SBD/Issue 167/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Time To Chat: Danica Launches Twitter Feed At Sponsor's Urging

Watch Sponsor Tissot Will Receive Extensive
Exposure On Patrick's Twitter Feed
IRL driver Danica Patrick has launched a Twitter feed at the behest of watch sponsor Tissot, located @DanicaPatrick. She is believed to be the first major athlete to join Twitter in conjunction with a corporate entity, and Tissot will receive extensive exposure on her feed, including visual branding on her Twitter Web page. The effort was constructed in part by Charlotte-based Sports Media Challenge, and advisors said extensive care is being taken to structure the alliance as more of a natural product placement as opposed to an overt banner-type display. Patrick is due to discuss the Twitter effort at media appearances slated for today in N.Y. (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: Fox Business' Alexis Glick notes IRL is “looking to keep its 15% jump in attendance last year going strong by expanding its international reach” with its partnership with Izod. IRL driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who also has a personal deal with Izod, said, “Izod is an American brand when it comes down to it. I'm a young American driver. It kind of all fit, and Izod is that fresh look.” Fox Business’ Chris Cottor noted to Hunter-Reay, “I see a lot of TV commercials with … a lot of NASCAR drivers, (but) not a whole lot of open-wheel drivers." Cottor: "Can open-wheel kind of come back and take over that top spot?” Hunter-Reay: “With the differences between … CART and the (IRL), NASCAR propped up. They’ve done some great shows, great racing, but now we are back on the rise” (“Money for Breakfast,” Fox Business, 5/18).

FEMALE PERSPECTIVE: In Las Vegas, Ron Kantowski noted the No. 99 car driven by Alex Lloyd in this Sunday's Indianapolis 500 will feature a pink paint scheme "at the request of sponsor HER -- Healthy Energy Revitalizer, an energy drink for women." Lloyd likely will run "just this one race, unless sponsorship dollars start falling from the sky." Team Owner Sam Schmidt said, "I'd love to get back in the [IndyCar] series full-time but without the proper funding, why bother?" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 5/16).

TEQUILA SHOTS: KV Racing Technology, which will have three entries in the Indianapolis 500, has signed a deal with Azul Tequila in which the brand will have sponsor placement on the No. 5 car driven by Mario Moraes (KV Racing Technologies).

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