Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
SBD/Issue 238/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
The football marketplace -- both college and pro -- will bring in more advertising revenue for CBS this season than ever before. The network is 90% sold out of its NFL inventory through the playoffs this season, and its SEC schedule is virtually sold out. "The marketplace has been extraordinarily strong," said CBS Sports Exec VP/Sales & Marketing John Bogusz. "The market has moved earlier and volume is up. This is the most significant buying that we've ever booked." The biggest category is autos, with Chrysler, Toyota and GM increasing their spending. Telecom -- particularly AT&T, Sprint and Verizon -- and insurance also are big spending categories, Bogusz said. Ad sales on the NFL and college football are much more robust than elsewhere in media. "It's a flight to quality," said CBS Senior VP/NFL Sales Tony Taranto. "You have to spend your money somewhere. If you have $5, you're going to have to spend $3 on sports."
Puma Plans To Launch A Signature Clothing
Line Based On Bolt's Famous Stance
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt "might be earning close" to $10M per year through his new four-year sponsorship deal with Puma, according to sources cited by Andre Lowe of the JAMAICA GLEANER. Puma did not disclose the value of the contract, which runs through '13, but "stressed that it was by far the largest ever given to a track-and-field athlete." Bolt's reps would neither confirm nor deny the $10M annual figure, but "squarely denied reports" that the contract was worth $400M, "a figure they labelled as an impossible amount" (JAMAICA GLEANER, 8/25). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Roger Blitz notes Bolt is "thought to have earnings" around $1.5M under his current deal. Puma Chair & CEO Jochen Zeitz said, "I know pretty much what's being paid for sports stars. Given his tremendous performance in the last few years, there was a significant increase in the contract" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/25). Caribbean telecom provider LIME Chair Chris Dehring said that there is "no reason to believe Bolt was being short-changed." He said, "The reality is if Nike and the others saw more value in him they would pay more, so it's nonsense to think that he is under-paid. ... If he really is worth more, he would be getting more" (JAMAICA OBSERVER, 8/25).
NOT TEMPTED BY OTHER OFFERS: Bolt yesterday said that he "turned down interest from rival sports manufacturing companies in favour of Puma." Bolt: "Yeah, definitely, definitely, (others) were interested. But for me Puma is the No1 in my book. We've been together for years now, they are my family so I don't want to start with a new family." The GUARDIAN's Anna Kessel reports Puma will "launch a new clothing line" based on Bolt's signature "To Di World" stance, comparable to Michael Jordan's "Jumpman" logo. Bolt: "It's all about fashion. I'm trying to do different things, I'm trying to change the sport up pretty much. The plan was to change different shirts everywhere I run. Next season we have the option of getting somebody in the country that I travel to to design a shirt for me and I'll compete in it." Zeitz believes that Bolt "could achieve a similar profile to David Beckham" (GUARDIAN, 8/25).
MY WAY IS NOT THE HIGHWAY: The JAMAICA GLEANER's Lowe reports almost a year since Jamaica officials announced their intent to rename a section of Highway 2000 in the country in honor of Bolt, the sprinter has "asked that the decision be deferred." Bolt's reps this week reportedly sent a letter to Jamaica's Ministry of Youth, Culture & Sports, "outlining the reasons behind the decision and also stating that the party remains open to discussions regarding the matter" (JAMAICA GLEANER, 8/25).
Tiger Woods Collection Accounts
For About 10% Of Nike's Golf Sales
As Tiger Woods' on-course performance "slumps, so have sales of his apparel line through Nike" at retail locations, including Golfsmith Int'l Holdings, Roger Dunn Golf Shops and Golf Discount Superstore, according to Alex Sherman of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Nike does not disclose sales for the Tiger Woods Collection, but the company gets about 10% of its golf sales from the Woods brand, whose "shirts, jackets and pants are among the most expensive clothing" Nike sells. While total golf apparel sales increased 11% over the first six months of this year, Golfsmith CEO Martin Hanaka said that Woods' line's "volume through the first half dropped 7.5 percent from a year earlier" at the retailer's 72 stores. Hanaka: "The Tiger effect has been negative this year. Fortunately, other Nike products and other brands have been doing well, so we've been able to overcome it." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that Nike's apparel sales increased 13% for the second quarter and that its golf apparel sales "also have climbed about that much this year." Nike is now selling the fall '10 men's collection on its website and the "cover boy" is not Woods but golfer Stewart Cink. Powell said that Nike "hasn't discounted its Woods Collection apparel and probably won't." Hanaka indicated that "Golfsmith also has no plans to lower prices for the brand" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/24). Sherman noted, "If Woods wins next year, if he starts to pile up the victories, over and over again, I kept hearing consumers will come back to his brand. But this year the combination of the newness of his personal transgressions and the losing I think is what's keeping those sagging sales where they are" (Bloomberg TV, 8/24).
