Morrill noted Obama "wouldn't have been the first presidential candidate to buy into racing," as then-U.S. Sen. John Edwards' (D-NC) political action committee in '02 "sponsored a dirt-track racer in Iowa" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/12). In L.A. Dan Neil wrote, "In one respect, this is too bad for Obama. NASCAR fans are famous for crazy sponsor loyalty. ... On the other hand, a losing outing for Obama's car -- and Schrader has as much chance of winning as Jesse Jackson has of getting the democratic vice presidential nod -- might actually hurt Obama with NASCAR dads" (LATIMES.com, 7/12).

    McCain Attends Firestone IndyCar
    200 At Nashville Speedway
    CINDY MCCAIN: The AP's Teresa Walker reported McCain's wife, Cindy, on Saturday attended the Firestone IndyCar 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. McCain "visited with IRL drivers during their pre-race meeting and spent time talking" with driver Buddy Rice. McCain also took a lap around the track in the pace car, as well as visiting the garage, the inspection area and the officials' trailer (AP, 7/12). In Nashville, Jennifer Brooks reported McCain "lingered over" driver Danica Patrick's No. 7 car Saturday, hoping to meet Patrick, who she said was her favorite driver. McCain: "I admire her so much. She has really been a tough, tough racer and a great competitor and it's nice to see her succeed" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 7/13).

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  • adidas To Unveil New Univ. of Michigan Football Jerseys Today

    adidas Today To Officially Unveil
    New Michigan Football Jerseys
    adidas today will officially unveil its new Univ. of Michigan (UM) football jerseys, and the "visible portion of authentic game jerseys will not be dramatically different from those of the past on the blue home uniforms," according to Mark Snyder of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. However, the road white jerseys are a "bit more of a departure from tradition," as they feature blue numbers outlined in maize, "thin maize stripes between the shoulder and the upper chest, and thicker, more pronounced stripes beginning in the middle outside the numbers and wrapping around the side, forming dual tails in the back." There will also be a "sticky strip that says Go Blue across the bottom to hold the jersey in the player's pants." adidas Business Dir for Football Mark Clinard said, "We put [former UM football coach] Bo Schembechler's famous quote 'Those Who Stay Will Be Champions' in the hem of the authentic jersey." Snyder notes adidas is "touting three technological aspects of the jerseys" -- the ClimaCool system that enhances ventilation in "high heat zones;" Foromotion cuts, which are "strategically placed seams that remove excess fabric such as when a wide receiver stretches for a ball;" and the TechFit PowerWeb sleeve "for their calves to improve oxygen delivery and increase blood flow." adidas last year signed an eight-year, $60M deal with UM, the "largest known college licensing agreement in the country" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/14).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Kobalt Tools Emerging As Leading Candidate
    To Title Sponsor Truck Series In '09
    SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Michael Smith cites sources as saying that Kobalt Tools, a Lowe’s brand, “has emerged as the leading candidate to sponsor” NASCAR’s truck series. Sears previously announced that its Craftsman brand would end its title sponsorship of the series after the ’08 season, and NASCAR is “believed to be selling the truck title rights in the mid-to-high seven-figure range annually, with an advertising commitment on Speed, the broadcast home of the series, at close to seven figures.” Meanwhile, sources indicated that the IRL, which has been without a title sponsor for the IndyCar Series since ’02, has had discussions “with at least two prospective sponsors, Kodak and Subway.” A third candidate “has emerged in the last month” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/14 issue).

    GLOBAL AFFAIRS: In Portland, Richard Read reported Wieden & Kennedy (W&K), has "reached a tipping point after venturing abroad in cautious steps for 16 years," as now "almost half its annual revenue of about $165[M] comes from outside the United States." W&K Global COO David Luhr on the necessity of being global, "It's important for our clients, because everything is becoming global. It allows us to export the [W&K] culture and import the ideas." Luhr added that W&K "expects to open two or three more foreign offices to round out the firm's network." Luhr: "We would love to have an office eventually in Central or South America somewhere." Russia "is another location that comes up." However, Read noted as W&K's foreign share grows, "managers face a challenge in an already turbulent industry: Can W+K export its edgy, irreverent Oregon approach to India, South America and beyond while beating back conglomerates to retain accounts back home?" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/13).

    BREAKING AWAY: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Christine Mattheis noted the list of sponsors leaving the sport of cycling "over the last two years ... continues to grow." Deutsch Inc. Senior VP & Creative Group Dir Morgan Carroll on sponsorship in the sport, "It will be very hard to find sponsors of the same caliber who will contribute the same amount of money to replace the ones going away. I think with everything that happened with [cyclist Floyd Landis and the '07 Tour de France], it would not be high on my list of recommendations right now for a client to sponsor a cycling team." However, several "new corporations have bucked the trend and offered sponsorships to cycling teams" this year, including Saxo Bank, Garmin and Columbia Sportswear (WSJ.com, 7/13).

    LIMITED ENGAGEMENTS: In Seattle, Jayda Evans reported companies "still hesitate seeing women's basketball players as marketable for products related to clothing, eyewear or even hair." WNBA Sparks F Candace Parker's agent Eric Goodwin: "It's a little tougher because they see the WNBA as a fad." Goodwin has "nabbed smaller deals with Skullcandy (headphones) and Bodygrab (sports equipment)" for Parker, along with $4M deals with adidas and Gatorade. Parker said, "In the future, I envision makeup and doing different things outside of the line and hopefully appealing to to other people besides just basketball fans" (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/12).

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