SBD/January 13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Top Female Players Unveil New Outfits For Australian Open

    Wozniacki's dress is
    from Stella McCartney
    The “most beautiful women of tennis are about to descend for the Australian Open with bags packed full of attention-grabbing outfits sure to win, even if they don't,” according to Kathleen Cuthbertson of the Melbourne HERALD SUN. Tennis “fashion hard-hitters Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki will all unveil new, specially designed outfits at the Open.” Sharapova next week will “show off her Nike outfit, which features a boomerang style back piece as an Australian reference,” while No. 1-ranked Wozniacki will “wear a high-waisted dancer style dress from adidas's Stella McCartney range." Wozniacki's "adidas stable-mate Ana Ivanovic will wear a bright purple and green outfit.” Fila will “celebrate 100 years by dressing Kim Clijsters in a recreation of a green outfit once worn by Evonne Goolagong,” and Australia native Sam Stosur will “wear a new outfit from Lacoste.” Australian Open spokesperson Prue Ryan said, "The glamour girls, they're the ones that are top of the mind with the public, they know the power of a good dress." Ryan added of Venus Williams, “She wore her Moulin Rouge outfit at the French Open, so we will really be looking forward to seeing what she comes out with" (HERALDSUN.com, 1/10).

    NEW YEAR, NEW GEAR: TENNIS.com’s Richard Pagliaro noted Wozniacki will “start the new year in new gear, sporting an adidas ballerina dress in immaculate white with a playful pop of orange in the Seamless Performance bra and hot pant.” The new clothes are “part of an off-season makeover.” Designed by McCartney, the white Ten Performance Dress is a part of adidas’ Stella McCartney SS 11 collection and “represents a color departure for Wozniacki, who wore a dark green McCartney design with optic yellow hot pant” at the ‘10 U.S. Open. The white Ten Performance dress “is not part of the adidas by Stella McCartney line sold in the U.S., but it will be available globally” (TENNIS.com, 1/10).

    MARKETERS’ HEAVEN: In Sydney, Janice Breen Burns writes “during Melbourne's tennis season a swarm of fashion and luxury brand marketers crank up campaigns for clothing, jewellery and accessories ahead of the appearance of their celebrity 'models' on Rod Laver Arena's catwalks-cum-courts.” No. 1-ranked men's player Rafael Nadal will wear a “high-tech watch, thin as a chip,” made by Richard Mille that took “months to handcraft" and retails at nearly US$500,000. Mille said that there are “already 200 'quite wealthy' customers on a waiting list for a limited edition of the high-tech, light-as-air, laboriously crafted 20-gram timepieces.” Meanwhile, Sharapova will wear “18-carat gold and diamond drop earrings by architect Frank Gehry." Tiffany & Co. is “bracing itself for the queue at its Collins Street shop when Sharapova fans see hers and want a pair for the snack-size price” of US$4,030 (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 1/13).

    CAN’T TOUCH THIS: In Melbourne Ben McKelvey writes none of the women seeded ahead of Sharapova in the Australian Open "have much chance of earning more” than her this year. Short of “something exceptional happening, Sharapova will top the money list among female athletes in all sports thanks in part to her tennis ability but also to her marketability.” Advertisers have been “drawn to her striking physical appearance for the better part of a decade, while corporations have longed to align themselves with that spring's-first-warmth smile reserved for moments of great jubilation.” Forbes estimated that Sharapova last year “earned more than” $24M, less than $700,000 of which came prize money (Melbourne AGE, 1/13).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, ATP, Tennis
  • Nike Signs Deal With African-American PGA Tour Rookie Bramlett

    Bramlett will make his PGA Tour debut at this week's Sony Open in Hawaii

    Nike Golf has signed a multiyear deal with PGA Tour rookie Joseph Bramlett, who will make his pro debut this afternoon at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Bramlett, who is just the second African-American on the PGA Tour, will utilize Nike clubs, balls, footwear, gloves, bag, apparel, headwear and accessories (Nike). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith reported Team Services co-Founder Fred Fried, whose company "primarily has been known for selling naming rights to buildings," signed Bramlett to representation "without any competition from traditional player rep agencies." Fried "envisions two or three more sponsors -- endemic and non-endemic -- coming on board in 2011 during Bramlett's rookie season." Bramlett is the "first golfer of African-American heritage to graduate from the PGA Tour's qualifying school in 25 years," and Fried will "seek relationships that help Bramlett promote the game to the African-American audience." Bramlett "will be featured in NBC's coming golf show 'Ticket to the Tour,' which looks at newcomers on the PGA Tour." Bramlett is the "first athlete client at Team Services," and Fried is "not discounting the possibility of more work in the golf space." Fried: "We would consider expanding in golf. It'll be interesting to see how this goes" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/3 issue).

