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SBD/Issue 245/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
By Michael Smith, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal
Nationwide Insurance announced Friday that it will be the presenting sponsor of Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament beginning next year, but the insurance carrier will no longer be the title sponsor of the PGA Tour's developmental tour after its contract runs out in '12. Nationwide will work with the Tour to find a replacement, meaning the contract between the Tour and Nationwide could end before '12 if there's a new title partner on board. Nationwide's sponsorship of the Memorial will run for six years and make the Columbus, Ohio, insurance carrier the first local company to sponsor the Dublin, Ohio-based Memorial in the tournament's 35-year history.
Environmental Activists Felt The Nike Ad
Endorses A Controversial Form Of Strip Mining
Nike said Thursday that it “will modify a graphic depicting a mountaintop removal mine” from an ad for West Virginia Univ.'s football uniform after “angry environmentalists objected" to the promotion, according to Vicki Smith of the AP. Nike said that its ad for WVU's black-and-white Pro Combat uniform was "designed to honor the heritage of coal mining and 29 men killed in the April explosion at Upper Big Branch mine.” Environmental activists, however, had a problem with the “depiction of a mountaintop removal mine behind the image of a player, complete with flat, treeless mountaintop, the sound of an explosion and the image of falling rock.” The activists argued that the ad “appeared to be a tacit endorsement of the controversial form of strip mining.” WVU athletic department officials, who reviewed the ad in advance, said in an e-mail, “The intent was for the player on the field to be surrounded by coal and not as an endorsement of any one form of mining technology." WVU will wear the coal-themed uniform just once this season, against Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 (AP, 9/2).
BLACKED OUT: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes Virginia Tech's football team for its season-opener against Boise State on Monday will "wear all-black uniforms" for the first time, "no doubt on Nike's money-on-a-stick orders." Virginia Tech's school colors are orange and maroon, but "such traditions can’t survive the combination of money-first TV and sneaker company demands and marketing blueprints." Mushnick notes uniform colors have been changed to "lure college recruits more concerned with what colors they wear than what they major in," and the "addition of all-black Nike Combat uniforms to Virginia Tech's wardrobe is particularly revolting" (N.Y. POST, 9/3).
Alaska Airlines Deal Also Includes Lead
Sponsorship Rights To Timbers' Youth Soccer
Alaska Airlines announced Thursday that it has signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the Portland Timbers as the team's official airline ahead of its MLS debut in '11. The deal includes a logo appearing on the team's jerseys, making Alaska Airlines the first airline jersey sponsor in the 15-year history of MLS. The Timbers in December will unveil their gameday uniforms and training wear featuring the logo (Alaska Air Group). The multiyear deal includes lead sponsorship rights to Timbers youth soccer camps (PORTLANDTRIBUNE.com, 9/2). Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson said that the team “targeted Alaska as a potential major sponsor a long time ago.” Paulson: “We wanted to do a deal with a local company that has a big local presence.” He added that while the team “would prefer to develop sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses” such as its recent agreement with Burgerville, he “wouldn’t rule out a connection with a national company.” In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold noted the “other significant Timbers sponsorship still to be determined is the sale of naming rights” for their stadium. Portland General Electric's 10-year deal to sponsor the facility, currently a ballpark known as PGE Park, expires later this year. Team officials said that “they are in negotiations with a few businesses on that matter” (OREGONLIVE.com, 9/2). Paulson predicted that the team “will reach the 10,000-season ticket mark by the end of the year” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/2).
Deutsche Bank Has Title Sponsored The
Boston-Area Tournament Since Its Inception In '03
The PGA Tour and Deutsche Bank Thursday announced that the bank has exercised a two-year option to continue its sponsorship of the Deutsche Bank Championship through '12. Also, EMC Corp. has increased its involvement with the tournament to become a local presenting sponsor for the next two years. EMC has been a Founders Club Partner since the event's inception in '03 (PGA Tour/Deutsche Bank). The announcement contradicts a report earlier this week claiming EMC "was set to take over title sponsorship of the event." Deutsche Bank has title sponsored the tourney since it began (BOSTON.com, 9/2). Deutsche Bank Americas CEO Seth Waugh Thursday said that he "considers the tournament 'a home run' since it made its PGA Tour debut in 2003, and says he's committed to keeping the tournament in Boston long-term" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 9/2). Similarly, EMC spokesperson Patrick Cooley said that the Massachusetts-based company "sees the sponsorship as a way to help an event that drives capital to local businesses over Labor Day weekend, and also contributes to local charities." Cooley noted that "in exchange for the increase in funding, EMC gets increased hosting and hospitality benefits" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/3).
