SBD/Issue 48/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Jennings' Hot Start For Bucks May Open Marketing Possibilities

    Jennings' Rookie-Record 55-Point Output Part 
    Of Reason His Marketability Is On The Rise
    Rookie Bucks G Brandon Jennings’ hot start to the season, which has included a 55-point game against the Warriors on Saturday, has left his advisers at BDA Sports Management and shoe sponsor Under Armour considering “what kind of marketing potential” he has, according to a front-page story by Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Before the season began, there “wasn’t any buzz” around the Bucks, but Jennings has “taken care of that problem in short order with a mixture of style, flash and swagger.” It is “way too early to say whether all that talent and poise will translate into marketing and endorsement gold,” as Jennings is only 20 years old, and the “list of can’t-miss athletes who disappeared from the limelight is long.” Still, both BDA VP/Marketing Bill Sanders and Under Armour “say the phones have been ringing.” Jennings on Tuesday appeared at the Children’s Outing Association’s Goldin Center in Milwaukee as part of a “long-term strategy Jennings’ advisers have mapped out.” Sanders said, “Our vision with Brandon is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We want to build a long-lasting portfolio. There are opportunities for him, but that’s a short-term vision.” Walker reports Jennings is “prominently featured” on Under Armour’s Web site with videos, blogs and a “list of his accomplishments.” However, Jennings said that he “did not want to think about the endorsement opportunities.” Jennings: “Basketball comes first. It’s something I love to do. If it (endorsements) happens, it happens” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/18).

    BRINGING THE BUZZ BACK: In Milwaukee, Michael Hunt writes Jennings might cause the city "to re-embrace the Bucks like they haven’t been hugged" since ’01, when the team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Jennings’ arrival “might help counterbalance some of the problems inherent to a small-market, seemingly moribund franchise facing arena issues.” Nothing “sells like a star at the fore of an emerging team, providing it wins.” Bucks G Michael Redd: “The crowd is more into it. There’s a serious buzz. Brandon has a lot to do with that Buzz. He was a needed spark. He brings charisma and a flair to the team” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/18).

  • Students Push Russell Athletic To Rehire Unionized Workers

    Schools Revisiting Russell Contract After
    Company Rehires Honduran Workers
    Under pressure from anti-sweatshop coalition United Students Against Sweatshops, Russell Athletic agreed to "rehire 1,200 workers in Honduras who lost their jobs when Russell closed their factory soon after the workers had unionized," according to Steven Greenhouse of the N.Y. TIMES. Since Russell shut the factory in January, the anti-sweatshop coalition “orchestrated a nationwide campaign against the company.” The group “persuaded the administrations of Boston College, Columbia, Harvard, New York University, Stanford, Michigan, North Carolina and 89 other colleges and universities to sever or suspend their licensing agreements with Russell.” Analysts indicated that the college market “occupies a significant part of Russell’s business.” Greenhouse notes not only did the company “agree to reinstate the dismissed workers and open a new plant in Honduras as a unionized factory, it also pledged not to fight unionization at its seven existing factories there.” Univ. of Miami Assistant VP/Auxiliary Services Mel Tenen said, “This paves the way for us to seriously consider reopening our agreement with Russell.” Greenhouse notes other colleges are “expected to do the same” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/18).

    STUDENT ACTION: In Madison, Todd Finkelmeyer reported the Univ. of Wisconsin’s Labor Licensing Policy Committee Friday voted to recommend that Chancellor Biddy Martin “start taking steps to end the university’s apparel contract with Nike, Inc. due to alleged labor rights abuses at two of the company’s factories.” The recommendation comes after two Nike factories that produce collegiate apparel in Honduras were “shuttered early in 2009 without paying legally mandated severance and back pay to some 1,800 workers.” The committee’s vote -- which “came under the urging of the Student Labor Action Coalition -- is strictly advisory” (Wisconsin State JournaL, 11/17).

  • Quick Hit Hires More Coaches For Online Football Videogame

    Quick Hit Inc., makers of a new online football videogame that launched publicly last month, has added four NFL coaches to the title, joining company consultant Bill Cowher and four other coaches that are already part of the game. The newly-added coaches are Marv Levy, Marty Schottenheimer, Herm Edwards and Jerry Glanville, and the strategic tendencies and likenesses of each will be part of a game update expected to be released next month. Quick Hit additionally is nearing an online distribution pact with Viacom-owned Addicting Games to boost exposure of the football video game, joining an existing relationship with gaming portal All the coaches appearing in the game except Cowher were individually signed and paid for their participation; Cowher has a separate deal due to the depth of his involvement with the company.

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Florida-based human resources firm FrankCrum has signed a multi-year sponsorship making it the "official and exclusive payroll and human resource service provider" of the Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum. FrankCrum "will provide other services to the Lightning such as employment tax expertise and unemployment claims management." The company also "will be the team's exclusive provider of staffing services." One of the arena's two 50-person corporate suites "will be rebranded as 'The FrankCrum Club.'" The deal runs until '12 (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/18).

    PRIVATE EYES: The Blackhawks have partnered with Chicago-based The PrivateBank for the '09-10 season, in which the bank becomes the presenting sponsor of each first-row seat on the 100 level of United Center for Blackhawks games. The PrivateBank also will be the presenting sponsor for the team's Heritage Nights honoring former Blackhawks RW Jeremy Roenick and Hockey HOFers Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito, and will have additional in-arena and Web site presence (Blackhawks).

    Alaska Airlines, Apolo Anton Ohno
    Unveil Specially-Themed Boeing 737
    LAUNCH OF THE APOLO MISSION: Alaska Airlines and U.S. Gold Medal-winning speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno yesterday unveiled a specially-themed Boeing 737. Design elements include Ohno's image on the fuselage and an invitation to "Follow Apolo" at in his quest for a Gold Medal at the '10 Vancouver Games. Passengers traveling on the jet will receive Ohno trading cards, copies of Ohno's signature bandana and press-on faux facial hair. The plane's route will be Seattle to L.A. to Vancouver (Alaska Airlines).

    ROCKY ROAD: Coors Light and TiVo this week are debuting an advertising program that gives the beer brand a prominent presence on the TiVo user interface during NFL telecasts. Coors Light prompts will appear during NFL programming and on TiVo Central, as well as whenever viewers pause or delete NFL telecasts. The prompts will allow fans to visit the Coors Light NFL Showcase, which features special content. The effort will continue through the Super Bowl (TiVo/MillerCoors).

    GOING FOR THE GOAL: Soccerade, the sports drink endorsed by Real Madrid MF Cristiano Ronaldo, is "targeting school football teams with a promotional marketing campaign for its UK launch." The brand has launched a promo with freestyle soccer performer John Farnworth "to search for the UK 'Soccerade Dream Team.'" Winners "will be awarded a minibus for their school team" (, 11/16). The drink is "currently available in Germany, Iceland and Portugal with plans to launch in 60 further countries" (, 11/16).

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