NESN Extends Jerry Remy's Contract Raines, Bagwell, Rodriguez Elected To HOF Alibaba Named IOC TOP Sponsor Through '28 BTN, Riot Partner On E-Sports Competition Target Leaps Into Soccer Sponsorship PGA Tour Event Features Notable Celebrities St. Louis MLS Stadium Plan Has Life A-B Departs As Team USA Sponsor MLS Wraps Up Media/Marketing Tour MLB Continues Collaboration With Mayors
SBD/Issue 232/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
Wyndham Worldwide has struck a two-year extension on its entitlement of the PGA Tour stop in Greensboro, N.C., keeping Wyndham on the tournament's title through '12. An announcement is expected at a press conference later this afternoon. Wyndham's original deal was four years and ran through this week's tournament at Sedgefield Country Club, which is the final event before the Tour's FedEx Cup begins. Financial terms of the deal were not available. Wyndham Worldwide includes the hotel group, vacation ownership and hospitality units.
Williams To Conduct
Webcast Tennis Clinic
The U.S. Open Tennis Championships is "renewing sponsorships with Citizen Watch and Polo Ralph Lauren, two of its leading partners, in five-year deals worth a total of up to $28 million," according to Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The companies’ deals "were up after this year’s tournament, which begins Aug. 30." Polo, a sponsor since '05, "will pay about $8 million in value over the coming five years in its renewal." The company also is "hiring Venus Williams for a one-time webcast tennis clinic next week in a deal that could portend a larger relationship with the world’s No. 4-ranked player." Polo and Williams are "producing a co-branded dress she will wear during the clinic and will be sold on-site at the Open." She "will not wear the dress during the Open." The webcast is also "backed by Open sponsor Mercedes-Benz, which sources said is paying $250,000 for the affiliation." Meanwhile, Citizen, an Open sponsor since '93, next year is "picking up official timekeeper status at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women’s Open, an event that, like the Open, is owned by the U.S. Tennis Association." The watchmaker is also "renewing sponsorship of Pilot Pen Tennis, another USTA-owned event." Sources said that Citizen’s new five-year commitment, including the other events, is worth $15-20M, with the "vast majority of that being tied to the U.S. Open" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/16 issue).
Gator Bowl Association President Rick Catlett said that Konica Minolta, which title sponsored the game from '08-10, is "still in the mix" to sponsor it again, though the organization is "in talks with other companies," according to Kimberly Morrison of the JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Catlett "declined to comment on how the talks with potential sponsors are progressing." Catlett: "We could go all the way up until December. Obviously, we'd like to make a decision sooner than that." Morrison noted Toyota, which title sponsored the bowl for 13 years before Konica Minolta, paid $1.25M per year, and the value of the Konica Minolta deal had an estimated annual value of $1.5M. However, Catlett said if the bowl "had to go without a title sponsor this year, we could do that, no problem." Catlett: "It is not our preference, but it would be better than getting a company that is not committed to the tournament long term" (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/13 issue). In Jacksonville, Chet Fussman notes the Gator Bowl said that the terms of the Jaguars' recent deal with EverBank for naming rights to the former Jacksonville Municipal Stadium "don't preclude the Gator from signing a financial institution as its title sponsor, but the bowl game's search appears to be more focused...nationally than locally." Meanwhile, the Gator Bowl this year will air on ESPN2 after being on CBS the past four years and on broadcast TV since '96. Catlett said that it is an "important switch ... because ESPN will likely play a key role in helping the game find a title sponsor" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 8/17).
MENDING FENCES: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks profiles Fiesta Bowl Chair Duane Woods, who said that his “focus during his one-year term” is “smoothing relationships.” That includes “re-signing Frito-Lay and other corporate sponsors to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale and the Insight Bowl in Tempe.” Woods also “wants to smooth over years of hostility between the bowl committee” and NFL Cardinals VP Michael Bidwell. The two organizations share Univ. of Phoenix Stadium and “have had personality and operational clashes” (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/13 issue).
Baylor Univ. Using "Rise Up" Campaign
To Help Boost Sales For Upcoming Season
Baylor Univ. with its "Rise Up" marketing campaign is "delivering an all-out blitz to drum up interest for the upcoming football season," according to John Werner of the WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD. The campaign includes billboards along Interstate 35 featuring QB Robert Griffin, OL Danny Watkins and LB Antonio Johnson. Baylor also has produced a series of commercials featuring coach Art Briles and players, including Johnson and Watkins. Briles said, "Marketing is doing a real good job of promoting the season along with the powers that be at the university, beginning with the president (Ken Starr). It's really an all-out effort to make Baylor what it needs to be." The Baylor marketing department began developing the "Rise Up" campaign in February, but it "took on even more meaning after the Big Ten, Pac-10 and Southeastern conferences made overtures toward Big 12 teams in early June." Baylor Associate AD/Marketing John Garrison said, "We came up with the 'Rise Up' slogan with the idea that it's time for us to make the next step to get to a bowl game. When the whole Big 12 thing happened (in June), it took on a whole new meaning." Both commercials featuring Johnson and Watkins "show them lifting weights and saying a few inspirational words about the upcoming football season." Garrison said that the videos "were designed for dramatic effect to get Baylor fans excited about the upcoming season." The promotional efforts "are paying off." More than 11,000 season tickets have been sold, "1,000 ahead of last year's pace." Baylor AD Ian McCaw expects that season tickets will "approach 13,000, which would exceed last year's 11,700 season tickets" (WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD, 8/14).
