SBD/Issue 43/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Pilot Pen Not Renewing Sponsorship Of New Haven Tennis Tourney

    Pilot Pen Has Sponsored New Haven
    Tennis Tournament Since '96
    Pilot Pen yesterday said that it "will not sponsor New Haven's professional tennis tournament beyond the 2010 event," according to Hunn & Baruzzi of the NEW HAVEN REGISTER. Pilot Pen has sponsored the tournament since '96, "making it one of the longest running sponsors on either the ATP or WTA tours." Pilot Pen Corp. President & CEO Dennis Burleigh said that the recession "was the reason for the company's decision." Tournament Dir Anne Worcester said that the tournament "would like to find a new sponsor by late spring or early summer 2010." She added that she "will spearhead the search along with the help of a sponsor services department, tournament partners, tournament investors, tournament chairman Butch Buchholz and CEO Mike Davis." Worcester said that the target sponsor for the joint ATP/WTA event "would be a national company, based in the northeast, that wants to affiliate itself with professional sports." Sources said that the "title sponsor deal is worth about" $1.5M. Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce President Anthony Rescigno said that the event is "still 'a desirable product,' given its uniqueness of being both a men's and women's tournament." Hunn & Baruzzi note tournaments in Indianapolis and L.A. -- "both men's events -- are also seeking sponsors" (NEW HAVEN REGISTER, 11/11). Burleigh said of the tournament, "This is the primary focus of our marketing efforts. We've been involved with this for 14 years. Personally, I love this. But in the end it's a financial decision" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/11). Worcester said without a title sponsor, "it would not be financially viable to run a tennis tournament, clear and simple" (CONNECTICUT POST, 11/11).

    X FACTOR: In Connecticut, Dave Solomon writes the event's "X factor" could be Yale Univ., "which is said to be solidly behind the longevity of the tennis tournament on their grounds." Yale "isn't in the tournament sponsorship business, but its powerful (and affluent) alumni dot every countryside." For some of the int'l companies "run by these men and women from Yale," $1.5M is "like loose change." Meanwhile, Solomon notes there is "no consideration at this point to making this a men's-only or women's-only event" (NEW HAVEN REGISTER, 11/11).

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  • Tecate Rolls Out Largest-Ever Boxing Promo For Pacquiao-Cotto

    Tecate Campaigning
    In U.S. And Mexico
    Mexican brewer Tecate has launched its "largest campaign to date, involving both Mexico and the U.S." in support of Saturday night's Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto bout in Las Vegas, according to Karl Greenberg of MARKETING DAILY. The ad campaign, a joint effort with Top Rank, includes "ads, promotions, point-of-purchase and grassroots events." The program, via Mexico-based Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, includes TV, radio, out-of-home, retail and promotions, while "in-store elements include mass displays and commemorative 24-oz. cans featuring the pugilists." As it has done for previous boxing matches, Tecate will "offer a $25 mail-in discount for the HBO PPV event with the purchase of an 18-pack of Tecate or Tecate Light" in several western states. Tecate Sponsorship & Media Dir Daniel Cuellar said that the brewer is "supporting the sponsorship by tailoring existing campaigns to include information about the fight." Tecate this weekend will offer fans "seat upgrades and the chance to get a seat next to celebrities" at the bout. Cuellar said, "We decided some years ago to build our association with boxing both in Mexico and the U.S. It has been working well for the brand but the relevance of the fight is huge in both countries, so we decided to activate it on a national, regional and local basis in the U.S." He pointed out that Tecate also will "sponsor the fight broadcast" in Mexico. Cuellar: "I could say it is the biggest campaign we have done around boxing" (MARKETING DAILY, 11/10 issue).

    RISING TO ANOTHER LEVEL: YAHOO SPORTS' Martin Rogers noted Pacquiao's popularity "has gone stratospheric" since defeating Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton in his past two fights. Pacquiao in his homeland of the Philippines has "morphed from a source of pride to a symbol of hope, and taken on a status that borders on mythological." He has become a "cultural phenomenon," but while "many love to portray the evolving Pacquiao story as an uplifting tour de force of humanitarianism and joy in the face of adversity, reality is somewhat different." The "inevitability that his name, status and popularity would be hacked into by parasitic outsiders is already well under way" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/10).

