SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • NBCU Grants BMW Foreign-Auto Exclusivity For '12 London Games

    BMW ads will begin airing during the '12 London Olympics Opening Ceremonies

    NBC Universal has “lined up a second major automotive sponsor to support its coverage” of the ’12 London Games by “signing BMW Group as the exclusive foreign-brand carmaker,” according to Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. The agreement “marks the first time that NBCU has granted foreign-automotive exclusivity for its Olympics package.” BMW’s Olympic ads “will begin airing during the July 27, 2012, opening ceremonies.” The buy includes “time across all NBCU networks and in all dayparts, with an emphasis on popular swimming and track and field events.” In addition to “its national positioning, BMW will appear in local spots in its top 11 sales DMAs in the U.S.” Universal McCann, BMW’s media agency of record, assisted with the deal. Crupi noted the BMW announcement "wasn’t unexpected,” as the auto company last July “cut a deal estimated at around $25 million to become the official automotive partner” of the USOC through ‘16. BMW’s last Olympics sponsorship “was in support of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta” (, 1/14).

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  • Proposal On Using College Athletes In Promos Gaining Momentum

    There is the "distinct possibility" that the idea of colleges using student-athletes' likenesses in sponsor promotions "will come up for vote among Division I membership in April," according to Jerry Briggs of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. The concept was discussed last week during the 105th NCAA Convention, and Division I Legislative Council Chair Shane Lyons indicated that it "was 'one of the hottest topics' that the membership will continue to study in the next few months." Briggs reported the legislation is "aimed at avoiding the exploitation of athletes while broadening the scope of what sponsors can do with promotions." The athletes would "need to grant permission for use of likeness," and ADs would "need to approve each activity." The players "would not miss class for promotion," and they would "not endorse commercial products." Under terms of the proposal, a "promotional activity by sponsor of an institution, conference or NCAA must clearly identify [the] entity's sponsor affiliation." Activation that includes "alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or gambling" is not allowed. Univ. of Texas-San Antonio AD Lynn Hickey noted she is "constantly in search of imaginative ways to fund her department." However, Hickey said that the measure "could once again raise the question about whether the NCAA should be paying its athletes" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/16).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, NCAA
  • Marketplace Roundup

    Writer says NBA reduces Kevin Durant to cardboard cutout in latest ad

    In N.Y., Rob Mahoney wrote the NBA's "latest marketing foray not only lacks the charm of previous endeavors, but actually borders on creepy in its attempt at capturing the surreal." Viewers "dive into" Thunder F Kevin Durant's past to "watch an apparent time traveler pretend to inform Durant of his eventual NBA fate." Ads "don't have to make complete logical sense, but ones that follow this type of structure should at least have a purpose." It "doesn't have to be complex, or even all that meaningful." The "decidedly less creepy spot featuring" Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire "merely focuses on two New Yorkers as they admire Stoudemire's work ethic." That "may not sound like much, but it gives the commercial cause, rather than stumble on for 30 seconds as an unknown man chuckles to himself." The Durant spot "misses the mark entirely, as Durant -- a humble, funny, charismatic star -- is reduced to a cardboard cutout" (, 1/14).

    HINT OF THINGS TO COME: In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle noted IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard last week made a "veiled reference about a big to-do involving Mattel." When asked for further details, Bernard and IMS President & CEO Jeff Belskus "wouldn't divulge any details other that to say it was going to be awesome and that it would be announced within two to three weeks." A source said it is a "massive publicity stunt sure to get people's attention." IndyCar and IMS officials confirmed that the deal "will involve the series and the centennial running of the Indianapolis 500 this year." Schoettle noted Mattel in early '09 "signed a deal with the open-wheel series and several months later, rolled out a line of IndyCar-themed Hot Wheels cars." Mattel officials, "pleased with the two-year-old deal, approached IndyCar and Speedway officials late last year about making a bigger splash with the series this May." The discussions to plan the event "are ongoing" (, 1/14).

    HOLDING TIGHT: In N.Y., Heather Haddon noted Jets QB Mark Sanchez "still hasn't signed a memorabilia deal despite the many suitors who have come calling." Steiner Sports Chair Brandon Steiner said the QB's agents "have been holding tight." Steiner: "We are patiently waiting." Nick Sanchez, Mark's brother and agent, said that he is "in discussions with several memorabilia companies." He added talks are "getting closer" (N.Y. POST, 1/16).

    ODD CHOICE? In Orlando, Shannon Owens wrote Reebok's decision to sign ESPN's Erin Andrews to endorse ZigTech footwear and apparel "indirectly confirms that Erin Andrews is the most popular face of women's athletics," which is "slightly odd ... considering she is a media personality." Also, her audience is "predominantly male." Someone like WNBA Sparks F Candace Parker or golfer Brittany Lincicome "would have made more sense," as "both are marketable and are athletes with a largely female audience" (, 1/14).

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