SBD/Issue 204/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Decision Day: Unclear How Much Boys & Girls Clubs Stand To Gain

    Sprite Is One Of James' Sponsors Who
    Will Be Advertising During ESPN's Special

    Ad time for tonight's ESPN LeBron James special "The Decision" has been donated to James' marketing company, LRMR Marketing, "with proceeds to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America," but it is "unclear how much the Boys and Girls Club will reap from its tie-in," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Advertising analysis firm TargetCast indicated that ESPN's average cost for a single 30-second ad "reached $27,000 last year" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/8). Boys & Girls Clubs of America spokesperson Frank Sanchez said that the proceeds from tonight's special "will be used to support the 4,000 local clubs that comprise" the organization. Sanchez: "This is going to serve our local clubs and our club members extremely well. Our local clubs are going to have a great experience because of this contribution." He added that the donation is an "'amazing opportunity' for the organization's countrywide efforts to build basketball courts for young people." MEDIA DAILY NEWS' David Goetzl noted James' foundation "has worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for some time" (MEDIAPOST.com, 7/7). James tonight "will reveal his choice of team" at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, Conn. (GREENWICH TIME, 7/8).

    SPECIFIC SPONSORS SELECTED: In N.Y., Bart Hubbuch notes James "is a pitchman for five" of the six companies that bought spots during the special -- Bing, McDonald's, Nike, Sprite and Vitaminwater. The other buyer is the Univ. of Phoenix. The only commercial spots "scheduled to run during the show that won't benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs are the ones regularly set aside for local cable operators" (N.Y. POST, 7/8). ESPN said that the sponsors "were lined up" by James and LRMR. In N.Y., Stuart Elliott noted like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics, there are "tiers or levels to the types of sponsorships for 'The Decision.'" Univ. of Phoenix and Bing "will be the co-presenters of the show," while Vitaminwater and McDonald's are sponsors "on a lower tier." ESPN said that Sprite and Nike "will make contributions to support the charitable elements of the program." Elliott noted as of yesterday it was unclear "whether there would be commercials during the show or whether the advertisers would be acknowledged in some way" (NYTIMES.com, 7/7). AD AGE's Brian Steinberg wrote the degree to which ESPN is "letting the subject of its coverage outline the business of the event is, quite frankly, stunning." Giving away "valuable ad dollars in exchange for the chance to broadcast a popular sports, news or celebrity event seems unlikely to spread quickly." Steinberg: "It's remarkable to see a TV network give up so much ground" (ADAGE.com, 7/7).

    RSNS STAND TO GAIN: LHB Sports Entertainment & Media President & CEO Lee Berke said that MSG Network, Comcast SportsNet Chicago or Sun Sports "could easily raise their related ad rates by 10-15%" should James sign with the Knicks, Bulls or Heat, respectively. The net also could "expect to clear the ad inventory before next season begins." Berke added that should James "elevate his new team's play to championship caliber ... a future rise in affil rates is also likely, if not assured." CABLEFAX DAILY writes the stakes "may be highest" for Cavaliers broadcaster FS Ohio, and Berke said James' decision is "critical for (the net) because it's built on the Cavs product." Meanwhile, MSG Net is "further impacted by the hunt because it's publicly tradeable" as part of parent company MSG. MSG shares since the start of free agency last Thursday have "gained approx 9.7%, including 6.4%" yesterday alone (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/8).

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  • Decision Day: Has LeBron's Ego Gotten The Best Of His Actions?

    Some Feel Carter (l) Has Been In Over His Head
    In Handling Of James' Free Agency Process

    LeBron James' announcement tonight on ESPN about which team he will join caps a "slow, cynical churning of manufactured drama that sports has never witnessed," according to Adrian Wojnarowski of YAHOO SPORTS. As far as historic moments go, this is the "Rushmore of basketball hubris and narcissism." James' advisory group, led by LRMR Marketing CEO Maverick Carter, is "having the time of its life, but has no idea the repercussions of what it's done." The six teams that "marched into the presentations and listened to some of the foolish and naive questions asked of them believed these kids had no idea what they were doing, or what they had gotten themselves into." Carter, James' childhood friend, in the past five years has "pushed one agent -- Aaron Goodwin -- and one advisor -- William Wesley -- aside because he wanted to be the voice in James’ ear and the one getting credit on the masthead." Wojnarowski: "So far, Carter’s been a superstar at spending James’ money on LRMR, but now he’s getting the company name out there and turning LeBron into Mr. July" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/7).