New Era Unveils "Fly Your Own Flag" Campaign
New Era today announced a new campaign carrying the theme "Fly your own flag," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The campaign, via Brooklyn Brothers, N.Y., salutes "flag bearers," or "achievers who march to their own drummers." Consumers in print and online ads will be urged to "Start your own movement," "Raise your own game," "Blaze your own trail," "Create your own world," "Sing your own song" and "Make your own grand entrance." The campaign has an estimated budget of $10M through the end of next year. WPP's Kantar Media indicated that the budget is "more than the combined total" of $6.1M New Era spent the past two years "to advertise in major media." The campaign includes a two-minute brand film "that will be seen initially on neweracap.com," websites like Hypebeast, IGN and Nicekicks, and on monitors in the seven New Era flagship retail stores. The clip "depicts energetic young men and women dancing, singing, exercising and being artistic, surrounded by cubes" with phrases like "Blow your mind," "Build your own bandwagon," "Toot your own horn," "Beat your own path" and "Begin your own era." The print ads "will appear in publications like The Fader, Nylon Guys, Spin, Vibe and XLR8R" and depict flag bearers and New Era endorsers like Yankees CF Curtis Granderson. Barkley, K.C., is "handling tasks for New Era that include a redesign" of its website to be introduced Sept. 13. New Era "hopes to add television commercials and outdoor ads to the campaign next year" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/17).
Reebok Trying To Figure
Out Chinese Market
After looking to the '08 Beijing Games as a "way to tap into the Chinese fervor and showcase" its brands, Reebok is now "pulling back from the world's most coveted market and figuring out how to cope with the challenges in China," according to Jenn Abelson of the BOSTON GLOBE. Reebok for years had "neglected the market and allowed licensed distributors to run unprofitable and dingy shops that marketed Reebok as more of a discount shoe." But Reebok turned to endorser Rockets C Yao Ming to "position itself as a popular premium brand." The company leading up to the Olympics "began opening a store every two days." The business plan "called for more than 1,300 shops over the following four years, and Reebok was dedicating about 14 percent of its revenue to marketing in China, above the 10 percent industry average." However, Abelson noted now Reebok's presence in the country has "shrunk," and "instead of rapidly opening stores, the brand is closing shops and trying to stem the bleeding." Efforts to "boost demand for more expensive sneakers from a brand that's still trying to repair its reputation floundered," and as the recession "took hold, and consumer spending softened, the footwear industry suffered mightily from a glut of inventory." Susquehanna Int'l Group athletic footwear analyst Christopher Svezia said China "just slowed because of the economy and indigestion -- it was swallowing too many shoes at one time." Svezia: "There was a marked slowdown in the business. And Reebok opened too many doors. The market wasn't ready for the brand." adidas Chair & CEO Herbert Hainer: "We don't want to continue with stores which are not profitable. Maybe there is an effect that we opened stores a little bit too fast in 2007 and 2008 and this is what we are correcting now." Abelson noted Reebok is "attempting to clear excess inventory with a factory outlet network selling shoes at a discount and closing several hundred unproductive shops" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/15).
Tottenham Hotspur Inks Two-Year Shirt
Sponsorship For All Cup Competitions
EPL club Tottenham Hotspur yesterday announced a new two-year shirt sponsorship with int'l specialist bank and asset manager Investec for all of its games in domestic and European cup competitions. The Investec brand beginning with this season will appear on Tottenham's shirts in all European cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup matches (Tottenham).
TAKE IT TO THE TOP: Dow Automotive VP/Olympic Operations George Hamilton, who will oversee the company's 10-year IOC TOP sponsorship, discussed the deal in a Q&A with AROUND THE RINGS' Matthew Grayson. When asked about activation plans for the '12 London Olympics, Hamilton said the infrastructure for the Games is "materially done," but there are "still opportunities in things like artificial turf." He added Dow has estimated about $150B will be spent on infrastructure "over the next 10 years of Games, with most of these host cities spending anywhere from $18 to $20 billion and as much as $53 billion to address the infrastructure." When asked if the Olympic rings will appear on Dow products, Hamilton said, "We're working through that part of our branding strategy, but I will tell you that the rings will be very prominent in as many places as we can deploy them" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 8/15).
WEB GROWING MOSS: In Boston, Karen Guregian noted Patriots WR Randy Moss is "teaming with a newly formed company called Vumanity to create an online television show under the Moss Network brand." The show's discussions "will range from fantasy football to how to train for an NFL season to connection with youth," and they will have "studio-quality production with online distribution" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/15).
KOSAR'S COMEBACK: In Cleveland, Terry Pluto profiled former NFLer Bernie Kosar, who has been through a public divorce and went bankrupt. But Kosar “is starting over.” He is now represented by Neil Cornrich, and “is working through his bankruptcy issues” and working with new girlfriend Tami Longaberger on selling products with NFL licensing. His company's product line is aimed at pro and college football fans (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/14).