SBD/Issue 34/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Best Buy Moving NASCAR Sponsorship From Sadler To RPM's No. 43

    Best Buy Moving Its Sponsorship From Sadler
    To RPM's No. 43 Ford Next Season
    Best Buy will move its NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsorship from Richard Petty Motorsports' (RPM) No. 19 car driven by Elliott Sadler to RPM's "famed No. 43 with A.J. Allmendinger as the driver" next season, according to sources cited by Jenna Fryer of the AP. Best Buy and Stanley shared the primary sponsorship of Sadler's car this season, but Stanley "will become the sole primary sponsor for Sadler" in '10. Sponsorship concerns have been "one of the larger issues facing RPM as it prepares" for next season, and by "moving Best Buy to the No. 43, the team now has the far less difficult task of selling some individual races for Allmendinger and Sadler, as opposed to the daunting task of trying to secure" a season-long primary sponsor for Allmendinger. RPM Majority Owner George Gillett recently said that the team would "field a minimum of three cars next season," though RPM still could field a "four-car team" next season. That would be contingent on the team's possible merger with Yates Racing and if driver Paul Menard "and the sponsorship from his father's hardware store chain stay within the organization." Fryer noted "either way, all signs indicate the RPM-Yates merger will go through" (AP, 10/28). 

    TROUBLE WITH THE LAW: The AP reports police in Mooresville, North Carolina, said that Allmendinger "was pulled over early Thursday and failed a field sobriety test." It is “not clear how his arrest may affect” his plans to drive the No. 43 next year. RPM co-Owner Richard Petty has “routinely shunned alcohol sponsorship, and refused to allow his teams to participate in NASCAR's second-tier series when it was sponsored by Busch” (AP, 10/29).

    WINDOW DRESSING: North Carolina-based Window World has signed on as the primary sponsor for Front Row Motorsports' No. 34 car driven by John Andretti in Sunday's Sprint Cup Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Window World).

  • Timex Activating New Marketing Initiatives Around N.Y. Marathon

    Timex In Its Second Year As Official
    Timing Partner Of ING N.Y. Marathon
    Timex is in its second year as the official timing partner of the ING N.Y. Marathon and the company is activating the deal with "TV ads, newspaper print ads, out-of-home and a variety of executions around" Sunday's race itself, according to Karl Greenberg of MARKETING DAILY. A new 30-second spot "will run internationally via NBC Universal, nationally via NBC network and locally via WNBC-TV's five-hour broadcast" of Sunday's race. The spot "shows a range of Timex products," and Timex VP/Marketing Heberto Calves said that it "will air seven to eleven times." The company also will run a half-page ad in tomorrow's N.Y. Times and a "full-page ad in the paper's national Monday edition." Timex will be the official timekeeper throughout the course, and "will also offer a commemorative timepiece engraved with the ING New York City Marathon logo." There will be a "Timex-branded truck at the race's starting point in Staten Island on race day offering hand-warmers to all participants," and the company is sponsoring several pace runners as well. Calves said that Timex last year did "relatively little activation because the four-year deal was struck shortly before the race." Calves: "This year, we have jumped it up" (MARKETING DAILY, 10/29).

    BORN TO RUN: Are you or someone you know in the sports business industry running in Sunday’s ING N.Y. Marathon? If so, please contact Brian Helfrich at and let him know. Then on Monday, send him your time and a quick note about the experience to share with our readers.

  • Penn State's "Cross-Like" T-Shirt Design Creates Controversy

    People Complaining New Penn State
    T-Shirt Connotes A Christian Cross
    Penn State Univ. has received several complaints about a "blue, cross-like design emblazoned on T-shirts ... from people who say it connotes a Christian cross," according to Joshua Rhett Miller of The shirts "sport a vertical blue line down the center with the words 'Penn State White Out' emblazoned across the chest." The back of the shirt "depicts the same blue line obscured by the words, 'Don't be intimated ... It's just me and 110,000 of my friends.'" Around 30,000 of the shirts have been sold. Penn State VP/University Relations Bill Mahon said that the design was "based on the single blue stripe on the football team's helmets and will not be pulled from store shelves as some have asked." Mahon: "The shirts have sold out and no changes are planned. ... Six complaints is not a controversy." Anti-Defamation League Eastern Pennsylvania-Delaware Regional Dir Barry Morrison said that the "similarity to a cross appeared to [be] 'inadvertent and unintentional,' but he acknowledged that some could take exception" (, 10/26). The DAILY COLLEGIAN's Caitlin Sellers noted the shirt was designed by Penn State student Emily Sabolsky in a "contest sponsored by the Collegian's business division." Penn State Associate AD of Marketing & Communications Greg Myford said that the shirt "sold extremely well and that student participation in last year's T-shirt design contest was at an all-time high" (DAILY COLLEGIAN, 10/23).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Kia Motors returned as the presenting sponsor of the NBA's "Tip-Off Week," and the automaker will use a "beefed-up national activation plan" around the campaign. Kia planned to activate with "'street team' promotions in 13 NBA markets and will increase its media buy on ESPN." The company, which has been an NBA partner since '08, also is sponsoring a ticket sweepstakes on (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/26 issue). Kia is a "long-standing partner of ESPN, having served as presenting sponsor of the network's NBA Shootaround pre-game show since 2003" (, 10/28).

    KNIGHT LIGHT: In Orlando, Iliana Limon noted Univ. of Central Florida (UCF) basketball player Marcus Jordan yesterday responded to criticism about his desire to wear Nike shoes though his team has a deal with adidas. Jordan, the son of Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan, has been "under fire since a rift between UCF and adidas over his shoes came to light," and yesterday on his Twitter feed wrote, "Lol are people still talking about my shoes?? Just come out Nov. 13 and watch US, the UCF KNIGHTS, play! then ask questions or make comments." Limon wrote Jordan has been "handling the issue well" (, 10/28).

    ONE MORE ON THE LEDGER: Russian apparel brand Bosco Sport has signed on as the "leading domestic sponsor" of the '14 Sochi Games in a deal valued at more than US$100M. The deal also makes Bosco Sport the exclusive outfitter of Russia's Olympic teams through the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games. Sochi Games organizers said that they have raised more than US$850M in domestic sponsorship revenues to date and "hope to top" the US$1B mark (AP, 10/28).

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