SBD/Issue 19/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • In The Red Zone: CBS Nearing 80% Sold For Super Bowl Ad Inventory

    CBS is "close to selling out approximately 80% of its ad inventory for Super Bowl XLIV," according to a source cited by Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. The source said that CBS is "still hesitant to force a price point into its discussions" with advertisers, but thus far has sought between $2.5-3M for a 30-second spot during the February 7 game. The Super Bowl is "shaping up as a showcase for feisty ad battles." Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are advertising during coverage, and sources indicated that is "expected to join the fray ... lining up for consumer attention against CareerBuilder." Monster's advertising is "expected to be related to a promotion that would make one Monster fan an 'ambassador' for Monster and the NFL." CareerBuilder has already said that it will run one ad, "expected to show up early in the second quarter of the game." A-B InBev, Hyundai, Bridgestone and are among those that have "already signaled they will appear" during the Super Bowl. Steinberg noted CBS' strong sales are indicative that the "sports-advertising marketplace may be recovering more quickly than other TV venues." Ad sales for NFL and college football telecasts this fall have "garnered better-than-expected interest," and the pace of sales "emphasizes marketer interest in big-audience sporting events" (, 10/7).

  • ESPN Signs Levi's As Presenting Sponsor For "30 For 30" Docu Series

    ESPN has signed Levi's as the presenting sponsor of its documentary series "30 for 30," according to Anthony Crupi of MEDIAWEEK. Under the deal, Levi's "will lead off each film with a branded 45-second 'Director's Statement,' in which the creative force behind the camera reflects on his motivation for making [what] the movie viewers are about to see." Levi's "will close the bracket with a second Director's Statement," which will run at the end of each program. The brand also has the "option to take over a 60-second commercial pod leading into the third act." The sponsorship "extends through the first 15 films, with Levi's reserving the right of first refusal to continue on with the latter half of the series." The deal "includes integration across several ESPN platforms, including presence on the 30 for 30 micro site." Meanwhile, Crupi noted Honda is also "lending its support" to the series, serving as "associate sponsor of the first 15 films." As part of its deal, Honda "will own an isolated pod in the second act, in which it will showcase its own documentary initiative, 'Dream the Impossible.'" The Honda pod "will command between 90 and 120 seconds of airtime" (, 10/6).

    SLOW OUT OF THE BLOCKS: ESPN drew a 0.5 national rating and 645,000 viewers Tuesday night for the premiere of "Kings Ransom," ESPN's first "30 for 30" documentary that tells the story of Wayne Gretzky's trade from the Oilers to the Kings. The rating is down 44% and viewership is off 46% from the "World Series of Poker" (0.9/1.2 million), which previously had occupied the time slot. "Kings Ransom" undoubtedly was hurt by the Twins-Tigers AL Central tiebreaker game, which went 12 innings (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

  • UFL Adds Three More Sponsors On The Eve Of First Ever Game

    Three additional corporate sponsors are on board for the UFL's first game, which will be shown on Versus tonight at 9:00pm ET. Le Vai is on the sidelines as the UFL's official alkaline ionized water, while Men’s Wearhouse will serve as the official men’s clothing partner and USI will be the league's official insurance broker. StubHub and Motorola were previously in the fold; GameWear Team Sports is the uniform provider. Sponsors get varying combinations of Versus ad units, ads in the gameday program, and ANC's field perimeter LED signage. The UFL kicks off what it is calling its "Premiere
    Season" tonight at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, when the Las Vegas Locomotives host the California Redwoods.

  • Illinois Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against adidas Over Ad Slogan

    Watch This "Brotherhood" Spot
    Illinois lawyer Brand Bobosky last week filed a federal lawsuit claiming adidas and "several other defendants committed copyright and trademark infringement by using the 'We Not Me' slogan during an advertising campaign" in '07 and '08 that featured Celtics F Kevin Garnett, according to Gerry Smith of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The lawsuit was filed October 1 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and "also names as defendants adidas America, NBA Properties Inc., NBA Services Inc., NBA Store Inc., NBA Store LLC, the Boston Celtics and Garnett." Bobosky obtained trademark and copyright protection for the "We Not Me" phrase in '04. He is "seeking unspecified damages, attorney fees, profits from adidas' advertising campaign and an injunction to prevent the defendants from using the slogan" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/8). In Illinois, Bill Bird reported Bobosky has "allowed use of the phrase to smaller groups and organizations from Michigan to Australia, and has seen it appear on key chains, hats and golfing paraphernalia." He said that he "tried without success for nearly a year to negotiate a licensing agreement with Adidas following the launch of the commercial campaign" (ST. CHARLES SUN, 10/7).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Writer Says Castroneves' Marketability
    Not Hurt By His Tax Evasion Trial
    In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay reports while the Davie-Brown Talent Index indicates IRL driver Helio Castroneves' "appeal, trust and other traits have dropped slightly" since his trial earlier this year for tax evasion, that "hasn't hurt his marketability." Castroneves has filmed ads for healthcare company HCA, and high-end rental car company GentlemenDrive Miami "asked him to be their spokesman for the service that launches in December." Castroneves also is "entertaining other business offers, but so far hasn't scored a coveted hair product endorsement" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/8).

    EARNING THEIR STRIPES: The Scotland Football Association (SFA) has signed a four-and-a-half year apparel agreement with adidas that could be worth as much as $16M (all figures US), potentially the "most lucrative kit deal" ever for Scotland's national team. The contract, which will run from January '10-June '14, carries a base value of $2.4M annually and could increase to $4M per year dependent on Scotland qualifying for the '12 Euro Cup and the '14 FIFA World Cup. The team's current uniform partner, Diadora, "went into liquidation earlier this year but have honoured the final months" of their contract with the SFA, which expires December 31 (THE SCOTSMAN, 10/8).

    STREET WATCH: In Philadelphia, Jeff Gelles reports MLB officials were "back on the streets" yesterday on the "lookout for vendors hawking counterfeit" merchandise around Rockies-Phillies NLDS Game 1. Pennsylvania's high court Monday "overturned the state's trademark-counterfeiting law, ruling that it was worded so broadly that it violated First Amendment rights to free speech." But intellectual-property lawyers and MLB officials contend that "even if the state's anti-counterfeiting law proved temporarily unenforceable, other civil and criminal laws would enable them to continue efforts against blatant counterfeiting" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/8).

    PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES: CNBC's Scott Wapner reported boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in N.Y. yesterday "meeting with Fortune 500 companies ... about some possible more endorsement deals." Wapner, noting Mayweather has not appeared in many sponsorship campaigns, said to him, "We don't really see that much from you." Mayweather: "Everything takes time. Timing is the key" ("The Call," CNBC, 10/7). Meanwhile, ESPN's Colin Cowherd addressed Lance Armstrong's new endorsement deal with Michelob Ultra, saying, "It's a bad move. This is like ESPN buying Playboy" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 10/7). 

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