SBD/Issue 237/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Puma Signs Usain Bolt To Record-Breaking Sponsorship Contract

    Puma Plans To Use Bolt Prominently
    In Marketing Leading To London Games

    Puma has "extended a sponsorship contract with Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt until the end of 2013, making the Jamaican the world's most highly sponsored runner," according to Holger Elfes of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Puma said Bolt will play a "pivotal role" in the company's marketing for the '12 London Games, with plans to start the London campaign early next year. Puma officials declined to provide specifics but said the value of the new contract is "by far the largest ever given to a track & field athlete." The company first sponsored Bolt in '03 when he was 16 years old, and this year it introduced the "Bolt Collection," a range of "apparel, footwear and accessories co-designed with the sprinter" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/24). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Roger Blitz reports Bolt is believed to have earned around $1.5M annually from Puma, but "experts believe this new deal will take him into a much higher bracket, on a par with the likes of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo." Bolt receives a share of sales from the Bolt Collection, and an "element of his earnings from Puma is related to his performance" (FT.com, 8/24).

    TRULY A LIGHTNING BOLT: SPORT.co.uk's Andrew Allen reported Inter Milan F Samuel Eto'o has joined forces" with Bolt to "launch Puma's latest football boot dubbed 'the lightest in the world.'" The Puma v1.10 SL Lightning will be released in a limited quantity of 2018 pairs and "features Jamaica's colours of yellow and green as well as the motto: Out of Many, One People" (SPORT.co.uk, 8/20). 

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  • Li-Ning Signs Evan Turner To Multiyear Deal To Become Face Of Brand

    Turner Will Have His Own Signature Li-Ning
    Shoe In Time For '11-12 NBA Season

    Li-Ning has signed 76ers G Evan Turner, the No. 2 pick in the '10 NBA Draft, "to a multi-year deal that will make him the face of the brand," according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Turner "will wear Li-Ning for his rookie season and will immediately appear in the company's marketing." He will have his "own signature shoe and apparel, which will be available globally, in his second year" in the NBA. Li-Ning "established a base for its U.S. business" in Portland, "where it also has its flagship store." The company "has previously signed" Celtics C Shaquille O'Neal and Clippers G Baron Davis (CNBC.com, 8/23). The company also "signed a 3-year deal" with Grizzlies C Hasheem Thabeet "after he was drafted second" in the '09 NBA Draft. Li-Ning's U.S. campaign "had been built around" Davis (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/24). Li-Ning Brand Initiative Dir for Basketball Brian Cupps said signing Turner is "monumental" for the brand. Cupps: "It shows that we're serious as an emerging brand here in the U.S. and the biggest thing is it has global implications." Cupps: "We're taking it slow here, really building the brand in the U.S. But more than anything, we're thinking globally as a brand and ... basketball is a great category to do it in. Certainly, Evan is a great addition to help us do that, to build our brand and continue to grow in China, but also introduce ourselves here in the U.S. market." Cupps noted Li-Ning currently is re-launching its brand with a new slogan, "Make the Chain." Meanwhile, Turner's agent David Falk said, "For Evan's goals of trying to have his own brand, have his own signature line and be global, this is really the right choice for him in the 21st century" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 8/23).

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  • Cut Off: ESPN Reportedly Will Block Jenn Brown-Icehouse Deal

    Brown Had Signed To Be The
    Face Of Icehouse Through '11

    MillerCoors Dir of Media Relations Julian Green indicated that ESPN "has decided to prohibit" reporter Jenn Brown from serving as a spokesperson for the brewer's Icehouse brand, according to Rich Rovito of the BUSINESS JOURNAL OF MILWAUKEE. Green said, "We have learned from sources at ESPN that the agreement is not moving forward as planned." Green did note, however, that MillerCoors "hasn’t received official word from Brown or her agent pertaining to the status of the deal, which ESPN initially approved." He added, "Until we hear from Brown or her agent, we believe we still have an approved deal." Rovito notes MillerCoors last week announced that it has hired Brown, primarily a college football and basketball reporter for ESPN, "to serve as the 'face and voice' of the Icehouse brand by appearing" in promotional and advertising programs through December '11. Green said that ESPN "historically has allowed its on-air employees to enter into outside deals provided they are approved by the network." He declined to comment on why ESPN "changed its mind about Brown's deal," and the network did not comment on the matter (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/24).

