SBD/October 19, 2010/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
Watch This Wrangler Spot Featuring Brett Favre
Wrangler spokesperson Rick French yesterday indicated that the jeans brand is "scaling back on its run" of commercials featuring Vikings QB Brett Favre not due to the controversy surrounding him but because the company "had previously planned to do so,” according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Sponsorship evaluation firm Front Row Analytics found that "no Brett Favre Wrangler ads ran this Sunday during NFL broadcasts." But French said, “No Wrangler ads featuring Brett Favre were pulled from NFL telecasts [Sunday]. None were scheduled to run. We continue to run our Wrangler Five Star jeans ads featuring Brett on multiple networks and will continue to do so pending the outcome of the NFL investigation.” French added that the Favre spots “haven’t run on NFL telecasts this year, except for last Monday night” during the Vikings-Jets game and “two other Monday night games.” He noted that Wrangler was running the Favre spots “on the pregame and postgame shows in previous weeks and did not run them this past Sunday.” French said that the “decision was made before the season to run fewer ads from mid-October through mid-November, to save money for the holiday season.” He also acknowledged that the company “ran a heavier volume of Dale Earnhardt Jr. spots this weekend, but that also wasn’t as a result of Favre’s scandal” (CNBC.com, 10/18). ESPN’s Michelle Beadle asked, “What is he guilty of? Allegedly doing something we have no idea about." She added, "Nike stood by Tiger. They released the commercial with his dad afterwards. They stood by their guy." ESPN's Colin Cowherd: "If this goes another two or three days, it's going to start to feel like people are picking on Favre. There's nothing there. … The NFL has got to make a decision. Listen, if there's something, bury him for it. If not, get away (“SportsNation,” ESPN2, 10/18).
CRISIS MANAGEMENT 101: FOXSPORTS.com's Jason Whitlock writes, "Brett Favre is in the process of writing a book on how celebrity athletes should deal with a sexual crisis that accentuates a professional one. You admit nothing, apologize even less and do whatever is necessary to showcase the God-given talent that made you a star in the first place." Dealing with "expectations and drowning in scandal, Favre eschewed whatever pressure he was feeling Sunday and delivered a precise, mature and efficient response" in beating the Cowboys 24-21. With Jenn Sterger apparently refusing to cooperate with the NFL's investigation into whether Favre sent her inappropriate messages and photos, Favre is "just 24 hours and an obligatory, plead-the-fifth interview with a Goodell flunky away from being free of the off- and on-field messes that were on the brink of ruining his 20th (and final) NFL season" (FOXSPORTS.com, 10/19).
THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN': Deadspin.com broke the report about Favre sending the messages and photos, and in DC, Howard Kurtz wrote if the "sexting allegations against [Favre] are true, Deadspin may have performed an admittedly distasteful public service." Kurtz: "Private behavior has increasingly come under the media microscope. Many people feel it's none of our business, and perhaps they're right. ... But when charges are hurled and investigations launched, the situation becomes impossible to ignore." Kurtz added, "I don't want the New York Times devoting its resources to quarterback sexting. ... But a professional athlete hitting on a team employee is also news, regardless of who breaks it, and those of us in the so-called respectable press had better get used to it" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/18).
Turner Sports is “doing brisk business, crafting unique opportunities in and around its NBA on TNT telecasts with the likes of Hyundai, T-Mobile, Autotrader.com, Sprite, Kia Motors and the United States Marine Corps.,” according to Anthony Crupi of MEDIAWEEK. The company has “landed new sponsors in Kelloggs, BP Amoco and Under Armour.” In addition, Turner has “booked a number of first-timers on NBA TV, lining up deals for the league-owned network with Allstate, Arby’s, GameStop and Hanes.” Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Diament: “We’re pacing about 50 percent ahead of where we were this time last year, in terms of how much money we’ve already booked.” He noted that an “unusually active off-season period has helped prime the pump for the 2010-11 NBA season.” Diament: “There’s so much excitement to tap into this season, and advertisers want to be a part of that. Which is why so many of them are buying season-long packages.” Crupi writes the NBA is “gearing up to supplant Major League Baseball as the nation’s No. 2 sports organization, a surge reflected by TV ratings, if not gate receipts.” Last season’s Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals beat the Yankees-Phillies World Series in the 18-49 demo, with the seven-game championship series earning a 7.3 compared to the six-game World Series’ 6.2 (MEDIAWEEK, 10/18 issue).
