Weekend Plans With WNBA Sky's Michael Alter Ratner Confident In Isles Playing In Nassau Anticipation High For Griner's WNBA Debut ABC Looking For Indy 500 Ratings Uptick EA Used Tebow Name In NCAA Game Classified Advertisements Executive Transactions Mohegan Sun Not Getting NCAA Tourney Games Roc Nation Sports A "Legitimate Threat" Wild Raise Season-Ticket Prices
SBD/Issue 179/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
Izod Bringing Pop Culture To IndyCar Since
Signing Six-Year Title Sponsorship Deal
Since signing a six-year title sponsorship deal in November with the IndyCar Series, Izod "has pulled out all the stops to give a jolt of energy to a league that has been in the doldrums," according to a front-page piece by Dana Hunsinger of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Izod has a billboard in Times Square "showing young, good-looking stars such as Ryan Hunter-Reay and Danica Patrick, giving a fresh face to the league." There also have been TV commercials during NFL games promoting the IndyCar Series and "ads in GQ and promotions on Hollywood Boulevard with Jimmy Kimmel." IndyCar VP/Sales Greg Gruning said Izod is "taking us to pop culture ... and have really driven new fans into our space." Hunsinger notes the "exposure that Izod, backed by its $9 billion parent company Phillips-Van Heusen, can give is priceless." Former IndyCar and IMS CEO Tony George said the exposure is "all you would ever want out of a sponsor. They are doing all the things to activate and build a brand they are committed to. They obviously are great marketers -- maybe among the best." Hunsinger notes Izod "got its feet wet" in IndyCar by forming a relationship with Hunter-Reay in '08 and "using him in TV commercials and other marketing venues." N.Y.-based entertainment and sports agency Widget & Cog Owner Michael Palmer said that Izod "liked what was happening and started wanting more of IndyCar." Just Marketing Int'l Founder & CEO Zak Brown: "No one outside of maybe Honda and Bridgestone has ever marketed the series as much, but what's more important is they are marketing to a great new audience in a lifestyle manner." Driver Dan Wheldon "called Izod's initiatives a good start." He said, "It's just the beginning. All of this stuff has been talked about before, but it wasn't done" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/27).
SHOPPING SPEED: YAHOO SPORTS' Nick Bromberg wrote he visited the Macy's location on Broadway in N.Y. Wednesday, and there was "no doubt ... about IZOD's level of commitment to promoting the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500." Every window "was promoting the 500, and one had a screen playing highlights of 500s from the past." The promo "might have kicked up a notch inside the store," as the "circular displays at the ceiling above the main walkway had pictures of current drivers and past drivers" and old cars were located in the aisles. Bromberg: "I have to give IZOD a ton of credit for marketing the heck out of the series, because the IndyCar Series really needs the non-Danica exposure to survive. ... However, I do know that not many people seemed interested in what was essentially a department store turned Indy 500 history museum" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/27).
WHERE ARE THE STARS? Actor Jack Nicholson will wave the green flag at Sunday's 94th Indianapolis 500 (Mult., 5/27). In Indianapolis, Cathy Kightliner reported the Indy 500 throughout its history "turned out some big names" from the entertainment industry, but some insiders "say that the flame has flickered out in recent years and was nearly out in 2009." People who recall the race's "history with big-name celebrities have been less enthused recently by the personalities seen waving from floats and sauntering through the pits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway." IMS PR Manager Eric Powell said that due to the "sagging economy last year, Indy 500 officials chose not to spend the money it takes to attract big names." However, he "takes issue with anyone who says the race hasn't attracted major stars." Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and Muhammad Ali are among those who have attended in recent years. Phillips-Van Heusen Exec VP/Marketing Mike Kelly and Izod are "working on adding more Hollywood glamour" to both the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series. In addition to Nicholson, actors Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara will be at the race, as will reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Indianapolis-based Image First President Cebronica Scott: "I definitely think we can get it back. ... This year is a step in the right direction" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/27).
