SBD/Issue 38/Sponsorships, Advertising & MarketingPrint All
Lincecum Poised To Become Marketing Star
In Wake Of World Series Performance
Giants P Tim Lincecum is "poised for a national marketing breakout" after earning two wins in the World Series, including the clinching Game Five victory over the Rangers Monday, according to Baker Street Partners VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman in his post-World Series marketability report. Dorfman included Lincecum under his "Home Run" category, as his "commanding postseason performance and bright future could command $1-3M in new endorsement deals." Lincecum's "The Freak" nickname, as well as his arrest for marijuana possession last year and a "look that's more fitting to the X Games than a World Series game" mean that he "definitely appeals to an 'alternative' demographic." Lincecum already has deals with Red Bull, 2K Sports and Phiten. Meanwhile, Dorfman also included Giants P Brian Wilson and C Buster Posey under the "Home Run" category. Wilson "could be the darling of the talk shows after the Series," while Posey "may be the best long-term marketing investment in this Series." Dorfman: "The 23-year-old rookie has superstar potential, poise beyond his years, and an easy-going, likeable personality" (THE DAILY).
FALLOUT FROM ARREST: FORBES.com's Patrick Rishe wrote "without any past stains on his image," he would expect Lincecum "could command an additional $5-10M per year over the next 3-4 years in endorsement earnings." But due to the marijuana arrest, Rishe believes Lincecum will not "maximize his endorsement potential immediately." Rishe: "He's more likely to see his endorsement earnings rise by $3-6M annually. That said, if he avoids public scandal during the duration of any newly signed endorsement deals and if he continues to be a stallion on the mound, he will eventually reach his endorsement earnings potential" (FORBES.com, 11/2). In N.Y., Tyler Kepner writes Lincecum's arrest "seems to have endeared him even more to certain fans in San Francisco, where a popular T-shirt bears the slogan, 'Let Tim Smoke'" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3). FANHOUSE.com's Josh Alper noted Lincecum is "wildly popular in San Francisco, although how much that appeal will travel is certainly up for discussion." Alper: "Baseball players who aren't Derek Jeter have very little cachet in general, and that might prove to be a bigger limiting force to Lincecum as an endorser than any arrest" (FANHOUSE.com, 11/2). But ESPN's Michelle Beadle noted Lincecum could be the new face of MLB, saying, "He's a two-time Cy Young winner and a World Series Champion. He's not the kind of corporate face that's been boring people for years and losing young fans" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 11/2).
PAYING TRIBUTE: Giants P Madison Bumgarner attended South Caldwell High School in Hudson, N.C., and in Charlotte, Scott Fowler noted the school is selling Bumgarner T-shirts "as a fundraiser." The shirts feature Bumgarner's "old high school jersey No.5 on the front and his Giants No.40 on the back" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/2).
EA Sports Will Not Release "NBA
Elite 11," But Not Folding Title
Electronic Arts Inc. last night announced that EA Sports has formally canceled all plans to release "NBA Elite 11," its troubled basketball simulation video game franchise. EA Sports had already delayed indefinitely the title from a planned Oct. 5 retail release following a spate of poor reviews and technical glitches, and EA Exec VP & CFO Eric Brown announced the full shuttering during the company's second quarter earnings call. The title, however, has not been abandoned entirely, and future production of the game will now occur out of EA Sports' Tiburon Studios in Florida, where "Madden NFL" is produced, as opposed to its prior development location outside of Vancouver. EA has made similar studio switches on several prior occasions when seeking to reboot a game franchise. The shuttering of "NBA Elite 11" represents another blow for EA Sports within basketball video gaming, as it already had trailed 2K Sports' rival "NBA 2K" series by a wide margin in both sales and critical acclaim. Prior to the delay and cancellation, EA Sports had announced a series of sweeping changes for "NBA Elite 11," including a name change from "NBA Live," a deal to put Thunder F Kevin Durant on the cover and a new game control mechanism. The NBA in a statement said, "We realize that canceling 'NBA Elite 11' was a difficult decision for EA, and they have assured us that they are taking all of the appropriate steps to deliver a premier basketball game for our fans in the future."
CUTTING ITS LOSSES: EA for the second quarter posted a $201M loss, slightly less than half of the $391M loss in the same quarter a year ago. Helping boost company revenues were very strong sales of "FIFA Soccer 11," which has now sold more than 8 million units worldwide since its late September launch. EA also is pursuing a broad corporate restructuring plan that will include changes to terms of some of its key license and development agreements. Overall, the company, much like the entire video game industry, remains in significant transition as packaged goods retail sales slump and publishers begin to embrace digital forms of gaming (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). EA posted $631M in revenue for the quarter ending Sept. 30, down from $788M in the year-ago period (L.A. TIMES, 11/3).
