SBD/Issue 66/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Marketplace Roundup

Howard Will Be Featured In Radio Spots, On
Billboards Under Deal With AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways has signed Magic C Dwight Howard to an endorsement deal, under which he will be featured in radio spots, online advertising and on billboards. To unveil the partnership, Howard, AirTran and Magic execs yesterday in Orlando unveiled "Magic 1" -- the Boeing 717 painted in Magic colors and with a team logo. Other AirTran endorsers include Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and Brewers LF Ryan Braun (AirTran).

MAINTAINING A BUDGET: Virgin Group Chair Richard Branson yesterday said that Virgin Racing "will operate with the lowest budget in Formula One and try to break new ground by attempting to turn a profit." Branson: "Our involvement is the naming of the team and some money. We've lent a bit of money and then, on the back of the brand, the team is managing to get a lot of sponsors." Branson, whose Virgin group backed Brawn GP in its debut season last year, "accepts history will not repeat itself with a double championship-winning success." Meanwhile, in Manchester, Maurice Hamilton notes "nine new sponsors, none of whom has been in Formula One before," were announced yesterday for the team (Manchester GUARDIAN, 12/16).

FASHION FAUX PAS? VANOC officials said that they are "disappointed with" Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica, which sells Yoga athletic apparel, "over the chain's alleged attempt to profit from the Games without being an official sponsor." VANOC Dir of Commercial Rights Management Bill Cooper in a statement said, "We expected better sportsmanship from a local Canadian company than to produce a clothing line that attempts to profit from the Games but doesn't support the Games or the success of the Canadian Olympic team." Lululemon launched a clothing line this week called its "Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place In British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011 Edition" (VANCOUVER SUN, 12/16).

COUNTING CROWS: MEDIAPOST's David Goetzl reports the Census Bureau is "among the advertisers" for February's Super Bowl XLIV on CBS. The agency, which last ran an ad during the Super Bowl in '00, is "using the platform to nudge its huge audience to fill out forms for the 2010 count." The Census Bureau "will unveil its creative" on January 14 during an event hosted by CBS' James Brown (MEDIAPOST.com, 12/15).

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