The following lists the primary sponsors for the 33 cars entered in Sunday's 94th Indianapolis 500. The primary sponsor for Mario Romancini's No. 34 car was unknown at presstime.ROW 1
No. 3 Helio Castroneves No. 12 Will Power No. 10 Dario Franchitti Team Penske Team Penske Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Penske Verizon Wireless TargetROW 2 No. 6 Ryan Briscoe No. 77 Alex Tagliani No. 9 Scott Dixon Team Penske FAZZT Race Team Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team Penske B&W Speakers TargetROW 3 No. 30 Graham Rahal No. 20 Ed Carpenter No. 06 Hideki Mutoh Rahal Letterman Racing Panther Racing Newman/Haas Racing Quick Trim Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Formula DreamROW 4 No. 99 Townsend Bell No. 22 Justin Wilson No. 2 Raphael Matos Sam Schmidt/Ganassi Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing de Ferran Dragon Racing Herbalife Z-Line Furniture Hewlett PackardROW 5 No. 32 Mario Moreas No. 21 Davey Hamilton No. 24 Mike Conway KV Racing Technology de Ferran Dragon Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing KV Racing Hewlett Packard Dad's Old Fashioned Root BeerROW 6 No. 26 Marco Andretti No. 37 Ryan Hunter-Reay No. 4 Dan Wheldon Andretti Autosport Andretti Autosport Panther Racing Venom Energy Drink Izod National GuardROW 7 No. 8 E.J. Viso No. 23 Tomas Scheckter No. 25 Ana Beatriz KV Racing Technologies Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dreyer & Reinbold Racing PDVSA Mona-Vie IpirangaROW 8 No. 78 Simona de Silvestro No. 7 Danica Patrick No. 36 Bertrand Baguette Team Stargate Worlds/HVM Andretti Autosport Conquest Racing Stargate Resistance Go Daddy Alice's ListROW 9 No. 33 Bruno Junqueira No. 19 Alex Lloyd No. 34 Mario Romancini FAZZT Race Team Dale Coyne Racing Conquest Racing B&W Speakers Boy Scouts of America N/AROW 10 No. 43 John Andretti No. 67 Sarah Fisher No. 14 Vitor Meira Andretti Autosport Sarah Fisher Racing A.J. Foyt Enterprises Window World Dollar General ABC Supply Co.ROW 11 No. 5 Takuma Sato No. 29 Sebastian Saavedra No. 11 Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technologies Bryan Herta Autosport Andretti Autosport Lotus William Rast 7-Eleven
TEE TO GREEN FLAG: Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller's Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka is sponsoring Ed Carpenter's No. 20 car, and Zoeller said, "I thought, 'What the heck?' We have a new product on the market and where else do you have 300,000 screaming idiots, so it works. Plus, it's an outstanding car. It's got lots of speed" (ESPN.com, 5/26). Zoeller, an Indiana native, added, "I've won some majors in golf, and there is no doubt the Indianapolis 500 is the major championship in motor racing. ... I would love to add another major to my resume. Ed's resume on ovals is impressive, so we think we have a shot" (GOLF.com, 5/26).
MAKING THE LIST: Angie's List, a provider of consumer reviews on local service providers, has signed on as the title sponsor of Conquest Racing's No. 36 car driven by Bertrand Baguette for the Indy 500. Baguette will join Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks to provide consumer tips for tire safety. Angie's List launched its classic car ratings in '09, and this year marks the third year the company has sponsored a driver in the Indy 500 (Angie's List).
MOBILE MOVERS: Andretti Autosport signed an associate sponsor agreement with Virgin Mobile USA for driver Ryan Hunter-Reay's No. 37 Team Izod car during the Indy 500. Meanwhile, Andretti Autosport also signed Boost Mobile to a sponsorship agreement in support of the team's Izod IndyCar Series program and drivers Danica Patrick and Adam Carroll. Boost will be featured as a major associate sponsor of Patrick's No. 7 GoDaddy.com car for the rest of the '10 season, and as the primary sponsor on Carroll's car when he makes his IndyCar Series debut at the July 4 Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen (Andretti Autosport).
INSURANCE POLICY: Chizmark & Larson Insurance agency has signed driver Mario Moraes to a sponsorship. The insurance company will put a decal on Moraes' helmet beginning with the Indy 500 for the remainder of the '10 IndyCar season (Chizmark & Larson).