PAYMENT PLAN: In San Jose, Troy Wolverton notes EA yesterday announced it "will be using Facebook's virtual currency exclusively in its games hosted by the social network." EA social media gamers, including those who play "Madden NFL Superstars," who "want to buy virtual items within them will have to use Facebook Credits to do so" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/3).
Sunday's N.Y. Marathon Boasts 31 Sponsors, Up
From 29 Last Year, Including Title Partner ING
With interest in marathons "at an all-time high, marketers are increasingly trying to keep pace and get in front of what's considered a highly desirable consumer," and "nowhere is this more apparent" than at Sunday's ING N.Y. Marathon, according to Aris Georgiadis of AD AGE. N.Y. Road Runners "counts 31 sponsors among its partners" for Sunday's race, up from 29 last year. For ING, which became the N.Y. Marathon's first title sponsor in '03, the race has "been an ideal way for the marketer to reach its target consumer." ING America CMO Ann Glover: "The parallels between running and preparing for your financial future speaks to our customers." She added that "from a demographic and psychographic standpoint, the marathon touches all quadrants." Georgiadis notes one of the "main focal points" for the N.Y. Marathon is the pre-race Health & Fitness Expo, where sponsors get "prominent placement." Every race participant "must pass through the free expo to collect their racing bibs, so the NYRR creates a huge retail experience for runners and fans of running." But even though the marathon has "attracted many partners," NYRR Exec VP/Business Development Ann Crandall said that her organization "is selective." Crandall: "Partners have to believe in what we're doing as an organization and give back to runners" (AD AGE, 11/1 issue).
SUBWAY'S FRESH TAKE: In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes with Sunday's race "now just days away, sponsors are starting to support their investment, none more broadly than Subway, the official training partner of the race." Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle is competing in the marathon and the QSR is "leveraging what has been largely a regional event with national TV buys on major sports media platforms, such as the NFL and MLB postseason, along with a radio campaign and Fogle point-of-sales advertising in all 23,000 of its U.S. stores." Lefton notes while "all the support isn't in the market yet, there have been suggestions from more than one marketer that Subway is out-marketing ING" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/1 issue). Meanwhile, Diamond Foods announced yesterday that its Emerald nut brand will continue to sponsor the final five miles of the ING N.Y. Marathon, where the Emerald street team shares product samples with spectators along the course (Diamond Foods).
After Launching Campaign In August, TMS
Saw 200% Jump In Season-Ticket Sales
Nothing has put Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage "into the spotlight more" that his "No Limits" marketing campaign," an effort that "many fellow track presidents are monitoring with ticket sales way off," according to David Newton of ESPN.com. Gossage kicked off the $500,000 campaign "with scantily clad girls" and a "concert at the House of Blues in Dallas" on Aug. 17. But across the motorsports industry, there is "concern promoting 'hot chicks,' although that's been a part of the sport since the first pinup girl appeared in Victory Lane." Former SMI President & CEO Humpy Wheeler said, "I guess guys will try anything. I blew up a lot of things, but I never tried anything like that. Ultimately, what I found works the best is to sell the racing." But Newton noted initial numbers for Gossage's most recent effort "were encouraging." After the August announcement, TMS saw a 200% "jump in season-ticket sales compared to the first three weeks" of '09 sales, and Gossage "expects the final increase in 2011 season-ticket sales" to be around 10-11%. TMS' new "No Limits" products that include "skulls, crosses and wings for a younger audience also have provided an economic boost, with 25 percent of the track's daily sales going toward that." While the promotion could "have a negative impact," Gossage contends that "hasn't been the case at TMS." He said that he has "gotten less than a dozen complaints, all of which he's personally addressed." Gossage said, "It got into religious issues with some, and others just thought it was bad taste." But he added, "Absolutely, under no circumstances, would I do something that is trashy and in poor taste. ... I'm telling you, this is not a 'sex sells' campaign" (ESPN.com, 11/2).
LARGEST CAMPAIGN IN TRACK HISTORY: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reported the "cost of the campaign is far greater than anything the speedway has spent in the past." But Gossage said that since its launch, TMS has "seen season-ticket renewals surge" to more than 80%, "well above its historic highs" of 70% (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/25 issue).
Hyundai topped all advertisers in exposure during NBC's "Football Night in America" pregame/highlight show in Week Six prior to the Colts-Redskins matchup, according to an analysis conducted exclusively for THE DAILY by sponsorship research firm SRi. The carmaker serves as the show's presenting sponsor, getting prominent placement during various segments from 7:30-8:25pm ET. The 7:00-7:30pm segment of the show has no national advertising sold. Hyundai accounted for 19.9% of the legible advertising, the majority coming from on-screen graphics. Windows 7 finished second in exposure as the sponsor of the "Simplify The Game" segment with Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison. Papa John's, which is the official pizza of the NFL, finished third in exposure during the show. The brand ran a special Super Bowl XLV promo during "FNIA" with Papa John's Founder John Schattner and Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones eating pizza in Cowboys Stadium with the creative “Sunday Night is Papa John’s Night.” Official NFL sponsors Motorola (wireless communications equipment) and Verizon (wireless service provider) also gained exposure during "FNIA." Motorola's exposure came during the Week Six highlights segment, which was presented by DirecTV but shown on-screen on a large Motorola phone.
