SBD/Issue 60/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Gillette Inks Alex Ovechkin To Multiyear Endorsement Deal

    Gillette Will Push Ovechkin In
    Russia, Eastern Europe

    Those wondering why Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin has been clean-shaven lately, as opposed to the markedly hirsute appearance he displayed during his first five years in the NHL, now have their answer. Ovie is the latest global brand ambassador for Gillette, which insists upon endorsers that aren't shaggy. The announcement of the multiyear endorsement deal was made today in DC via satellite video hookup to Moscow, where the two-time NHL MVP was born, and where the marketing push will begin. Sources said TV commercials and other ads shot during the offseason will break in Russia and other Eastern European countries later this week. The deal was made with Ovie's native region in mind, but sources said the former NHL Rookie of the Year is hopeful it will spread to other countries, since the deal is for global rights. Currently, Gillette has no NHL rights, so Ovechkin would have to be marketed out of uniform. Other endorsements secured by IMG, which has represented Ovechkin for marketing since last fall, include Verizon, Capital One Bank, and CCM/Reebok. Few, if any, hockey players, have demonstrated marketing relevance on a global scale. Ovechkin will attempt to bridge that gap, especially with the '14 Winter Olympics scheduled for Sochi, Russia. Ovechkin will also be featured in this year's NHL Winter Classic outdoor game on New Year's Day in Pittsburgh, versus Sidney Crosby's Penguins (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

    THE BEST A MAN CAN GET: Gillette Communications Dir Mike Norton said, "If you see Alex in some of his recent commercials, he's had kind of a clean-shaven look. With Gillette, we really want guys to look their best. And some guys like to be fully clean-shaven, some guys like goatees or well-trimmed beards. It's all about helping guys to look their best." In DC, Dan Steinberg reports Ovechkin's work with Gillette "will eventually include a charitable aspect, with a campaign to help youth hockey players develop on and off the ice." Ovechkin joins Yankees SS Derek Jeter, Real Madrid MF Kaka, MLS Red Bulls D Rafael Marquez and U.K. rugby player Jonny Wilkinson in repping Gillette. Ovechkin previously was associated with Hair Cuttery (, 12/7).

  • MLS Dynamo Ink Jersey Sponsorship With Greenstar Recycling

    Greenstar Recycling Replaces Amigo
    Energy As Dynamo Jersey Sponsor

    Houston-based Greenstar Recycling "has reached a five-year, $12.7 million jersey sponsorship deal" with the MLS Dynamo, according to a source cited by Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. Greenstar would become the "second jersey sponsor in the Dynamo franchise's five-year history and the first founding partner for the new stadium the Dynamo are expected to break ground on next month and open on the East End by April 2012." Greenstar will be "in charge of waste management and recycling at the new stadium." The deal "will officially be announced at a joint press conference" this afternoon, where Dynamo F Brian Ching and MF Brad Davis are "expected to model the new jerseys." Greenstar's logo "will grace the front of the team's new jerseys, which will feature a collar for the first time in franchise history and go without the baby blue that adorned the sleeves of the team's previous uniform." Greenstar's "open star logo will sit above the right breast, just above the G in the company name." The deal includes an "opt-out option for Greenstar after the third year" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/7).

  • Take Five: Foxwoods To Sponsor Final Minutes Of MSG Games


    Foxwoods Resort Casino and MSG announced today that they have extended and expanded their marketing partnership in a new deal highlighted by Foxwoods gaining the exclusive advertising rights to the final five minutes of Knicks, Rangers, Islanders and Devils home games on MSG and MSG Plus. The "Foxwoods Final Five" deal also extends in-arena at MSG for Knicks and Rangers games. The multiyear deal, part of a bigger marketing partnership between MSG and Foxwoods, also designates the casino as an official partner of the Knicks, Rangers, WNBA Liberty and MSG Networks (Foxwoods). In N.Y., Ken Belson cites a source as saying that the deal is worth about $1M a year for five years. MSG and Foxwoods said that the sponsorship is the “first time an advertiser has bought commercial control of a specific time during professional sports games in the arena as well as on television.” Foxwoods’ name and logo "will be shown on the scoreboard, on signs courtside and elsewhere in the arena” during the last five minutes of Rangers and Knicks games at MSG. As part of the broadcast portion of the deal, the Foxwoods logo will be shown "on the top or bottom of the screen, accompanied by an introduction from the announcer, and will be superimposed on the glass behind the hockey goals.” Foxwoods CMO Rob Victoria said, “You can buy a billboard for X amount a year and get Y amount of views. But with the announcers doing live reads and the stadium full, it’s a way to advertise with more impact” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/7).

