SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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" (NYTIMES.com, 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" (IBJ.com, 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" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 1/14).
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