    A BAD IDEA: SI.com's Richard Deitsch yesterday wrote of Brown’s agreement with Icehouse, "If you are serious about making a name for yourself in newsgathering, you politely turn down this fame and money grab because students are involved." ESPN does not have "a formal policy regarding its talent endorsing commercial products," and the network "has long said that it evaluates each of the requests on an individual basis and makes a determination on it." An ESPN spokesperson prior to today’s announcement said, "While this request was approved, we are reviewing the matter internally." Deitsch: "The fact that ESPN is reviewing the matter is interesting, and the network would be wise to ask Brown to politely decline it" (SI.com, 8/23). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand noted ESPN announcers “have been beer endorsers” in the past, but “what's different about ESPN's Jenn Brown … is that she's specifically a reporter for college football and basketball” (USA TODAY, 8/23).

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  • UBS Becomes F1 Sponsor, Tying Into Launch Of New Global Campaign

     

    UBS and F1 officials yesterday announced a deal under which the bank "will become a global sponsor of the sport," according to Harry Wilson of the London TELEGRAPH. Details of the deal "were being kept under wraps," but two sources said that it "would cost the bank tens of millions pounds a year." One former motorsports marketer indicated that in the past, the "cost of sponsoring an individual team for a season was about" US$38M, while "supporting just one race could cost between" around $7-31M. A UBS spokesperson "would not comment on how long the arrangement would last for, with the bank saying it had signed a 'long-term partnership.'" Wilson notes in recent years, the banking industry's relationship with F1 "has been more noteworthy for the firms that have pulled their sponsorship than for new entrants." Royal Bank of Scotland "had been a major sponsor of the sport up until its collapse, while Dutch financial group ING was another to sever its financial ties in the wake of the global banking crisis." UBS' decision to sponsor F1 "ties in with the launch of its new 'we will not rest' marketing campaign designed by French advertising agency Publicis" (London TELEGRAPH, 8/24). BRAND REPUBLIC's John Reynolds notes the new UBS global campaign "kicks off this week and will initially launch in UBS's domestic market of Switzerland and across Asia Pacific." The campaign, which "runs across TV print, and online, will then roll out across the rest of Europe and the U.S." The TV ad features "footage of achievers," including Neil Armstrong, under the title "The First," Muhammad Ali as "The Greatest" and Steve McQueen as "The Coolest" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 8/24).

    JOINING TOGETHER: MARKETING magazine's Ed Kemp reports the "top 100 Formula 1 sponsors have clubbed together to form an alliance aimed at maximising their return" on the US$705M that they "invest in the sport each year." The F100 organization "will promote the interests of leading global brands, including Diageo, Puma, and Vodafone, by communicating directly with F1's ruling bodies." The first meeting is "set to take place in London on 1 September, with sponsors LG, SAP and Shell setting the agenda." F1 teams "will also be in attendance, including delegates from McLaren, Red Bull, Williams and Lotus" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/24).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Papa John's Launching Promotion Where Contest
    Winner Would Get Delivery From Cris Carter

    Papa John's is launching a fantasy football promotion -- dubbed "Fantasy to Reality" -- in conjunction with the start of the NFL regular season. The NFL's official pizza sponsor is "looking to recognize the best fantasy football league," with members of the winning league earning a trip to the '11 NFL Draft. Papa John's also is letting fantasy players register for a chance to have ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter deliver pizza to their league on Sept. 9, the opening night of the NFL season (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/23). The leagues will be registered through Papa John's Facebook page and "will be judged through a mix of serious and playful categories." Papa John's Senior Dir of Advertising & Promotions Melissa Richards-Person said that the company "is still working with the NFL on the details and who will be doing the judging" (MARKETING DAILY, 8/24 issue).

    CROSSING FINGERS: In Portland, Steve Brandon reported "negotiations are underway on a new contract that would keep Safeway as the title sponsor of Portland's LPGA tour stop." Tournament Golf Foundation, which runs the annual event, is "hoping to nail down another multi-year deal." Safeway and TGF are in the third year of a contract that had two years and an option year. TGF President Tom Maletis said that "a new agreement probably would be of similar length" (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 8/21).

    PARTYING LOCALLY: Duffy's Sports Grill and the Marlins on Monday announced a deal for the restaurant to become the Official Sports Grill of the team. The partnership includes co-branded marketing initiatives, giveaways and special events at all 22 Duffy's locations and Sun Life Stadium through Oct. '11. Duffy's also recently partnered with the Dolphins and the NHL Panthers (Duffy's).

    BUILT FORD TOUGH: Region Area Ford Dealers and Bristol Motor Speedway have announced an extension of their official vehicle sponsorship partnership that now runs through ’14. The dealership group is in the second of a three-year deal that was signed in ‘09 (Ford).

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