SBD/Issue 94/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Super Bowl Ads: Coca-Cola Using Facebook To Help Promote Spots

    One Of Coca-Cola's New Ads Features
    Characters From Fox' "The Simpsons"
    Coca-Cola is using its Facebook page to help promote its two 60-second ads that will debut during CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl XLIV. Visitors to who send a virtual Coca-Cola bottle to other users will receive a 20-second preview of one of the two new spots. Coca-Cola also will donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for each message sent. The ads, via Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, are part of Coca-Cola's "Open Happiness" campaign (Coca-Cola). ADWEEK’s Eleftheria Parpis notes one of the new ads features characters from Fox’ “The Simpsons.” Billionaire Montgomery Burns in the ad “has lost millions and only looks at the bright side of life after convenience store clerk Apu gives him a Coke.” In the other spot, a sleepwalker “leaves his tent to trek through the African savannah, bypassing a cheetah, a herd of elephants and other dangerous wildlife, to get to a Coke inside a cabin fridge” (, 1/28). AD AGE’s Natalie Zmuda noted Coca-Cola also “plans to run a third spot during the pre-game show.” That 30-second ad “will be for the Sprite brand and will be the first from new agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.” In addition, Coca-Cola “has two bumpers during the game, one of which will be used to promote the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the other to promote the American Red Cross’ efforts in Haiti” (, 1/27).

    SODA SPOTLIGHT: In Atlanta, Jeremiah McWilliams notes Coca-Cola is “taking a rare opportunity this year to outduel its main rival on television’s biggest stage,” as PepsiCo will not run an ad for its beverage brands. Coca-Cola North America CMO Katie Bayne said, “As far as our competitor choosing to go somewhere else, we’ll miss them. At the same time, I know they have other things planned. We have been planning on the Super Bowl for a long time.” PepsiCo “insists that its retrenchment on the broadcast is not related to Coca-Cola’s presence, or with the Super Bowl’s value as a marketing vehicle.” Pepsi North America Senior VP/Communications Peter Land: “The Super Bowl is a great platform for the right brand at the right time. Our decision is in no way a knock on the Super Bowl at all” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/28). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott noted PepsiCo execs, in explaining why they chose not to purchase ad time during the Super Bowl, said that they “wanted to concentrate on a campaign centered on philanthropy and the social media.” Coca-Cola, by incorporating social media and philanthropic elements to its campaign, is showing PepsiCo that "when it comes to Super Bowl advertising, you can walk and chew gum at the same time" (, 1/27). Bayne said that plans to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as other organizations through cash matching and My Coke Rewards points-matching efforts at, "were in place well before Pepsi announced it would put its focus behind” its Refresh Everything Project (, 1/27).

  • Super Bowl Ads: Tebow Surprised By Focus On The Family Attention

    Tebow Did Not Expect So Much Buzz
    About His Super Bowl Ad Appearance
    Former Univ. of Florida QB Tim Tebow yesterday said that he is "surprised by the attention" the Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad is generating, according to Ben Volin of the PALM BEACH POST. Tebow, who appears in the ad alongside his mother, said, "I definitely didn't think it would have this much hype, this much buzz. I know some people won't agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe, and I'm never shy about that." Tebow, currently participating in workouts ahead of the Senior Bowl, noted that the allegedly pro-life commercial "has not come up in any of the interviews he has conducted so far with NFL teams." He said, "If anything (the teams) like that I took a stand for what I believe. And if they don't ... then it probably wouldn't be a good fit for me in the first place, because I'm never going to deny what I believe in" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/28).

    LOOKING TO CASH IN: In Boston, Ron Borges writes by accepting the Focus on the Family spot, CBS is showing that the Super Bowl is designed "to sell TV spots," and not to "bring Americans together." Borges speculates the net accepted the commercial because "with less than 10 days to go before the Super Bowl airs, CBS still has unsold spots, a circumstance born from the collapsing economy" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/28).'s Mike Celizic wrote CBS plans to run the spot because it "needs the money." Celizic: "There is no other reason -- and certainly no good reason -- for anyone, including a television executive, to decide that the ethical standards which had stood for generations are suddenly no more worth preserving than that hairball the cat just coughed up." CBS will "still have standards, except they'll be based on money and who'll be upset." But Celizic contends neither CBS "nor any other network will take an ad from an atheist group whose message is there is no heaven, no hell and no god," because that "would tick off the paying customers" (, 1/26). In Chicago, Jim O'Donnell writes CBS "must be desperate to sell out remaining ad inventory" for the February 7 game. The network's decision is "wretchedly inappropriate." O'Donnell: "At any point in time, did the CBS jambones consider the across-the-board implications of their decision?" The legacy of CBS' decision "will be a dicey one to the NFL and all future sports programming" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/28). In West Palm Beach, Dave George predicts the spot will "be the last of its kind for CBS and other networks in the Super Bowl rotation." If the ad runs, "it will be because no boycott threat is sufficient enough to push CBS affiliates into withholding the exclusive Super Bowl broadcast from their respective markets" (PALM BEACH POST, 1/28).

