SBD/Issue 176/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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" (ADAGE.com, 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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