JUST WIN ALREADY: CNBC's Darren Rovell said of Woods' marketability, "I don't think that divorce itself does anything. I think the biggest effect on his brand is he has to go back to playing like the No. 1 player in the world. He already lost three endorsements and the major problem is, besides Electronic Arts -- who has used him but game sales are down about 34% -- none of his other partners can start using him until he wins again. That's the more comfortable transition. Nike still doesn't have him on NikeGolf.com and Gillette hasn't started using him again. ... If he doesn't play well at The Barclays, it's going to be remarkable that we could see him not win for an entire year, and that means for the marketers that have stood by him that they would not have used him for an entire year." ESPN's Doug Gottlieb said, "If there is one lesson we have learned from the past it's if you win, for the most part, people are going to forget" ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN2, 8/24).
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Deutsch Inc. Chair & CEO Donny Deutsch said now that Elin Nordegren is officially divorced from Woods, she could become the "anti-Tiger" from an endorsement standpoint. Deutsch: "It will be an interesting thing whereas Tiger is Nike, all of a sudden she becomes adidas. Certainly it would be great press around that." Nordegren comes out of the divorce a "very empathetic, strong, likeable figure. Where she goes from here is up to her." Woods can "now redefine his brand and be the bachelor ... and do a little more risqué advertising. He's certainly not Mr. Clean anymore" ("Entertainment Tonight," 8/24).
Nike Unveils U.S. Open Outfits For
Sharapova, Nadal And Federer
Top tennis players "will be serving up fashion aces when they hit the court in Nike at the U.S. Open, which starts Monday," according to Alison Maxwell of USA TODAY. Nike Global Tennis Creative Dir Janice Lucena said, "Designing for the Open is a unique experience because there is a bit more glamour, given the proximity to New York. Everything about the Open, from the size of the stadium to the night matches, adds a little more drama, and we like to use that in our designs and to go a little further from tradition." Maxwell writes Maria Sharapova's dress for night matches "takes on a sophisticated edge," while Lucena said that her day ensemble "represents the all-American look of the polo collar re-created as a flirty dress." Lucena said for Rafael Nadal's day matches, Nike "wanted to amplify color by choosing a super-high-voltage color called hot lime for his fitted V-neck." Nadal for night matches "will wear head-to-toe black to spotlight his footwear." Lucena noted Nike for Roger Federer's day and night outfits took inspiration from the "traditional blue collar/white collar shirts that personify the spirit of New York" (USA TODAY, 8/25).
INSPIRED BY THE APPLE: In N.Y., Marc Berman reports Venus Williams, who designs her own clothing as part of her EleVen line, "plans to unveil two knockout numbers in Flushing after drawing raised eyebrows at Wimbledon." Williams: "It's so much different than the rest of the tennis dresses. It's very New York. ... It's louder, more in your face, a little more sexy" (N.Y. POST, 8/25).