    RUNNING WITH THE WRONG CROWD? In Akron, Marla Ridenour writes that LRMR obtained sponsorship for tonight's announcement on ESPN, with all proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, "seems self-serving." In promoting James' cause, his representatives have "flexed their marketing muscle in James-sized fashion" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 7/8). In Columbus, Rob Oller writes it "would be easier to applaud" the donation to charity "if it did not smack of attention deflection, using a charity to run interference just so folks don't think Bron-Bron is too-too big for his britches" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 7/8). ESPN.com's Bill Simmons writes, "He has remained fiercely loyal to his high school friends, but at the same time, he's surrounded by people his own age who don't stand up to him and don't know any better. Picking anyone other than Cleveland on this show would be the meanest thing any athlete has ever done to a city. But he might" (ESPN.com, 7/8). FOXSPORTS.com's Jason Whitlock wrote under the header, "Blame LeBron's Entourage For This Mess." James is "not going on ESPN tomorrow without a game-changer, a justification for this two-years-long ego stroke." But if he does, Carter "better prepare for a media-stitched clown suit that will make Ronald McDonald jealous" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/7). In Chicago, Ed Sherman: "It's hard to believe somebody in his camp really thought it was a good idea for Mr. James to stage his announcement on ESPN Thursday night. There are few things the public detests more than athletes who like to call attention to themselves. This certainly has to rate as a look-at-me moment" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 7/8).

    GETTING OUT OF HAND: In New Jersey, Dave D'Alessandro writes the "free-agent market in any sport is always a shameless function of ego." Now the "grand prize, a young man who refers to himself as The King, has concluded his vainglorious quest to keep our attention as he decides that he is either going to take one billionaire’s money or another billionaire’s money" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 7/8). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said, "I'm a big fan of LeBron James but really, a one-hour special for a guy that hasn't really done anything? Truly, it's just unbelievable. It's unfathomable, yet we're all part of feeding the beast. We created this monster, and he's just playing along" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/8). FANHOUSE.com's Jay Mariotti wrote, "Staging his own reality TV show proves only that he can promote himself better than all the rest. Other than benefiting a charity and ESPN's ratings, I can't think of a good reason to do this." James would do "severe damage to his image if he spent an hour ditching the poor people in Cleveland" (FANHOUSE.com, 7/7). WashingtonPost.com's Dan Steinberg: "If you have an hour-long program just to jilt ... the city you grew up in and became a star in, it makes you look like even more of an egomaniac. ... There's a huge media backlash on this thing right now" ("Washington Post Live," Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 7/7). CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote James' announcement is "an hour-long mental masturbation about the wonder of LeBron" (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/7). In N.Y., Ken Belson asks, "When does exposure turn into over-exposure?" (NYTIMES.com, 7/8).

    Critics Feel James' Image Has Taken A Hit
    With Manufactured Drama Surrounding Decision

    HAS HIMSELF TO BLAME: FANHOUSE.com's Kevin Blackistone wrote under the header, "Free-Agent Circus Stains LeBron's Image." James over the past few weeks has "made himself as easy to dislike as he'd made himself over several years easy to like." He has "made it look as if everything in it is about him, and he is unnecessarily turning himself into a villain" (FANHOUSE.com, 7/7). In N.Y., Harvey Araton notes critics have complained that the "process has become unflatteringly self-indulgent." Author Buzz Bissinger, who helped write James' biography in '09, said, "I'm disappointed because I think he's handled this terribly. I hate the idea that he is the king and that all these grown men have had to grovel in front of him. It's a side of him I didn't see before" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/8). Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said, "This doesn't make him look real good in the eyes of old-school purist people at all and they're going to doubt what his real intention is" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/7). SI.com's Michael Rosenberg wrote, "Free agency was never a means to an end for James. It was an end unto itself." James and his reps were "convinced that he needed the whole world to hang on his future" (SI.com, 7/7).

