SBD/Issue 2/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Delta Re-Ups As Mets Signature Partner, Near Deal With Yanks

     
    Delta has signed a deal to become the second “signature partner” at Citi Field next year, and it is “close to completing a similar deal at the new Yankee Stadium,” according to Terry Lefton in this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Terms of the new Mets deal were not disclosed, but a signature partner “typically pays in the low seven figures annually, with the deal running for five years or more.” Delta, which has been a sponsor of the Mets for more than 10 years, will get rights to a “22,500-square-foot luxury section adjacent to the new VIP Sterling Club area behind home plate.” The deal also includes signage on the left-field wall and behind the plate, as well as a sign “that will be visible from the air by the many planes flying near LaGuardia Airport.” The airline will also receive ad time on Mets TV partner SportsNet N.Y. Delta joins A-B as the second acknowledged top-level sponsor, though sources said that “fellow incumbent Mets sponsors Pepsi, Verizon and Geico have signed or are completing similar deals.” Meanwhile, the airline hopes to “integrate marketing within its SkyMiles program with both the Mets and Yankees by offering unique ballpark experiences in exchange for frequent flier miles” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/15 issue).

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  • Golden Boy, Affliction Agree To Boxing/MMA Partnership

    Schaefer Feels Tremendous Opportunities For
    Cross-Promotion Between Boxing, MMA 
    Golden Boy Promotions and MMA promoter Affliction "will partner 50-50 on at least four [PPV] shows next year that will include boxing matches and MMA fights on the same card," according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer: "There are some tremendous opportunities for crossover promotions and to team up with an iconic brand such as Affliction is a big step for us." Affliction VP Tom Atencio: "We're looking to put together top MMA fighters as well as top boxers in one night. I think the two worlds have finally merged." Rafael reported as part of the deal, Affliction "will produce a line of event T-shirts for Golden Boy fights to sell at retail locations and at the fight." The shirts will first be available for the December 6 Oscar De La Hoya-Manny Pacquiao fight. Affliction's October 11 PPV event in Las Vegas was postponed "because of lagging ticket sales." The event's main event was supposed to be Andrei Arlovski-Josh Barnett, and Golden Boy "attempted to have Arlovski-Barnett rescheduled as part of the Oct. 18 [Kelly Pavlik-Bernard Hopkins] HBO PPV card." However, co-promoter Top Rank and HBO "rejected the overture" (ESPN.com, 9/13).

    LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT FIT: Schaefer said of the deal, "It took us a while because we wanted to to do it right. We're not people who like to jump. I like to educate myself a bit about it to understand the competition and I like to understand the whole space." Schaefer also "envisions MMA's coveted younger male audience replenishing the ranks of boxing's aging fan base." Schaefer: "We believe Affliction and the relationships they have with that demographic, the identification they have within that demographic group I think will help bring boxing to these people." Atencio added, "If we can bring that fan over, the hardcore boxing fan who is a little bit older, then I think it brings another demographic to MMA" (SI.com, 9/14). SHERDOG.com's Mike Sloan wrote the partnership "does not come as much of a surprise." Since De La Hoya, his PR staff and Schaefer "have hinted ... on numerous occasions that promoting MMA was 'a possibility,' it was a matter of when, not if it would happen" (SHERDOG.com, 9/13).

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  • AIG, Bulgari Sign One-Year Deals As Sponsors Of Breeders' Cup

    Bulgari Becomes Official Watch Sponsor
    Of Breeders' Cup In One-Year Deal
    The Breeders' Cup has renewed AIG, and signed high-end watch brand Bulgari as a new sponsor around a month and a half before the 14-race event October 24-25 at Santa Anita Park. In a one-year deal, Bulgari, the Breeders' Cup's first watch sponsor, gets its name on a luncheon at its Rodeo Drive retail location that will kick off race festivities. As part of the sponsorship, Bulgari gets product integration -- it will present one of its pricey timepieces to all winners of each race. "It's our version of the [Masters'] Green Jacket,'' said Breeders' Cup CMO Peter Land. The sponsorship marks Bulgari's first sports marketing effort. AIG's one-year renewal covers the insurance category broadly. Under the agreement, it will title the "Ride of the Day" vignette on ABC and ESPN's coverage of the Breeders' Cup. AIG will be the presenting sponsor of the Shoemaker Award, presented annually to the top Breeders' Cup jockey. The insurer will also underwrite a post-race reception for sponsors at the track.

