SBD/Issue 245/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Talks Break Down For Potential Samsung Deal For Sidney Crosby

    Talks Break Down With Samsung About 
    Possible Endorsement Deal With Crosby
    Penguins C Sidney Crosby had been in discussions with Samsung Electronics for a new marketing arrangement with the consumer electronics maker, but talks have ended. “We did engage in discussions with Samsung, but there is no deal,” said CAA Sports' Pat Brisson, Crosby's agent. "As you can imagine, we speak to a lot of companies who want to work with Sidney.” Brisson declined to elaborate on what potential deal might have been on the table. “Given the confidential nature of the discussions we had with Samsung, I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment further.” Crosby currently has marketing arrangements with companies in a number of categories, including hockey equipment and clothing, sports drinks and snack food, a coffee chain, trading cards and memorabilia. One category where Crosby is absent is gaming. With the release this week of EA Sports' "NHL 09," with Flames D Dion Phaneuf on the cover, some might wonder why Crosby has not yet been featured on a game box. “Sidney has plenty on his plate at this point,” said Brisson.

  • EagleBank To Title Sponsor New College Football Bowl In DC

    Maryland-based EagleBank has signed on as the title sponsor of a new college football bowl in DC. The EagleBank Bowl, one of two new NCAA-approved bowl games this season, will be held December 20 at RFK Stadium and will be this season's earliest scheduled bowl. ESPN will provide live coverage (EagleBank). In DC, Tim Lemke reports the bowl is "expected to offer a big profile boost" for EagleBank, as the company "seeks to gain customers after a merger with Fidelity & Trust Financial Corporation." EagleBank Vice Chair Robert Pincus: "We've merged, and this is something that's going to set us apart and make us unique. We're not advertising our interest rate in the newspaper for a certificate of deposit. We are bringing entertainment and charitable activities to the city and the region." Pincus and bowl officials declined to offer financial details, but they said that it is a "four-year agreement that includes an option year giving EagleBank the right of first refusal." Other sponsors of the event include Marriott and Navy Federal Credit Union (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/11). The BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL's Jonathan O'Connell notes the bowl was "introduced as the Congressional Bowl when it was announced earlier this year," but the name was "apparently dropped to avoid confusion with another local financial institution, Congressional Bank" (, 9/10).

    WHO'S IN? In DC, Paul Tenorio reports Navy "will serve as the home team this year and will be paired with a school from the [ACC], provided the teams have the .500 records necessary to be bowl-eligible." DC Sports & Entertainment Commission Stadium Manager Troy Scott said that while RFK "has not hosted a football game since '01," the stadium is "equipped to handle the game." Scott: "When we had our field resurfaced after baseball left, we made sure we had enough grass in place we could actually host a football game." Tenorio notes FedEx Field was "not considered because of its size -- it can hold just more than 90,000 people, and the committee is aiming for an attendance of around 34,000 this year" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/11).

  • Nike's "Here I Am" Campaign Targets European University Women

    Watch The Clip
    Nike recently launched a new ad campaign in Europe with the tagline "Here I am" that is "aimed at selling more clothing to university-aged women," according to Aaron Patrick of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The aim of the campaign, via Wieden & Kennedy (W&K), Amsterdam, is to "deliver the message that there is more to sports than getting fit or competing." W&K Account Manager for Nike Abi Findlay: "It is about building self-esteem. Once you have taken part in sport, you have the confidence to say, 'Here I am.'" Patrick notes W&K "decided to use animation to make the athletes less intimidating." One ad for the campaign shows Sony Ericsson WTA Tour player Maria Sharapova "overcoming doubts as she grows up and goes professional." Critics in the spot say things to Sharapova like, "You're just another pretty face." At the conclusion of the ad, the "animated Sharapova morphs into the real Sharapova, who forms the 'I' in 'Here I am.'" W&K Creative Dir for Nike Mark Bernath said of the slogan, "We want to make sure normal women can relate to it." Nike execs "liked the slogan because they thought it would be understood in English across Europe," although "in parts of Italy it is being translated into Italian." Nike also "wanted a slogan that wouldn't sound odd alongside 'Just do it.'" Findlay said that there "aren't any plans to use the European campaign in the U.S." (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/11).

  • St. Louis Univ. Hospital, Rams Partners In Marketing, Not Medicine

    St. Louis Univ. (SLU) Hospital is the "official" hospital of the Rams despite not providing medical care for the team, and this set-up "could represent the next generation of health care sports marketing," according to Mary Jo Feldstein of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Washington Univ. (WU) School of Medicine has provided medical services for the Rams since the team moved from L.A. in '95. SLU Hospital Marketing & Communications Dir Laura Signaigo defended the sponsorship deal, which includes billboards around St. Louis, saying, "We're not out there trying to say we take care of the Rams. This is a marketing agreement." Rams team physician Dr. Matt Matava said that he and his colleagues from WU have "not paid the Rams for the privilege of caring for its players, as some team physicians do." SLU Hospital and the Rams "wouldn't provide the cost of the sponsorship," but Matava "estimated it to be in six figures." Feldstein notes as hospitals and physicians "push to gain prominence and respect in their communities, partnering with sports teams can garner both." With "limited measures of quality available to the public, patients are known to rely on marketing campaigns in choosing hospitals and physicians." However, Case Western Reserve Univ. marketing professor Andrew Gallan said that if consumers "find out the SLU Hospital deal is purely marketing and not clinical, its efforts could backfire" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/11).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Davis (r) Reportedly Dropping
    Reebok To Endorse Li Ning's Chris Littmann cited a source as saying that Clippers G Baron Davis is leaving Reebok for Chinese apparel company Li Ning. Davis becomes the "second big-name point guard this offseason to leave a U.S. footwear maker for a Chinese company," following Mavericks G Jason Kidd's move from Nike to Peak (, 9/10).

    RIGHT ON TIME: Rolex extended its two-year-old status as official partner of Ryder Cup Europe through the 2014 event in Scotland. Rolex also has an official deal with the PGA of America through 2011 that includes Ryder Cup rights. The European Tour organizes and sells sponsorships for Ryder Cups on European soil; the PGA of America does the same when the event is in the U.S. (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).

    STAYING FRESH: PepsiCo Chair & CEO Indra Nooyi participated in a Q&A with the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Betsy McKay for the paper's Boss Talk segment. The company's Gatorade brand lost share last year and changed its management team, but Nooyi said, "Brands go through ups and downs. Gatorade is an extremely strong brand. I think every five or seven years, you've got to change out the approach to the brand, because you need a new boost of energy to think about the next iteration. Brands never die. You only stop reinventing them" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/11).

    NOTES: Turismo Madrid has inked a three-year deal to become an int'l sponsor of the Fed Cup, beginning with this weekend's Russia-Spain Fed Cup Final (ITF)....Charlotte-area Harris Teeter grocery stores are offering three "Panthers signature sandwiches" this season. The first is OT Jordan Gross' "Big Block" -- a "turkey sandwich with onions, sprouts, banana peppers, cucumbers, provolone cheese, light mayonnaise, oil and vinegar on whole grain bread" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/11)....NHRA driver Hillary Will will feature the "colors of the Kingdom of Bahrain on her KB Racing Top Fuel dragster" this weekend at the Carolinas Nationals (, 9/10).

  • 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:

    * EA's Virtual Playbook More Than Product Placement

    * Dodge Delivers Another Great Road Trip

    * "Bizarro" Jerry Turns Away From The Fruit

    * The Price To Pay For Name-Dropping

    For more, go to

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