NASCAR Does Not Believe American Needle
Ruling Will Impact Merchandising Business
The "beleaguered NASCAR merchandising business is nearly set for a transformation," and NASCAR does not believe that the Supreme Court decision in American Needle v. the NFL "will hold it back," according to Bob Pockrass of SCENEDAILY.com. NASCAR and its teams "will keep an eye on the courts as it continues the formation of the NASCAR Licensing Trust, a new organization that will handle the licensing agreements for any team that wants to join," though NASCAR Dir of Corporate Communications Ramsey Poston Wednesday indicated that the "plan is to move forward with the NASCAR Licensing Trust." Currently, every team, track and NASCAR "has done its own licensing, often selling its licenses to Motorsports Authentics," but NASCAR is "working on a new model with the NASCAR Licensing Trust handling the licensing agreements and likely selling them to an exclusive manufacturer for diecasts and for apparel." That means a diecast or apparel manufacturer "can work through one company (instead of having to go through each team) to produce products," and the teams "would then get the revenue that they generate." The system is "loosely patterned after how the NFL handles its licensing." Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith said that NASCAR has had its attorneys looking into whether the ruling in the American Needle case "will impact the formation of the NASCAR Licensing Trust." Smith: "There are significant and material differences between the NFL licensing model, where teams are mandated to yield their intellectual property to the NFL trust, and the proposed NASCAR model, which allows a team to opt in or opt out of a particular transaction. I suspect that these differences, among others, will separate our contemplated path from the NFL." Fordham Univ. School of Business sports law professor Mark Conrad said that NASCAR "should move forward with its licensing trust." Conrad said of the impact of the ruling on NASCAR's plans, "It could be impacted, but it doesn't mean they should stop doing it" (SCENEDAILY.com, 5/27).
No New Designs Featuring UND's Fighting
Sioux Logo Will Be Approved After Sept. 30
Michigan-based Licensing Resource Group this week informed manufacturers and retail vendors that "no new designs" featuring the Univ. of North Dakota's outgoing Fighting Sioux logo and nickname "will be approved after Sept. 30," according to Chuck Haga of the GRAND FORKS HERALD. LRG, which manages licensing for UND apparel, this week issued a timeline for the retirement of the logo and nickname, mandating that "all Fighting Sioux-branded merchandise must be off retail floors by July 1, 2011, unless authorized by the university." The logo and nickname "will be removed from a trademark artwork website" on July 1. Vendors with "Sioux head" and standard UND licenses "will be renewed for a year, but no new 'Sioux head' licenses will be issued." The timeline states UND and LRG officials after July 1, 2011, will visit area retailers "to ensure no Fighting Sioux merchandise is being sold at retail." Haga noted the timeline, however, "does anticipate the possible 'limited edition use' of the Fighting Sioux name and logo" after the cutoff date. The memo reads, "In order to capitalize on special events, milestones and historic opportunities, the university does intend to protect the Fighting Sioux logo and nickname, and may consider limited usage as deemed appropriate by the situation and university officials" (GRAND FORKS HERALD, 5/27).
DOUBLE STANDARD? In Toronto, Damien Cox writes the NHL and the Blackhawks "seem awfully casual" about the team's logo "at a time when sports leagues and schools around North America are either debating the dubious value of having native peoples used as mascots and nicknames or getting rid of those mascots and nicknames entirely." UND is parting ways with a similar image, but it is "still happily in use in the NHL." Cox: "Does anybody notice, or should anybody notice, that the team that will open this series on home ice skates out with the cultural equivalent of a cigar store Indian on their chests every night?" (TORONTO STAR, 5/28).
USA Bid Committee On Saturday Breaking
Ad Promoting Bid For Future World Cup
The push behind the U.S. attempt to land either the '18 or '22 World Cup takes a further step this weekend with a new TV spot aimed at promoting interest in the bid. The 30-second spot, entitled "The Game," via Stone Ward, Chicago, aims to encourage fans to visit the USA Bid Committee's Web site and sign a petition supporting the bid. The commercial begins with a child kicking a soccer ball and also features footage from MLS games and U.S. men's national team games. Stone Ward Dir of Account Management Tom Lillig said the ad is aimed at capturing "all of that passion that Americans have for the game of soccer." "We hope that it really does leave people with that sort of call to action that they really need to go and not only support this bid, but take a few minutes and click on the link and also share it with friends," Lillig said. The bid petition is closing in on 400,000 signatures, and the goal is for it to reach the 1 million mark in the coming months. Individuals who sign the petition are required to submit their e-mail address and zip code, and have the option to include their first name and last name as well. "The Game" will break Saturday during both ESPN2's telecast of the Turkey-U.S. friendly and Fox Soccer Channel's telecast of the Dynamo-Union MLS game. It will continue to air on all of FSC's MLS telecasts through the month of October.
