SBD/Issue 24/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • TBS Moving Some LDS Advertisers To Phillies-Dodgers Series

     
    TBS accommodated all of the advertisers that had bought time in Game Four of the three Division Series three-game sweeps by moving them into the NLCS. Turner execs said "about a half dozen" advertisers were moved, helping the network completely sell out the first four games of the NLCS. "Our risk now is if the LCS goes to a sweep," said Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Diament. Networks typically sell the first three games of a five-game series (or four games of a seven-game series) -- the games that are guaranteed to be played. "They really front-loaded their schedules anyway," said Carat USA Group Dir Mike Law. "As long as the LCS goes to five games, they'll be OK. Games Six and Seven are gravy." However, should the NLCS also be a short series, many unused ads would be distributed to other Turner Sports properties, like the NBA. Others would have to be moved elsewhere on Turner's schedule. Law said some categories, like pharmaceuticals, would resist a move to the NBA because its targeted demographic is much older than the NBA's. "There are a group of advertisers that could not move to the NBA," Law said. Spots typically bought during the upfront selling season are moved to other entertainment programs, but Diament said none of those would be affected by a short series. He added the Division Series' high ratings allowed the NLCS to accommodate advertisers affected by the sweeps. Networks usually hold a certain number of spots open in case the network does not hit certain ratings guarantees. There was no worry about that happening with the Division Series. TBS averaged a 3.6 cable rating and 4.769 million viewers for its coverage of 13 Division Series games -- numbers that are up 9% and 11%, respectively. That helped TBS achieve its most-viewed week in its 33-year history. "We were really happy with the ratings," said Optimedia Exec VP and Dir of National Electronic Media Larry Novenstern. "For us, it was a win-win. For Turner, with the short series, it probably wasn't" (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

    LAMENTING WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Turner Sports President of Sales, Distribution & Sports David Levy said the network's 11% viewership growth for this year's MLB Division Series playoff round could have been in excess of 15% had three of the four series not ended in sweeps. Levy said, "I do feel like we left something on the table. Our 11% [growth] could have instead been a 15, 20% jump had things broken differently, particularly if we got up to 15, 16 games or so," Levy said. The net aired 15 Division Series games last year. "The good news is that we can grow further next year. We've had a lot of really great games, close back-and-forth games, great matchups. So what we're after now is seeing the [NLCS] go deep" (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

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  • adidas Basketball Launching New NBA Global Ad Campaign Today

    Watch The Clip
    adidas Basketball today is launching a new global campaign for the '09-10 NBA season titled "It's On Me for My Brotherhood." The campaign, created by 180, L.A., prominently features Magic C Dwight Howard and Bulls G Derrick Rose and is part of an integrated marketing campaign that is digitally based at www.adidasbasketball.com. Online efforts include a promotion around the NBA All-Star Game in conjunction with the league and EA Sports where fans can win a trip to the '10 All-Star Game in Dallas. Digital initiatives will be supported with a TV spot featuring Rose, Howard, Celtics F Kevin Garnett, Nuggets G Chauncey Billups, Spurs F Tim Duncan, Rockets G Tracy McGrady and Hawks F Josh Smith. Print ads and retail programs will also be implemented worldwide (adidas). BRANDWEEK's Todd Wasserman noted the new ads "continue a theme" adidas introduced in '07 titled "Basketball is a brotherhood." The new campaign features "six 'sharable' clips featuring the players, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from various adidas events" (BRANDWEEK.com, 10/14). In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay noted Heat F Michael Beasley is also featured in the campaign and is "appearing in print ads and an online ad." In the online ad, Beasley "goes to pick out his shoes and invokes the names of other adidas athletes," including Garnett and Billups (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 10/14).

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  • NCAA Merchandise Revenue May Fall For First Time In Eight Years

    CLC Says College Licensing Market
    Might Struggle To Top $4B In '09
    Revenue from college merchandise "could fall" this year for the first time in eight years, "barring a surge in sales in the next few months," according to Tim Lemke of the WASHINGTON TIMES. With the college football season in "full swing and basketball ready to start, companies that sell officially licensed college merchandise are hoping for a good autumn to boost an otherwise stagnant year." Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) Senior VP & Managing Dir Derek Eiler: "We are definitely kind of in the throes of it right now from September 1 through November and really into the holidays." CLC said that the college licensing market produced $4.3B in revenue last year, but "might struggle to top" $4B in '09. The first few months of this year "were grim," and sales of merchandise to college football bowl games "fell by more than half." Eiler said that the industry is "bracing itself for some bad news, though he said he doesn't think there will be a dramatic decline in revenue." Eiler: "Retailers are hanging on to their dollars a lot longer and really chasing hot teams or hot product categories that are selling really well. The impact of how those dollars are spent we won't see until the year's end. If the tsunami is coming, we don't see it yet" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/15).

