SBD/Issue 176/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • K-Swiss Signs One-Year Deal As Official Shoe Of Tennis Channel

    Tennis Channel "has entered into a unique sponsorship deal that makes K-Swiss the network's 'official shoe' for at least the next 12 months," according to John Ourand in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the "one-year deal is valued in the high six figures." The agreement "ensures that K-Swiss will be the only company that can advertise shoes on Tennis Channel for the next 12 months," beginning with the network's coverage of the French Open, which began over the weekend. Tennis Channel "has sold exclusive sponsorships for specific events in the past, but this marks the first time it has sold year-round exclusivity." As part of the deal, K-Swiss will have an ad commitment of "about 1,000 traditional commercials that will be run over the course of the year, both during the channel's Grand Slam coverage and other programming." The company also will work with Tennis Channel on "one- to two-minute vignettes that will appear on the channel," featuring tennis players including Mardy Fish, Bob and Mike Bryan and Jim Courier. The deal "doesn't preclude other shoe companies from advertising other apparel lines on the channel." CayRay Group President Ceo Wimmer structured and brokered the deal (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/24 issue).

  • Yum! Brands Interested In Continuing Kentucky Derby Sponsorship

    Yum! Has Begun Discussions
    To Continue Derby Sponsorship

    Yum! Brands, which signed on as a presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby in '06, "hopes to continue that sponsorship after its five-year agreement expired with this year's Derby," according to Ed DeRosa of the THOROUGHBRED TIMES. Yum Senior VP & Chief Public Affairs Officer Jonathan Blum last Thursday said that his company and Churchill Downs have "begun discussions," and Churchill Downs President Kevin Flanery last month said that discussions "already have begun regarding continuing the sponsorship in '11 and beyond." Blum: "I believe you'd find mutual interest to re-up on both ends; we intend to re-up. We enjoy the sponsorship and enjoy our association with the Kentucky Derby. Hopefully, Churchill Downs feels the same way." DeRosa noted the presenting sponsorship, the "first in the Derby's history, included signage throughout Churchill Downs and seven 30-second commercials during NBC's broadcast of the race." Since announcing the Derby sponsorship in '06, the Yum! stock "increased in value by 68.9% through April 30, the last day of trading before this year's Derby." The Kentucky Derby is the "only major athletic event Yum! sponsors," though the company also "has the naming rights to Louisville's new downtown arena," the KFC Yum! Center (, 5/24).

  • Visa Planning To Launch TV Series Starring '12 British Athletes

    Visa Planning TV Series That Follows British
    Athletes Preparing For '12 London Olympics

    Visa is "planning to create its own ad-funded TV series following British athletes in the build-up" to the '12 London Olympics, according to Alex Brownsell of MARKETING magazine. The brand is "in negotiations with production companies and broadcasters about the programme, which would showcase medal hopefuls as they enter the final two years of preparations for the event." Visa would run the show "as part of its 'Team 2012' deal with UK Sport, under which it is 'presenting partner' of the British Olympic team." Brownsell writes the series "would mark a shift by Visa to more significant concentration on its Olympic association and kick-start a two-year marketing drive in the build-up to the Games." Visa following this summer's FIFA World Cup, which it also sponsors, will "adapt its long-running 'Life flows better with Visa' ad campaign to promote its Olympic tie" (, 5/25).

    CROSS-BORDER SUPPORT: SPORTSBEAT's Gerard Meagher reported LOCOG Chair Lord Sebastian Coe and Glasgow 2014 CEO John Scott, whose group is organizing the '14 Commonwealth Games in the city, have "signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate across a range of administrative and commercial issues." Glasgow officials "will shadow their opposite numbers during the Olympics and Paralympics to gain valuable first-hand experience, while London will also assist and advise with their volunteer program." LOCOG also will "facilitate access to their 30-strong and rising roster of commercial partners in a bid to help the Commonwealth Games hit their own stiff sponsorship targets" (SPORTSBEAT, 5/24).

    SYMBOLS OF MEDIOCRITY? In London, Andy Bloxham reports U.K. Creative Business Ambassador Sir Terence Conran has "criticised the 'appalling' design of the mascots" for the '12 Olympics. Conran "suggested he would be embarrassed to hand out the mascots" while serving as an ambassador. Conran described the "one-eyed creations" as "appalling ... symbols of national mediocrity'" (London TELEGRAPH, 5/25).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    RadioShack Has Expanded Its
    Relationship With Armstrong

    RadioShack CEO Julian Day yesterday told shareholders at the company's annual meeting that it has "expanded its partnership with professional cyclist Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong foundation." Day said that RadioShack beginning in July will start selling "Livestrong-branded products and accessories in all stores" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/25). RadioShack last summer reached a deal with Armstrong to title sponsor and help form a new U.S.-based cycling team, which began competing this year (THE DAILY).

    WIND BENEATH MY WINGS: Red Bull CEO Dietrich Mateschitz indicated that the energy drink's F1 team "could sell its naming rights." Mateschitz said, "As soon as Red Bull Racing is recognised as an established team, a title sponsor could be possible." In London, Sylt & Reid reported Mateschitz is "believed to favour a luxury goods brand." A title sponsor could bring the team about US$43.0M, "which would partly offset" the roughly US$113.4M Red Bull commits to the team annually (London EXPRESS, 5/23).

    QUESTIONING AUTHORITY: AD AGE's Rupal Parekh reported The Sports Authority has "launched a review" of its $35-40M creative and media account. The company "declined to provide more details about the process, but the review is expected to encompass both creative and media duties." Those accounts currently are handled by Post Central, Rochester, and Deutsch, N.Y. This marks the "second time the media portion of the retailer's account is in flux in recent years; Deutsch's media arm worked for the sporting goods chain from 2005-2007, before the account left and the agency won it back in late 2008" (, 5/24).

    WRONG KIND OF STATEMENT? In Philadelphia, Ashley Fox writes Venus Williams' revealing outfit at the French Open "sends a horrible message to little girls -- that you have value because you're naked, instead of because you excel at something." Fox: "I understand there's crossover, especially with female athletes, between just being an athlete and being a sex symbol. But to try to look like you're not wearing underwear while your practicing your craft is just ludicrous. ... If she wants to look good naked, pose in Playboy" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/25). In West Palm Beach, Dave George writes under the header, "Venus Williams Succeeds In Getting Attention With Her Look-At-Me Outfit" (PALM BEACH POST, 5/25). But NBC's Kathie Lee Gifford said, "I find it distracting, not offensive" ("Today," NBC, 5/25).

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