SBD/January 25, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Auto Industry Revs Up Super Bowl Ad Buy With Nine Car Brands Featured

    Kia will use Super Bowl spot to launch marketing campaign for '11 Optima

    The automotive industry could be “buying the most commercial time of any advertiser category” during Fox' broadcast of Super Bowl XLV, “vying with beverages and movies for the top spot,” according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. There may be “as many as nine car brands peddling their wares” during the broadcast, from "economy makes like Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia to luxury marques like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.” There were five carmakers in the Super Bowl in ‘09 and six in the game last year. The ad buy for GM “signals a return to the Super Bowl after two years away.” It will also be “the first Super Bowl in a decade for BMW, which will run two commercials in the game, and the first ever for Mercedes-Benz.” The automakers are “surrounding their Super Bowl buys with extensive pre- and postgame promotions, many of them in social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.” Kia is planning a contest to give away five cars and will team with SocialVibe to sponsor a “Big Game Tournament” for “players of Zynga social games like FarmVille.” Kia in a 60-second spot planned to run in the first quarter will “go back and forth in time.” The commercial for the Kia Optima midsize sedan, via David & Goliath, L.A., “mimics a science fiction movie; the cast members include an Aztec-type chieftain and his tribe, Poseidon and space aliens.” This will be the second Super Bowl for Kia, which “appeared in the game last year with a 60-second commercial for the Sorento crossover sport utility.” Kia Motors America VP/Marketing & Communications Michael Sprague said Kia will begin running teaser commercials on Monday. Auto-related marketers also are “clambering aboard the Super Bowl XLV bandwagon,” with Bridgestone, CarMax and “buying spots in the game” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/25).

    ON SECOND THOUGHT: CNBC’s Julia Boorstin noted Pepsi is returning after skipping last year, GM will advertise for the first time since ’08, Best Buy is “spending on its first-ever spot in the game and the usual suspects are returning: Anheuser-Busch and e-Trade as well as movie studios.” However, some recent advertisers, like Papa John's, Monster and Denny's, are not returning to the game this year. CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen said with the high TV ratings for the NFL conference championship games, “I wonder whether some of these companies will reconsider those decisions in light of the viewership. The ratings for the NFL this year have been as strong as they have been in a long, long time” ("Power Lunch,” CNBC, 1/24).

    HEART BREAKER: Skechers Fitness Group President & CMO Leonard Armato said the brand’s Super Bowl commercial starring Kim Kardashian is “a little racy.” But he stressed that the spot, centering on the reality TV star “going through another breakup,” will not “push the envelope too much.” Armato: “Kim is going to break someone’s heart in the fourth quarter of the game. That’s all I can tell you” (, 1/24).

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  • Packers Merch Flies Off Shelves In Wake Of NFC Championship

    Sports stores are seeing strong demand for Packers NFC Championship gear

    A "pent-up line of Packers fanatics was waiting" yesterday outside The Sports Authority location in Greenfield, Wisc., when the store opened at 6:00am CT to buy merchandise commemorating the team's NFC Championship game victory, according to Meg Jones of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Store Manager Kathy Davis noted the store was open Sunday after the Packers-Bears game and "sold out" of NFC Championship shirts and hats. Another shipment "was delivered at 5 a.m. Monday, which was snapped up by the people who came early." Meanwhile, customers at the Green & Gold Zone store in West Allis, Wisc., "bought two kinds of T-shirts, including the gray version worn by the Packers in the locker room." A "shipment of T-shirts picked up from wholesalers at 6 a.m. Monday in Franklin and Green Bay sold out within a few hours" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/25). In Green Bay, Davis & Phelps note Packers fans "picked up merchandise early" yesterday. Packers Dir of Retail Operations Kate Hogan noted that the Packers Pro Shop "sold out of nearly 600 championship hats," and "more apparel and accessories are set to arrive today and Wednesday." Packers fan Tom Henquinet said, "Price doesn't seem to be so important once you start winning" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/25). 

    RECORD SETTER? NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said that while the sales record for Super Bowl gear was about $140M for the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl XL in '06, the Packers-Steelers Super Bowl "could top that because both teams have a rich history and national following." McArthur Towel & Sports President Gregg McArthur added that Packers-Steelers is the "perfect storm." In Dallas, Melissa Repko reports McArthur, the manufacturer of the Terrible Towel, "also is cranking out 'Title Town USA' towels, in honor of the Packers." Meanwhile, Cheesehead manufacturer Foamation received 500 Cheesehead orders "from the end of Sunday's NFC championship game until work began Monday morning," and the company "plans to drive a truck full of products to Arlington and set up shop near Cowboys Stadium" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/25).