LIVE ON LOCATION: Turner Sports today announced that the TNT studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith will broadcast live from TD Garden on Oct. 26 for the season-opening Heat-Celtics game, which is the first regular-season appearance of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh playing for the Heat. The TNT trio also will broadcast from Quicken Loans Arena on Dec. 2 when James makes his return to Cleveland as a visiting player (TNT).
New NFL sponsor Verizon is dialing up some retro NFL equity with a sponsorship of the Broadway play "Lombardi," which premieres at Circle in the Square Theater on Thursday. Verizon will have its logo associated on the red carpet; have the ability to sample products at the opening night party; underwrite talk back nights with the cast after two performances; offer discounted tickets to subscribers; have tickets for use in other promotions; and stage autograph signings at Verizon stores with David Maraniss, who wrote the biography of Pro Football HOFer Vince Lombardi upon which the play is based. Two days before the premiere, producer Tony Ponturo described himself as "anxious, but not nervous." The guest list for Thursday is packed with football luminaries, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Giants Owners John Mara and Jonathan Tisch; Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf; former Packers who played for Lombardi, including Paul Hornung and Jerry Kramer; and current Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy.
The Univ. of South Carolina men's and women's basketball teams this season will be "donning new uniforms" from Under Armour, according to Andrew Shain of the Columbia STATE. The new uniforms will feature a letter font called "machine," and Under Armour intends to put the same lettering and numbering "on all USC athletic teams -- including new football jerseys coming out next season." Under Armour Senior On-Field Designer Adam Clement said that the new men's hoops jerseys have "thick vertical side striping inspired by the columns on USC campus buildings." He added that the women's hoops uniforms have "curved lines in the shorts inspired by the crescent moon in the state flag and the campus paths." The school's Under Armour football jerseys introduced in '07 also were "designed with crescent-moon inspired curves." Clement said that next year's football jerseys will be an "evolution of the current uniforms where the curved moons will move from the top of the shoulders to the front." The jerseys also come with small details Clement calls "reveals." The new basketball uniforms have a "small garnet patch on the front under the neck featuring the Palmetto tree from the school logo with '1801,' a reference to the year USC was founded." Inscribed inside the back neck of the uniforms are words from the school's alma mater, "Carolina, Forever To Thee." Under Armour Product Line Manager Derek Speicher said that the new hoops uniforms also are "lighter than Under Armour's previous models and stretch more for easier movement." And the jerseys are "more tighter fitting than before." The "attention-grabbing gray jerseys from last year's hoops uniform supplier Nike are not in the mix this season." But Under Armour said that it "would be happy to provide jerseys of any color any program wants" (Columbia STATE, 10/18).
Go Daddy has signed on to be the title sponsor for the college football bowl game played annually in Mobile, Ala. The GoDaddy.com Bowl, which will air on ESPN, will be played on Jan. 6 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will feature teams from the MAC and Sun Belt Conference. GMAC previously held the title sponsorship for the game. Terms of the deal were not disclosed (Go Daddy). GMAC, the "former financing arm of General Motors, has been plagued by financial issues related to the national mortgage crisis." Go Daddy is "no stranger to sports advertising." The company annually runs commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast, and it also "sponsors IndyCar-NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, the Southern 500 NASCAR race in May in South Carolina, and various events in mixed martial arts" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/18). GoDaddy.com Bowl President Jerry Silverstein: "We're excited to have a powerhouse like Go Daddy behind Mobile's biggest event of the year. Go Daddy stepped up big time for this sponsorship, which is good for all of us" (ESPN.com, 10/18).