SBD/Issue 241/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Sharapova Eyeing Sponsor Deals That Provide Her With Equity

    Sharapova Looking For Sponsorships, Like
    Cole Haan's, That Provide Her With Equity
    IMG Tennis VP Max Eisenbud, who reps tennis player Maria Sharapova, indicated that she "may drop some sponsors in favor of agreements that give [her] a percentage of sales," according to Danielle Rossingh of the BLOOMBERG NEWS. Eisenbud said, "She wants to focus on deals where she has equity in, where she helps designing, gets a percentage of the sales." Sharapova last year did not renew deals with Gatorade and Tropicana, and Eisenbud said that she "instead extended a deal with U.S. clothing, shoe, handbag and accessory designer Cole Haan because it gave her the opportunity to be involved in design." Eisenbud: "We couldn't do both, so we had to make a choice. The focus now is on deals that she can develop after her career." Rossingh notes Sharapova is the world's "best-paid female athlete," earning about $22M in prize money and endorsements from nine sponsors, including Tiffany & Co., Sony Ericsson and Canon. Sharapova also has been a "muse to architect Frank Gehry, who designed earrings for Tiffany that Sharapova is wearing at the U.S. Open." Sharapova visited Gehry's Santa Monica, California, studio earlier this year and said, "A little part of each table had just things thrown together or papers thrown together in a certain way. In the middle of it all he had some ideas for some earrings that I was going to wear at the U.S. Open. It was completely crazy" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 9/2). She added, "When Tiffany approached me and told me that he wanted to work on my earrings for the U.S. Open, I was completely blown away" (NEWSDAY, 9/2).

    HONORING A LEGEND: The USTA and rapper Jay-Z have designed a T-shirt featuring Int'l Tennis HOFer Arthur Ashe that will be sold at this year’s U.S. Open. Proceeds from the T-shirts will benefit the USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning and the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of Aids. The design is part of Jay-Z’s Rocawear clothing line (USTA).

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  • MainGate's Profile Growing Thanks To Deals With NFL Teams

    Six NFL teams have signed deals with Indianapolis-based retail and merchandising company MainGate in the past two-and-a-half years, making the company "one of the biggest retail players in the goliath of professional sports leagues," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The bulk of MainGate's revenue "still comes from other sports," as the company "designs and makes items from Danica Patrick T-shirts to NHRA caps, coffee mugs and key chains." But MainGate officials said that revenue from the NFL deals is "approaching $10[M] annually, close to one-fourth of MainGate's growing revenue." Sporting Goods Intelligence Publisher John Horan: "They've compiled an impressive record in a short time. There aren't more than one or two companies nationwide that can rival the size of their (NFL) retail client list." Lions VP/Business Operations Bob Raymond said that the team has seen its "merchandise sales increase across the board in the seven months since hiring MainGate, with online sales up 75[%] and sales of merchandise at the team's training camp four times what it was last year." Raymond: "I've seen a lot of merchandising companies in sports, and I've seen none better than MainGate." The company has a "turnkey operation in the licensing industry, with the ability to not only run warehouse distribution and direct-to-consumer retail operations, but also to manufacture products" at its HQs. MainGate currently "doesn't manufacture NFL goods -- at least not yet -- but it manages all other phases of team retail operations from top to bottom," and MainGate President & CEO Dave Moroknek said that an NFL license to make products "could come." Vikings VP/Sales & Marketing Steve LaCroix, whose team also is a MainGate client, added of the company, "They've gotten the league's attention" (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/29 issue).

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  • Inflatable Images Hoping Fans Buy Pro, College Football Products

    Inflatable Images Selling Pro,
    College Products For $119
    Ohio-based Inflatable Images is taking its "first step into the world of retail" on the hopes that football fans will be interested in buying an "8-foot-tall lawn inflatable of a player wearing their favorite team's colors and logo," according to Paula Schleis of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. The company has invested $3M in "everything from half a dozen new engineers and designers to ready-to-sell inventory to the monthslong process" of gaining licenses from the NFL and 29 colleges to produce the $119 inflatables. There are two versions of the product -- one that is eight feet tall "with his hands raised in victory" and a second five-foot-tall version that is "in a three-point stance." Inflatable Images co-Founder David Scherba is "aiming for the company to sell 40,000 or more products through the holiday season." The products are "being shipped to distribution points, which include some campus stores, NFL team shops, NFL.com online, Dick's Sporting Goods, a handful of other outlets, and even a few grocery stores." Inflatable Images "won its first license" from Ohio State Univ., and the company worked with Collegiate Licensing Co. "for the rights to make images for 28 other schools." Inflatable Images VP/Sales John Kleban noted that the goal is to get the products "into more than 200 markets," but added that the challenge is that a "minimum of 1,000 must be ordered, so someone in the university community has to see the demand and be willing to offer the product." Meanwhile, Schleis noted while the NFL "required large up-front royalties," Scherba said it likely is a benefit to the company "because it keeps some of the smaller competitors out of the marketplace" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 8/31).

