SBD/Issue 84/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • MLS Inks Multi-Year Sponsorship Deal With Continental Tire

    Continental Tire Becoming Exclusive Tire
    Of MLS In New Multi-Year Partnership
    MLS today announced a new multi-year partnership with Continental Tire. The longtime FIFA partner becomes the exclusive tire of MLS and has the rights to use league marks. It also receives signage in all four corners of MLS stadiums nationwide, giving it exposure at more than 240 games. Other rights include 30-second spots in national TV broadcasts and VIP hospitality. SUM VP/Business Development Mike Gandler, who negotiated the deal, said, “Continental is a global brand which has demonstrated a commitment to our sport through its association with the FIFA World Cup and other properties. Continental went through an incredibly detailed analysis of MLS and found it delivered not only a valuable audience, but a collection of customized assets and proprietary programs to engage retailers and consumers alike.”

  • Accenture Debuts First New Ad Campaign Since Dropping Tiger

    Accenture Trying To Start Afresh With New Ad
    Campaign After Dropping Woods Last Month
    After ending its six-year sponsorship deal with Tiger Woods last month, Accenture is "trying to start afresh" with a new ad campaign, according to Emily Steel of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The company's new campaign, "based on an idea Accenture's ad agency already had on hand, was put on a fast track." The campaign replaces Woods "with a lineup of animals pictured in ways designed to jibe with Accenture's longstanding slogan: 'High Performance. Delivered.'" After "nearly a month of focus-group testing and production work, Accenture is rolling out the new global marketing campaign this week." The creatures, which include an "elephant, a chameleon and some frogs and fish, will star in a series of TV, print and online spots," and will "appear in airport ads in 28 countries" starting today. TV commercials are "set to begin airing in February in conjunction with the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship." Steel notes although Accenture is launching a new campaign, the ads "have a tone and feel similar" to those featuring Woods. Accenture said that it is budgeting about $40-50M this year on the campaign, which is "on par with the total it spent in past years when Mr. Woods was in the fold." Marketing experts believe that it will "take a lot to sever Mr. Woods's image from the Accenture brand." But the company said that it "hasn't suffered an 'economic impact' from the scandal, and that it would consider tapping individuals for ad campaigns in the future" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/14).

  • VANOC Concerned About Campaign From Non-Sponsor Scotiabank

    Scotiabank Exec Denies Bank
    Has Broken Any Rules
    Scotiabank is "skating on thin ice" with VANOC for "capitalizing on the Games without being an official sponsor by launching its promotional Show Your Colors campaign" featuring former Canada women's hockey player Cassie Campbell in the lead-up to the February 12 Opening Ceremony, according to Yvonne Zacharias of the VANCOUVER SUN. Scotiabank Dir of Marketing Services, Sponsorships & Brand Management Jim Tobin yesterday defended the campaign, which "invites Canadians to submit online personal stories and photographs demonstrating their love of their country." Tobin at the launch of the campaign yesterday confirmed that VANOC "had been in contact [Tuesday] to express concern about the event," but he "denied that the bank had broken any rules." Zacharias notes there was "no display of the Olympic rings at the launch and bank officials studiously avoided any mention of the Olympics" (VANCOUVER SUN, 1/14). VANOC Dir of Commercial Rights Management Bill Cooper in an e-mail said VANOC had "serious concerns of the public being misled into believing there is an association" between the Olympics and the Scotiabank campaign. Cooper added that he "expects a request that the campaign be postponed until after the Games 'will be respected.'" Scotiabank Manager of Public Affairs for the Western Region Deborah Spence yesterday said the bank "received a letter from VANOC on Jan. 12 and had a respectful discussion with them [Tuesday night] on their concerns that resulted in some changes to our program." In Vancouver, Lora Grindlay notes RBC is an "official sponsor of both the 2010 Games and the Torch Relay" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/14).