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  • Former Ford Exec Says Automaker Is Accomplishing NASCAR Goals

    Ford Says NASCAR Gives Best Return,
    Highest Viewership, Best Television Coverage
    Despite Ford's "struggles on the track," Former Ford President Edsel Ford II said that the automaker's NASCAR program is "accomplishing its goals," according to Bob Pockrass of NASCAR SCENE. Roush Fenway Racing drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards currently rank seventh and eighth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Ford said, "We would like to be better in shape in the Chase. We'd like to be one and two obviously, but we're not. So we'll deal with it. But NASCAR, in my opinion, gives us the best return, has the highest amount of viewership, best television coverage. Man, it is the series to compete in if you want viewership. So we're pleased." Ford "expects that NASCAR will continue to help his company sell cars." Meanwhile, Ford said of the decision to run its Mustang model in the Nationwide Series next season, "Quite frankly, this exposure for Mustang and this series, is going to be very good. And I’m sure the Mustang clubs around the country are really happy what we’re doing" (SCENEDAILY.com, 10/14). Roush Fenway Racing co-Owner Jack Roush said of running Mustangs, "If you had asked me two years ago if there was a prospect of bringing a Mustang to Nationwide or Cup side I would have thought that NASCAR wouldn't have been encouraging that. But they've been open to it. They see it as an opportunity to attract some new fans and I'm just thrilled with it" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 10/13).

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  • Shriver Keeps Tennis Event Alive After No Title Sponsor Found

    Shriver Is Major Guarantor Of Her
    Annual Charity Tennis Classic
    Pam Shriver is the "major guarantor" of the December 9 BCF Tennis Challenge, her annual charity tennis classic in Baltimore, a "shift from the past 23 years, when one bank or another ... sponsored it," according to Sandra McKee of the Baltimore SUN. PNC Bank this year "declined to renew its sponsorship, and no one else has stepped forward to attach its name to the event," which benefits the Baltimore Community Foundation in partnership with children's charities. Shriver decided to rename the event after the foundation and will "personally make up the difference for any financial shortfall it might encounter." Shriver: "There is still a great desire to have that one fun night of tennis in Baltimore, and I'd like to see us reach 25 years. And if it has to stop, I want a better reason for not having it than that the banks are having an economic downturn. We still have to go out and have our fun." Shriver added, "I'm a little more on the hook because of our sponsorship situation. But I think this is a great way for the foundation to get more exposure. The Baltimore Community Foundation has been our charitable partner since 1990, and I've always thought they needed a higher profile. It can only be a good thing." McKee reports Orioles Owner Peter Angelos "has doubled the club's commitment," while MASN also is "putting together a sponsorship package." The Baltimore Sun will continue as the event's presenting sponsor for the 24th straight year. Tennis players Melanie Oudin and John Isner will headline this year's event (Baltimore SUN, 10/15).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Earnhardt Jr. Doing Well In Business World,
    Despite Winning Only Once In Last 129 Races
    CNBC.com's Darren Rovell wrote though NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won only one of the last 129 Sprint Cup Series races, he "seems to be humming along in the business world." Nationwide this week announced it was "renewing its deal with him," and Earnhardt also was "in his familiar No. 1 spot" atop NASCAR.com's SuperStore sales rankings. Rovell: "With the exception of maybe Anna Kournikova, there has never been an athlete in the history of sports who has been so popular over such a long period of time with such little success" (CNBC.com, 10/14).

    SPIN-OFF GAME: EA is "unveiling a new piece to its Madden NFL franchise" with "Madden NFL Arcade," a five-on-five football game in which players can "choose one of their favorite 32 NFL teams and compete with the best five players on offense and defense." The game "will be available as a download on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Store" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/14). 1UP.com's Kat Bailey wrote the game "seems to be a successor of sorts to 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, which was also released for the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3" (1UP.com, 10/14).

    NO-SHOW: In New York, Cheryl Wittenauer reported sports memorabilia company Steiner Sports last week filed a lawsuit against MLB Cardinals C Yadier Molina, "saying he ignored their agreement to make appearances and sign autographs." The suit indicated that the company "had a contract with Molina dating to October 2006," and that Steiner paid Molina $90,660 "in advance when the contract was renewed in July 2008, but he later refused to attend autograph signings and will not return the money." Wittenauer noted Steiner is "seeking damages in excess of $175,000" (Westchester JOURNAL NEWS, 10/14).

    NEW DUDS: In Las Vegas, Ryan Greene reports UNLV's men's basketball team unveiled its new jerseys yesterday, and Nike "mixed both its newest look -- tight, form-fitting tops with long, baggy shorts -- with a splash of a simple, retro design." The pattern "involves a very simple design running down the side, which is reminiscent of the UNLV uniforms from the 1980s and early 90s." Greene notes Nike "debuted the new jersey concept during the 2008 NCAA tournament" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 10/15).

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