SBD/Issue 37/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Marketplace Roundup

AD AGE's Brian Steinberg notes Fox selling all ad inventory for Super Bowl XLV by October is "faster than the commercials have been all booked up than at any time in recent memory." The pace of sales for the broadcast "underscores not only the greater comfort advertisers have in a recovering economy, but also the increased appeal of live sports programs to marketers who continue to seek broad audiences during a climate of rapidly accelerating media fragmentation." The Super Bowl, which in "recent years has seen some blue-chip members of its ad roster defect, has gotten a boost" from Pepsi and GM returning as advertisers for February's telecast (AD AGE, 11/1 issue).

RUGBY SPONSORSHIP? BRILLIANT! In Scotland, Gareth Black reports Scottish Rugby has "secured a new three-year sponsorship deal with Guinness," which will join the league as an "official partner and official responsible drinking partner." Guinness, part of Diageo Great Britain, "already enjoys sponsorship rights in Irish rugby" and also has announced deals in England with the Premiership and the RFU, England's governing body for the sport, and the WRU in Wales (THE SCOTSMAN, 11/2).

Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Sprint Cup Ride Will
Sport Drive To End Hunger Logo Through '13

HUNGER STRIKE: In Toronto, Norris McDonald wrote NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon's new deal with the AARP Foundation to support its Drive to End Hunger campaign is "one of the strangest sponsorship announcements in the history of auto racing." It is "one thing to be sponsored by, and to bear witness to, a product that's for sale." But it "doesn't work that way with a charity." By entering "into a contractual arrangement to market and promote the war against hunger, Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports have crossed a line." McDonald: "A precedent has been set. What happens next?" (THESTAR.com, 11/1).

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: In New Orleans, Katherine Terrell profiled Baton Rouge-based baseball bat manufacturer Marucci Bat Company, which in the six years since it formed has "grown from servicing a few clients to more than 350" MLB players. In total, 19 players used the company's bats in this year's All-Star Game. MBC co-Founder Kurt Ainsworth said, "It's grown so much now that we're probably the No. 2-used bat in the Major Leagues." Terrell noted many companies "pay professional players to endorse their products, but Marucci decided not to go that route and instead let things spread by word of mouth" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 11/1).

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