SBD/Issue 197/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Ring The Bell: Taco Bell Signs Four-Year Deal As NBA's New QSR

    The NBA is thinking outside the bun. Taco Bell has signed on as the league's new official QSR in a four-year deal. The deal ends McDonald's run as the NBA's official fast-food sponsor, which began in '90. Industry sources said the deal includes a heavy media component on NBA rightsholders ABC, ESPN and TNT, themed promos at the chain's 5,600 restaurants, themed advertising, title to the All-Star Saturday Night Skills Challenge and an associate sponsorship of the NBA's Jam Session All-Star Game Fan Fest. The Skills Challenge entitlement had been held by PlayStation. WNBA and D-League rights are also included, but Taco Bell will not get official QSR designation for those leagues and WNBA activation will not begin until next season. Taco Bell has been an MLB corporate sponsor since '04. Yum Brands, the QSR's parent company, has had international NBA rights for its KFC brand for some time. Taco Bell currently has nine NBA team deals: the Bobcats, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Lakers, Hornets, 76ers, Trail Blazers and Jazz.

  • TNT Lines Up Sponsors For "Wide Open" Coverage Of Coke Zero 400

    Turner Sports "has sold out" the ad inventory for TNT’s telecast of the July 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400, according to Anthony Crupi of MEDIAWEEK. Four new advertisers --The Weinstein Company, Burger King, Pfizer and Goodyear -- will join six returning sponsors for TNT's "Wide Open" coverage of the race. The "Wide Open"" construct "cedes the lower third of the screen to advertisers, allowing TNT to limit the number of ad interruptions during the race." Instead of the "standard spot load," TNT during race coverage "places animated sponsor messages in the lower third, rotating them through the race." Clients also "receive branded content, vignettes which are in many cases developed" by Turner's Creative Services Sports Unit (CSSU). Burger King for the race "purchased lower thirds and a 90-second spot featuring" its mascot and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. The ad was the product of a collaboration between the CSSU and Burger King agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Meanwhile, among the entitlements of Coke Zero's race title sponsorship is a 60-second spot "featuring the soft drink giant's 'brand managers'" (MEDIAWEEK, 6/29 issue).

  • Success Of Armstrong's Comeback Likely To Be Defined By Tour

    Donations To Lance Armstrong Foundation
    In Past Two Quarters Are Up Nearly 5%
    While many observers consider the philanthropic element of cyclist Lance Armstrong's comeback to be a "success -- a main thrust of his return was to raise awareness and funding for the battle against cancer -- his competitive success is likely to be defined by his performance over the next three weeks" at the Tour de France, according to Juliet Macur of the N.Y. TIMES. Armstrong: "I will say, full disclaimer, that it's not been as easy as I thought. I think it's also fair to say that I'm not as confident in winning as I was in other years." Armstrong said that a loss at the Tour "would not mean his season was for naught ... because his comeback has brought more attention" to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). Donations to the foundation in the past two quarters are up nearly 5%, and "more yellow rubber LiveStrong bracelets have been sold." Consumers bought 1.987 million bracelets from January to May '09, up from 1.298 million bracelets during the same period in '08. Meanwhile, Nike is "about to release another wave of LiveStrong clothing and gear," and company officials said that 100% of the profits from the line "would be donated to the foundation." Nike Senior Manager of Media Relations Derek Kent said that Armstrong's return "clearly 'does help' with sales of the line." LAF President Doug Ulman, when asked if it would "matter to the cancer fight" if Armstrong is on the bike or off it, said, "With Lance being so visible on TV and in the media during a cycling race, from our standpoint, it's critical for our work" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/1).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    In Memphis, Matthew Woo reports NFL Giants QB Eli Manning yesterday was at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis to "film three TV commercials promoting Reebok's Speedwick athletic sportswear." The commercials features Manning and Giants WR Domenik Hixon "pulling pranks" on Giants S Kenny Phillips. The commercials "will begin airing in July." Reebok "decided to shoot the commercial in Memphis because of the city's proximity to Manning's off-season home in Oxford, Miss." (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 7/1).

    MADE IN AMERICA: New Balance President & CEO Robert DeMartini yesterday appeared on Fox Business, where he discussed his company’s campaign highlighting its U.S. manufacturing. DeMartini said his company, which produces about 25% of their shoes domestically, sees it as an "important part of how we define our company" (Fox Business, 6/30). New Balance ran a full-page ad in this morning's N.Y. Times touting the fact that it is the "only athletic shoe company to manufacture shoes in the US" (THE DAILY).

    LONG ISLAND SOLE: In N.Y., Lukas Alpert reports Nike is "dedicating its new version of its legendary Air Force 1 sneakers to Long Island's Jones Beach." The "canvas and leather sneaker features the Jones Beach water tower on the tongue and a map of Long Island on the light-blue sole." The words "Strong Island" are "emblazoned inside" (N.Y. POST, 7/1).

    Lawn Tennis Association Still Lacks 
    Official Equipment Supplier
    SUPPLY & DEMAND: In Manchester, Matt Scott notes the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) "still does not have an official equipment supplier among its group of commercial partners -- more than a year after its tender process closed." The LTA is "still paying a six-figure sum for the balls it uses" from Dunlop Slazenger. LTA Commercial Dir Bruce Phillips yesterday said that the official supplier talks "had been subordinated" to the US$41M lead partner deal with Aegon and that a "new tender would be issued" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 7/1).

    NOTES: Pacers F Danny Granger has joined NFL Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Browns QB Brady Quinn as a spokesperson for EAS nutrition products (USA TODAY, 7/1)....Burger King will title sponsor CSN Bay Area's 6:00pm PT news program "SportsNet Central" beginning Friday (CSN).

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