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  • Aaron Rodgers Could Be Big Marketing Winner From Super Bowl

    Many feel Rodgers has most marketing upside among Super Bowl participants

    Packers QB Aaron Rodgers "stands to make millions potentially in national endorsements" after earning a trip to his first Super Bowl, according to Michele Steele of Bloomberg TV. Rodgers also is "poised to have the most upside by winning" Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, when his Packers face the Steelers. Octagon First Call VP & Managing Dir David Schwab indicated that Rodgers has "nothing but upside because while he's a Nike athlete, he hasn't done anything else nationally to date." Steele noted Schwab believes Rodgers is "set up for NFL-themed marketing campaigns beginning next year, a little similar to Drew Brees" after the Saints won last year's Super Bowl. While Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger could win his third Super Bowl championship, it "would not translate to national deals" due to his off-field problems (Bloomberg TV, 1/24).'s Darren Rovell wrote Roethlisberger's "off-the-field troubles have completely taken him out of the marketing game." Although he "wasn’t charged in the alleged sexual assault case in Georgia last year, he became completely untouchable in the marketing world." As of May, the Davie-Brown Index noted that Roethlisberger "had the appeal of troubled singer Amy Winehouse, the aspiration qualities of cycling cheat Floyd Landis, the endorsement qualities of Barry Bonds and the trust levels similar to Roger Clemens and Pete Rose." Prior to the start of the '10 NFL season, Roethlisberger's positive Q Score "dropped 33 percent, while his negative Q Score rose 124 percent." His agent, Rep 1 Sports Group's Ryan Tollner, "disagrees that Roethlisberger is unmarketable, but acknowledges that his client doesn't care about scoring deals." Tollner: "Ben is not concerned with endorsement deals at this point, but he is deeply concerned with public perception." Still, Tollner "doesn't think the polls taken last summer or at the beginning of the season reflect how people perceive his client today" (, 1/24).

    HAVING A GOOD HAIR DAY: In Green Bay, Kareem Copeland notes it "didn't take long" for reporters to ask Packers LB Clay Matthews about his hair yesterday. Matthews is a candidate for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and he "will surely be questioned ad nauseam next week about the other front-runner for the award," Steelers S Troy Polamalu, who has a sponsorship deal with Head & Shoulders. Matthews said, "Obviously, two of the best hairs in the game, so there's no doubt about that. ... I'm not so much a Head & Shoulders guy, but it's something that we usually leave out of our conversations when talking with one another." Matthews did note that he "wouldn’t mind a hair deal of his own." He added, "That's the next step right there. I'm working on something right now, so don't be surprised. But we'll see. Obviously you've got to perform on the field in order to get those type of endorsements, and hopefully I'm taking a step in the right direction" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 1/25).'s Kevin Seifert wrote, "When was the last haircut for Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, or Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk? Heck if I know. I sense a serious marketing campaign already in motion here" (, 1/23).

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  • Penske Racing, EGR Unveil Sponsors During NASCAR Media Tour

    Penske unveils several new sponsorships during NASCAR Media Tour

    Penske Racing during NASCAR's media tour yesterday announced a new sponsorship with Kimberly-Clark's Wypall Wipers brand and extensions with Ruby Tuesday and Alliance Truck Parts. Wypall Wipers signed an associate sponsorship that will see Penske Racing crew chiefs in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series wear the Wypall Wipers logo on their uniforms. Ruby Tuesday extended its partnership of Penske's Nationwide Series No. 22 car driven by Brad Keselowski and will serve as the primary sponsor for five races in '11. The restaurant chain also will have placement on the rear deck lid of the No. 2 Miller Lite car Keselowski will drive in the Sprint Cup Series this season. Alliance Truck Parts, a leading provider of replacement parts for the commercial transportation industry, extended its role as the primary sponsor of the No. 12 car driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola added Penske driver Kurt Busch to its stable of NASCAR drivers this year. The company will be featured on Busch's uniform and car.

    ALONG FOR THE RIDE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing announced it is bringing two new sponsors into the sport for the '11 Sprint Cup season. The team is adding LiftMaster as an associate sponsor and Widia as a one-race primary sponsor. Both deals are for the No. 1 car driven by Jamie McMurray. LiftMaster makes residential car door openers and commercial door operators. The company has no history in NASCAR. It will receive exposure on the No. 1 ride, have rights to feature the car and driver in advertising and be entitled to some appearances by McMurray. Widia, a new brand developed by tooling company Kennametal, will be the primary sponsor on the No. 1 car for the April 3 Sprint Cup race in Martinsville.

