SBD/Issue 81/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Controversial Spot Pulled From Doritos' Super Bowl Ad Contest

    The Controversial Ad Featured A Priest
    Handing Out Doritos During Communion

    The “hot spot” advertisement for the Super Bowl XLV broadcast on Fox is an “entry in the annual Pepsi-owned Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest that will never air for being over-the-top offensive to people who take Communion seriously,” according to Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA TODAY. The ad “plays the bread and wine for snack food” and is titled “Feed the Flock.” It “begins with a priest at his desk surrounded by bills for the parish.” The video then “shows the faithful lining up for Communion and getting Doritos instead of the wafer.” The wine, “considered by Catholics to be the blood of Christ, is dished out as Pepsi MAX.” Philadelphia-based Media Wave Video Productions created the ad, and company President Dave Williams said that “he pulled the ad from Pepsi's site and from YouTube.” Williams: "We felt bad. Our intention was to win, not to offend." Grossman wrote, “What's surprising is that it made it up on the Pepsi site for consideration at all. Were there no standards for submission?” The PepsiCo site listing the top 10 finalists “does not include ‘Feed the Flock’ and a representative of the company apologized for any offense” (, 1/7).

    GIRL POWER: USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz reports “female celebs plucked for 2011 Super Bowl ads could even outnumber the guys." Skechers today announced that reality TV star Kim Kardashian “will be featured in its" Super Bowl spot, while Teleflora announced that singer Faith Hill “will star in its Super Bowl spot -- a far cry from last year's Don Rickles voice-over.” The Skechers ad promotes the company's Shape-Up line and features Kardashian “involved in yet another breakup as she trains.” Meanwhile, Go Daddy will air ads featuring spokeswomen Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels "and yet a third, big-name Go Daddy girl to be revealed in its commercial during the game.” Several more “high-profile female celebs are expected to be tapped for Super Bowl ad stardom over the next few weeks." Teleflora President Shawn Weidmann said, "Even though the Super Bowl is a male event, women drive a lot of buying" (USA TODAY, 1/10).

    OFFERS CONTINUE TO ROLL IN: The N.Y. POST's Page Six cited sources as saying that Ted Williams, the homeless announcer who has been offered a job by the Cavaliers, has been “deluged with freebies,” including a proposal for him “to make a five-second appearance in a Super Bowl commercial” (N.Y. POST, 1/9).

  • BCS Title Game Pits Oregon, Nike Against Auburn, Under Armour

    Under Armour Has Sponsored
    Auburn Athletics Since '05

    Under Armour and Auburn Univ. Friday formally announced an extension of their exclusive partnership through the '15-16 school year. The deal, which grows upon an initial agreement signed in '05, gives Under Armour the continued right to provide uniforms, apparel and footwear to each of the school's 21 varsity sports, including football and men's and women's basketball. The agreement also includes an annual Under Armour product allowance, a rights fee, marketing entitlements and event tickets (Auburn). Financial terms of the extension are not available. Under Armour's initial five-year contract with Auburn signed in '05 was worth $10.6M (, 1/7). Auburn tonight will play Oregon in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, and Under Armour Senior VP/Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said, "I don't know who's more excited about Auburn playing in this game -- the coaches, players and alumni of Auburn, or Under Armour. Just the exposure we get in the BCS Championhip Game -- not just for uniforms, but for the footwear as well -- shows how far our brand has come in 15 years" (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 1/9). Under Armour Chair & CEO Kevin Plank added, "Under Armour is just getting started. ... This is one of these seminal moments that we're going to enjoy" ("The Call," CNBC, 1/10).

    BATTLE OF THE BRANDS: In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote the Auburn-Oregon matchup has "created an off-the-field showdown" between Under Armour and Nike. The game at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium seems to be a "bigger marketing opportunity for Under Armour," which will "display its logo on a national stage, rather than seeking out strategically targeted, incremental events for which the company is known." The Baltimore-based brand "appears to have declared the Westgate City Center near the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale to be its turf" ahead of tonight's game. The center features billboards with the Under Armour logo and slogan, "Protect This House -- I Will," alongside the Auburn slogan, "War Eagle!" An Under Armour-logoed tractor trailer parked at the site beginning Friday, and its interior was "crafted to look like a slice of the Auburn Tigers locker room." Similarly, Nike "appears to have staked out Scottsdale," and last week was a sponsor of the Bud Light Fiesta. Nike was slated to host a "Duck-themed webcast" yesterday morning, emceed by CBS analyst and former Oregon QB Dan Fouts, as well as an "official school rally in Scottsdale" later in the day (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/8).