    GETTING IN ON THE FUN: In Vancouver, Damian Inwood notes Vancouver-area hairdresser Jon Paul Holt has launched a "VAN'Kerchief," and he has admitted that the "slogan for the handkerchief -- 'Tears of Pride' -- was inspired by the emotional reaction of Canadians to the Olympic torch relay." But Holt "denies the newly released maple-leaf souvenir is a bid to capitalize on the Games." Holt: "We're not having a go at the Olympics but just saying, 'Why not buy something that's made in Vancouver?'" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/14).

  • Mets Sue SpongeTech For Failure To Pay For Citi Field Advertising

    Mets Allege SpongeTech Systems Stiffed Citi
    Field Out Of $300,000 Owed For Advertising
    The Mets have filed suit against SpongeTech Delivery Systems, alleging that the company stiffed Citi Field "out of $300,000 owed for stadium-related advertising by sending them a bum check and then promising a wire transfer that never came," according to Gorta & Whitehouse of the N.Y. POST. The Mets in the suit claim that SpongeTech agreed to pay Queens Ballpark Co., the entity owned by the Wilpon family that runs the ballpark, $3.34M as part of a three-year sponsorship that "included a sign on the club-level façade in left field, a sign on the outfield fence in right field and a panel on the rotating sign behind home plate." SpongeTech initially "made its installment payouts to Citi Field on time, but fell behind" in October, shortly after the SEC "suspended trading in SpongeTech's stock for failing to file financial results." Queens Ballpark Co. claims that it is "entitled to immediate payment of the entire remaining value" of the contract -- $2.62M -- because SpongeTech is in default (N.Y. POST, 1/14). The suit claims that SpongeTech "fell behind in payments last fall and the Mets gave the company five days to pay up." Two checks for $100,000 and $300,000 bounced (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/14).

  • Wheels & Deals: NASCAR To Become Sole Licensing Rep For MWR

    NASCAR's Licensing Business Will Provide
    Retailers With New MWR Product Options
    NASCAR and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) yesterday announced a new partnership in which NASCAR will become the sole licensing rep for MWR. The agreement includes all driver marks within the MWR team, including David Reutimann, Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip, Trevor Bayne and Ryan Truex. NASCAR's licensing business will help grow the licensed product business and provide retailers with new product options for the MWR team, including track merchandise opportunities, e-commerce channels and national retail outlets (NASCAR). Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Nate Ryan reported despite the economic downturn, MWR "scored a 100% renewal rate of its sponsors for 2010," including long-term deals with NAPA and Toyota and new deals with Insurance Office of America, New Balance and Tums (USA TODAY, 1/13).

    POPULARITY CONTEST:'s Tom Bowles wrote NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains popular among fans "for several reasons" despite winning just one Sprint Cup race in the past three seasons. He has the "type of laid-back, well-rounded personality that appeals to fans well beyond NASCAR's Southern roots." He is "also a self-confessed computer geek, spending late nights racing online in simulation leagues all over the country." That makes him "relatable to all sorts of people, and when you add in his shy, introverted personality, he carries a special charisma that few in sports ever have." Bowles: "Keep in mind, too, how popular his dad was during his final years in NASCAR. ... Rooting for his son is one way for them to feel like they're doing that" (, 1/12).

    BACK ON TRACK: In Detroit, Mike Brudenell reported American Le Mans Series (ALMS) President & CEO Scott Atherton "met Monday and Tuesday with leaders of the Detroit Three" at the North American Int'l Auto Show at Cobo Center, "talking racing and business." Atherton also "met with executives of Acura, Audi, BMW and Mazda -- key players in ALMS." Atherton said of the meetings, "The spirit and mood -- it's night and day different than 2009. ... The buzz is back here this week. You can feel a recovery beginning." Brudenell noted ALMS is "attracting the attention of manufacturers through its commitment to the environment and emphasis on fuel efficiency and alternative fuels such as ethanol and diesel." Atherton: "The last two days have been incredibly efficient and productive for us" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/13).

