SBD/Issue 121/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Kraft Signs As NCAA Corporate Partner; Capital One Close To Deal


The NCAA is "adding Kraft as a corporate partner and is closing a deal with Capital One as a corporate champion, the highest level of sponsorship," according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Both companies "plan significant activation around the NCAA tournament and Final Four, from ad buys on tournament broadcaster CBS to a presence in Bracket Town, the interactive fan event at the Final Four in Indianapolis." CBS, which owns and sells the NCAA's marketing and sponsorship rights as part of its broadcast agreement, "confirmed the addition of Kraft as a corporate partner, but had no comment on Capital One's entry as a corporate champion in the retail banking category." Financial terms of both multiyear deals "were not available, but corporate partners typically pay in the high seven figures annually, while the corporate champions go for the low eight figures a year." CBS Senior VP/Sports Sales & Marketing and CBS Sports Properties Group Dir Chris Simko: "In the last year or so, we really feel like the corporate program has gained a lot of momentum." Smith notes Capital One will join AT&T and Coca-Cola as a corporate champion, and the deal "will give the company a college basketball platform to go with its substantial marketing against college football." Sponsors at the partner level include LG, Lowe's, State Farm, Enterprise, The Hartford and Hershey's. Kraft's multiyear agreement to become a partner "begins immediately with in-store activation and a plan for extensive sampling at the Final Four." Kraft's deal also includes "official status, promotional and marketing rights for its Planters, Ritz, Oreo and Wheat Thins brands across the NCAA's 80 men's and women's championships." Kraft will have "exclusive status for the nut, cracker and cookie categories" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/8 issue).

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