    Phil Knight, An Oregon Alum, Has Spent
    More Than $300M On School's Athletics

    KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR:'s Pat Forde wrote Nike is "vital to understanding how the Ducks went from football pushover to powerhouse." The benefits of Nike Chair Phil Knight "bestowing most-favored program status on his alma mater are impossible to understate." When asked about the importance of Knight's influence, former Oregon football coach and AD and current ESPN analyst Mike Bellotti said, "How important is the sun to life on Earth? We wouldn't be here without him." Knight reportedly has spent "more than $300 million on Oregon athletics." In roughly 15 years, the university's athletics have "gone from having almost nothing to having an excess of everything." Oregon athletes "enjoy facilities that compare favorably to any in America," in addition to "every imaginable creature comfort, technological advance and fashion indulgence." Oregon AD Rob Mullens said, "Very forward-thinking. It is kind of a hip brand." Forde wrote the "interesting thing" about Oregon's brand is that it is "radically different from the other great brands in college football." Oregon and Nike have built a "brand on constant change," making their "uniform combinations a newsworthy item every football game." Forde: "It's a smart strategy. If the object is to appeal to teenagers who are so comfortable with the staggering pace of change in today's society, then what better way than putting an emphasis on here-and-now trendiness?" (, 1/9). Oregon Exec Senior Associate AD for Development Jim Bartko said of Knight, "I don't think we'd be here today without him" (DENVER POST, 1/9).

    THE QUACK ATTACK: In N.Y., Ken Belson noted Aflac posted a "tongue-in-cheek question" on the Aflac duck's Facebook page on Dec. 28, asking fans which team the mascot should cheer for in tonight's game. The duck "presumably should side with Oregon," but Aflac’s HQs in Columbus, Ga., are "about 30 minutes from Auburn." Since the posting, there has been a 3,000% increase in traffic on the Facebook page "compared with the reaction to a typical post." Aflac is not a sponsor of tonight's title game, but the "response led the company to try unsuccessfully to buy television advertising during the game." Belson noted Aflac "does not plan to do any guerilla marketing in Glendale" (, 1/9).

    THE JOKE'S ON YOU: The N.Y. TIMES' Belson noted after TCU defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, 20 "electronic billboards appeared in and around Columbus on Friday with a message directed at Ohio State." The billboards read, "Congratulations to TCU for their BCS Rose Bowl Victory -- Little Sisters of the Poor." The signs were a "rejoinder to comments made" in November by OSU President Gordon Gee, who said non-BCS schools like TCU improve their records by playing opponents like the "Little Sisters of the Poor" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/8).

  • Powerade Seeks To Gain Zero-Calorie Consumers To Rival Gatorade

    Powerade Zero Posted 84%
    Increase In Q3 Sales

    Coca-Cola has “convinced lots of athletes to try its Powerade brand, which has steadily chipped away at Gatorade’s huge market share lead over the years and is on a serious roll of late, partly because of the rapid rise of a zero-calorie variety,” according to Jeremiah McWilliams of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. The Gatorade-Powerade “faceoff has turned gyms, ball fields, basketball courts and running trails into a marketing battlefield,” as the two rivals have “ambitious plans for their sports drinks.” PepsiCo “rolled out a bevy of Gatorade offshoots in the past year including protein drinks, nutrition bars and other products for before, during and after workouts.” Powerade has “not launched nearly as many specialty lines as Gatorade, but it is not standing still.” Powerade Senior Brand Manager Carolyne Guss said that the company plans to launch a new advertising campaign with Hornets G Chris Paul, as well as a "new fruit punch flavor for Powerade Zero.” Powerade has “replaced Vitaminwater on the sidelines of 88 NCAA non-football championships, including baseball and basketball, giving it wide-ranging marketing rights.” Beverage Digest reported that Powerade’s sales “nearly tripled, from 63 million cases to 177 million cases,” from ’00 to '09. Gatorade “remains dominant, however, with sales of 553 million cases last year.” McWilliams noted one reason for the Powerade sales increase is that its drinks are “typically cheaper than Gatorade.” But Coca-Cola execs said that “price is not the most important factor,” and that Powerade has “gotten a big lift from the introduction of Powerade Zero, which posted an 84 percent increase in third-quarter sales.” Kantar Media noted Gatorade “spent about $95 million on measured advertising in the first nine months of 2010 -- five times more than the $18.7 [million] Coca-Cola spent on Powerade.” Powerade “has its share of prominent partnerships, including with last year’s World Cup in South Africa.” But with a “smaller budget, it emphasizes lower-profile partnerships with Pop Warner football and Little League” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/8).

