Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
SBD/January 26, 2011/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
Best Buy today will announce plans to feature singers Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne "in the first Super Bowl commercial" for the company, according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The 30-second spot, "to air in the game's third quarter, was filmed earlier this month at Universal Studios." The ad for Best Buy marks a "strategic attempt to move beyond its big-box retailer stereotype." The company "wants to evolve into more of an Internet technology expert and service provider," and it "wants to skew younger." Meanwhile, for Bieber, the ad "marks a serious bid to move beyond the world of tween heartbreaker." Best Buy "will run more Bieber ads and Facebook updates through 2011" (USA TODAY, 1/26). Osbourne previously appeared in an '03 Super Bowl ad for Pepsi Twist (THE DAILY).
SNEAK PREVIEWS: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott writes many of the commercials scheduled to run during the Super Bowl "will offer previews of coming products and services." Volkswagen will air two ads that "will offer sneak peeks at two models that are to make their debuts in the fall, the 2012 Passat and a redesigned version of the New Beetle." The ad for the Passat is "humorous, centered on a child dressed in a Darth Vader costume who seeks to perform his dark arts on objects around the house that include his parents' new Passat." Meanwhile, the spot for the New Beetle is a "teaser," as the "entire car is never shown." The spot instead is centered on a beetle that "startles other bugs by racing through a forest at a pace fast enough to evoke car chases in movies and TV shows." It ends with the beetle "landing on a rock in silhouette and turning into the silhouette of the 2012 New Beetle." One of Volkswagen's spots "will run in the second quarter of the game and the other in the fourth quarter." Volkswagen and Deutsch, L.A., "are still deciding which will go in which slot." Elliott notes four '12 car models "will be featured in a commercial for Mercedes-Benz USA" during the Super Bowl, "including two that have not been previewed before." GoDaddy "will introduce its entry in the '.co' Web-domain derby," while Walt Disney, Paramount and Universal Pictures "are to run trailers for films they have scheduled for release later" in the year (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26).
LATE-GAME AD: AD AGE's Andrew Hampp noted Skechers' Shape-Ups brand is "going after a younger audience this year," and Kim Kardashian, who stars in the brand's Super Bowl ad, is "at the center of a strategy that includes social media and traditional PR." The Super Bowl spot "will direct viewers to Facebook for additional content and a call to action." Skechers Fitness Group President & CMO Leonard Armato: "Kim will be challenging people to get rid of your bad habits and get your friends on board." The Skechers spot "will air after the two-minute warning" in the fourth quarter, but Armato said, "People won't tune out if the game is lop-sided" (ADAGE.com, 1/25).
Eagles QB Michael Vick has signed a two-year deal with Unequal Technologies, his "first paid endorsement contract since his release from prison” in May '09, according to Rob Maaddi of the AP. The deal with Unequal Technologies, a "provider of the football pads Vick wore most of last season,” will be announced tomorrow. Unequal Technologies CEO Rob Vito said, "We're real excited about it. Michael is good people. He paid his dues.” Vito added that Vick is the company's first corporate spokesperson. Terms of his deal were not disclosed, but Vito said it is a "sizable" contract. Maaddi noted when Vick during the '10 season “returned after missing three games with a rib injury, he wore a vest designed by Unequal.” He later “wore shoulder pads and thigh pads made by the company” (AP, 1/25). The Unequal Technologies deal comes after Vick appeared in a commercial for New Jersey-based Woodbury Nissan, first airing in December. Temple Univ. assistant sports marketing professor Joe Mahan said, "For a national more prominent brand, I think it's going to be wait and see." Mahan added, "I would still hesitate to say the floodgate is going to open" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 1/26).
LEARNING FROM HISTORY: CBSSPORTS.com’s Will Brinson writes Vick is “now moving back up the ladder in which he held a pretty prominent rung” before his incarceration, he wondered “how soon will the big names in national advertising come calling?” Fans have “two real baselines to examine here” -- Lakers G Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods. Woods did not lose "the biggest of endorsers, Nike,” after admitting to multiple extramarital affairs, while Bryant was not dropped by Nike following allegations in '03 of sexual assault, although Coca-Cola “did dump him until his image cleared up.” Neither was “found guilty of anything and neither served any prison time.” Brinson: “Looking at those two examples -- Woods and Bryant -- and remembering that neither of them were actually convicted -- means that there's a pretty good chance you can expect Nike to take the lead on inking Vick to a major deal” (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/26).