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  • Names & Faces: Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott Star In Nike Campaign

    Watch The Clip
    MARKETING WEEK's Rosie Baker reported Nike is launching the latest ads in its "Make The Difference" campaign, with EPL Manchester United F Wayne Rooney and Arsenal MF Theo Walcott starring in the spots. The separate 30-second ads "depict moments that symbolise how both players make the difference for their teams on and off the pitch." The campaign, via Wieden & Kennedy, London and Amsterdam, "includes television, print, digital and out of home elements." Baker noted further ads featuring German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich MF Franck Ribery and Arsenal MF Andrei Arshavin will follow (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 8/28).

    CONTESTED CONTEST: In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports Details magazine Editor-In-Chief Dan Peres and Publisher Steve DeLuca "mixed up editorial and advertorial and managed to tick off" the Patriots and QB Tom Brady, who appears on the cover of the magazine's September issue. The magazine is "offering visitors to its Web site a high-roller's weekend in Las Vegas when it had previously offered a round trip for two to a Patriots game." The September issue contained a five-page ad insert from Gillette that is an "invite to participate [in] a contest to 'win a VIP trip to a Patriots home game at Gillette Stadium.'" The invite features "an image of Brady," and while the contest details "don't specifically say that Brady will be on hand, many were left with that impression" (N.Y. POST, 9/2).

    NATALIE'S ARMY: In Calgary, George Johnson notes golfer Natalie Gulbis "can list off endorsement deals with an avalanche of companies," including RSM McGladrey, TaylorMade Golf, Adidas, Canon, Raymond Weil Geneve, Amstel Light, SkyCaddie, Payment Data Systems, MasterCard, Winn Golf Grips and Lake Las Vegas Resort. Gulbis: "It's a bit of a juggling act, but the golf is what everything is centred around. I try to do what I can, within reason." Johnson notes the term "'sex symbol' certainly doesn't throw" Gulbis. Gulbis: "I don't mind. In fact, I'm flattered. Any time anyone wants to say that, you won't hear me objecting. It's a compliment" (CALGARY HERALD, 9/2). Gulbis added of her off-course endeavors, “Overexposed? I hope so, and hope it stays like that” (CALGARY SUN, 9/2).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    ESPN SOCCERNET reports England's Football Association (FA) is "on the hunt for a new backer after it confirmed energy giant E.ON will not be renewing its sponsorship deal with the FA Cup at the end of the 2009-10 season." E.ON's four-year deal was "understood to be worth" US$51.9M to the FA. E.ON said that "changes to its UK sponsorship strategy meant it was not pursuing a renewal of the FA Cup deal" (ESPNSOCCERNET.com, 9/2). The LONDON TIMES writes the collapse of Setanta appears to have been the "final straw" for E.ON (TIMES.co.uk, 9/2).

    N.C. State Scraps Jersey Design
    After Negative Fan Feedback
    PACKING IT IN: North Carolina State Univ. (NCSU) AD Lee Fowler yesterday said that the school "has scrapped a new design for its men's basketball jerseys ... after receiving negative feedback from fans." In Raleigh, Ken Tysiac reports NCSU last week "displayed its new jersey design on its Twitter page," and the response was "overwhelmingly negative." The new adidas jerseys were an attempt to "re-emphasize the 'STATE,'" but Fowler said that the team now "will abandon the new design and instead use jerseys similar to those from last season" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/2).

    HORSING AROUND: The Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL reports the World Games 2010 Foundation is "pitching sponsorship packages costing" between $2,500-10,000 for the '10 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The foundation yesterday announced the Preferred Partner Packages that "will offer Web site exposure, official logo usage rights, co-branding opportunities, promotional rights and the opportunity to place an advertisement in the event program" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/2).

    GIVING BACK: NASCAR SCENE reported Furniture Row Racing's No. 78 Sprint Cup entry driven by Regan Smith will "carry the colors of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization," for the September 12 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond Int'l Raceway. Denver-based Furniture Row Cos. is donating the space on the car to World Vision (SCENEDAILY.com, 9/1).

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