ESPN Originally Gave Its
Approval To Brown's Deal
ESPN last night confirmed that it has blocked reporter Jenn Brown's partnership with Icehouse beer. ESPN had originally approved Brown's multiyear deal with Icehouse, which called for her to become the new face of the MillerCoors brand. Brown's affiliation with the brewer, however, came into question because she primarily covers college football and basketball for ESPN. An ESPN spokesperson in an e-mail said, "I can confirm the Jenn Brown Icehouse promotion is no longer" (Brian Helfrich, THE DAILY). SPORTS BY BROOKS cited an ESPN source as saying that Brown "was approached by MillerCoors for the deal earlier this year and before proceeding, sought approval" from ESPN officials, who "subsequently approved the deal." Once the deal was announced last week, however, ESPN "upper management previously unaware of the arrangement nixed the association." ESPN sources indicated that network execs were "uncomfortable with having a college football 'reporter' endorse beer" (SPORTSBYBROOKS.com, 8/24). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes ESPN nixing the deal was a "no-brainer" in this case. There no longer is "much hubbub over sportscasters -- such as ESPN's Mike Ditka, who appears in current beer ads -- pushing booze." But Brown "is a reporter -- not one of ESPN's pontificating personalities who also star in ads -- and, more important, she'll largely appear on college football and basketball." Hiestand writes after ESPN "aired its midsummer LeBron James infomercial and now that it has grown so big it can expect to have any one of its on-air personalities in a scandal or legal scrape at any time, it's good to see some things are still out of bounds." For ESPN, which "vets its announcers' outside gigs, it's an especially good time to think responsibly" (USA TODAY, 8/25).
Cereal For NFL Player
Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports and Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco have created Ochocinco's cereal, according to Steve Watkins of the BUSINESS COURIER OF CINCINNATI. Ochocinco will introduce the cereal Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 11:30am ET at the Kroger Marketplace store in Newport, Ky. The cereal's box "features a picture of No. 85 wearing his Bengals jersey and holding up two giant O-shaped pieces of the honey nut toasted cereal." The product marks Ochocinco's "latest venture into the nation's conscience," as he "appeared on ABC's 'Dancing With the Stars' last spring and then went into the reality TV dating business with 'Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch' on VH1 during the summer." Watkins noted PLB Sports "has been at this athlete-cereal game for a while," and its "best-known product in that arena was Flutie Flakes," created in '98 featuring then-Bills QB Doug Flutie (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/24). CNBC.com's Darren Rovell reported the cereal will be "sold exclusively at Cincinnati-area Kroger's," as well as on the PLB Sports website. PLB Sports President & CEO Ty Ballou said that a "successful run would be to sell 100,000 boxes, but if the Bengals make it to the Super Bowl, he could imagine hitting the 1 million mark." PLB Sports sold close to 3 million boxes of Flutie Flakes, and Ballou said that he is "not counting out Ochocinco -- who is a social media magnet -- from the sales record books" (CNBC.com, 8/24). The CINCINNATI ENQUIRER writes Ochocinco "has become a marketing machine." He "has a way of making the news for his on-and-off field antics, and has been sticking his hand in cookie jars across entertainment and social media" (CINCINNATI.com, 8/25).
In Minneapolis, Zulgad & Scoggins report the Vikings have "added an advertising patch for Verizon on the shoulders of their practice jerseys." The patch is an extension of the team's existing partnership with Verizon (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/25). Meanwhile, in Houston, Dale Robertson reports the Texans were "sporting Comcast logos on their practice jerseys for the first time Monday, and they'll stay there until the players return from their off week at the end of October." Comcast has been a Texans sponsor since '07 and was the "presenting sponsor for this summer's training camp" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/25).
BACK IN BLACK: In Colorado Springs, Brian Gomez reports a "handful of recent sponsorship deals have padded the pocketbook" of the USOC, which reported yesterday that it has generated $110M in revenue since Scott Blackmun took over as CEO in January. The USOC "boasts a growing stable of corporate partners, with first-time agreements with BP, BMW, Dow Chemical and Procter & Gamble and a renewal with Jet Set Sports, offsetting the loss of Bank of America and The Home Depot" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 8/25).
Deutsche Bank Officials Optimistic Renewal
Of Golf Tourney Will Come Soon
LOOKING FOR A NEW PARTNER: Pilot Pen Tennis officials said that their goal in searching for a new title sponsor for the New Haven, Conn., event is to "begin negotiations during the U.S. Open and, if all goes well, announce the new title sponsor before it ends Sept. 12." Tournament Dir Anne Worcester said that event officials are "looking for a commitment of $10 million over five years." Worcester added, "Based on the prospects, I'm cautiously optimistic. They're asking all the right questions, and I'd like to think tennis will return to Connecticut in 2011 -- and beyond" (ESPN.com, 8/24).