SBD/January 12, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

Skechers USA yesterday announced a partnership with Wayne Gretzky, making the Hockey HOFer the newest retired athlete in the brand’s “Comeback” campaign. Gretzky will promote Skechers’ Shape-ups fitness footwear in a global campaign that spans TV, print, viral and outdoor efforts through ’11. Commercials starring Gretzky will begin airing on major networks this spring. Skechers in ’10 launched the “Comeback” campaign, which has featured Pro Football HOFer Joe Montana and Basketball HOFers Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Skechers).

LOVE ME DO: Golfer Davis Love III has joined Bridgestone Golf as an endorser, ending his "long-standing relationship with Titleist." The Bridgestone Golf website features a picture of Love on a motorcycle with the caption, "Davis Love Joins A New Gang." Love is expected to appear "dressed head to toe in Bridgestone logos" today at the PGA Tour Sony Open pro-am at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu (GOLFWEEK.com, 1/11). Golf Channel's Gary Williams said of Love, "He is synonymous with Titleist. This is a big, big move" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 1/12).

GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK: BRAND REPUBLIC's John Reynolds reports England's FA has been "forced to pay out" up to around US$780,000 in compensation to Fiat "after prematurely ending its commercial deal as its official car supplier." The FA has "signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with rival car brand Vauxhall to become headline sponsor" of England's national soccer team, "thus causing a conflict of commercial partners." Vauxhall also is "due to sign sponsorship agreements with the three other home nations, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland" (BRANDREPUBLIC.co.uk, 1/12).

LET'S GO SLEDDING! The U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation yesterday announced that Alamo Rent A Car has signed up as the title sponsor of one of the four-man U.S. bobsled teams for the four remaining World Cup stops in the '10-11 season, as well as the World Championships in late February. The sled, captained by pilot John Napier, will be emblazoned with Alamo's blue and gold coloring, while the rest of the U.S. sleds also will carry an Alamo logo (USBSF). The USBSF last month indicated they were going to start putting logos of corporate sponsors on its sleds.

COME FLY AWAY: The WTA has signed a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal for low-fare airline Jetstar to become the first official airline partner of the women's tennis tour and its tournaments across the Asia Pacific region. The sponsorship runs until '13 (Jetstar).

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