    NOT THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD: In Birmingham, Ray Melick writes, "I'd rather watch an ad that makes me think than one that makes me blush, which happens too often as it is." Melick: "If one commercial actually causes us to question something, is that really so dangerous?" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 1/28). An AUGUSTA CHRONICLE editorial stated CBS "seems to be sticking to its guns" in regards to airing the ad, and has in fact "more or less invited other advocacy groups to air tastefully produced ads." The editorial: "And why not? Shouldn't we be celebrating free speech, rather than trying to curtail it?" (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 1/27).

    KEEPING THE WRONG COMPANY: In Orlando, Scott Maxwell wrote his "only beef" with Tebow's decision to participate in the spot "has to do with the group he has chosen to hook up with." Focus on the Family "does more than promote alternatives to abortion." The group is "responsible for some of the most divisive and intolerant, religious-based campaigns of our time, opposing everything from human rights to diversity." Maxwell: "Someone who wants to spread an abortion message would be more effective by teaming up with a group that has less baggage and is more respected by more Americans" (, 1/27).

  • Super Bowl Ads: Snickers Returns 3 Years After Controversial Spot

    Snickers Returning To Super Bowl
    With Spot Featuring Betty White
    Mars Chocolate North America today announced plans for Snickers to "return as a Super Bowl telecast advertiser -- three years after it raised the wrath of gay advocates by airing a Super Bowl spot that showed two male mechanics who accidentally kiss, then react with disgust," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The new ad stars actors Betty White and Abe Vigoda and features the tagline, "You're not you when you're hungry." Mars VP/Integrated Marketing Communications Carole Walker said that Snickers' ad for Super Bowl XLIV "has been tested with a focus group of more than 1,000 people and has been approved by the company's CEO." Walker: "It has nothing that the gay community would find offensive." Horovitz notes Snickers' controversial ad during Super Bowl XLI was "yanked less than 24 hours after it aired" (USA TODAY, 1/28).

    SPECIAL DELIVERY: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott reported Papa John's Int'l "will advertise for the first time during a Super Bowl game" this year, with plans for an ad "that may not look to many viewers like one." The spot, "scheduled to air near the two-minute warning of the first half," will feature Papa John's Founder & Chair John Schnatter "delivering pizzas to the people behind the scenes at Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7 -- the on-field painters, for example." The ad, via Zimmerman Advertising, Ft. Lauderdale, "will be filmed on Sunday during the Pro Bowl by NFL Films for that in-the-game look." Due to the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl both being played at Sun Life Stadium, when the "commercial appears during the Super Bowl it may seem as if it is taking place live." Elliott noted the ad is "part of an agreement by Papa John's to become the official pizza sponsor" of the NFL and Super Bowl XLIV. Papa John's "made the deal to run the spot with the NFL rather than with CBS" (, 1/27). Papa John's had "hoped to film live on Super Bowl Sunday, but was told it would be impossible, due to game-day security" (, 1/27).

    Watch Denny's Teaser For Its Super Bowl Spot

    FREE FALLIN': Denny's will return to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season, this time with three ads. A 30-second ad airing in the third quarter will announce the restaurant's free Original Grand Slam breakfast offer on February 9, with a voiceover saying, "It's going to be a tough week for egg layers." The breakfast offer is again highlighted in a second 30-second spot running in the fourth quarter, while a 15-second ad prior to the two-minute warning will re-launch Denny's free Grand Slam birthday offer. The ads come via Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, S.F. (Denny's). ADWEEK's Eleftheria Parpis notes Denny's gave away "2 million Grand Slam Breakfasts last year two days after the Super Bowl" following a similar promotion (, 1/28).

    NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH: truTV officials said that the network's decision to advertise during the Super Bowl "for the first time is a sign of growing vigor," as the network is "two years into a rebranding effort." truTV is promoting its new series "NFL Full Contact" and will feature Steelers S Troy Polamalu in the ad. In Atlanta, Jeremiah McWilliams reports the spot "appears to be the network's most expensive advertising buy to date." truTV Exec VP & GM Marc Juris: "This one was a bit of a no-brainer. This would be a great way to reach a very engaged and interested football audience" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/28).