TEEING OFF: Waugh christened Deutsch Bank's two-year contract renewal with the PGA Tour by playing 18 holes with Tiger Woods Thursday in the Deutsch Bank Championship pro-am in Boston. Waugh spoke with SportsBusiness Journal writer Michael Smith about the renewal.
Q: What was at the root of the decision to renew?
Waugh: Great experiences, years of great returns. The whole reason we did this was to be with clients in unique ways and to brand ourselves at a time when we thought it was especially important. It's still important as we go through this crisis to be in front of clients. Why walk away from such a great experience?
Q: Another local company, EMC, has joined as a presenting sponsor. Was Deutsche Bank involved with bringing it on?
Waugh: That was me. We've had a very good relationship, we're a client of theirs and they're a client of ours. I made one call and that was pretty much it. I thought they could help us raise the bar. They had been a founding partner and now they're the presenting sponsor. At end of day, we want to make sure there's golf in New England for a long time and they can be a great partner.
Q: Did you get a commission?
Waugh: No (laughs), but we've had a great relationship with the Tour and we all agreed that bringing them in at an elevated level was a great idea.
Q: How much of the sponsorship is pure branding, how much is location as a Boston-based bank and how much of it is the hospitality?
Waugh: Initially it was branding. This was at a time (2003) that we were launching the brand in the U.S. People didn't know us and our goal was to have the U.S. become 40 to 45 percent of our business. The client piece is really important. We had 16 foursomes in the pro-am, three clients with one person from Deutsche Bank. It's a way to spend the day with people in a different environment. The relationships pay for this thing overnight.
Q: Ever catch much grief about sponsoring golf and has the climate changed?
Waugh: When there's a need for economic activity, you shouldn't be stopping.
I know some people look at golf as a boondoggle of whatever, but at the end of day, it's a serious branding exercise, a serious client exercise, a serious charitable exercise. I was told by my mentor that the best thing you can do for world is create a job. When you look at the economic impact of this tournament, we've created a few jobs. We're not cutting back.
Ford Marketer Indicates The Company Will Not
Advertise During February's Super Bowl XLV
Ford Group VP/Global Marketing, Sales & Service Jim Farley "seems intent for Ford to stay on the sidelines" next February for another Super Bowl, but GM VP/U.S. Marketing Joel Ewanick has "already signaled a different game plan," according to Dale Buss of BRANDCHANNEL.com. Farley contends that the Super Bowl has "faded in significance for auto advertisers." He said the Super Bowl "doesn't matter." Ford instead has been "scoring big points lately with online and social-media campaigns." A Ford spokesperson sought to clarify Farley's comments, saying, "One ad in the Super Bowl doesn’t guarantee that the brand will improve. The point that Jim was making was that we’re taking a more holistic approach to our communications strategy that goes beyond one Super Bowl ad." Rival automaker GM, however, will advertise in Super Bowl XLV after a two-year absence from the game, and Ewanick "plans to use the occasion as the big stage for his new branding campaign for Chevrolet." Ewanick indicated that he "wants to get Chevrolet back into the business of emotionally connecting with consumers, and still there may be no better way to do that than pulling off a bravura Super Bowl turn" (BRANDCHANNEL.com, 8/30). When asked if Ford plans to advertise during the Super Bowl, Farley said, "It really doesn't matter. Super Bowl doesn't matter" (AUTOMOTIVE NEWS, 8/30 issue).
