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Crabtree Among Draft Prospects
Yet To Sign Footwear Deal
COMPANIES NOT SHOWING MUCH INTEREST: Many agents and footwear marketers were unwilling to talk on the record about the depressed rookie market. However, there was unanimity that footwear companies were showing less interest in draft prospects than at any time in memory. "Nike and Reebok have decided what Coke and Pepsi did several years ago," said an agent for a player who is a likely top-three pick. "They can't afford to bid each other into oblivion." In a draft where a skill player may not be the first overall pick, Illinois-based Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing President Doug Shabelman said, "No one sees a Reggie Bush/gotta have guy in this draft, as far as an endorser." Shabelman: "There's a general freeze when it comes to athlete endorsements, but the absence of footwear deals, which is where you've often seen the first money being spent on NFL rookies, is another indicator that there's a bit of a stop sign on the sports economy."
Pedroia The Latest Boston-Area Sports
Celeb To Star Dunkin' Donuts Campaign
McLaren Mercedes Could Be Forced To
Pull Out Of F1 If FIA Doles Out Stiff Suspension
LEARNING FROM THE PAST: AD AGE’s Rich Thomaselli noted the promotion “comes five years after MLB’s disastrous agreement with Sony Pictures to put the logo for ‘Spider-Man 2’ on all the bases at every ballpark the weekend before the movie opened in June 2004.” Within days of the "Spider-Man" announcement, “fans and purists denounced the plan to put the ads on the bases, and the promo was killed.” Brody said, “We have tremendous respect for the game and we do not want to take away from that. The Spider-Man project had a lot of great ideas; this project has great ideas but is different from that.” Brody said when discussions began with Walt Disney Pictures, the “idea of the movie and the All-Star Game just kind of found each other. It met the necessities for us -- it’s a family film, and we believe we are a family entertainment property -- and as we went along, the different layers just kept making sense” (ADAGE.com, 4/22).
Barkley Touts Fox' "X-Men Origins:
Wolverine" In Promo For "Inside The NBA"
ADVERTISING HOLDING STEADY: MEDIA LIFE MAGAZINE's Kevin Downey reported NBA advertisers through February spent $125M on games, down slightly from $128M a year ago, a "decent showing considering the major cutbacks by domestic automakers." And for the postseason, analysts and media buyers "expect enough demand from other categories to offset the cuts by Detroit." Horizon Media VP & Dir of National Television David Campanelli: "I've been hearing they'll be flat -- similar dollars coming off a very strong year last year." Downey noted ad demand "had been good despite the economy largely because advertisers are feeling good about the game." Sports Business Group President David Carter: "You have the opportunity for big-market teams to make a strong run and major players like [Cavaliers F LeBron James against Lakers G Kobe Bryant] in the finals." Downey noted there also is a "prevailing sense that because of the economy people are staying home to watch games on TV, rather than paying for out-of-home entertainment" (MEDIALIFEMAGAZINE.com, 4/21).
Polamalu One Of Nine Finalists For
"Madden NFL 10" Cover
READY TO RUMBLE: "Madden NFL 10" will kick off the season with the Madden NFL 10 Draft Experience exclusively at MaddenNFL.easports.com Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm ET. The Web site will feature a live, streaming draft analysis show produced from Madden NFL HQs in Orlando that will be co-hosted by CBS' Shannon Sharpe. The show will feature several interactive elements, including live call-ins from Bears RB Matt Forte and Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, and commentary from draft correspondents in N.Y. (EA Sports).
GOING FOR IT ON FOURTH DOWN: With former USC QB Mark Sanchez, former Univ. of Texas DE Brian Orakpo and former Utah QB Brian Johnson all announced as being on the cover of various editions of EA Sports' "NCAA Football 10," FIRSTCUTS' Chris Littmann reported an image has "emerged with Michael Crabtree -- not Percy Harvin -- on the cover for the Xbox 360 edition" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 4/22). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Aaron Wilson earlier on Wednesday reported Harvin, the former Univ. of Florida WR, would be the final cover athlete. But Wilson today wonders whether EA Sports is "wary of being associated with Harvin due to him allegedly testing positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 4/23).
UA Will Title Sponsor All 25 Of Cal
Ripken Jr.'s Youth Baseball Tournaments
LAX APPEAL: A-B InBev and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) have agreed to a two-year extension of their deal in which Bud Light will continue as the exclusive alcohol beverage and non-alcohol malt beverage of the MLL, its six teams, the MLL All-Star Game and postseason. Bud Light also will remain the title sponsor of the All-Star Game's skills competition, as well as the Bud Light regular-season and postseason MVP awards (MLL).
SMELLING LIKE A ROSE: The NBA yesterday began selling at NBAStore.com its official adidas T-shirt commemorating Bulls G Derrick Rose for the '08-09 Rookie of the Year Award. In conjunction with the announcement, T-Mobile, which sponsors the award, is donating $60,000 to various youth communities in Phoenix as part of the T-Mobile Rookie program. Phoenix hosted the NBA All-Star Game in February (THE DAILY).
PANNING FOR GOLD: Cash4Gold has signed a deal with the Bucks that designates it as the team's "No.1 gold buyer." The deal includes Bradley Center signage and radio spots during Bucks broadcasts. Cash4Gold CEO Jeff Aronson said that the partnership was a multi-year deal, though team VP/Business Operations John Steinmiller said it only goes through "at least next year" (JSONLINE.com, 4/22).
BIG DISCOUNT: In K.C., Randy Covitz reported NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team Billy Ballew Motorsports is "making a one-time offer, good only" for Saturday's O'Reilly 250 at Kansas Speedway, in which full sponsorship of the team's No. 15 truck, "which normally would cost $150,000, is available for just $25,000." The sponsorship "would also include an associate sponsorship" on the No. 51 truck, in which driver Kyle Busch has won two of the last three Truck Series races (K.C. STAR, 4/22).