MLS Red Bulls, MSG Extend TV Deal Harold NFL Hires Matthews As Senior VP/Media Sales Adidas Unveils Latest NCAA Hoops Uniforms Blank: Talks On Atlanta MLS Club "Substantial" Drexler Part Of LG's Final Four Activation Bills Adopt Variable Ticket Pricing Nike's Parker Talks Innovation, Competition Classified Advertisements
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NFL PRICING DOWN SLIGHTLY: MEDIAPOST's Wayne Friedman reported the NFL's TV ad sales "continues to be a late-moving and fragile marketplace, with most of the bigger agencies yet to do deals with CBS, Fox and NBC." While NFL pricing "has not declined as much as many broadcast and cable prime-time shows," media execs said that CPM pricing is "down anywhere from 3% to 4% versus a year ago." Media execs estimated that NFL unit pricing "for top games on CBS and Fox" will be around $275,000-300,000 and more for a 30-second spot this year; "upwards of $400,000 and more for NBC; and about $300,000 and more on ESPN." One media agency exec said that ESPN "is well sold for 'Monday Night Football' this year -- it has either closed or is near closing virtually 90% of its inventory." However, Friedman noted ESPN "runs fewer commercials than the broadcasts networks' NFL games -- just 46 30-second commercial units." Meanwhile, one "thorny issue still surrounds this year's deal-making: That of commercial ratings, so-called C3 guarantees -- commercial ratings plus three days of DVR playback." TV advertisers "want them; NFL television networks have been largely opposed" (MEDIAPOST.com, 8/21).
Bolt's Limited Edition "Puma Street Yaam"
Shoes Sold Out After Last Week's Wins
CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU: REUTERS' Mitch Phillips writes when Bolt "blazed to glory at the Beijing Olympics, he was feted as the hero his tainted sport has been crying out for." Phillips: "Now, having repeated them in Berlin, he can consider himself the savior of the world championships." The event "lost much of its luster" when it went from being held yearly to biennially, and it became a "slightly more glamorous extension of the grand prix circuit" to some fans. However, the '09 World Championships "will be different," as "nobody will ever forget the place where a man first ran '9.5-something'" in the 100M (REUTERS, 8/24). Washington Post reporter Liz Clarke said, "In the States, we typically get excited about track and field every four years, and we just had an Olympic year." Clarke: "It's nice that it’s back in the news after one year. ... This just seems like a genuine, happy story of phenomenal performance and success, so it's wonderful for the sport” (“Washington Post Live," CSN Mid-Atlantic, 8/21). Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom: “Usain Bolt is doing the truly impossible: He’s making people watch track in between the Olympics” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 8/23). SI.com's Brian Cazeneuve writes, "With his engaging personality and flair for fun, Bolt has made people appreciate how dynamic running can be" (SI.com, 8/24).
THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL: Bolt yesterday was "honoured by the city of Berlin by receiving an original segment of the Berlin Wall." The 12-foot high section weighing nearly three tons is "decorated with a life-size painting of Bolt running on the blue track of the Olympic stadium and the words 'NEW WR.'" The wall slab will be "delivered to Bolt's training camp in Jamaica" (AP, 8/24).
Patrick Leaning Toward Staying In IndyCar
Following Andretti Taking Full Control Of AGR
GIVING THE BRAND A BOOST: SI.com's Martin noted Motorola has been "happy with the attention" Patrick has given their products, as well as the "response to their commercials." Patrick: "I spent the last week with the folks at Boost Mobile and sat next to the president -- we've talked a lot about when we get this deal done to come up with some cool, new concepts for next year. Any time people are talking about the future it's implied that you're in it. Everybody seems pretty happy at Motorola and Boost Mobile. It has been a really good relationship" (SI.com, 8/23).
Wrangler Believes Favre Will Help
Generate Attention For Brand
CALL TO ATTENTION: In St. Paul, Sean Jensen reported the Favre signing has "meant a flurry of activity and a slew of possibilities on how to market the perfect drawing card for [the Vikings] at this time." MainGate Inc., the Vikings' exclusive retail and merchandising company, after the signing "immediately contacted partners to start producing everything from earrings to pennants to Brett Favre mini-footballs." MainGate President & CEO Dave Moroknek said that Favre jerseys are "going to be shipped to all 50 states" and DC. Meanwhile, execs at Reebok, the NFL's exclusive apparel maker, "immediately advised their two plants to prepare cranking out" Favre jerseys (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/22). But Jensen today notes Reebok "didn't mass-produce in advance a No. 4 Vikings jersey bearing Favre's name." MainGate received "advance approval for many graphics in anticipation of Favre possibly joining the Vikings and assigned a stock-keeping-unit for various items before" he signed last Tuesday (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/24).
Sticking With Hamilton
NEXT BIG THING? In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez "may be the closest thing the Jets have to a quarterback with [Pro Football HOFer Joe Namath] potential." Sanchez has "curly hair, an electric smile, a Mexican-American heritage and an easy manner with the news media." He also is "arguably even better looking than the young Joe Namath, who glamorized the quarterback species in the 1960s and '70s." Sanchez is "polished, bright and articulate, and understands big-market media after being a star" at USC in L.A. (N.Y. TIMES, 8/23).
FLEET FEET: In N.Y., Anahita Moussavian reports tennis player Maria Sharapova, who is sponsored by Nike and Prince, has partnered with Cole Haan to "present her first capsule collection," Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan. Sharapova said one of her best fashion moments was at a Cole Haan dinner in April, the "first time I had a chance to wear a pair of stilettos from the collection I designed" (N.Y. POST, 8/24).
FITTING TRIBUTE: IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher for the October 10 Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will change all branding on her No. 67 Honda to pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Sarah Fisher Racing).
USA TODAY's Theresa Howard writes fantasy football creates a "hardcore audience for advertisers and ad revenue for big online hosting sites, such as the NFL and CBS," which is why Best Buy, Snickers, Ford and Coors Light "are betting on fantasy." Best Buy is offering a 17-week promotion that "lets people pick a new team each week and play against a featured celebrity to win chances in a sweepstakes." The promo features weekly prizes, with the grand prize being a $5,700 package "including a high-def TV, Ibanez guitar and Microsoft Xbox 360." Snickers will "sponsor an iPhone app with score updates in its second season with CBS fantasy football," and Ford will "tout its F-150 pickup, Mustang and new Taurus in its first foray into fantasy, also with CBS" (USA TODAY, 8/24).
Writer Says Money From Vick Jerseys
Should Go To Humane Society
WRONG APPROACH: Washington Post reporter Liz Clarke said she was “appalled” by Anheuser-Busch’s new campaign putting the colors of local college teams on cans of Bud Light. Clarke: “The drinking age is not 18 these days, it’s 21. Am I not right? And college students, most of them, are 17, 18, 19, 20.” Washington Post reporter Barry Svrluga added, “Aside from that, are they really having a tough time breaking into that market?" ("Washington Post Live," CSN Mid-Atlantic, 8/21).
CATCHY TUNE: In Tulsa, Bill Haisten reported John Martin, the son of Oklahoma State Univ. Senior Associate AD Dave Martin, has composed and recorded "Cowboys Forever," an anthem to be featured "during the Cowboys' pregame video for home football games." Nike officials "did the editing on the video," which the company's production team "put the finishing touches on ... last week." Nike also is "about to launch a line of 'Cowboys 4Ever' apparel" (TULSA WORLD, 8/23).