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PepsiCo today announced that it will air three ads during Fox' coverage of Super Bowl XLV for both its Doritos and Pepsi Max brands, and all six 30-second spots will be consumer-generated commercials. The three ads for Doritos matches the brand's effort during Super Bowl XLIV, but PepsiCo for the first time will extend the consumer-driven campaign to one of its beverages. This marks the first time Doritos and Pepsi Max have partnered for Super Bowl activation (PepsiCo). USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz notes PepsiCo will "flaunt its struggling Pepsi Max product" just one year "after spurning the Super Bowl to focus on online social media." The six total spots for the two brands during the Feb. 6 broadcast "will make PepsiCo one of the game's biggest ad spenders." Pepsi Max will join Doritos in "offering up to $5 million in prizes to consumers who create ads that win, or finish high, in USA Today's annual Super Bowl Ad Meter." Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D'Ermilio noted the network has sold more than 90% of ad slots for the game, and Horovitz writes, "For now, Pepsi's return stands out as the Super Bowl's most compelling marketing story." Beverage Digest Editor & Publisher John Sicher: "It's a very big deal that Pepsi's back in. The campaign will automatically get tremendous exposure." Horovitz notes for Pepsi Max, the "high-profile move is about focusing its somewhat confusing image." A new campaign has "helped sales, but it still lags behind more successful rival Coke Zero" (USA TODAY, 9/15). PepsiCo Beverages Americas CMO Jill Beraud: "We are restaging the Pepsi Max brand and putting a tremendous amount of resources behind it, and we couldn't think of a better place to get that message out" (ADAGE.com, 9/15). Bloomberg TV's Michele Steele notes PepsiCo execs claim the ad buy "will make it one of the biggest ad spenders of the Super Bowl." Meanwhile, GM "also plans to resume Super Bowl advertising" this year (Bloomberg TV, 9/15).
GETTING INTO SHAPE: GoDaddy Founder & CEO Bob Parsons said that he is "negotiating with Fox" for two spots during its Super Bowl telecast, which would mark the online company's seventh-consecutive appearance on the game broadcast. GoDaddy yesterday signed "The Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels to a three-year sponsorship deal, and when asked if the company will pair her with Danica Patrick in a Super Bowl spot, Parsons said, "I'm working on it. We have until February to figure that out" (USA TODAY, 9/15).
Front Row Motorsports is suing former driver Kevin Conway and his sponsor Biotab Nutraceuticals, which sells male enhancement product Extenze, "over alleged non-payment of part of a $5.4 million sponsorship deal for Conway to drive a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in 2010," according to Bob Pockrass of SCENEDAILY.com. The lawsuit "asks for damages to cover the $2.754 million that will eventually be due under the terms of the contract, payment of $734,201 in sponsorship fees, hard card fees, race licenses and other expenses for services rendered and $135,000 advanced to Conway as part of his base compensation." The complaint, filed Monday in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, indicated that Extenze "was to pay Conway’s marketing company Exclaim $5.4 million in 50 weekly installments of $108,000, and that money was then to be sent to the race team." The $5.4M "was designed to cover the first 15 races, and then Extenze would have the option of funding the remaining 21 events through revenues generated by a product placement contract." The deal between Conway and Front Row "went sour during the summer, according to the complaint, when Exclaim allegedly began paying only half of its $108,000 payments beginning June 21." Front Row "notified Conway on Aug. 8 that he would not be back in the car beginning with the Aug. 15 race at Michigan if his sponsor could not pay its $108,000 weekly fee" (SCENEDAILY.com, 9/14).
ON A ROUGH ROAD: The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's Tom Sorensen, when asked what Hendrick Motorsports not yet securing a primary sponsor for Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Chevy for next season says about the state of NASCAR, writes the sport is "in free fall, as Jeff Gordon, the networks and the fans, will attest." NASCAR has "taken a bigger TV ratings and attendance hit than any other major sport. New fans have abandoned it. Old fans feel as if they were abandoned by it" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/15).
ALONG FOR THE RIDE: Machining technology company Okuma will serve as an associate sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 9 car driven by Scott Dixon and No. 10 car driven by Dario Franchitti during the '11 Izod IndyCar Series season. The company also will sponsor CGR's No. 01 car driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (CGR).