  • Bob Hope Classic Safe Through '12 Even Without Title Sponsor

    Bob Hope Classic Still Without Title Sponsor
    After Chrysler Ended 22-Year Run In '08

    PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic President John Foster and the tournament's BOD are “assuring fans that the event will be around through 2012 even without a multimillion dollar title sponsor agreement,” according to Larry Bohannan of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. But that is “not the plan.” Foster said, “We will have this tournament (in 2011) and we will have a tournament in '12. We are sponsoring ourselves at this point.” Foster added he “would like to have a title sponsor” and the tour event has “possibilities out there right now.” Foster and Tournament Chair Larry Thiel said that “the Hope's own cash reserves, more than $3 million in pro-am entry fees and smaller sponsorships, like a $500,000 a year deal with Franklin American Mortgage, can sustain the Hope for 2011 and 2012.” But there are “other questions about the Hope's lack of a sponsor since Chrysler filed for bankruptcy and bailed out on the PGA Tour event" in '09. The tournament is “working on a second year without a sponsor." Thiel “echoed Foster's belief that talks with some companies are going to produce a traditional title sponsor for the Hope soon, rather than the Hope having to have smaller but more sponsors.” Thiel: “We are having some conversations right now with relationships that are global in nature. ... We have some opportunities out there right now where it is just going to require us to get comfortable with the relationship, a partnership. I have every reason to believe we could have this put together, put to bed, by the time our tournament is over (next month)” (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 12/7).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    Jim Furyk Set To Switch To TaylorMade
    Next Season When Srixon Contract Expires

    GOLFWEEK's Adam Schupak reported golfer Jim Furyk’s agent, Andrew Whitlieb, confirmed that Furyk “will sign a deal to endorse equipment with TaylorMade next season and be featured in the company’s 2011 print and TV advertising campaigns.” Furyk’s contract with Srixon expires at the end of this year. As part of the new deal, Furyk will be “required to use only the TaylorMade driver, which he already has been playing this season.” He will continue to use Srixon irons and Callaway wedges. Whitlieb added that Furyk is “close to cashing in on his three-win season with sponsors for his bag, front of hat, side of hat and shirt collar” (, 12/6).

    FINISHED PRODUCT: USA TODAY’s Jayne O’Donnell notes Finish Line is “adding T-shirt customization stations to its stores in partnership with Nike.” The new stations, which appear in retail locations in Orlando, Indianapolis and Staten Island, “let customers select from dozens of Nike T-shirt designs and personalize them with names, sports numbers or favorite sayings.” The T-shirts are “made in the Finish Line store while customers wait” and cost about $30 (USA TODAY, 12/7).

    THE REAL DEAL: MARKETING DAILY's Tanya Irwin wrote Fila USA revised a new campaign for its Body Toning System fitness apparel to include "seven non-models" after originally planning “to use two professional models and one ‘real’ woman." Fila Exec VP/Business Operations Jennifer Estabrook said that the campaign is “focused on how a woman feels about herself.” The campaign will include print and online ads as well as in-store displays. It includes a “dedicated Facebook page as well as all of the online assets supporting the BTS collection accessible via Fila’s Web site” (MARKETING DAILY, 12/6 issue).

    THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR … MARKETING magazine’s John Reynolds reports British retailer Boots is set to “make its first foray into sport sponsorship through a grass-roots programme in the build-up” to the ’12 London Games. Boots is “expected to sign up as the main sponsor of Gold Challenge, an initiative set up by government quango Sport England to encourage participation in sport and raise money for charity.” Boots, which is in “negotiations with Sport England,” is expected to “promote Gold Challenge through a series of on-pack and in-store marketing initiatives” (, 12/7). 

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