SBD/Issue 179/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Marketplace Roundup

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" (, 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 (, 5/27).

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