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SBD/January 24, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Published January 24, 2011
EXCITABLE BOY: In Houston, Jonathan Feigen reported China-based Peak CEO Xu Zhihua noted last week he would "pay the fine for any technical foul based on showing emotion given to any player wearing his company's shoes." Rockets F Shane Battier, one of three members of the Rockets to endorse Peak, said, "I don't know if I'll ever take advantage of the free technicals, but I applaud Chairman Xu for his contrarian attitude. You don't see too many CEOs of companies promoting excessive emotion in the game. It's actually a shrewd marketing move. It's actually very smart" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/22).
YOU'VE BEEN THUNDERSTRUCK: In Oklahoma City, Darnell Mayberry reports Thunder F Kevin Durant is set to appear "in a new Gatorade commercial around the All-Star break." The spot, filmed at Oklahoma City Arena last week, features Durant "going through his customary preparations for a game by using one of the sports drink company's new products, 'Prime,' to help him prepare." Meanwhile, Thunder G Russell Westbrook appears in a 60-second ad for BancFirst. Westbrook "plays a coach to a group of children who are named as cities and towns throughout the state." As he gives the kids instruction, Westbrook "mentions each city and town by name" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 1/24).
DRIVING A DIFFERENT PATH: In Baltimore, Julie Scharper reported organizers of the Izod IndyCar Baltimore Grand Prix are "no longer focused on landing a title sponsor for the three-day racing festival and would be content with a number of smaller backers." Baltimore Racing Development President Jay Davidson said, "We have a bucket we need to fill, and it doesn't matter how we fill that bucket." Organizers last year indicated that they were "looking for a title sponsor to pledge" $1-2M. Davidson said that the group "has declined 'low-ball offers' but remains in talks with businesses about the possibility of a title sponsorship" (Baltimore SUN, 1/22).