  • Chips & Putts: IMG Wants Three New Sponsors For Tiger In '11

    IMG Officials Reportedly Are In Discussions For
    An Asia-Based Company To Sponsor Woods

    GOLF WORLD's Ron Sirak reports IMG "wants to add three deals" this year to Tiger Woods' portfolio of sponsors. The "first goal is to sell the spot on his golf bag currently occupied" by the logo for Nike's Tiger Woods line. Sources indicated that talks also are "hot with an Asia-based company." The "trickiest part of these talks" reportedly is "not so much the money involved as the time Woods must commit to fulfill corporate obligations." Sirak notes the "next company to sign an endorsement deal with Tiger Woods is going to get a ton of attention since they will be saying with their checkbook they believe the worst of his PR mess is behind him" (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 1/10 issue).

    IS FREE BANKING INCLUDED? RBC has announced new relationships with golfers Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Ernie Els, who will become brand ambassadors for the Toronto-based bank. RBC becomes the official banking and financial services partner for the golfers, each of whom now will sport RBC-branded golf bags and be featured in RBC marketing and advertising. They join Anthony Kim, Luke Donald, Fred Couples, Stephen Ames, Mike Weir and Morgan Pressel as RBC's golf ambassadors (RBC). In Vancouver, Brad Ziemer noted the signings "virtually guarantee that Kuchar, Furyk and Els, the top 3 finishers on the 2010 PGA Tour money list, will be at" the RBC Canadian Open this July. Since becoming the event's title sponsor, RBC "has used golf as a major marketing tool to help build its brand" (VANCOUVER SUN, 1/7).

    BABY, YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR: The HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER noted Hyundai had been "eyeing golf sponsorship for a long time before beginning negotiations" with the Tournament of Champions in September and "signing a three-year contract in October" to title sponsor the season-opening PGA Tour event, which concluded yesterday. Hyundai Exec VP/Sales Dave Zuchowski said, "We were thrilled to get the opportunity. Then we said, 'Oh my God, what have we done and how do we get ready for January?' and here we are and it's worked out great." Zuchowski called golf "something we want to get big in" (Honolulu STAR-ADVERTISER, 1/9).

    CHANGING HIS CAP: Golfer Zach Johnson will wear a cap this season featuring the logo of Transamerica Corp., a subsidiary of Aegon, one of Johnson's sponsors. Johnson's cap had featured an Aegon logo (Transamerica).

  • Marketplace Roundup

    BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Danielle Rossingh reported the WTA “extended its partnership with vitamin and health supplement maker Usana Health Sciences” through ‘13. Salt Lake City-based Usana has sponsored the women's tennis tour since ’06 and “will remain the WTA’s official health supplement supplier, sponsor a number of WTA events, including its tournaments in China, and start a global advertising campaign.” Financial details were not disclosed, although the WTA said the agreement’s terms were “significantly upgraded.” Tennis players Kim Clijsters, Sam Stosur, Zheng Jie and Melanie Oudin “will become brand ambassadors for Usana” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/8).

    Edsall's Decision To Leave UConn For Maryland
    Leaves Farmington Bank Without Its Spokesperson

    TIME FOR A CHANGE: In Hartford, Kenneth Gosselin noted Farmington Bank’s “marketing campaign got thrown for a loss last week" when Randy Edsall left the Univ. of Connecticut to become the head football coach at the Univ. of Maryland. When Edsall “signed up a year ago to be a spokesman, the understanding was clear: His appeal -- and two-year contract -- was tied to being the coach of the up-and-coming” UConn football program. The bank last week removed "life-size cut-outs of Edsall" from its branches and covered billboards featuring the coach on highways throughout Connecticut. Farmington Bank Chair & CEO John Patrick Jr.: "Randy is the coach at the University of Maryland now. And unless I open a branch in Maryland, it doesn't work for us” (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/9).

    RUGBY TERRAIN: CAMPAIGN LIVE's Sara Kimberley reports Land Rover “has drafted England rugby players Ben Youngs, Tom Croft and James Haskell to promote its renewed sponsorship of the national team.” The poster campaign, created by RKCR/Y&R, “features each of the England stars in a typically tough challenging Land Rover environment.” "Cactus" features Haskell “tackling a big cactus tree as though it were another player.” "Hornets" features Youngs “carrying a hornet's nest like a rugby ball while being pursued by a swarm of angry hornets," and "Rocks" presents Croft “catching a falling rock as if it were a rugby ball” (, 1/10).

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