SBD/Issue 34/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Fox Reportedly Already Sold Out Of Super Bowl Ad Inventory

    Fox has "sold the last of the commercials" for its telecast of Super Bowl XLV from Cowboys Stadium, according to a source cited by Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. There are usually "a couple of spots remaining up until the weekend of the game, but this year sales have moved quickly." The last two remaining 30-second spots were still unsold earlier this week, but an "unidentified advertiser agreed to pay the $3 million Fox was seeking plus buy time in pregame programming"
    (, 10/27). Meanwhile, Go Daddy yesterday announced it will advertise in the Super Bowl for the seventh consecutive year. The company bought two 30-second spots during the game and a single 30-second pregame ad for Fox’ broadcast. The ads will feature endorsers Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels (Go Daddy).

  • GM Debuts New Chevy Campaign As Part Of Big Marketing Push

    Watch Chevrolet's "Chevy Runs Deep" Spot

    GM yesterday indicated that it "plans to sell its top-selling Chevrolet brand during some of the nation's biggest events, such as the World Series and Super Bowl," according to Chrissie Thompson of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. GM debuted its new Chevy campaign -- "Chevy Runs Deep" -- during Rangers-Giants World Series Game One last night on Fox. GM bought ad time for "four World Series commercials," and the "Super Bowl will follow." The ads, via Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, "link nostalgic images of Chevy's nearly 100-year past with current products like the Chevrolet Cruze or Traverse." GM VP/U.S. Marketing Joel Ewanick: "This may seem like just another advertising campaign, but for us, it's really a beginning of turning around the way that people look at Chevrolet" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/28). Ewanick yesterday said that GM's advertising budget "will be slightly larger" than the $2.5B the company spent in '08. But in Detroit, Christina Rogers noted rather than "divvying it up among eight brands, it will be spent on four, allowing it to spend more on advertising for prime time events and high price slots, such as during the Super Bowl" (, 10/27). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Terlep & Vranica report the Chevy spots, in addition to the World Series and Super Bowl, "will appear during some of the highest-rated and most costly events on TV." The spots feature Chevy "cars and trucks over the years in scenes that evoke nostalgia for America's past and celebrate the American spirit, with voice-overs by actor Tim Allen" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/28).

  • Hendrick Officially Unveils Drive To End Hunger As No. 24 Sponsor

    AARP Foundation Hopes Gordon Deal Will
    Raise Awareness For Adult Hunger Issue

    The AARP Foundation yesterday formally announced it will promote its Drive to End Hunger campaign through a three-year sponsorship of Jeff Gordon's NASCAR Sprint Cup No. 24 Chevrolet. The deal will cover 22 races in '11-13 and will begin with the '11 Daytona 500. Terms of the deal were not available. The AARP Foundation hopes the deal helps it raise public and corporate awareness of the hunger issue facing 6 million older Americans. It will offer a text-to-donate campaign to solicit donations from NASCAR fans, sell placement on the car to other companies, and partner with consumer package goods companies involved in NASCAR to promote the campaign at retail. AARP Foundation President Jo Ann Jenkins said, "Certainly, we want to raise money, and we expect to raise far more money than we're investing in this if we're going to solve this problem of hunger in America. But it's also about raising awareness. People in this country don't realize how many seniors or older people in this country are going hungry every day." The deal is one of the first cause-marketing partnerships in NASCAR to cover that many races in a season. Previous deals, such as Gordon's promotion of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, have been for a single race. Hendrick Motorsports execs first met with AARP reps at Richmond Int'l Raceway in early September. The meeting was arranged by Wunderman Motorsports, which cold-called the AARP and will serve as the AARP's agency in NASCAR. Meanwhile, DuPont today agreed to a three-year deal to remain a primary sponsor through '13 of Gordon's Sprint Cup entry. The company will be the primary sponsor for 14 races a year and will have prominent brand placement for all other races over the three-year period (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

    MAKING A DIFFERENCE:'s David Newton noted "some have questioned why AARP would spend in excess of $10 million, likely $15 million or more, to promote its program on Gordon's car when it could just put that money toward feeding the hungry." But "what people forget is that sometimes you have to spend money to make money, or in this case make people aware of the need." Newton: "Maybe having a charitable organization on the hood for more than one or two races is a way of making NASCAR seem less commercial, or as Gordon said, show people they are human. Maybe this will, as Hendrick insisted it might, open doors for new sponsors that never would be aware of the sport if it wasn't for the campaign. It's a win-win scenario for all parties" (, 10/27). ESPN’s Ryan McGee said, "If you put a couple million dollars into a Super Bowl ad, you reach everybody all at once and that's it. You put several million dollars into a Cup car, and now you are taking a rolling billboard to racetracks all over the country. ... It's a different approach but I think we might start seeing more teams at least support this cause and certainly look at some others" ("NASCAR Now," ESPN2, 10/27).