The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) has allowed the NBA Kings to place a “huge advertisement featuring players Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins ... free of charge" on the organization's West Sacramento HQs along I-5, according to Jim Sanders of the SACRAMENTO BEE. CalSTRS spokesperson Patrick Hill said that the banner, "standing more than 10 stories tall, and 65 feet wide," was installed "on the east side of the building and will be removed in late November at no cost to the state as part of a community campaign to be announced Thursday." The banner "refers passers-by to a Kings' website, www.herewerise.com." Kings VP/Marketing & Communications Mitch Germann said that the banner is the team's "largest-ever" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/15).
Sabres G Ryan Miller donned the photographer’s vest on Wednesday afternoon, snapping photos that will appear on VanityFair.com. Miller, who is an amateur photographer, shot fellow players Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist, Lightning C Steven Stamkos, Kings D Drew Doughty and Bruins C Patrice Bergeron on an outdoor balcony of the Hudson Hotel in N.Y. The players were outfitted in suits by designer John Varvatos, as well as commemorative ties and T-shirts that are part of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer campaign. The photos, which will likely run in early October in conjunction with the start of the NHL regular season, were part of the NHL’s Player Media Tour. The NHL invited 20 players to the Hudson Hotel for three days of promo interviews and photo shoots with the league’s rights holders such as Versus, ESPN America, the CBC and TSN, as well as invited media such as Sports Illustrated and USA Today. The NHL took over four floors of the hotel, and also conducted shoots in Harlem and N.Y.’s Meatpacking District. NHL Exec VP/Marketing Brian Jennings said of the three-day meeting, “It’s invaluable. This takes our top 20 guys and puts them into a position to give our rights holders access to tell the stories and connect the fans with players in ways we could never imagine.” He said of Miller's stint behind the camera, “Ryan has this love of photography, and it’s not unlike him to stretch himself in different ways and get involved.” Miller’s shoot followed a Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot yesterday with Penguins C Sidney Crosby and Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin that will run in conjunction with the ‘11 Winter Classic.
Saints RB Reggie Bush yesterday forfeited his '05 Heisman Trophy, and CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd wrote Bush was practicing "classic damage control." Dodd: "Controlling damage to his reputation. Translation: endorsements. Bush had become such a tragic figure that it was wearing on his member-in-good-standing status as a Kardashian-dating, part-time playing, Super Bowl-ring wearing celebutant. ... Had Bush let this drag on, he would have begun to be defined by it, especially by the folks who are always looking for jocks to hawk their products" (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/14). But ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said he did not believe the scandal is "going to affect him." Kornheiser: "When he walked into the pros he had more endorsements than anybody other than a big-time quarterback, and he's already got a ring" ("PTI," ESPN, 9/14).
DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST: In Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. reports the Bronko Nagurski Award, given annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club to college football's defensive player of the year, "has signed a four-year agreement" with North Carolina-based telecommunications company ACN to be the trophy's presenting sponsor. The six-figure deal will "enhance the club's financial commitment to area schools while also broadcasting the award show on a syndicated national television network beginning in 2011." Charlotte Touchdown Club Exec Dir John Rocco said that it is "too late for the Nagurski presentation to be televised this year but, beginning in 2011, the award will be featured in a 30-minute show that will air across the nation within one week of its presentation in early December" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/15).
MAKING A STATEMENT: MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Reynolds, Eggerton, Spangler & Gibbons note DirecTV's current series of ads for the NFL Sunday Ticket package "has centered, rather amusingly, on displaced fans being able to watch their team in their rivals' home markets and on multiple devices." Creative in the current campaign "has played off of the feuds between" the Patriots and Dolphins, Giants and Cowboys and Redskins and Cowboys. But "Cake," the latest entry, "harkens to the ongoing contretemps between the top satellite-TV provider and cable." The spot "underscores the rivalry between DirecTV and cable," as the "hardly collegial 'Cake' takes a shot at cable, telco video providers and the league itself, the takeaway being that the Ticket's alternative, NFL Network's NFL RedZone scoring and highlights channel, is inferior and unsatisfying" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 9/13 issue).