SBD/Issue 5/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Super Bowl Ad Sales Gaining Steam For CBS As Hyundai Commits

     
    Ad sales for Super Bowl XLIV "appear to be moving more briskly than anticipated given the current economy, with CBS now selling approximately 70% of its inventory for the game," according to a source cited by Steinberg & Parekh of AD AGE. Hyundai is the latest company to join the roster of game advertisers as it has "purchased two spots" during the broadcast. The car company, which "took more prominence in last year's event when General Motors pulled out in the wake of economic considerations, will use its in-house agency Innocean to craft the spots." Steinberg & Parekh noted the "ad-sales climate for the game remains challenging," as NBC at this time last year "had sold more than 80% of its inventory." However, the "recent spate of activity offers encouragement." A source said that CBS has "sold ad time for top positions for prices between" $2.5-3M, and that the net has "pushed ad time in pre-game broadcasts and has sold sponsorships for blocks of that inventory." Meanwhile, ad sales execs "remain hopeful that some Super Bowl perennials who abandoned their longtime [roots] in the contest last year will return." FedEx, which sat out Super Bowl XLIII after appearing in 11 straight broadcasts, has said that it is "mulling whether it should appear" during this year's game (ADAGE.com, 9/17).

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  • Go Daddy To Be Primary Sponsor Of Martin's Cup Ride Next Year

    Go Daddy To Serve As Martin's Primary
    Sponsor For '10 Sprint Cup Season
    Go Daddy Friday announced a deal with NASCAR driver Mark Martin making the company his “new primary sponsor at the Sprint Cup level in 2010” on the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevy, according to Matt Crossman of SPORTING NEWS. The new deal “will be a major step for the Web site hosting company,” as Martin leads the Sprint Cup standings entering the first Chase race. Go Daddy also has sponsorships with fellow NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, but "neither of those deals would come close to the exposure" Martin can generate. The marks the "rare emergence of a new Cup sponsor in recent months in NASCAR" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 9/18). Go Daddy is serving as an associate sponsor for Martin this season (THE DAILY). In Charlotte, Jim Utter reports the Go Daddy deal, which is for 20 races, came in conjunction with Hendrick Motorsports announcing Martin "has agreed to another contract extension ... through the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season" (THATSRACIN.com, 9/18).

    DINGERS AND DRIVERS: NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Colin Braun all attended Thursday night's Angels-Red Sox game as part of Roush Fenway Racing Night at Fenway Park. Braun threw out the first pitch (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18). Red Sox John Henry prior to the festivities said the partnership between the MLB team and Roush Racing “was really in some ways a dream come true.” Henry: “Imagine getting into NASCAR at that level at Roush Fenway. Jack has been a tremendous partner. He and I have a lot of fun” ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 9/17).

    THE THRILL OF THE CHASE: With Kurt Busch’s No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge making the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Penske Racing will debut new coverage and a fan contest at PenskeRacing.com. The team Friday launched its '09 Chase coverage, featuring an interactive graphical display on its home page with statistical analysis of the 12 Chase drivers, as well as Chase coverage through Twitter, including behind-the-scenes tweets from the No. 2 team. The contest calls for fans to tweet their prediction of where Busch will finish in each week’s race. Up to 10 winners will be selected for Penske merchandise (Penske Racing).

    MOBILE UNIT: Samsung has inked a multi-year extension to continue title sponsoring the April NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The race, known as the Samsung 500 for the past three years, will now become the Samsung Mobile 500 and will have a new logo. Samsung title sponsorship dated back to '02. Terms were not disclosed (Samsung/TMS).

