SBD/Issue 238/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Pilot Pen Tennis Tourney Targets New Fans With Special Events

    Pilot Pen Tourney Featuring Several
    Different Events For Fans This Year
    Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament Dir Anne Worcester "hopes to bring new people to the tournament" with several different events this year, which have included a "courtside seminar on how to pair the right wine with the right glass" by Riedel wine glass Owner Georg Riedel, according to Lori Riley of the HARTFORD COURANT. Jacksonville-based BocaBella Marketing Principal Gigi Longhini, who is working with the USTA at the event, said, "It's a big deal that somebody like Georg Riedel would come here." The tournament also featured the New Haven Food & Wine Festival on Wednesday and a fashion show on Connecticut Tennis Center grounds on Thursday. Worcester said Wednesday, "There are people who will be here for this (food) festival today and tonight that really don't care at all about tennis. They're here for the food and wine festival." Longhini: "One of the big differences with tennis ... is that it affords sponsors the opportunity to engage fans for a much longer period of time than just the 2 1/2 hours it might be for a match. You have people milling around all day. You can engage the consumer, as opposed to brushing by them when they're on their way in or out" (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/28). The Pilot Pen through Thursday had drawn 53,915 fans for the combined men's and women's event, an average of 5,391 fans per session. If the remaining five sessions "stay at the current tournament average," this year's event will "finish at 80,870," 397 fewer than last year (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 8/28).

    FASHION SENSE: ATP World Tour player James Blake’s new Thomas Reynolds collection from Fila debuted Thursday, and Blake said of the line named in memory of his father, “When I signed with Fila I was excited because they gave me this opportunity. … I wanted to do it in recognition of my father because he's the one that taught me everything about my work ethic, my goals and just my morals in general.” Blake: "It's going to start out in tennis, limited edition collection for the U.S. Open, and then starting next year in the spring it will be golf, lifestyle, casual and hopefully fitness as well. So we're going to try to get people wearing it around all over the place” ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 8/27).

    Williams Captains Maiden Voyage Of The Zero
    Ferry, A Free Water Taxi Service To U.S. Open
    SPONSOR OUTING: Tennis player Venus Williams Thursday captained the maiden voyage of the Zero Ferry, a free water taxi service to the US Open provided by her sponsor, Powerade Zero. The shuttle will travel between Manhattan and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing from August 31-September 6 (THE DAILY). Meanwhile, former tennis player Andre Agassi will be honored on the opening night of the US Open along with Basketball HOFer-elect David Robinson, former soccer player Mia Hamm and former NFLer Doug Flutie "for the charitable works of their retirement years" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/28).

  • Indiana, Purdue Latest Schools To Protest Bud Light's "Fan Cans"

    More Schools Joining 
    Protest Against "Fan Cans"
    Indiana Univ. (IU) and Purdue Univ. are the latest schools to have "joined a coalition of colleges in calling for Anheuser-Busch InBev to stop selling its Bud Light 'fan can,'" according to John Tuohy of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Liquor retailers near IU's Bloomington, Indiana, campus are "selling red-and-white Bud Light cans, promoted as 'King and Crimson,' in six-packs and cases," while liquor stores and bars around Purdue's Lafayette, Indiana, campus are "selling the beer cans in Boilermaker black and gold." Both schools have "fired off letters" to A-B "asking the company to 'cease and desist' from selling" the cans near campus. IU VP/Public Affairs & Government Relations Susan Williams: "We don't want to be affiliated or engage in activity that makes it more appealing for people to drink" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/28). A-B said that it has "agreed to honor concerns raised by Texas A&M University officials" over the "Fan Cans." In Houston, Jeannie Kever notes the campaign "will end in College Station, just weeks after it began, as soon as beer currently in stock sells out." Meanwhile, orange and white cans "weren't deemed a threat to the University of Texas." Univ. of Texas Senior Associate AD of External Services Chris Plonsky: "The cans are definitely orange, but we would call it a (University of) Tennessee orange, or a Syracuse orange. We looked at it and said ... it's not our colors" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/28).

    BAD IDEA FROM THE START: A Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE editorial states the campaign's "only surprise is that no one" at A-B InBev had the "foresight and fortitude to buck Bud’s marketers and ask if this was really such a good idea." What Bud Light "needed was a real life version of its more recent ad campaign: Real men of genius" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/28).

  • BB&T To Be Retail Banking Partner At Three Auburn Univ. Venues

    BB&T Corp. Thursday said that it has "become the retail banking partner" for Auburn Univ.'s Jordan-Hare Stadium, Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum and Plainsman Park, according to Richard Craver of the WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL. The agreement with the Auburn ISP Sports Network "includes a major sign presence" at all three venues. BB&T is "replacing the marketing presence of Colonial Bank at the university," as BB&T acquired Colonial's 346 branches earlier this month. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but BB&T Senior VP/Sports Marketing & Event Planning Pete Zifchak said that it is the "second largest collegiate sports-marketing deal for BB&T behind the naming rights" for Wake Forest Univ.'s BB&T Field (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 8/28).

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