This week, THE DAILY is presenting exposure from each of the NFL Sunday pregame shows from Oct. 17. See tomorrow's issue for "Sunday NFL Countdown" on ESPN (SRi).
NOTES: Legibility is defined as the amount of on-screen time for which at least 90% of the sponsor’s name is clearly legible to the viewer. Commericals are also excluded from exposure measurement. * = Official sponsor of the NFL. ** = partner of the NFL.ADVERTISER EXPOSURE FOR "FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA"
ON NBC FROM OCTOBER 17ADVERTISERLEGIBILITY
OF BROADCASTHyundai12:2719.9%On-Screen Graphics10:0016.0%On-Set Signage02:073.4%Verbal Exposure (4 mentions)00:200.5%Windows 700:521.4%On-Set Signage00:320.9%On-Screen Graphics00:100.3%Verbal Exposure (2 mentions)00:100.3%Papa John's*00:411.1%Verbal Exposure (4 mentions)00:200.5%On-Screen Graphics00:150.4%Advertorial00:060.2%Subway00:401.1%On-Screen Graphics00:300.8%Verbal Exposure (2 mentions)00:100.3%DirecTV**00:330.9%On-Screen Graphics00:230.6%Verbal Exposure (2 mentions)00:100.3%Motorola*00:230.6%Product00:230.6%Nissan00:200.5%Verbal Exposure (2 mentions)00:100.3%On-Screen Graphics00:100.3%Verizon*00:130.3%On-Screen Graphics00:080.2%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%Capital One00:100.3%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%On-Screen Graphics00:050.1%00:090.2%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%On-Screen Graphics00:040.1%Sprint00:090.2%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%On-Screen Graphics00:040.1%00:090.2%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%On-Screen Graphics00:040.1%General Electric00:080.2%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%On-Screen Graphics00:030.1%Sports Illustrated00:050.1%Verbal Exposure (1 mention)00:050.1%McDonald's00:030.1%On-Screen Graphics00:030.1%Hickey Freeman00:020.1%On-Screen Graphics00:020.1%
MLB Giants fans yesterday lined up by the “hundreds” to buy World Series merchandise from the Giants Dugout store at AT&T Park ahead of today’s ticker-tape parade. The line “stretched for more than a block, with some saying it took them at least an hour to get into the store” (AP, 11/2).
HSBC Among Companies Putting
Money Behind Events In Asia
ASIA MAJOR: The HSBC Champions golf tournament begins tomorrow in Shanghai, and the WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Mavin & Chow report companies are beginning to “spend more of their sponsorship dollars” in Asia. Fuse Asia-Pacific Head Ben Flint said that corporate sponsorship in Asia this year is “forecast to total $2.5 billion, an increase of 67% from last year.” Flint added that total corporate-sponsorship spending in Asia in ’10 is “likely to be close to the record $2.8 billion in 2008, when it was boosted by the Beijing Olympics.” Flint: “We’re definitely getting back up to Olympic levels.” His numbers “show that 65% of this year’s spending in Asia will be dedicated to sports sponsorships” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/3).
THE SPANISH CONQUISTADOR: ESPN’s Lisa Salters reported Lakers F and Spain native Pau Gasol “has become an icon in a country rapidly falling in love with basketball and is one of Spain's most sought-after pitchman " Gasol starred in a Spanish-language commercial alongside tennis player Rafael Nadal, who said, "Pau is one of the greatest sportsman from Spain and the first to go to the NBA and really win and be a big superstar." Salters noted Gasol "spends part of his off-seasons working as an ambassador for UNICEF. This past summer he traveled to Ethiopia to help fight childhood malnutrition" ("E:60," ESPN, 11/2).
YOU MUST BE KIDDING: MARKETING WEEK’s Russell Parsons reports fan group Manchester United Supporters Trust signed a deal with Sharp to “sponsor the latest alternative team shirt.” The group, which “wants to force a change of ownership of the club, wants Sharp to be part of a portfolio of alternative partners keen to align themselves with fans rather than the club’s owner, the Glazer family.” Sharp will “lend its name to a new alternative green and gold team shirt” and proceeds from the shirt sales will go to the Prostate Cancer Charity (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 11/3).
VIRAL SENSATION: In Portland, Allan Brettman reported the LeBron James “Rise” video, which debuted slightly more than a week ago to coincide with the start of the NBA season and the release of Nike's LeBron 8 sneakers, has “recorded more than 3 million views" to date on YouTube (OREGONLIVE.com, 11/2).