    OTHER SPONSORSHIPS ANNOUNCED: DeWalt announced a deal with Richard Petty Motorsports to sponsor the Sprint Cup Series No. 9 Ford driven by Marcos Ambrose for the '11 and '12 seasons. The logo will alternate between the hood of the car and the quarter-panel for each race in '11. Meanwhile, Boost Mobile will serve as the primary sponsor of Travis Pastrana for the seven Nationwide races he drives the No. 99 Waltrip-Pastrana Racing car this season.

    TURN ON THE LIGHTS: Energizer announced plans to light up the night around Charlotte Motor Speedway with a special fan promotion at NASCAR’s '11 Sprint All-Star Race. The battery brand will provide every fan who enters the race a small Energizer-powered flashlight. Prior to the race, the speedway will turn off its lights, and fans will turn on their Energizer flashlights, jump-starting the promotion called "Light up the Night." The race typically draws more than 100,000 spectators. The promotion is part of a one-race agreement. Terms of the deal were not available.

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Motorsports, NASCAR
  • The North Face To Outfit New U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association Division

    The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association today announced a new division, U.S. Freeskiing, that will “operate independently the same way U.S. Snowboarding and the U.S. Ski Team do, and The North Face will be its uniform supplier,” according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources valued the eight-year agreement with The North Face at approximately $6.5M. Burton and Spyder currently outfit the snowboard and ski teams, respectively (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/24 issue). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Matthew Futterman noted the USSA created the new division to “represent freeskiing exclusively, much the way it did for snowboarding.” The deal makes The North Face the “official outfitter of U.S. freeskiers for the 2014 and 2018 Olympiads and will give the California-based company a presence at related events throughout the country.” The North Face “has long been a dominant brand for back-country adventure sports, but the company has [an] eye on expanding into a trendy new category.” It is also sponsoring the Winter X Games this year. The North Face VP/Marketing Aaron Carpenter said, "We've been evolving from the back country into the front country in the past 10 years. Action sports are a fast-growing part of our business." Futterman noted another factor in the deal is that the '04 Sochi Games "could expand to include two new freeskiing events” (, 1/24).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Puma replacing adidas as apparel sponsor of South Africa's national soccer team

    In South Africa, Mninawa Ntloko reports South African Football Association CEO Leslie Sedibe yesterday confirmed that Puma "would be unveiled as the new sponsors" of the country's men's national soccer team. The team "will be decked out in the new strip when they host Burkina Faso on February 9." SAFA's 12-year relationship with adidas "ended acrimoniously last month." Sedibe said that the "delay in announcing the new sponsors was caused by negotiations with the government around the use of the Protea logo on the Puma kit" (BUSINESS DAY, 1/25).

    SHARP-DRESSED MAN: USA TODAY's Laura Petrecca in a money section cover story reports companies of "all sizes are linking up with famous names for product launches, endorsement deals and public-speaking engagements."  Basketball HOFer and MSG Net Knicks analyst Walt Frazier maintained his relationship with Manhattan's Mohan's Custom Tailors "after he stopped playing." Frazier has "appeared in Mohan's ads, and in turn, has received discounted clothes." Frazier said that he "favors 'very interesting, crazy and flashy' suits, so that's what they make for him." The latest suits are "custom suits in cowhide and leopard-skin themes, made from furniture upholstery material" (USA TODAY, 1/25).

    RINGING ENDORSEMENT: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds reports Visa Europe has "signed a multimillion-pound deal with News International for the publisher's titles to become the first official newspapers of the British Olympic team." The London Sun, News of the World and London Times as part of the deal "will have privileged access" to the 1,200 British athletes, "including heptathlete Jessica Ennis and swimmer Rebecca Adlington." The newspapers also will "feature editorial and advertorial content, with Visa receiving media space in return for the use of the Team 2012 property" (, 1/25).

    THE MASON JAR: Oklahoma-based First Fidelity Bank has hired former NBAer Desmond Mason "as spokesman for the company." Mason, who graduated from Oklahoma State and played for the Hornets when they were relocated to Oklahoma City due to Hurricane Katrina, "will appear on the bank's behalf at client events and in advertising campaigns" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 1/25).

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