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  • "Colbert Nation" Sponsorship Paying Off For U.S. Speedskating

    "Colbert Nation" Has Raised $202,000 For U.S.
    Speedskating During First Week Of Partnership
    "The Colbert Report" sponsoring the U.S. Speedskating team has "quickly made the sport's athletes feel more confident they won't be lapped by the competition in this Olympic year for financial reasons," according to Philip Hersh of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert on his show Monday announced the "Colbert Nation" had raised $202,000 during the first week of the partnership. U.S. Speedskating Exec Dir Robert Crowley said that the link "to Colbert has prompted interest from several other potential sponsors." Crowley: "Most of them want something we don't own -- mentions on the show. But we have some other leads as well because of our partnership with the Colbert Nation." Crowley noted he "first heard from the Colbert people Oct. 27," and the next day he "was on a teleconference with Colbert." Several days later, Crowley "got a call saying the 'Colbert Report' wanted him on the Nov. 2 show." He said, "We signed the deal that night." Hersh reported almost all the athletes "began wearing skin suits with the Colbert Nation logo at last weekend's short and long track World Cup meets." Others are "wearing a mix of warmup gear" with the logo of former sponsor DSB Bank NV and "new racing gear with the Colbert Racing logo." But U.S. Gold Medal-winning skaters Shani Davis and Apolo Anton Ohno, "the leading U.S. long and short track skaters, respectively, so far have chosen not to wear the logo." Crowley: "It's not an issue for us. Anyone who has not signed our athlete agreement is under no obligation. We are talking to Shani and Apolo about it, but our main focus is supporting their efforts to do the best they can this season" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 11/10).

    WINNER OF A DEAL: UNIVERSAL SPORTS' Alan Abrahamson wrote the sponsorship is a "win-win all around," as "all will benefit because of the attention and the audience -- that elusive younger demographic -- that Colbert brings." Abrahamson: "Prediction: We all will be hearing the funny new Colbert riff -- 'U-Ice-A!' -- many times between now and the Feb. 28 end of the Vancouver Games. Or if that doesn't stick, some other clever shtick" (UNIVERSALSPORTS.com, 11/10).

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  • Arkansas, Nike Agree To Five-Year Footwear And Apparel Deal

    The Univ. of Arkansas (UA) and Nike have agreed to terms on a five-year all-sports agreement that will provide the school with footwear and apparel for all 19 intercollegiate sports teams. Nike will become the exclusive provider for UA athletics beginning July 1, 2010 (UA). In Arkansas, Todd Gill noted the school's contract with adidas expires next year. UA Vice Chancellor & AD Jeff Long said, "Nike is the most coveted brand in collegiate athletics and has a tremendous reach in the United States and worldwide" (FAYETTEVILLEFLYER.com, 11/10). Nike provided apparel for UA for two years before adidas "stepped in with an all-sports deal in 2003" (WHOLEHOGSPORTS.com, 11/10).

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  • Names & Faces: Is Brady Or Manning The Better Endorser?

    ESPN's "SportsNation" Debates Whether
    Brady Or Manning Is The Preferred Endorser
    With the Colts and Patriots playing this Sunday, ESPN's "SportsNation" debated whether it is preferred to have Colts QB Peyton Manning or Patriots QB Tom Brady endorsing a product. ESPN's Colin Cowherd voted for Brady because he "does so few commercials." Cowherd: "When Brady does a commercial, it really pops because he does so few and Manning's littered all over television." However, ESPN's Michelle Beadle said it is a "classic example of 'hot girl/fun girl.'" Beadle: "You've got 'hot girl' Tom Brady -- great to look at, no personality. You've got Peyton Manning, he's pretty good to look at too, but at the end of it all he is funny. He can carry it. He has what we in the business like to call that 'it' quality" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 11/10).

    SAFETY VALVE: Steelers S Troy Polamalu appeared on NBC's "Late Night" last night, where host Jimmy Fallon noted, "You're on the cover of Madden ..." Polamalu interrupted and said, "No!" Fallon: "There's a Madden curse." Polamalu: "No, don't talk about it." Polamalu missed four games after injuring himself in the season opener against the Titans, and Fallon noted that must mean "the Madden curse exists. Maybe?" Polamalu: "That's why you have to have Head & Shoulders to counteract the Madden curse. I'm sorry, I had to put the plug in" ("Late Night," NBC, 11/10).