    FOLLOWING TIGER'S TRAIL: USA TODAY's Steve DiMeglio notes when Bramlett tees off today at the Sony Open, he will "join Tiger Woods as the only players of black descent who have Tour cards." Bramlett: "It truly is an honor for me, and I hope this can start to change things. I'm not always the most common looking person on the golf course, so hopefully if I can play well this year, I can inspire kids to know that if I can do it, they can do it." Bramlett added he thinks in the "next two or three years you'll see more African-American players out here on the PGA Tour." Bramlett: "It's a process. There are several black players that are up and coming" (USA TODAY, 1/13). More Bramlett: "I think that, hopefully, I can leave an impact on the game that can help change things further. Tiger has had a huge impact and I'm just one of several kids coming up right now" (HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER, 1/13).

    Print | Tags: Nike, Marketing and Sponsorship
  • EA Blasts Sports Unions In Court Filing As Part Of Keller Lawsuit

    Electronic Arts yesterday in a federal court filing blasted the major sports unions for their contention that the gamemaker’s products are not protected by the First Amendment. The unions -- the NFLPA, MLBPA, NBPA, NHLPA and MLSPU -- in November sided with Sam Keller, a former Arizona State QB who in '09 sued EA and the NCAA for allegedly using his image in videogames without his consent. EA used the last 10 pages of its 34-page reply brief to specifically counter the unions, which filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Keller. “The Players [unions] assert that the ‘First Amendment does not protect [video games] that do nothing more than simulate, as realistically as possible, actual sporting events populated by real athletes,’” EA wrote in its brief. “This argument mischaracterizes EA’s games and misstates First Amendment law.” EA’s contention is that the games are akin to works of art, and not commercial speech as the unions and Keller argue. EA argued that if Keller succeeds, that could also “strip protection from countless other creative works, including films like The Social Network, Forrest Gump, and All the President’s Men, novels like E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, and Don DeLillo’s Libra, songs like Elton John’s Candle in the Wind and Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson, and plays like Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile, all of which feature the names or likenesses of real-life individuals.” A federal district judge declined to dismiss the case early last year against the videogame maker, ruling that EA had not sufficiently transformed the players images to merit first amendment protections. The videogame maker appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear oral arguments next month.

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, EA Sports
  • Marketplace Roundup

    In Louisiana, Scott Ferrell reports AdvoCare “will return as the Independence Bowl’s title sponsor in 2011.” AdvoCare “extended its title sponsorship for one year” after serving as the bowl’s title sponsor for the last two games. AdvoCare has a 45-day window “after the bowl game in which it can choose to renew as title sponsor.” The decision to renew was “relayed to bowl officials last week before making the announcement” yesterday (SHREVEPORT TIMES, 1/13).

    CHANGING NAMES: MARKETING MAGAZINE's John Reynolds cites a source as saying that a rumored push from EPL clubs to approach league execs about “changing the rules to allow multiple sponsors” on their jerseys is “categorically not on the agenda.” The source said that “such a move, which would bring the league into line with some European leagues, would require the backing of two thirds" of the EPL's 20 clubs "to vote in favour of the rule change.” The source said the Premier League “has not gone down that route and there are no current plans to change things.” Reynolds notes EPL club Tottenham Hotspur last year “was granted permission from the Premier League to have different shirt sponsors for league and cup games” (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 1/13).

    Federer, Nadal and Murray among players featured in ATP's "Game On" ad campaign
    ACROSS THE NET: The ATP has unveiled "Game On," its new ad campaign to mark the start of the '11 ATP World Tour season. The creative, developed in conjunction with The Big Shot, London, depicts star players as warriors competing in a fantasy stadium. Players including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick appear in a TV spot, player vignettes, print ads, posters and billboards, as well as Web and mobile elements (ATP World Tour).

    NEW FOR THE NEW YEAR: Bjorn Borg this month formed a new subsidiary, Bjorn Borg Sport, founded on the company’s clothing concept in the Netherlands. The new men’s and women’s collections include sports fashion and functional sports wear to be sold to distributors in Bjorn Borg’s current markets, with an initial focus on larger markets (Bjorn Borg)….USA Bobsled for the rest of the World Cup Season will feature six company logos on their sleds, including Alamo Rent A Car, BMW, KOA campgrounds, Under Armour, Autism Speaks and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 1/13).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
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