    Bush's Baked Beans To Serve As Primary
    Sponsor Of No. 47 For Five Cup Races
    NOTES: Bush's Baked Beans will be a primary sponsor of JTG Daugherty Racing's  No. 47 Camry driven by Marcos Ambrose for five Sprint Cup races, and will also serve as an associate sponsor for other Cup races (JTG Daugherty Racing)....Bank of America (BOA) is giving NASCAR fans an opportunity to attend next month's Daytona 500 for free. When fans open a NASCAR checking account and apply for a NASCAR banking credit card with BofA, they can acquire two tickets to the Daytona 500. The promotion will last until February 5 (BOA).

  • Chips & Putts: Webb Simpson Inks Deal With Polo Ralph Lauren

    Simpson Will Appear In National
    Polo Ad Campaign, Wear Polo
    Polo Ralph Lauren has signed a multi-year deal with golfer Webb Simpson to appear in a national ad campaign and wear Polo apparel during competition. The 24-year-old Simpson had four top-10 finishes in '09, his rookie year on the PGA Tour. Simpson, who is repped by Professional Advisory Group, also has a new deal with Geico to put its logo on his shirt and golf bag. Other Polo Golf endorsements include Jonathan Byrd, Luke Donald, Davis Love III, Morgan Pressel and Tom Watson (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).

    BO KNOWS FASHION: GOLFWEEK's Forecaddie reports golfer Bo Van Pelt has "taken an equity interest" in Tulsa-based start-up apparel company Flare. Van Pelt said, "From designing the clothes to getting contracts with different things, I'm trying to take a pretty active role." Van Pelt "debuted new Flare pants and shirts" at last weekend's PGA Tour SBS Championship (GOLFWEEK, 1/15 issue).

    OTHER GOLFER DEALS: Jeff Klauk has signed a two-year deal with Intergraph to wear the company’s logo on his left chest. Troy Merritt signed a multi-year equipment deal with Titleist and a two-year deal with Markers Club to wear the real estate logo on his right chest. Chez Reavie signed a new deal with Epicor to wear its logo on his hat, and also moved from Titleist to TaylorMade-adidas Golf under a multi-year deal. Scott Piercy signed a new equipment deal with Callaway and a deal to wear the Epicor logo on his right chest. All four golfers are repped by Gaylord Sports (Show).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    AD AGE's Bradford Wernle reported Dodge will air a 60-second spot during CBS' telecast of Super Bowl XLIV, becoming the first U.S. auto manufacturer in the game "in a year when Super Bowl advertising will be dominated by automotive imports." Chrysler Group's brands "have not run a national ad on the Super Bowl for several years, though they have run regional commercials in recent years during the game." The "last national Super Bowl spot was in 2005 and featured the Dodge Magnum." Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, will create the spot (, 1/13).

    STILL ON TOP: In a special to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Phil Miller writes Vikings QB Brett Favre's stature as a "beloved football icon has hardly been diminished" by his decision to return to the NFL. Miller: "There can be no stronger proof than this: In a city [Minneapolis] that cultivated a caustic hatred of him for 16 years, the former Green Bay quarterback is now the most popular Viking." Favre's No. 4 jersey "outsold all other NFL players' this season," and the Vikings' merchandise catalog "opens with two pages of Favre-specific gear." Vikings home games at the Metrodome "resemble a Favre family reunion, so popular is his brand" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/14).

    Saints Players Came Up With Idea
    For T-Shirt Featuring Team Mantra
    TRUE SAINTS: In New Orleans, Mike Triplett reports Saints players "came up with the idea to produce and sell official players' T-shirts with their 'Finish Strong' mantra, and they're hoping fans will wear them Saturday" for the team's playoff game against the Cardinals. The front of the shirts read, "Our City, Our Home," and the back says, "Finish Strong." Saints QB Drew Brees said that "all proceeds will be distributed back into the city of New Orleans" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/14).

    LENDING A HELPING HAND: In Knoxville, Josh Flory reported while some Univ. of Tennessee football fans "have apparently taken to burning" T-shirts related to former coach Lane Kiffin, local apparel store Hound Dogs co-Owner Dan Burks "has a better idea." Burks yesterday said that "any customer who brings in an 'It's Time' T-shirt can get 20[%] off the purchase of a new shirt," and that he will "ship the old shirts to Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake on Tuesday" (, 1/13).

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