    STUCK ON THE SIDELINES: AD AGE's Jeremy Mullman reported Colts QB Peyton Manning, the NFL's "most prolific endorser," could be "sidelined during a Super Bowl in which he'll be playing a starring on-field role ... barring any last-minute reversals." None of Manning's "myriad brand-backers," including MasterCard, Sony and DirecTV, are "currently slated to run any Super Bowl ads." Sprint, despite being an "official sponsor of both the game and the NFL, as well as having active endorsement deals with Mr. Manning and [Saints QB] Drew Brees, is using its only Super Bowl spot for a secondary brand, Boost Mobile." Q Sports Marketing Founder Patrick Quinn: "It has nothing to do with Peyton's desirability, because he's probably the best pitchman going" (, 1/27).

    OPEN BAR? MEDIA magazine's David Goetzl reports InBev's acquisition of Anheuser-Busch in late '08 "has some wondering whether InBev will allow ... MillerCoors to buy coveted Super Bowl time." A-B has "exclusivity in the alcoholic beverage category" for the Super Bowl, but former A-B marketing exec Tony Ponturo "thinks the day is coming" that the brewer will relinquish the exclusivity. Ponturo believes that the brewer "will continue to buy some spots, but won't spend the premiums needed to keep competitors off the stage." Ponturo: "I just think that there's an overall philosophy that it's a lot of money and they can still have a strong presence, but then use that money for other things" (MEDIA, 1/ '10 issue).

  • Right Guard Launching NBA-Themed Ad Campaign With Chris Paul

    Right Guard's NBA-Themed Ad Campaign
    Most Likely Features Game Footage Of Paul
    Right Guard is planning to launch an "ad push during the April NBA Playoffs" for its new premium product Right Guard Total Defense 5 that stars Hornets G Chris Paul, according to Karl Greenberg of MARKETING DAILY. Dial Corporation GM Doug Weekes said that the ads will "most likely have game footage" of Paul. Weekes: "For instance where, in the final seconds of a game, he steals the ball, runs it down the court, gets the final point -- that sort of thing." Weekes said that while the spot, via Energy BBDO, Chicago, is "built around an NBA thematic, the media buy isn't limited to hoops, but will include a heavy presence around other sport networks." The tagline for advertising is "Upgrade Your Defense." As part of the campaign, Right Guard also has "signed on as third founding partner of the NBA's new youth basketball initiative" with the NCAA known as iHoops. The brand will sponsor "The Right Guard Total Defense Challenge," a nationwide search for the "best high school defensive stopper, which starts next month" (MARKETING DAILY, 1/28 issue). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith notes the iHoops connection "puts Right Guard in front of an even younger target audience than the 21-45 it normally seeks."'s targeted ages are 14-18. Smith notes Right Guard already has been "visible on the site with ads on a variety of pages" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/25 issue).

  • Football Names & Faces: Manning Tops Brees In Davie Brown Index

    The latest Davie Brown Index, which evaluates celebrities across several attributes, puts Colts QB Peyton Manning's awareness score on par with Vikings QB Brett Favre, singer Diana Ross and actor Colin Farrell. Meanwhile, Manning's likeability rating is comparable to singers Jon Bon Jovi and Elvis Presley, NASCAR HOFer Richard Petty and actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and his aspiration score is among the top 50 in the DBI database and is similar to scores for Pro Football HOFer Joe Montana, Suns F Grant Hill, actor Denzel Washington and Dick Clark. Saints QB Drew Brees' appeal score on the DBI is actually higher than Manning's, but Brees' awareness score is half of that of his Super Bowl XLIV counterpart. Brees trails Manning in every other DBI attribute. The following lists DBI scores for Manning, Brees and Saints RB Reggie Bush (THE DAILY).

    DBI Score
    Peyton Manning
    Reggie Bush
    Drew Brees

    LIVING IN THE MOMENT:'s Darren Rovell reported Provide Commerce, owner of online flower Web site ProFlowers, signed a deal this week that will give the company the rights to use Brees' "image in its digital advertising for a period of two weeks" beginning Monday. Brees as part of the deal "won't have any speaking role, but the fact that a deal has been struck since the Saints made it into the Super Bowl is a good sign" for Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT), which made the deal "possible." BAT "has 22 Saints and 18 Colts on its roster of players willing to hear proposals from companies," and BAT President & CEO Ryan Steelberg "suggests that savvy companies might want to sign a player to a deal before the big game that extends beyond it" (, 1/26).