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  • New Pro Football HOF Campaign To Promote Nominating Process

     
    The Pro Football HOF Saturday is launching a multi-million dollar, multi-year marketing campaign to promote the nominating process for the Hall. It kicks off Saturday at 2:00pm ET, when the list of Hall nominees for enshrinement in '10 is released. The campaign, the largest in the institution’s history, is sponsored by clothing company Van Heusen and JCPenney, which will advertise the promotion in all of its 1,400 stores. The ad effort includes spots on ESPN, ads in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine and a billboard in Times Square. The promotion lets fans make their own selections from the initial list, putting their choices against those of the writers who officially whittle down the list to select the class of inductees. The fan poll, available at jcp.com/fans, will have no bearing on the actual winners, who are announced each year on the day before the Super Bowl. “We want the fans to have a voice and we want them to know we are listening,” said George Veras, CEO of the Hall’s licensing and merchandise arm. “It is encouraging a debate; we want to hear opinions. Today, social media is so important.” Like most HOFs, the pro football museum leaves the voting to writers, whose choices are often fiercely debated in public forums. Veras said he expects, and hopes, the final five chosen by the fans will be somewhat different from the actual five winners.

    OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH AUDIENCE: Phillips-Van Heusen will cover two-thirds of the ad spend, with JCPenney paying the remainder, and Mike Kelly, CMO for Phillips-Van Heusen’s corporate marketing group, said, “We’re definitely looking for more opportunities to connect to our audience through sports.” Kelly: "The Hall has never done this sort of thing, and we’re thrilled to be part of it. It’s not the actual Hall vote, but the fans are going to be involved, which we think is very significant. And to have it leverage the traffic that JCPenney brings globally, that’s a definite leg up, too.” Van Heusen typically has focused its marketing efforts on male-oriented print media, such as GQ, Esquire and Men’s Journal, but it has steadily sought to increase its sports presence. The company sponsored an IRL car (Vision Racing) earlier this year through its Izod brand, something Kelly cited as a key forerunner to this deal. The Hall this year also is co-producing a series on the NFL Network, “Road to Canton,” on which Van Heusen is advertising.

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  • Steve Nash Finds Success By Using Celebrity As Marketing Vehicle

    Watch The Clip
    Suns G Steve Nash has realized that by "using his own celebrity as a marketing vehicle, he can achieve greater success in his off-court pursuits," according to Matt Semansky of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The two-time NBA MVP's "off-court profile has been relatively low compared to other star athletes," as he has had "little interest in playing the celebrity shill." But now he is "embracing a new world of athlete marketing" in which today's athletes are "brands in and of themselves, and with money, free time and social media tools like YouTube at their disposal, they're exerting more control over how, when and where their image is marketed." Players now are "looking to get something else out of the deal, such as an opportunity to showcase their personalities or develop talents outside of their already glamorous day jobs." Nash said he "pitched Nike on doing a viral video" in '07, which led to the creation of "Training Day," an online video that "showed Nash practising on the basketball court as well as demonstrating his considerable soccer, tennis and skateboarding skills." Semansky notes Nash now is creating Nike ads through his Meathawk Productions company. He also has "lent his filmmaking talents to Vitamin Water, writing, producing and directing a series of online videos" in which he depicts himself as an "arrogant prima donna, parodying his clean-cut image in a deft deadpan performance." Meanwhile, Nash, along with Clippers G Baron Davis and Raptors F Chris Bosh, is "about to introduce Apoko, a company that will specialize in online content management for athletes" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 9/14 issue).

    FUNNY MONEY: Nash's latest Vitaminwater video shows him as the host of an infomercial a la the late Billy Mays, and YAHOO SPORTS' J.E. Skeets wrote, "With no disrespect to Bosh, Baron, Dwight, Shaq, LeBron, Dirk and friends, when it comes to NBA funny, Steve Nash still holds the crown. In fact, it's not even close" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/17).