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  • FSG Looks To Market NASCAR Events To New England Kids

    FSG Planning To Tap Into Red Sox
    Nation To Grow Kids NASCAR Fan Club 
    Fenway Sports Group (FSG) is "taking an unprecedented approach to cultivating a new generation of racing buffs in New England -- by aggressively marketing its NASCAR Racing team to children," according to a front-page piece by Jenn Abelson of the BOSTON GLOBE. FSG "plans to create a NASCAR New England Kids Club by tapping into Red Sox Kid Nation, which has become the largest such club in [MLB] with more than 17,300 members." Plans also are underway to "launch children's racing shows next year on [NESN], sell licensed model racing toys and collectibles emblazoned with the Sox logo, and create educational curriculums." FSG "also intends to host NASCAR fan festivities at Fenway Park to promote Roush Fenway Racing." FSG President and Red Sox COO Mike Dee: "Kids love speed. We need to find the right way to tap into that and use the power of the Red Sox affinity to get a regional base around the team." Abelson reported to capture more fans in New England, FSG planned to "rev up its children's campaign to potential sponsors, including Dunkin' Donuts and Velcro," at yesterday's Sprint Cup Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Gillette is "in talks to get its logo on toys and collectibles and create promotions around purchases of Gillette products." Abelson noted in the past, marketing NASCAR to children "has been difficult" due to various tobacco and beer sponsorships, but in recent years, those brands have "largely been replaced with phone and insurance companies, making it less of an issue." However, analysts said that even if "targeting children works, there's no guarantee parents with no taste for the sport will go along, and take the children to the track" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/13).

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  • NFL Kicking Off Hispanic Heritage Month Initiative Tonight

    Some Hispanic marketing surrounding tonight's Eagles-Cowboys game at Texas Stadium kicks off the NFL's "Fútbol Americano" initiative, which recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)."Fútbol Americano" messaging will be integrated into ESPN's "MNF" presentation across TV, radio, online and print. Dallas is the league's biggest Hispanic market. "Around 70% of U.S Hispanics aged 12 or older consider themselves NFL fans,'' said NFL Dir of Marketing Pete O'Reilly. "When I see some of our consumer product sponsors like Coors and Pepsi launching Hispanic/NFL campaigns and Madden videogame now being available in Spanish, I think its fair to say we're making good progress with this group." Tonight's "MNF" broadcast will feature special graphic integrations, vignettes and audio from the ESPN Deportes Spanish-language telecast. The telecast will kick off with a customized version of the Hank Williams Jr. opening, featuring some lyrics in Spanish. A special Hispanic Heritage Celebration commemorative cup featuring Cowboys QB Tony Romo and former Cowboys with Hispanic ties will also be available at concessions stands at Texas Stadium. In-game and in-broadcast Hispanic marketing will continue across every NFL market over the next month, with banners and on-field observances at NFL venues.

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Nike Outfitting Some Ryder Cup
    Members With Specially-Designed Shoe 
    Nike will outfit some members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team with specially-designed footwear during this week's event. The brand is endorsed by captain Paul Azinger and four of the 12 U.S. players: Justin Leonard, Anthony Kim, Stewart Cink and Chad Campbell. The company does not own any rights to the Ryder Cup and is not planning any special print or TV ads featuring its staff members. Nike also has a deal with European team member Paul Casey (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).

    CLASSIC TREATMENT: In Alabama, Herndon & Hicks report San Jose-based Bell Micro, sponsor of last weekend's Bell Micro LPGA Classic, "brought in more than 100 people it does business with" to the tournament. Sponsor events included a "Casino Night at the Battle House, dinner at the Bragg-Mitchell mansion, an excursion to the USS Alabama, a bass fishing tournament, golf at Magnolia Grove's Falls Course, and a skybox on the 18th green." Bell Micro President, Chair & CEO Don Bell: "We believe in hospitality. In an event like this you can develop relationships, which is really the key part of it" (Mobile PRESS-REGISTER, 9/15).

    Fathead Offering Wall Sticker
    Of Favre In Jets Uniform 
    MOMENTUM ON HIS SIDE: Cyclist Floyd Landis said that he "is negotiating with a U.S.-based team and hopes to begin racing shortly after he becomes eligible at the end of January." ESPN.com's Bonnie Ford noted Landis "confirmed reports that he is in talks with [Oakland-based] Momentum Sports Group ... which owns and operates a team primarily sponsored by the Health Net insurance company." However, Health Net's sponsorship ends after this season, and Momentum "is still seeking a financial backer, which is part of the reason Landis' contract has not been finalized" (ESPN.com, 9/14).

    WALL HAUL: In N.Y., Richard Wilner reported Fathead has started selling stickers of QB Brett Favre in a Jets uniform. Fathead CEO Brock Weatherup said that Favre "was the company's No. 1 seller last season, with more than 10,000 posters sold." Fathead does not release sales totals, but Weatherup added that the company on the whole "expects sales to jump 50[%] this year after doubling last year." Fathead also "plans to add international soccer stars for the holiday season" (N.Y. POST, 9/14).

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  • Check The Latest Headlines From SBD/SBJ's Sponsorship POV Site

     
    SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal, in conjunction with Relay Worldwide, have launched a free sports sponsorship community site ahead of the sixth annual Sports Sponsorship Symposium, taking place on September 16-17 in N.Y. See the site today for debate and discussion prior to the conference, including the following entries:

    * Read Between The Lines Of This "Sandwich Story"

    * Student Athletes' Amateur Status Is A Fantasy

    * EA's Virtual Playbook More Than Product Placement

    * Dodge Delivers Another Great Road Trip

    For more, go to www.sportsbusinessconferences.com/sss-pov.

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