    TWITTER DISAGREES WITH THE PLAN: Several pundits have taken to Twitter in question of James' strategy and how it will affect his reputation. ESPN’s Jay Crawford writes, “No matter what he does his image will be scarred badly here. no matter cleveland, ny, miami chicago whatever. he looks bad.” Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd: “LeBron's ego shows entering spotlight: Where have you gone, LeBron James?” The Big Lead’s Tyler Duffy: “LBJ purports himself to be global icon, behaves like overgrown teenager w/amateur PR team who wants attention.” N.Y. Daily News’ Frank Isola: “Too bad LeBron didn't put this much thought and energy into Game 5 against Boston.” Golf World’s Ron Sirak: “Wherever Lebron James goes becomes my least favorite sports franchise in the known universe. What a classless, self-promotional stunt.” ESPN L.A.’s Arash Markazi: “If LeBron leaves Cleveland, this one-hour special is the equivalent buying TV time to publicly file for divorce and commit to someone else.” AP’s Tom Withers: “I can't imagine LeBron going on national TV and embarrassing his hometown. That would be evil.”

    MADE-FOR-TV DISASTER: In Detroit, Mitch Albom writes, "Only in America could we keep inventing reality TV that fantastically outshames the previous low mark." Albom: "You want to give to charity, quietly write a check. Don't get a network to do it for you so it gets to pump its shows and you get to shower yourself in international coverage -- while calling it philanthropy. The NBA has embarrassed itself here. The media have embarrassed themselves. And a guy who calls himself 'King' may be beyond embarrassment, which is truly embarrassing" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/8). In L.A., Jerry Crowe: "Americans love reality TV, but LeBron James' ego-driven Thursday night spectacle is sure to alienate" (L.A. TIMES, 7/8). SNY's Marc Malusis: "It's self-aggrandizing the way that it's gone about and now we have to watch an hour-long special" ("The Wheelhouse," SNY, 7/7). In Portland, John Canzano: "What we have here is an after-school special on ego starring the NBA free-agent who has lots of personal hardware, zero championships" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/8). ESPN.com's Tim Keown wrote the "stupidity surrounding LeBron is exceeding the stupidity surrounding the last two Brett Favre retirements" (ESPN.com, 7/7). USA TODAY's Mike Lopresti: "Long ago, this got out of control, a circus fanned by a communication age that can't pause long enough to tell the difference between perspective and endless prattle" (USA TODAY, 7/8).

    WREAKS OF EGO: SI's Jack McCallum writes James, "drunk on the magnificence of his own LeBron-ness, is utterly clueless of how ridiculous this whole process has been, the monumental amount of self-importance attached to scheduling a one-hour show when you have zero championship rings" (SI.com, 7/8). In N.Y., George Willis writes, "LeBron James will enjoy his ultimate diva moment tonight" (N.Y. POST, 7/8). In Ft. Lauderdale, Ethan Skolnick: "You can't spell James without 'Me,' and it's more difficult to defend James for this arrogant exercise than it is to defend him in the pick and roll" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 7/8). In Philadelphia, Ashley Fox: "I am so sick of LeBron James. I mean really, who does he think he is?" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/8). In Seattle, Jerry Brewer: "This case of overexposure completes the cycle of entitlement for James" (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/8). In New Jersey, Al Iannazzone: "This whole thing has been a farce" (Bergen RECORD, 7/8). A BOSTON GLOBE editorial states, "The wooing of James has been an embarrassing nationwide courtship ritual." The displays of "desperate obsequiousness directed" at James "serve as uneasy reminders of the often outsized role of sports in American culture" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/8). In San Jose, Cam Inman writes "catering to superstars is the norm," but when one of the NBA's top free agents "gets an hourlong, prime-time television special to announce his next employer/partner/beneficiary, that simply is absurd/individualistic/grossly enabling" (SAN JOSE MERCURY-NEWS, 7/8).