CAMPAIGN SHIFT: The ad is part of a redirecting of the campaign from a primarily e-mail and online-based campaign to a campaign including TV ads and other components, a shift intended to coincide with the arrival of this summer's FIFA World Cup. "It really makes sense for people to say, 'Why wouldn't I want to have the event that I am focusing on on television right in my backyard here?'" said USA Bid Committee Dir of Marketing & Communications Jurgen Mainka. "Everyone would love to have a World Cup here on their own soil." Mainka added there is a possibility ads for the campaign could air around ESPN's and Univision's World Cup coverage. Meanwhile, future ads will include a version tailored to a Hispanic audience, as well as another that will air in stadiums encouraging fans to submit text messages in support of the U.S. bid. That ad will air in stadiums in many of the 18 U.S. bid cities, and will air in MLB and NFL stadiums and NBA arenas in addition to MLS stadiums.
With marketers' "insight into their finances more clear this year," there is hope that a "more venerated class of advertiser will return" to the Super Bowl, according to Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. Fox President of Ad Sales Jon Nesvig, whose network will broadcast Super Bowl XLV, said, "You will see a number of people back in the Super Bowl that you haven't seen in a few years." Steinberg noted with the "economy flailing in recent years, the caliber of marketer and marketing in the Super Bowl has declined." FedEx and GM have been "gone for the last two airings," while newcomers like Cash4Gold, HomeAway and Skechers have bought ad time. MPG VP & Account Dir Jeff Gagne said, "Some of the categories that have supported the NFL that have had some tough luck in the past year are coming back strong. I don't know if the market as a whole is moving, but those key positions (in broadcasts) are moving well in advance of previous years." However, Steinberg reported it is unclear how much "of the current interest in football's regular season will persist when it comes to more expensive playoff games, much less the unique -- and uniquely costly -- event that is the Super Bowl." One ad exec said, "The automotive category seems to be back in full force. Whether those conversations carry through from the regular season to post-season, I think, is still to be determined." The exec added, "I'm sure Fox is dealing with a totally different marketplace than CBS had to last year" (ADAGE.com, 5/26).
Crowne Plaza Thursday said that it will "return next year as title sponsor of Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour event, ending more than a year of speculation about whether officials at the hotel chain would exercise their option to depart" after this year's tournament. Crowne Plaza VP/Brand Management Gina LaBarre: "We will be here next year. It is definitely done." Crowne Plaza has been title sponsor since '07, and "discussions are ongoing about 2012." LaBarre noted that a selling point "has been the continued improvement" of the event's field, which this year features five of the world's top eight golfers (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/28).
DRIVING FORCE: Mercedes-Benz announced a multiplatform global marketing partnership with tennis player Roger Federer. The deal covers the use of his image, personal appearances and product placement, and it makes Federer a Mercedes-Benz brand ambassador. Federer has been a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz China since '08. The deal comes as the automaker readies to ramp up activation of its U.S. Open sponsorship (Mercedes-Benz USA).
London Games Mascots Continue To Draw
Negative Reactions For Critics
FOGGY BOTTOM: Several Boston-area designers reviewed the '12 London Games mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville. Alphabet Arm Creative Dir Aaron Belyea gave the mascots a "C" and said, "It gets so far away from what the spirit of the Olympics is, it feels like a wildly different brand to me. It doesn’t feel like sports." Modernista Dir of Design, Advertising & Marketing Darren Crawforth gave the mascots an "F" and said, "Mandeville and Wenlock seem like just another two pieces to an already confused and disparate brand campaign" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/27). MARKETING WEEK's Mark Ritson wrote, "First the Olympic logo and now Wenlock have undermined one of the most treasured perceptions of the UK -- that we are leaders in design and branding" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 5/27).
THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT: AD AGE's Michael Learmonth reported Nike's new three-minute "Write the Future" World Cup viral ad "broke the record for the biggest audience in the first week of a campaign with 7.8 million views," topping Nike's ad released in April featuring Tiger Woods and the voice of his father, which drew 6.3 million views in its first week (ADAGE.com, 5/27).