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  • Rough Ride: Dew Tour Dealing With Economy's Impact On Sponsors

    Dew Tour And Its Athletes
    Feeling Sting Of The Economy
    The Dew Tour and its athletes have "felt the economy's sting in many cases" in recent months despite the "young audience it reaches," according to Ross Siler of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Former Tour presenting sponsors Right Guard and Panasonic did not return this year, and Alli Sports VP/Events Chris Prybylo, whose company organizes the Dew Tour, said, "Obviously, we were disappointed that they left, but at the same time, I think it wasn't because of anything we did. I think it was more strategic decisions on their part." Skateboarder Andy Macdonald was forced to replace his endorsement with SoBe after parent company PepsiCo opted to "no longer sponsor riders" under the brand. Macdonald: "When it comes time to make cuts in the budget, the first thing you cut is your marketing budget, and that's where all of our money comes from." Siler notes the Tour this year "maintained a five-city schedule, but held separate skateboarding and BMX events at its first two stops in Boston and Chicago, a move that several athletes believed was driven at least in part by economics." This weekend's event in Salt Lake City is titled the Toyota Challenge, and the auto manufacturer "remains committed to action sports." Toyota's sponsorship includes "everything from television exposure available through NBC to the Tour's presence in five major markets to the opportunity to interact with fans in the festival village." Toyota Marketing Communications Strategist Chad Harp said that the automaker is "committed to the Tour through at least 2010" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/18).

     
    MAKING AN X-IT: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reports Totino's Pizza is "leaving the X Games to become a title sponsor of the Winter Dew Tour." The Totino's Open will be held in Breckenridge from December 18-20. The title sponsorship is "part of a one-year agreement that sources valued in the low seven figures." Totino's will receive "on-site and retail activation rights, advertising during NBC, USA Network and MTV2 broadcasts, and the presenting sponsorship of a summer Dew Tour highlight show that premieres on NBC on Thanksgiving weekend." Totino's execs "decided to switch their action sports investment from the X Games to the Dew Tour because it felt the Dew Tour offered more opportunities for activation and partnership" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/14 issue).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    In Chicago, William Lee reports attorneys for Bears LB Brian Urlacher Thursday filed suit against Florida-based sports memorabilia and licensing firm Dreams Inc., claiming that the company is using Urlacher's season-ending wrist injury "to 'wiggle out' of its financial obligations." Urlacher said that Dreams on Tuesday "terminated his $1.1[M] contract," and the suit alleges that Urlacher "would have realized at least $600,000 in profits if the four-year deal wasn't breached." Lee notes at issue is "whether Urlacher violated a clause in his contract with [Dreams] that allows the firm to terminate the contract if he is out for 16 or more weeks or suffers a career-ending injury." Urlacher's attorneys said that this marks the "second time this year" Dreams has "tried cutting ties with Urlacher" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/18).

    Fowler Will Use Titleist Balls, Clubs,
    Glove, Bag As Part Of Agreement
    YOUTH MOVEMENT: GOLFWEEK's Gene Yasuda reported Titleist "has reached a multi-year equipment deal" with golfer Rickie Fowler, who turned pro following the U.S. victory in the Walker Cup last weekend. Fowler "will use Titleist golf balls and clubs, wear a Titleist glove and carry a Titleist golf bag," and the "side of his headwear will feature the Titleist Pro V1 script." Fowler is also "in negotiations with Puma for an apparel and footwear deal" (GOLFWEEK.com, 9/16).

    NOTES: Tennis player Melanie Oudin "has signed on to be a pitch woman" for Florida-based AirTran Airways. Oudin will be featured in "radio ads and billboards throughout the Atlanta area," where AirTran is the "second largest airline" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/18)....Pacers F Tyler Hansbrough appears in a new AT&T ad that aired during ESPN’s coverage of Georgia Tech-Miami Thursday night (THE DAILY)....Toyota will serve as the presenting sponsor of both the Flyers and 76ers radio networks on WIP-AM. PepsiCo, Wachovia, PECO, McDonald's, Bud Light and Quality Plus Ford Dealers also will have integrated roles in the radio broadcasts (Comcast-Spectacor).

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