    Vilma Appearing In Edible
    Arrangements '10 Ad Campaign
    THE SWEETEST THING: Saints LB Jonathan Vilma and Cowboys WR Miles Austin have signed to appear in Edible Arrangements '10 national ad campaign, which debuted today and will run through February 8. The ad, which comes via Hot Dish Advertising, Minneapolis, titled “Upstaged,” will air on ESPN and ESPN2, including during “SportsCenter,” NBA and college basketball broadcasts and Sunday’s Pro Bowl telecast. The ad promotes the company’s Berry Chocolate Bouquet for Valentine’s Day instead of a box of chocolates (Edible Arrangements).

    AT RECEIVER, BUGS BUNNY: Brees is featured along with several Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters in a limited-edition ad piece that commemorates Brees in '08 becoming in the second NFL QB to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a season. "Catch Dat Brees" depicts Brees completing the pass to Bugs Bunny. This marks the first animated Warner Bros. sports limited-edition piece to feature an athlete in nearly a decade. Proceeds will benefit the Brees Dream Foundation (Broadman Fine Arts).

    IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR:'s Rovell noted it is "hard to be more marketable than Peyton Manning," but his father, Archie Manning, who played for the Saints from '71-82, "might have him beat this Super Bowl." Leverage Agency CEO Ben Sturner said, "For a clever marketer, Archie could be a big win. I could see him doing three or four last minute deals here. It depends on how nimble the marketers are." ProVentures Group President Patrick McGee said that he thinks Archie "can do as many as five speeches for corporate America in Miami, garnering up to $20,000 a piece" (, 1/25).

    HE MEASURES UP: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio reported projected first-round NFL Draft pick RB C.J. Spiller has signed a six-figure, "exclusive, multi-year memorabilia arrangement" with Razor Entertainment. Florio wrote contracts of that value have "become a rarity in the current economy, and it could be a sign that things are turning back around" (, 1/27).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Royal Bank of Canada will announce this afternoon that it has signed endorsement deals with three golfers. Luke Donald and Morgan Pressel both will wear the RBC logo on their bag and left sleeve. IMG represents the two golfers. Fred Couples will also now put the RBC logo on his bag. Couples is represented by Players Group. RBC last week announced new endorsement deals with Mike Weir and Stephen Ames to join existing endorser Anthony Kim. RBC works with IMG on golf marketing (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal).

    Emirates Airlines Has Become Premier Sponsor,
    Official Airline Of BNP Paribas Open
    FLYING HIGH: BNP Paribas Open Tournament Dir Steve Simon yesterday announced that Emirates Airlines "has become a premier sponsor and the official airline" of the tournament. In California, Debra Gruszecki reports the deal "will run from 2010-2012 and includes a renewal option," and includes "prominent on-court signage, broadcast spots and advertising." Emirates also will run a "series of exciting promotions, including on the first Saturday of the competition," which has been designated "Emirates Day." The deal marks the airline's "third major sports sponsorship" in the U.S. It is "already the official airline of the USA Rugby National Sevens Teams and a premier partner of the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup," and it also "sponsors the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Dubai Tennis Championships in its home city" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 1/28).

    EASTERN PROMISES: In a front-page piece for the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Loretta Chao reports former NBAer Stephon Marbury, who has signed to play with the Taiyuan Shanxi Zhongyu Professional Basketball Club, "isn't playing in China for the money," rather he is there to "promote his shoe and apparel brand" Starbury. The market for Marbury's shoes and apparel is "potentially huge," as the NBA "estimates that 300 million people play basketball in China." Marbury is the "biggest [NBA] star ever to have played professional basketball in China," and his "reputation as a top-notch point guard is still relatively untarnished" in the country. But his team is "one of the worst teams in the league," and Taiyuan is "markedly less tourist-friendly, internationalized and cosmopolitan than" Beijing and Shanghai. U.S. Basketball Academy President Bruce O'Neil: "If he lasts 10 days, I'll be amazed" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/28).

    STAR TURN? In Boston, Gary Washburn notes reserve players for the NBA All-Star Game will be announced tonight, and a selection to the Eastern Conference team for Celtics G Rajon Rondo "would increase the visibility and perhaps marketability of one of the NBA's top young point guards." Rondo is a "smooth, well-spoken player who has picked up Ray Allen's dapper dressing style." Rondo's "reluctance to pursue marketing opportunities" is the "biggest obstacle faced" by his agent, BDA Sports CEO Bill Duffy. Rondo has deals with Red Bull and Dunkin' Donuts, but he "has resisted delving into other deals." Duffy: "A lot of stuff we present to him, he's not interested in" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/28).

    BLAST FROM THE PAST: In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda reported T'Wolves G Jonny Flynn during Tuesday's game against the Knicks "unveiled a pair of blue suede basketball shoes." Flynn, who has a deal with Nike, "called them 'throwback' sneakers that follow the theme of the 1989-90 jersey the Wolves wore once again" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/27).

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