SBD/January 20, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Theatre Seating: At Least 13 Movies Promoted On Fox' Super Bowl Coverage

    Paramount's promotion for "Thor" is one of several movie ads lined up for Super Bowl

    Hollywood studios will "promote at least 13 movies" during Fox' telecast of Super Bowl XLV and its pregame show, a "record number for the biz," according to Graser & Stewart of DAILY VARIETY. Paramount plans to promote "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," "Super 8," "Rango" and Marvel's "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger." In addition, Fox' coverage will include ads for Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides;" Universal and DreamWorks' "Cowboys and Aliens;" Sony's "Priest;" and DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 2," also being released by Paramount. Sony is pushing its new comedy "Just Go With It," as well as "Battle: Los Angeles." Relativity Media has "bought its first Super Bowl spot" to promote "Limitless," while Focus Features has planned a spot for "The Eagle." Graser & Stewart note Fox "sold out of its inventory" in October for Super Bowl XLV, and this year's game "will again collect more than $200 million in ad coin, the third consecutive time it's done so" (DAILY VARIETY, 1/20). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Pamela McClintock notes "as in past years, the Super Bowl will provide the first glimpse of Hollywood's summer lineup." In addition to its spot for "Limitless," Relativity will air a promo for "Take Me Home Tonight" during the episode of "Glee" set to air immediately after the Super Bowl. Paramount will buy time for a "Valentine's Day 3D concert" documentary starring Justin Bieber. McClintock notes Warner Bros. and Fox "appear to be sitting this year out, but that could change," while studios "participating could add spots for other films before the game" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/20).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, NFL, Fox
  • NFL Urged Toyota To Remove Helmet-To-Helmet Hit From Ad

    NFL prods Toyota to edit out helmet-to-helmet tackle in recent TV spot

    NFL and Toyota reps said that the league "prodded" the company to "edit a television commercial, removing an image of a helmet-to-helmet tackle at a time when the effects of concussions have come under heavy scrutiny," according to Ben Klayman of REUTERS. The ad shows "images of football players and brain scans" as Wake Forest Univ. professors "discuss the potential use of Toyota technology to help to understand and prevent brain injuries." Toyota "aired the ad during NFL games on the week of November 8" due to the large number of viewers that would see the commercial. Tim Morrison, the Corporate Marketing Manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, noted the league "saw it on Monday Night Football and the next morning we got the call." Morrison: "They weren't happy. I'm sure if they'd had their druthers, we'd have pulled the spot. We weren't pulling the spot. We couldn't. But we never intended the spot to irritate the NFL." Klayman noted Toyota instead changed the ad after the NFL "complained and warned that the spot would not be allowed to air during its highly watched games." Morrison said that the commercial was "re-edited to remove the offending image despite grumbling by some at the automaker," and the ad "remains in rotation." Morrison: "It was just 'please, don't show it,' so we just tweaked it and took the image out." NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said, "From time to time, we will address an ad that portrays our sport unfairly" (REUTERS, 1/19). AD WEEK’s Brain Morrissey writes the move “might be more trouble than it’s worth for the NFL.” It is “sure to shed an unfavourable light on the league’s late reaction to its concussion problem at a time when it’s preparing for a major labor showdown with players.” Morrissey: “Sometimes it’s best to just let things be” (, 1/20).

    Print | Tags: NFL, Toyota, Football, Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Bears Not Taking After "Shuffle" Team In Terms Of Endorsement Opportunities

    Cutler has insisted he won't take on any outside work until Bears improve

    The Bears are hosting the Packers Sunday in the NFC Championship game, but Chicago is "conspicuously bare of Bears" when it comes to advertising on television, print and city signage, according to Phil Rosenthal of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. It is "no accident that the ad slogan with which those Bears promote themselves" is "One city. One team." Former EuroRSCG Chicago Chair & Chief Creative Officer Steffan Postaer said, "They probably have to win the Super Bowl to get something more than a random Chevy ad. On national TV, they've laid such a profound egg (in losses this season to the Giants and the New England Patriots) that even now ... people are just not lining up behind them yet." Postaer pointed to Bears coach Lovie Smith, saying, "They've taken on the demeanor of their coach, who's a laconic wet blanket." Rosenthal notes Bears QB Jay Cutler is the "highest-profile player with the lowest profile when it comes to endorsements." Since arriving in Chicago in '09, Cutler "has insisted repeatedly he wouldn't take on any outside work" until the team became a winner. The current Bears "aren't your father's swaggering Super Bowl contenders." Late Bears RB Walter Payton "was showcased in ads, as one might expect," when the team made its march to Super Bowl XX, but "so was nearly everybody else at Halas Hall, starting with coach Mike Ditka." Jim McMahon and William "Refrigerator" Perry "pitched New Coke and Classic Coke," while Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and teammates "plugged McDonald's." Postaer noted Ditka, "even today, is doing more advertising than the current Bears" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/20).