Febreze Has Been An Official Sponsor Of The
NFL Since '09 As Part Of Procter & Gamble Deal
Febreze is directing its NFL marketing "at women, and if there is one gender stereotype being debunked, it’s that women are not football fans,” according to Andrew Adam Newman of the N.Y. TIMES. Febreze, an NFL sponsor since '09 as part of a larger Procter & Gamble deal, has launched a new TV commercial featuring a woman "in a football jersey spraying her living room with Febreze." Nielsen estimated that female TV viewers constituted 33% of the average NFL game audience last season. Febreze Brand Manager Scott Beal said, “Our female target audience is watching the NFL and gathering her family and friends for that football-watching experience.” Beal added men were a “subtarget” for marketing of Febreze Sport, which was introduced last year and claims to “neutralize sweat odors” from shoes and sports equipment. He noted that the spray, "ads for which began appearing last year in Men's Health magazine, is being stocked in the lockers of NFL players, and last season it was often glimpsed in locker room interviews on ESPN.” Newman notes a customized Febreze bus will visit NFL stadiums throughout the season as part of the Febreze Game Day Freshness tour. Olivia Manning, mother of Colts QB Peyton Manning and Giants QB Eli Manning, is a "spokesperson for the tour, including the first stop in her hometown of New Orleans on Sept. 9" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/3).
BETTER INGREDIENTS: In Louisville, Jere Downs reports Papa John’s ads will run during NBC’s “Football Night In America,” as well as commercials featuring Papa John’s Founder John Schnatter alongside Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and Redskins Owner Dan Snyder. The first ads will air Sept. 12 before the Cowboys-Redskins game and “customized pizza boxes” will be branded “Make Every Sunday Night a Papa John’s Night.” The company, an official sponsor of the NFL, also will sponsor ESPN’s “NFL Primetime” and “Fantasy Football Now” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/3).
In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin stars in a new DC-area commercial for Capital One, and it "isn't the only television ad" he taped for the company, which has "launched a campaign to raise awareness of its integration of Chevy Chase Bank." Another spot, co-starring Redskins QB Donovan McNabb, "will be on the air by mid-September." Ovechkin and McNabb also will "be part of the print campaign Capital One will continue to roll out this month." IMG Global Consulting Managing Dir, Senior VP & Head David Abrutyn, whose firm reps Ovechkin, said, "There's definitely some more visible things that will be coming as they move forward with the marketing plan" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/2).
FLIGHT CANCELLED: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., has determined that the Ravens' use of the "Flying B" logo "in videos it sells violates Frederick E. Bouchat's copyright, and has asked a federal court in Baltimore to reconsider an injunction." Bouchat, a security guard in Baltimore, "successfully sued the Ravens in 1998 after claiming they had stolen his idea for the logo." The appeals court Thursday ruled that the "use of the logo in historical displays could continue but questioned whether its depiction in commercial products should be allowed" (Baltimore SUN, 9/3).
GRIN & BEAR IT: Fifth Third Bank announced Thursday that it has become an official sponsor of the Univ. of Cincinnati's football team as part of a deal that includes a "major presence at Nippert Stadium, including ATM machines." The partnership, "negotiated through Bearcat Sports Marketing, the multimedia rights partner for UC athletics, will begin with the 2010 season." Fifth Third also supports UC's Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex (CINCINNATI.com, 9/2).
Charlotte Buses Will Carry Information, Logos
For Three Local October NASCAR Races
RIDING THE BUS: Charlotte Motor Speedway is incorporating the Charlotte Area Transit System bus fleet in a new one-month ad campaign to "promote the track's NASCAR races next month." The effort will begin in mid-September and runs through mid-October ahead of the Oct. 16 Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500. Using wraparound ads, the track's campaign "will make the buses look like jumbo stock cars." The effort will generate $6,000 for the transit system (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/2). The buses will "carry ticket information and logos for three NASCAR events at the speedway" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/3).
CAN YOU FEEL THE ELECTRICITY? Sharp has "become a UEFA partner to the end of 2013," covering the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine. The deal makes Sharp the "exclusive partner in the audiovisual equipment and solar-related products categories." The brand is "planning to advertise its Aquos LCD televisions and solar-related products around the tournament" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 9/2).