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SBD/December 8, 2010/Marketing And SponsorshipsPrint All
Hublot, the official watch of F1, is using the “battered face” of F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone in a new print ad, according to Graham Dunbar of the AP. Ecclestone was “mugged by four attackers and robbed of his watch and jewelry” worth US $315,000 in London last month. The ad released yesterday “shows a photograph of Ecclestone with a black eye and scratched face -- provided by the F1 chief himself from a mobile phone -- being used in ads for the Hublot brand.” Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver: “He said, 'please use it to make an advertising campaign because I want to show that I'm courageous.'" The tag line quotes Ecclestone as saying: "See what people will do for a Hublot." The ad notes the Geneva-based firm "condemns all forms of violence and racism." Biver said that the ad will “run for three days this week, featuring mainly in the Financial Times newspaper” (AP, 12/7). In London, Kevin Eason writes the ad is “marketing gold for Hublot and another demonstration that Ecclestone can see a joke in even the most serious incident” (LONDON TIMES, 12/8).
GOLFWEEK's Adam Schupak reported U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and his "current equipment endorser, Callaway Golf, will part ways when his contract expires Dec. 31." Equipment company officials speculated that Srixon and sister brand Cleveland Golf "could emerge as a top suitor" for McDowell, as Srixon is "seeking a marquee tour ambassador, especially because its relationship with endorser Jim Furyk is nearing an end." A Cleveland Golf rep "declined to confirm those reports or rumors of the company's interest in McDowell" (GOLFWEEK.com, 12/7).
CHANGING HANDS? Acushnet parent company Fortune Brands' BOD has approved in principle a separation of Fortune's three businesses in order to maximize long-term value for shareholders. As a result, Acushnet will either be sold or spun-off tax free. Acushnet includes golf ball brand Titleist and golf shoe and glove brand FootJoy (Acushnet). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's David Kesmodel cites sources as saying that Acushnet, "which gets about 45 of its revenue from outside the U.S. and has grown rapidly in South Korea, is expected to attract interest from golf and sporting-goods companies in Asia as well as private-equity firms" (WSJ.com, 12/8).
GOING PLATINUM: In California, Larry Bohannan reports Franklin American Mortgage Co. has agreed to a three-year, $1.5M "Platinum-level sponsorship" of the PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic. As part of the sponsorship, the company "will serve as underwriter of the Bob Hope Classic Celebrity Dinner and be designated Official Sponsor of the Bob Hope Classic Celebrity Jam Session and amateur/celebrity caddie bibs." The deal comes following Franklin American's "first-time participation in the Classic" in '10 (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 12/8). In L.A., Jill Painter writes the deal is a "step in the right direction" for the tournament, but the "big deal for a title sponsor has eluded the event" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 12/8).
Penske Racing and the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) announced a multiyear extension of their sponsorship agreement that will see AAA sponsor both the No. 22 Sprint Cup Series Dodge driven by Kurt Busch and the No. 3 Izod IndyCar Series Dallara/Honda driven by Helio Castroneves. AAA will serve as the primary sponsor of Busch for three races -- including the Nov. 6 race at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) that is included in the Chase for the Sprint Cup -- as well as the co-primary sponsor on two other races. The company will be an associate sponsor for the entire schedule. Castroneves will sport Auto Club or AAA as his primary sponsor during the IndyCar races at Long Beach and TMS (Penske Racing).
HAILING A CAB: Medallion Financial Corp. President Andrew Murstein, whose company funds the purchase of taxi medallions in N.Y. and other cities and acquired Richard Petty Motorsports last week for less than $50M, indicated that he “plans to paint one of his race cars like a New York City taxi cab and unveil it in June at the Pocono 500 race series.” Murstein: “All those other cars blend in, and we want to put one of our yellow taxis in a NASCAR race. The iconic yellow cab is world famous, and Richard Petty (a minority investor) really liked the idea” (CRAINSNEWYORK.com, 12/5).
WHAT’S IN A NAME? In Cincinnati, Kevin Kelly reports the “inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway remains nameless but track officials are in serious negotiations with prospective title sponsors of the 400-mile event.” Kentucky Speedway GM Mark Simendinger said, "It is a large property. It takes some detail and some work to get it done. But, yeah, surely there's a lot of interest. Anybody that's involved in sports sponsorship in this region has expressed some level of interest for the most part; all the major sports sponsors anyway" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/8).
NOTES: Menards will serve as the official presenting sponsor of the ARCA Racing Series for the '11 season (ARCA)....The U.S. Air Force will extend its sponsorship as the official military partner of Monster Energy AMA Supercross for the fifth consecutive year (Feld Motor Sports).