SBD/Issue 129/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Marketplace Roundup

Hester's Deal With Red Bull
Includes Aircraft Rides
In Chicago, Fred Mitchell reports Bears WR Devin Hester, as part of his new partnership with Red Bull, "originally agreed to ride in an 'acrobatic' helicopter that can perform flips" for an event on Thursday. But tornadoes yesterday along the East Coast "prevent[ed] the Red Bull stunt helicopter from leaving its base in Florida." Instead, the decision was made to have Hester "ride in an Albatross aircraft, which is capable of landing on lakes, rivers, oceans or runways." A Bears official said that the team's "contract concern regarding Hester's off-the-field activity with Red Bull depends on exactly what he winds up doing." Hester said, "Whenever you can get exposure, it only helps you" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/24).

HUNGRY? WHY WAIT: In Orlando, Kyle Hightower notes Magic assistant coach Patrick Ewing is "being featured in a new Snickers candy-bar commercial as 'Patrick Chewing.'" Ewing "dons a wig to make him look like the younger Ewing from his playing days and dunks on some guy eating a Snickers bar." Ewing "tears down the basket before turning to his victim and saying simply 'Oops.'" Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said Magic players are "really hard on him about that commercial." Van Gundy: "Believe me, he gets imitated on that several times daily" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/24).

SWEET SPOT: Golfer Trevor Immelman said of golf sponsors being criticized for their marketing spends while accepting TARP funds, "From what I understand, [PGA] Tour sponsors are pretty much set through the end of next year and then it's obviously going to be an interesting time. Hopefully, things have bounced back enough to where we can continue with the tremendous growth that we've had over the last few years." Immelman said he has been "fortunate to be involved with some incredibly strong companies" as an endorser. Despite the economy, Immelman said, "I feel like I'm in a nice, strong situation." Immelman: "As far as golf is concerned, everybody is taking some sort of hit. It's just the way the world is right now, but you're just going to have to sit it out and be strong" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 3/23).

SKIN GAME: YAHOO SPORTS' Jay Busbee wrote golfer Anna Rawson's new deal with GoDaddy is "good for Rawson, good for GoDaddy, good for the fact that the LPGA is getting recognition." Busbee: "I don't have a problem with golfers trading on their looks -- because it's a savvy marketing move, honest, that's what I meant -- though I'm sure there are purists out there who tut-tut the increasing sexualization of the Tour" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/23).

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