    Van Gundy (r) Feels Free Agents Have Done
    "Masterful" Job Of Creating Publicity For Themselves

    MARKETING GENIUS: In Cincinnati, Paul Daugherty writes tonight's special is "pure marketing genius." Daugherty: "James isn’t an athlete. That’s too confining. He is a 'brand.’ So while some of us shake our heads at the nonsense of turning a career decision into a prime time TV production, others of us marvel at the way LeBron is playing the game. And we’re not talking basketball" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 7/8). ESPN.com's Simmons writes, "What a week for LeBron's brand. ... LeBron's team wanted to keep people talking and promote his website, and really, that's what happened. The man nearly exploded Twitter and melted ESPN. He transcended free agency, the World Cup, everything. He will draw a massive television audience tonight; he's the only professional athlete who could have pulled that off" (ESPN.com, 7/8). In Houston, Jerome Solomon writes criticizing James for "convincing so many millions to be enamored with his every meaningless move would be like disparaging Will Ferrell because he has convinced millions to pay millions to watch his alleged-to-be-funny comedies." Solomon: "We live in a world in which for sport we throw daggers at those who get rich doing things we either wouldn't do or wish we had thought of first. ... Why take this stuff so seriously?" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/8). Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said of the impact on the NBA, "I just think this free agent thing has been a masterful publicity opportunity for all of them. They've done a great job of creating more interest in this brand" (CLEVELAND.com, 7/7).

    BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: NBA.com's David Aldridge said, "This is about the new generation and this is about the new social media and how you project yourself, and I understand that with LeBron, but ... this cuts both ways and when you make the publicity train run on your schedule when the news is good, just remember it comes back and falls on you when the news is bad. That's why I'm a little reluctant to embrace this whole thing that's going on" (NBA TV, 7/8).

    A MISSED OPPORTUNITY: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes James, his marketing team and perhaps even the Boys & Girls Clubs "would have fared better if he and LRMR had seized control of the drama from the start." If they had "been on top of this," his newly launched website "would have tracked his whole courtship process. He could have kept an ad-supported video diary, including behind-the-scenes video of meetings with franchises." Rosenthal added, "Of more importance from a business standpoint, fans would have been invited to register to vote for their team and receive updates through e-mail and Twitter, creating a valuable marketing database" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/8).

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  • Breeders' Cup Renews Deal With Grey Goose For Three More Years

    Grey Goose Inks Three-Year Sponsorship
    Renewal To Title Breeders' Cup Juvenile Races

    The Breeders’ Cup has signed a new three-year sponsorship renewal with Grey Goose vodka, a Bacardi brand, in a deal one source said was valued in the seven figures. Grey Goose, which has sponsored the Breeders’ Cup for the last five years, will be the title sponsor of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies as part of the new deal, said Breeders' Cup Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Carter Carnegie. Carnegie did not give the specific value of the deal, but said it has "increased and it’s for three years.” He added, "For us what is great about this deal is that this is not just a renewal, they have increased their investment with us. For the last five years they have been a model of a perfect partner, because they activate behind our event and the brand matches perfectly with the values of our event, which is premium and best of class. What they like about our event is the international nature of it because it is seen in over 130 countries and they are a global brand.”

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  • Twins' Joe Mauer Building Marketing Appeal, Becoming A Brand Name

    Watch Mauer's Spot For Sony's
    "MLB 10 The Show" Video Game

    Twins C Joe Mauer has "started building an off-the-field empire, turning his name into a brand," according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. He has "done commercials for Kemps, Anytime Fitness and Sony PlayStation," has deals with Nike and Rawlings and "has done some work for Gatorade and Pepsi." Illinois-based Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing President Doug Shabelman estimates that Mauer is "pulling in between $2 million and $4 million annually from endorsements." Still, Mauer is "very selective" when it comes to endorsement deals. His advisers said that he "turns down far more endorsement work than he does." Mauer last year signed with IMG for endorsement opportunities, and his agent Ron Shapiro said, "When we chose IMG, we made clear to them that Joe's top priority still was delivering for the Twins. It wasn't to deliver commercial opportunities that overwhelm him." Christensen noted this month's Davie Brown Index indicates that 24% of Americans can identify Mauer "by name or face," compared to 79% for Yankees SS Derek Jeter. Davie Brown Entertainment Senior Account Manager Matt Fleming said, "Nationally, (Mauer's) awareness isn't that high, but of the people who know him, they like him quite a bit. One thing that affects his awareness is he's not in a major market." Ira Stahlberger, one of Mauer's agents at IMG, said that other companies have "discussed doing national ads" with Mauer. Christensen noted "one company to watch is Gatorade." The company "hasn't signed Mauer to a deal" yet, but Mauer said, "It's obviously something I use quite frequently, so that would be great" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 7/7).



