SBD/November 10, 2010/Marketing And SponsorshipsPrint All
The NBA Store, which has been occupying some of the priciest real estate in America across Fifth Avenue from the NBA’s league N.Y. HQs since '98, is leaving its original location in February amid a changing business model. When the store reopens, it will be under the aegis of adidas, the NBA’s largest licensee, which produces 65% of the merchandise in the store. The move reflects the deepening of the adidas/NBA relationship. The NBA Store on Fifth Avenue, which has 175-200 employees, has attracted around 1.4 million visitors a year and is coming off its best year ever. The NBA hopes to open another operation in a midtown location by this fall at the latest (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY). NBA Exec VP/Global Merchandising Group Sal LaRocca said that the NBA is "looking at pop-up store locations, places that can be rented by the month instead of the year, so that the league can bridge the gap between having a permanent location and when the current NBA store closes." He emphasized that the move "had nothing to do with NBA merchandise sales." A source said that the leasing agent for the NBA Store "was asking for at least five times the amount for a yearly lease as the NBA currently pays for its 35,000 square feet." CNBC.com's Darren Rovell noted prices were "thrown out of whack when Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo agreed in April to pay a reported record $300 million over 15 years to lease a space in the same building as the league's store" (CNBC.com, 11/9). LaRocca said, "The amount of dollars the landlord is requiring from the next tenant, we couldn't find a way to make it work. The asking price is well over $2,000 a square foot." He added, "We haven't secured another spot yet. We're looking into a combination of temporary and permanent space. But those things are still a work in progress" (AP, 11/9).
Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight revealed that surfer Kelly Slater was “given the option of a hefty bonus to reward his ground-breaking achievement” of winning his record 10th world surfing title, but the longtime Quiksilver endorser “instead opted to take a stake in the company,” according to Ben Horne of AAP. Slater now owns 3% of the company. Although Slater “won’t pick up the long rumoured” $10M sponsorship bonus, McKnight said that the surfer will “still receive a seven figure sum” from Quiksilver for clinching the title at the Association of Surfing Professionals event. McKnight: “Ownership of the company is a forced savings thing for him and we’re a public company so he can set up for the rest of his life and take care of his family and we think that’s a lot more important than a one time bent-for-hell bonus like that.” Horne reports movie and book deals also are “in the works for Slater, and soon he will unveil his Kelly Slater Artificial Wave company project, which has the potential to change the face of surfing.” Slater and McKnight teamed with the Univ. of Southern California to develop “technology which produces a perfect circular artificial wave.” The designed wave pool is “roughly 165 metres wide and investors are interested.” McKnight said that “such a breakthrough has the potential to put surfing in the Olympic Games and even result in an Association of Surfing Professionals tour event being held in artificial conditions” (AAP, 11/10).
Stewart-Haas Racing co-Owner & driver Tony Stewart is a "one-man conglomerate who is busier than ever," and "in the midst of his new responsibilities and broader roles has come perspective and restraint," according to FANHOUSE.com's Holly Cain, who received a 48-hour All-Access Pass to profile Stewart on Oct. 27 and 28. Stewart "visited four states in two days, maintained good humor and a saint's patience during a nine-hour photo shoot, held an appreciation dinner, spent invaluable time with a terminally ill friend, signed autographs and posed for photos at a huge sponsor event and indulged a full two days of media requests." He understands why some fans "may have the wrong preconceptions about him," but he is "hopeful that is changing." Stewart: "A lot of time the only thing people see and hear us say comes in the heat of battle. I can't blame those people for judging me that way if that's the only thing they have to base off of. ... The thing I caution everybody is that is not us 24-7, that's us in our work environment." Stewart is the "first to admit his attitude has evolved; his 2010 demeanor is different from the 2005 version, when he was quicker to criticize NASCAR, reporters and anyone else he felt needed a 'wake-up call.'" Stewart: "I've learned to pick the battles that are worth fighting, that there are times when you can fight for something because it's right but it's not going to change anything. ... I'm trying to be more conscious of not making my own life more difficult with the things that I say or do. Even if I'm right, I have to think: How does it affect everybody?" (FANHOUSE.com, 11/9).
DAY IN THE LIFE: Cain noted each shot in the photo shoot was "to be taken with him alongside one or more of his 2011 Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolets or holding up sponsor products." Each was "spelled out in excruciating detail: 1. Chest-up head shot, straight on. 2. Chest-up head shot, head slightly turned to the left. 3. Chest-up head shot, head slightly turned to the left, sunglasses on." In between all this were "phone interviews his public relations team had lined up, video messages to make and a national teleconference with NASCAR reporters." But "more than five hours, a couple hundred shots and a tornado warning later, at the end of the photo session, the photographers and Stewart's marketing team suddenly started shaking their heads and whispering nervously to one another from behind the cameras and bright lights." They had "overlooked a detail and were now going to need to reshoot an additional series of photographs of Stewart holding up sponsor El Monterey's frozen Mexican food packages for promotional material the company would use next year." Stewart: "I need 30-hour days and 400-day years, but as soon as I'd get that, then I'd need more. But I love what I do. I love my life" (FANHOUSE.com, 11/8).
In Boston, Jenn Abelson reports Kayem Foods has signed a multiyear deal as the official frank and sausage of the Patriots, "just a year" after the Boston-based company became the official hot dog of the Red Sox and Fenway Park. Kayem "beat out hot dog incumbent Game Day Foods of Framingham to score the official designation" with the Patriots. Team-branded "franks and sausages will be available to fans at games and retail stores throughout New England" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/10).
THE PEN IS MIGHTIER: Toronto-based collectibles company Frameworth Sports Marketing VP Brian Ducheck said Penguins C Sidney Crosby has "far and away" the most popular athlete autograph in Canada, but the "gap is closing." Ducheck: "With Chicago winning the Cup, and his great showing at the Olympics, Jonathan Toews has quickly come up to second." When asked if Canadian autograph buyers are interested in NBA players, Ducheck said, "Our experience with NBA is similar to with baseball and even football: it’s really difficult to get local interest high enough." The Raptors have had star players like Vince Carter and Chris Bosh, but Ducheck said "the sales just didn't come" (TORONTO STAR, 11/10).
FALLING STAR: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell noted Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is "hurting thanks to his on-the-field product," with the Cowboys 1-7, but he is "likely hurting just as much from what’s going on off of it." While the rest of the NFL "allows the league to cut deals for its licensed products, Jones’ team cut deals themselves." So in "times of prosperity, running the supply chain helps them control costs and earn higher profits." But that "relies on selling well." The Cowboys "are surely cutting deals based on projected volume and if the gear doesn’t move, they’re stuck with it" (CNBC.com, 11/9).