SBD/Issue 21/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Breeders' Cup Altering Advertising After Big Brown's Retirement

    Big Brown's Career-Ending Injury Forces 
    Breeders' Cup Execs To Rework Some Ads
    The Breeders’ Cup is redesigning some of its advertising featuring Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, after the colt suffered a career-ending injury yesterday in a workout prepping for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, less than two weeks before the race. Big Brown was expected to run against '07 Horse of the Year Curlin at Santa Anita Park on October 25, in what was one of the most anticipated horse races in years. Although Curlin has not officially been entered in the race, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner is scheduled to work later today at Santa Anita between races. Curlin’s owner, Kendall Jackson winery owner Jess Jackson, is expected to announce a decision on whether Curlin will run in the Classic on a press conference call this afternoon. “We are certainly disappointed that Big Brown won't participate in the Breeders' Cup," Breeders' Cup CMO Peter Land said. "Thankfully, his injury is one that is expected to heal over time." Land said as a result of Big Brown’s injury, “There were a couple of ads we had to change, mostly on the print side.” But the Breeders’ Cup advertising was focused on a number of themes, including the 25th anniversary of the event, and that it is being held in the entertainment capital of the world, Land said (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).

    ANOTHER BLOW TO THE SPORT: In N.Y., Joe Drape writes Big Brown's retirement is "another setback for horse racing this year." Filly Eight Belles was euthanized after breaking down at the Kentucky Derby, and the industry "was scolded by a United States congressional subcommittee in June for its lax drug policies and faulty breeding" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/14). In L.A., Bill Dwyre writes by the time Jackson and Curlin trainer Steve Asmussen met the press yesterday, the "question of the day had changed from 'Will Curlin run?' to 'Will horse racing ever catch a break?'" The Big Brown-Curlin race was "to be a super matchup, a modern-day Affirmed-Alydar." Dwyre: "It was to call unprecedented attention to racing's biggest extravaganza, even if the public is unlikely to ever view the Breeders' Cup the same way it does the Triple Crown" (L.A. TIMES, 10/14). Also in L.A., Art Wilson: "Forget about that dream meeting ... that so many racing fans and industry officials had been anticipating" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/14). In N.Y., Vic Ziegel writes under the header, "Big Brown's Injury Is Another Scratch For Racing World." Ziegel: "The only sane reaction to the news of Big Brown's injury is damn, damn and damn" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14).

  • Jets Throwback Jerseys From '60s Are Selling Well With Fans

    Jets Have Won Twice This Year
    While Wearing Throwbacks
    The Jets have worn throwback uniforms from the '60s N.Y. Titans for their last two games, and fans have been "flocking to the stores to pick up the retro jerseys," according to Chris Mascaro of NEWSDAY. BC Sports employee Rob Corrado, who works in the company's Massapequa, New York, location, said that the jerseys "are a hot item only because they are new and different," and added that some customers "don't even know who the Titans were." Corrado: "Most people have no idea. They think it's the Rams or even Pittsburgh. It's the flavor of the month." Mascaro notes NFL rules allow the Jets to wear the retro navy and gold uniforms twice a season. The Titans changed their named to the Jets in '64 to coincide with their move to Shea Stadium (NEWSDAY, 10/14).

    A BLACK UNVEILING: Hurricanes Retail Operations Manager James Blitch during the second period of last night's Red Wings-Hurricanes game said that the team's new alternate black jerseys in the RBC Center's store "could sell out of the first shipment of 1,500 replicas by the end of the game." Blitch had just one of C Rod Brind'Amour's No. 17 jerseys remaining, while C Eric Staal's No. 12 jerseys "had already sold out." Blitch said of the jerseys, "The red numbers make the jerseys pop" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/14).

    DESIGN DEBUT: In Pittsburgh, Rob Rossi reports the Penguins "will debut their alternate uniforms Nov. 15 at home against" the Sabres. The uniforms "will mirror the retro-themed ones worn" during the January 1, 2008, Amp Energy NHL Winter Classic. The alternate design consist of a "predominantly baby blue sweater and socks, with navy pants, gloves and helmet." The Penguins "have not worn an alternate uniform since 2001-02" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/14).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    In London, Paul Kelso reports English Premier League club West Ham United is nearing a deal for a new shirt sponsorship worth US$7.05M annually "that could ease fears that the club has been destabilised by turbulence in the Icelandic economy." The club's previous shirt sponsor, XL, "collapsed last month leaving a blank space on the shirts and a [US$7.05M] hole in the balance sheet." Negotiations with a replacement sponsor are "understood to be at an advanced stage," and the team is "hopeful that it will at least match" the amount XL paid for its sponsorship (London TELEGRAPH, 10/14).

    IN A TIMELY FASHION: Timex yesterday announced a four-year deal with New York Road Runners to become the official timing sponsor of the ING N.Y. Marathon through 2011. Timex will receive on-site activation that includes the three start and finish clocks, four split-time clocks and the clocks on the lead vehicles for the men's, women's and wheelchair races (Timex). Timex also will run Internet and outdoor ads and a "First Timers" promotion that will "acknowledge participants who are running in their first marathon" (BRANDWEEK, 10/13 issue). 

    SERIOUS BUSINESS: In Chicago, Lewis Lazare reports ESW Partners, Chicago, has created for the AHL Chicago Wolves a "new television ad campaign designed for these difficult economic times." The campaign tag line is "Serious hockey. Serious fun." Lazare: "We could easily slam ESW for so shamelessly cribbing from one of the most beloved ad campaigns of recent memory, namely MasterCard's 'Priceless' work," but this commercial is "cleverly making the right point at the right moment to help move some Wolves tickets" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/14).

    NOTES: The Brewers and LF Ryan Braun "figure prominently in a new ad by Apple for the iPhone." The ad, which "appears to have debuted over the weekend," features Braun hitting a grand slam during a September 25 game against the Pirates (, 10/13)....LG Electronics Canada has signed a one-year deal with the Senators that includes LG-branded rinkboards at Scotiabank Place, along with additional branding opportunities inside and outside the arena (LG).

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