    Hornish Left Without A Sponsor For '11 Cup
    Season After Mobil 1 Joined Tony Stewart

    HUSTLE & SHOW: In L.A., Jim Peltz reports as the "poor economy continues," NASCAR teams are being "forced to hustle for new sponsors and to keep the ones they have." That is "especially true for primary sponsors, who write the biggest checks for the logos that dominate the paint schemes on NASCAR race cars." Just as race attendance "has slumped because NASCAR fans are watching their wallets, sponsors have cut back on the spending that is the main source of the $15 million to $20 million it takes to field a competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car." The pullback in sponsorship spending "has contributed to mergers among some NASCAR teams," but "even powerhouse teams are now scouring for cash beyond conventional NASCAR sponsors such as auto products, beverages and consumer goods." Penske Racing "has yet to find a 2011 primary sponsor for its No. 77 Dodge now driven by Sam Hornish Jr., whose main sponsor, Mobil 1 motor oil, is moving to two-time champion Tony Stewart next season." Stewart himself "needed Mobil 1 because he's losing Old Spice as a primary sponsor after this season." Meanwhile, snack food Tornados' sponsorship of Ryan Newman's No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing entry "illustrates how NASCAR still holds appeal to sponsors." Tornados are made by California-based Ruiz Foods, a "leading seller of frozen Mexican foods." When the company last year "prepared to expand Tornados from convenience stores to a wider array of retailers," Ruiz Foods President & co-CEO Bryce Ruiz "pitched NASCAR." Ruiz said that "he's 'absolutely' pleased with the results so far on his seven-figure investment" (L.A. TIMES, 10/28).

  • MLB Rangers Seeing Merch Sales On Par With League's Top Teams

    Rangers Merchandise Sales Have Seen
    Greater Than Normal Boost

    Rangers World Series merchandise, including T-shirts and caps, is "selling as quickly as stores can stock them" in conjunction with the team's first appearance in the Fall Classic, according to Bill Hanna of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. MLB Senior VP/Licensing Howard Smith said that while merchandise sales "typically soar in the home cities of World Series teams," sales of Rangers gear have "reached the levels of some of baseball's most storied franchises, which isn't the norm." Smith: "We've rarely seen such a high rate of sale. It is extraordinary. ... These numbers we've seen for Rangers merchandise are rivaling some of the top markets in baseball. It's really kind of blown away our expectations." Academy Sports & Outdoors Senior Communications Manager Elise Hasbrook added there has been "overwhelming demand" at the company's Dallas-Ft. Worth-area stores. Hanna notes MLB this weekend will have "Halloween-themed shirts for sale at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington" for Games Three-Five, and if the Rangers "win the Series, there will be custom parade shirts for sale." The Rangers Grand Slam Gift Shop as of yesterday "had a few World Series T-shirts and pennants, but the full supply of merchandise was expected to arrive by the end of the week" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/28).

    ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM: In S.F., Bulwa & Tucker in a front-page piece write last night's World Series Game One was “Mardi Gras by the bay.” As fans walked into AT&T Park, many of them "wore jerseys of starting pitcher Tim Lincecum, or T-shirts honoring his citation for pot possession" last November. World Series hats at the ballpark “ran up to $50 apiece, while sweatshirts were pushing $80” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/28).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Senators One Of Several NHL Teams Selling
    TV Ads On Glass Behind The Net

    In Ottawa, Vito Pilieci reports the Senators are “looking to score with marketers by using technology that allows the team to sell TV advertising space on the glass behind the goalie’s net.” The technology, which “superimposes an ad over the glass, can only be seen by television viewers.” Senators VP/Broadcasting Jim Steel said that the ads are approved by the NHL and are “being used by a handful of teams,” including the Blackhawks, Rangers, Red Wings and Avalanche. Senators fans can “expect to see the ads in 20 of the team’s home games broadcast” on Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet Sens. Steel did not reveal "how much revenue is being generated” by the ads (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 10/28).

    I PUT SOME NEW SHOES ON: reported Lakers F Ron Artest has left shoe company Peak and "signed an endorsement deal" with Ball'n. Artest will wear the Ball'n Lay Up shoe "for at least the first half of the new NBA season." The shoe will “initially be an LA exclusive release around All-Star Weekend," with a “further retail roll out planned for NYC, Chicago and Atlanta among other cities afterward.” The price has not yet been set. Ball’n was founded in ’91 and “describes itself as an athletic brand striving to ‘create quality footwear, apparel, and protective compression gear for athletes.’” Ball’n Founder Rodney Jeter noted the Artest deal is scheduled to be formally announced next week (, 10/26).

    A DIFFERENT APPROACH: In Cleveland, Janet Cho reported a “new 10-story banner of Cleveland’s nighttime skyline was unfurled” yesterday on the side of Sherwin-Williams' HQ, 108 days after Nike’s “We Are All Witnesses” LeBron James banner “was pulled.” The black-and-white photograph of the downtown skyline reads “Our Home Since 1866: Our Pride Forever,” and has Sherwin-Williams’ name and logo in the bottom right corner. The banner “was supposed to be installed” by 7:00pm ET Tuesday before the Cavaliers’ home opener yesterday against the Celtics, but it “was postponed by bad weather” (, 10/27).

    SHOPPING FOR FURNITURE: Furniture Row Companies today announced a multi-faceted endorsement deal with Broncos QB Tim Tebow. As part of the agreement, Tebow will work with Denver Mattress in its efforts to raise funds in support of orphanage services via the Tim Tebow Foundation. Meanwhile, Tebow will be featured in Jockey’s holiday catalog, available Monday (THE DAILY). Jockey also bought a billboard in Gainesville, the home of Tebow's alma mater, the Univ. of Florida, “featuring it’s newest pitchman” (, 10/27).

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