    : Bears WR Devin Hester's excursions with his son, Devin, will be the subject of a new monthly column that Hester will write for Chicago Parent Magazine called "Hangin' with Devin." The column is scheduled to debut in April (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Wicked Awesome: Lester To Be Spokesperson For People's United Bank

    Connecticut-based People's United Bank has signed Red Sox P Jon Lester "for a 3-year contract to promote the bank's expanding presence in Massachusetts,” according to Kenneth Gosselin of the HARTFORD COURANT. The partnership may include print, TV and radio advertising. One of Lester’s "first appearances will be Monday when the bank holds grand opening festivities for its new branches" in Boston, at Prudential Center and in the city's financial district (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/20). Terms of the deal were not announced. There are 340 People’s United locations throughout New England, with 31 in Massachusetts. SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said that signing Lester “was a smart move” by the bank. Ganis: “It’s the kind of move a regional bank should do in a narrow market” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/20). Nick Gregorian, who reps Lester, indicated that while the pitcher will make personal appearances for the bank across New England, he “will not be asked to appear before People’s United customers in New York state and Fairfied County Connecticut.” Gregorian: “We respect the fact that those areas are solidly in Yankee territory” (Waterbury REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN, 1/20).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Boston Red Sox
  • Bad Fashion At Australian Open Continues To Be A Hot Topic

    Many feel Williams' dress is an early candidate for worst tennis outfit of the year

    The Australian Open "can best be described as a fashion nightmare, with the focus of the competition appearing to shift from, 'who's got the best backhand,' to 'who's got the sluttiest outfit,'" according to Belinda White of the London TELEGRAPH. It is "impossible to believe that tennis used to be such an impeccably stylish sport." Like all fashion, tennis apparel "lost its way somewhat in the '80s and '90s, and then the arrival of tennis power siblings, Venus and Serena Williams, onto 'the circuit' changed the sport forever." For "every trophy the pair added to their bulging cabinet, their outfits became brasher, louder and more overtly sexual." We are "only three weeks into 2011," but Venus' second-round "canary-yellow, peek-a-boo lattice-style dress with abstract floral printed satin micro-skirt will take some beating on this year's worst-dressed lists." Tennis is "crying out for a style icon to lead it out of the sartorial mess it's in." Maria Sharapova "showed early promise, turning up on the red carpet of many a fashionable event looking on-trend, but quickly descended into the pit of performance fabrics" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/20). In London, Luke Leitch wrote Williams' dress "should be the runaway contender for the sport's worst ever outfit," but "shockingly, it isn't." There are "plenty of other viable nominees for this accolade," and "all of them have been worn by Venus herself." She "may be an all-time great tennis player -- but she is an all-time awful fashion designer" (, 1/19).

    EVERYONE'S A CRITIC:'s Greg Couch wrote Williams' Australian Open dresses are "not good designs," and they "don't even look good on her." Couch: "You just don't create a crafts project, wear it and call it a success." It is "becoming an event now to see what Williams is going to wear, moreso than how she's going to play." Couch: "What is she suddenly trying to stand out for? ... Maybe this is a last gasp to define herself? Or maybe it's about the power and courage to make loud statements, to tell the world she knows she has arrived" (, 1/19). In London, Mark Hodgkinson wrote the "yellow lattice and rainbow print confection" Venus wore for her second-round match appeared to suggest that she is "turning into the Lady Gaga of tennis, dressing with the intent to shock, delight and horrify the sport's chattering classes." In the "three hours that Williams was on court, she was offending everyone's eyes" (, 1/19).

    MORE CRIMES AGAINST FASHION:'s Richard Pagliaro wrote Fernando Verdasco "fuses the good looks of a fashion model with what looks like a style choice that Sponge Bob would wear to a rave." It is "as if an artist's rendition of a MapQuest route was retraced on the front of his pink shirt in magic marker." David Nalbandian "looked like a thickened candy cane in his white Yonex shirt with red swirls" during his first-round match at the Australian Open. And Caroline Wozniacki "continues to experience fashion growing pains in her latest Stella McCartney-designed dress." While the "bottom of the ballerina dress flows fluidly, as if designed for dance, the top looks oddly unfinished, as if the sheer side panels that promote the pop of orange in the bra beneath weren’t fully completed" (, 1/19).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Marketplace Roundup

    NFL orders Hue Jackson to sever ties with company that sells supplement banned by NFL

    YAHOO SPORTS' Eric Adelson reported the NFL has ordered new Raiders coach Hue Jackson to "sever ties with a company that sells supplements and markets a product the company says contains IGF-1, a substance banned by the NFL and other major sports organizations." Jackson this month "ended his association" with Sports With Alternatives To Steroids, a company he began endorsing while an assistant coach for the Ravens in '08. NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said, "We have a long-standing policy that prohibits coaches from any relationship with a supplement company. Coach Jackson is now in compliance" (, 1/19).

    PLEASE ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF: In Chicago, Robert Channick reports Li Ning this summer will launch an "advertising campaign to introduce the essentially unknown" Chinese apparel brand to the U.S., "with most of the new product hitting store shelves by year's end." Li Ning, which sponsors Celtics C Shaquille O'Neal and 76ers G Evan Turner, among others, opened a flagship U.S. store in Portland last year, and Li Ning CEO Zhang Zhiyong noted that "more company-owned stores may be in the works." Zhang: "We are going to consider opening more stores, possibly in Chicago, but the purpose is for brand image -- for people to feel, touch and see our product. It's to build a brand, not as a retail channel" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/20).

    PREVENT DEFENSE: Pennsylvania-based Turtle Creek Sportswear in court documents filed Tuesday claims that it "hasn't violated" any NFL or Steelers trademarks. NFL Properties and the Steelers "filed a motion Jan. 4 in a 2005 trademark case claiming the company violated a 2005 court order to stop selling items similar to official Steelers merchandise." Turtle Creek Owner Nicholas Wohlfarth said that "items his 12-employee company makes and sells are no different than those made and sold by other companies throughout the area" (, 1/19).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
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