    JUSTIN TIME: In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro reports D'Backs RF Justin Upton last month was the team's only player to attend a "summit at a downtown hotel that was set up by the team for its sponsors, a sign the club is looking to raise his visibility within the community." D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall: "Just by performance, he's already becoming a public face. It's a willingness on his part, too, to take on more of a recognizable role." Hall said that the team "has been careful not to put too much pressure on any individual players to become the 'face of the franchise,' but Upton's performance and comfort level seem to be shifting that." Hall: "He's getting better and better with interacting with fans and sponsors, and his personality is starting to come out" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/11).

    CREATIVE SOLUTION: Brawn GP F1 Team Principal Ross Brawn "has effectively admitted that he will not match Jenson Button's wage demands, saying his team would instead offer the driver greater freedom to negotiate his own sponsorship deals." Brawn: "We can offer a higher proportion of driver freedom and that will probably be the route we will go. Jenson has some freedom for his own endorsements but has a commitment to meet our obligations" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 11/11).

    NOTES: Tennis player Sam Querrey has signed a multi-year deal with K-Swiss to wear the company's footwear and apparel beginning the first of next year. Querrey also will contribute to the collaborative design process for the brand. The No. 24-ranked Querrey joins Mardy Fish as a K-Swiss endorser. Querrey had worn adidas since '06 (THE DAILY)....Izod IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher renewed her contract with AAA Hoosier Insurance. AAA will continue as a personal sponsor of Fisher and an associate sponsor of her No. 67 Honda powered by Dallara for the '10 and '11 Indianapolis 500 (IBJ.com, 11/10).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Under Armour Founder & CEO Kevin Plank appeared on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” yesterday, where the net's Jane Wells noted the company is "reassessing" its shoe strategy. Plank said, "We are continuing to look at what we see as Under Armour being a growth company." He noted the company has "five levers of growth that we've been talking about" -- men's apparel, women's apparel, footwear, international and direct consumer. Plank: "What you see from us is that we've got the ability to pull on these levers and be patient and prudent with how aggressive we want to grow. Footwear for us continues to be an enormous opportunity." Under Armour released its first line of athletic cleats in '06, and Plank said, "From football cleats to baseball cleats to training shoes and then into running shoes this year, each one of those has been a learning experience. So what we're saying in 2009 is that we're looking to become excellent in the categories we're in" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 11/10).

    AirTrain Airways And Colts Unveil Custom-
    Painted Boeing 717 As Part Of Their Deal
    TWO LEGS OF A TRIP: AirTran Airways and the Colts yesterday unveiled a custom-painted Boeing 717 as part of the airline's deal with the team. AirTran spokesperson Cynthia Tinsley-Douglas said, "The whole point of doing this is to celebrate our partnership with the Colts. Hopefully the fans will see it and it will spread the brand across the country" (INDYSTAR.com, 11/10). Meanwhile, AirTran also announced a multi-year deal making the airline the presenting sponsor of Marquette Univ. athletics and “a premier corporate partner of the school” (JSONLINE.com, 11/10).

    BUCKING TRADITION: In Columbus, Rob Oller reports Ohio State Univ. (OSU) football fans are "upset about the tribute uniforms the Buckeyes plan to wear" for the school's November 21 game against Michigan. The uniforms will be unveiled Sunday on OhioStateBuckeyes.com and reportedly include a "white helmet with a red stripe and numbers on the side; a white and gray jersey with web-like stitching on the shoulders; and gray pants with a red block 'O' on the hip." Oller writes, "Generally, those who consider the alternate uniform a fashion faux pas break into three camps, with some crossover: those who see no reason to mess with tradition; those who think the tail (Nike) is wagging the dog (OSU); and those bothered by the historical inaccuracy of the uniforms" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/11).

    WITH OR WITHOUT CREAM? Starbucks will introduce its VIA Ready Brew instant coffee to NASCAR fans during this weekend’s races at Phoenix through an extensive trackside sampling program. A fleet of Starbucks golf carts will blanket Phoenix Int’l Raceway Friday through Sunday as brand ambassadors pass out samples of the instant coffee. As part of the weekend activation, Starbucks and VIA Ready Brew logos will appear as associate sponsors on Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s (EGR) No. 1 Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex Jr. Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is available in both Starbucks retail outlets and Target stores. Target sponsors EGR (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal). Meanwhile, ESPN.com's David Newton reported EGR "will remain with Chevrolet" after reportedly meeting last week with reps from both Chevy and Toyota (ESPN.com, 11/10).



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