     

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  • Tebow Continues To Lead NFLShop.com Jersey Sales Since April

    Broncos QB Tim Tebow tops the list of all NFL jerseys sold from April 1-June 30 at NFLShop.com. Tebow is one of 13 QBs in the top 25 during the time span, with the position responsible for the top six sellers. There are five rookies in the top 25. Meanwhile, the Broncos were the top merchandise-selling team, followed by the Saints and Cowboys (THE DAILY).

    RANK
    PLAYER
    RANK
    PLAYER
    1)
    Broncos QB Tim Tebow
    14)
    Patriots QB Tom Brady
    2)
    Redskins QB Donovan McNabb
    15)
    Cowboys WR Dez Bryant
    3)
    Saints QB Drew Brees
    16)
    Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall
    4)
    Colts QB Peyton Manning
    17)
    Saints RB Reggie Bush
    5)
    Cowboys QB Tony Romo
    18)
    Chiefs S Eric Berry
    6)
    Vikings QB Brett Favre
    19)
    Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
    7)
    Steelers S Troy Polamalu
    20)
    Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
    8)
    Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
    21)
    Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
    9)
    Rams QB Sam Bradford
    22)
    49ers LB Patrick Willis
    10)
    Jets QB Mark Sanchez
    23)
    Cowboys WR Miles Austin
    11)
    Giants QB Eli Manning
    24)
    Eagles QB Kevin Kolb
    12)
    Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
    25)
    Chargers QB Philip Rivers
    13)
    Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson
     
     
    RANK
    TEAM
    1)
    Broncos
    2)
    Saints
    3)
    Cowboys
    4)
    Steelers
    5)
    Giants
    6)
    Redskins
    7)
    Dolphins
    8)
    Jets
    9)
    Eagles
    10)
    Bears

    PROVEN STAR POWER: In Denver, Jeff Legwold wrote Tebow's "power to pull people to cash registers won't help the Broncos' bottom line more than any other team in the league since the NFL's 32 teams currently divide all merchandise revenue evenly." However, Tebow topping the list does show his "star power is substantial even before he has appeared in a regular-season game" (DENVERPOST.com, 7/7). CNBC's Darren Rovell reported NFLShop.com sells Tebow jerseys in "white, orange and blue, in all sizes, including youth." The league also sells a "wide array of Tebow women's jerseys including 'Zebra Field Flirt' and 'Pink Sweetheart' varieties." Meanwhile, Patriots QB Tom Brady's rank at No. 14 is his "lowest place since at least the 2006 season" (CNBC.com, 7/7).

    REDSKINS REVIVAL: In DC, Dan Steinberg noted the Redskins rank No. 6 in team merchandise sales after being the "only NFC East team that didn't appear in the overall top 10 ... for the year from April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010." Meanwhile, a spokesperson said that Redskins TE Chris Cooley and LB Brian Orakpo "are in the top 100 in player sales" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/7).

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  • Wheels & Deals: Stewart-Haas Does Not Expect To Expand In '11

    Stewart (r) Says There Is Zero Chance Race
    Team Will Be Able To Add Kahne

    YAHOO SPORTS' Nick Bromberg noted NASCAR fans can "officially scratch off Stewart-Haas Racing from potential destinations for Kasey Kahne in 2011" amid recent comments by Tony Stewart. Stewart appeared on NASCAR's midweek teleconference Tuesday and said, "I would say there's probably a zero percent chance we'll expand to a third team for next year. We're still trying to fill the void when Old Spice changes this year. ... It's just a matter of funding a package that works for somebody to fill our spot. There's still races we're trying to take care of on Ryan's car. The hard part about it is, it just takes funding. We could be up to a four-car team very quickly. But it takes the funding to get it done." Bromberg noted Old Spice is on Stewart's car for 12 races this season, so "assuming that Office Depot has a similar commitment level for 2011, Stewart still needs a co-primary, and every race that Ryan Newman runs with the Haas Automation paint scheme essentially means that he is unsponsored" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/6).

    IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT: Ryan Hunter-Reay has been "confirmed as a full-season driver in the Izod IndyCar Series" for this season, as Andretti Autosport officials "announced a commitment to keep him in the No. 37 car for the rest of the races." Hunter-Reay had been on a "race-to-race" employment since the Indy 500 due to lack of sponsorship. His car "will promote a new 'Racing for Cancer' initiative that honors his mother, Lydia, who died in November of colon cancer" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/4). In addition to the efforts of Phillips-Van Heusen and its Izod brand, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inland, AirTran Airways, Comfort Revolution, the Michael Fux Foundation, Exel and ICM-Ethanol USA "all rallied to keep Hunter-Reay on the track" (Towanda DAILY REVIEW,7/5).

    THE NEW AMERICA'S TEAM? America's Racing Team CMO Michael Wright said his organization is launching a NASCAR Sprint Cup team "that will be essentially driven by the fans." Wright: "It's an opportunity for fans who have wanted to be actually part of a Cup Series team to get engaged, and they will be involved with the team in every way, including selection of the driver, choice of the paint schemes on the car." The team is "close with two significant manufacturers" as to what car it will run ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 7/3). In Charlotte, Jim Utter wrote, "Right now, the organization has no driver, no sponsor, no crew chief, no manufacturer and no shop. Apparently, a news conference is all you need to be a NASCAR team owner" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/3).

    LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN: E-Z-GO will sponsor Kevin Harvick Inc.'s No. 33 Chevy driven by Ron Hornaday for seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season (E-Z-GO).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    In N.Y., Eric Wilson notes it "should come as little surprise that fashion designers have had their antennae up for a breakthrough star at the World Cup." U.S. national team D Carlos Bocanegra "seems to be cultivating a real-man-who-likes-fashion image in a way that few of his predecessors have, without drawing a metrosexual penalty." However, Esquire Fashion Dir Nick Sullivan "found this year's Most Fashionable Player draft picks to be underwhelming." Sullivan: "It's not a vintage year. The ones they really need have to be dazzlingly good-looking, be good with their feet and be willing to be a fashion plate." Designer Simon Spurr's "money is on Fernando Torres, the sometimes-blond striker for Spain with boy-band looks who already has his own watch collection and an autobiography." Spurr: "It's rare when you get a Ronaldo or Beckham. It's hard to find that all-in-one package these days. When they come about, the fashion brands jump on them" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/8).

    Aviva Inks Four-Year Deal To Replace Guinness
    As Title Sponsor Of Premiership Rugby

    DRINK UP: MARKETING magazine's Joe Thomas reported Aviva has replaced Guinness "as the title sponsor of Premiership Rugby," having agreed to a four-year, US$30M deal. The financial services company "will work alongside Premiership Rugby on both the elite side of the game, as well as investment in community programmes." The deal, "negotiated by Hill & Knowlton's Sports Marketing team, begins immediately" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 7/7).

    MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS: In London, Paul Barbett reports English soccer club Middlesbrough will "sell their shirt sponsorship on a monthly basis" after failing to agree to a "new deal which met their expectations." The club "struggled to find a new sponsor willing to match the record deal" signed with Garmin in '08. The new marketing concept is "believed to be the first of its kind" in soccer and "will offer companies the chance to buy advertising space in 10 monthly slots" throughout the season (London TELEGRAPH, 7/8).

    GIRL POWER: MARKETING DAILY's Aaron Baar notes the Girl Scouts organization is "looking to address declining enrollment and a staid image with a new advertising campaign." New print ads "showcase the broad range of activities and futures participating in Girl Scouts can bring." One ad features tennis player Venus Williams, "touting not only her athletic powers, but business sense and advocacy for equal pay" (MARKETING DAILY, 7/8 issue).

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