Due to the usual Super Bowl hyperbole, the Dallas area and football will be at the center of America's sports consciousness for the next 12 days. However, baseball takes center stage in North Texas tomorrow with MLB uniform rightsholder Majestic Athletic filming a TV ad at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to back the launch of Majestic's batting practice jersey. The ad will feature Rangers CF and AL MVP Josh Hamilton, Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler and Giants RF Cody Ross. Waylon Advertising, St. Louis, is the ad agency. "Coming off an MVP season in a region that gets really excited about baseball, Hamilton just seemed like the right guy," said Michael Johnson, VP/Marketing at VF's licensed sports group. The ad will depict fans and players taking batting practice together. "It is the first time we've used players in advertising and we're still delivering the message that we're as close to on-field as you can get," Johnson said. The ad will break in early March and run through the season on national and local baseball broadcasts, backed by an integrated POS, print, and digital/social media campaign, which Johnson said was Majestic's largest product launch ever. The new batting practice jersey from VF's Licensed Sports Division is designed with fabrication said to make it the lightest batting practice jersey yet, along with a new full-button front. It will launch at retail this spring with the same $100 price point as its predecessor.
MLS Chivas USA has signed a multiyear agreement with Mexican beer maker Grupo Modelo to have the Corona Extra brand be the team’s presenting jersey sponsor. Corona Extra’s logo will appear on Chivas USA team gear and at The Home Depot Center, which the team splits with the Galaxy. The club previously had paint manufacturer Comex as a jersey sponsor from '07-09; Mexican convenience store Extra, which is also run by Grupo Modelo, sponsored the Chivas USA’s jerseys last year. The club will unveil its new jersey at a ceremony in L.A. on Feb. 16 (Fred Dreier, SportsBusiness Journal). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Chivas "will surely benefit from the recognition they receive for being attached to such a well-known company." Corona Extra is the "leading imported beer in the United States and has been for the last ten years" (GOAL.com, 1/25).
MLS JERSEY SPONSORSCLUBSPONSORGalaxyHerbalifeChivas USACorona ExtraEarthquakesAmway
Dynamo Greenstar Recycling Red Bulls* Red Bull Toronto FC BMO DC United Volkswagen Crew Glidden Paint Real Salt Lake XanGo Sounders Xbox Union Bimbo Timbers Alaska Airlines Whitecaps Bell Canada
NOTE: * = Club is owned by Red Bull co-Founder Dietrich Mateschitz.
NFL jerseys tailored for women “have become popular in recent years,” and Steelers S Troy Polamalu's No. 43 was the “most popular women’s jersey sold” this season, according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Polamalu, who also has the best-selling jersey among men, is followed on the women's list by Colts QB Peyton Manning and Saints QB Drew Brees, “who rank fourth and second on the men’s list, respectively, according to stats from NFLShop.com.” Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is fourth on the women’s jersey list, one spot ahead of Patriots QB Tom Brady. Rodgers ranks seventh on the men’s list. The “biggest jump of anyone on the list” is Cowboys TE Jason Witten, who is 21st on the men’s list, but 10th on the women’s list. Despite his “off-the-field behavior,” Vikings QB Brett Favre was 11th on the women’s list and ranked 12th on the men’s list. The “biggest drop between men and women” was Eagles QB Michael Vick, who was sixth on the men’s list and 14th on the women’s list. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who “finished out of the top 25 on the men’s list, also didn’t make the women’s top 25” (CNBC.com. 1/25).TOP-SELLING NFL JERSEYS AMONG WOMEN
FROM APRIL 1, 2010-JANUARY 2, 2011RANKPLAYER1Steelers S Troy Polamalu2Colts QB Peyton Manning3Saints QB Drew Brees4Packers QB Aaron Rodgers5Patriots QB Tom Brady6Broncos QB Tim Tebow7Cowboys WR Miles Austin8Giants QB Eli Manning9Cowboys QB Tony Romo10Cowboys TE Jason Witten
After several years of slow sponsorship sales and little activity, Michael Waltrip Racing Exec VP/Business Tyson Norris said NASCAR teams are beginning to see a rise in sponsorship interest. There are signs that the fog is lifting, Norris said, adding, "I feel so much better than I did two years ago." MWR has increased the amount of spending its key partners -- NAPA, Aaron's and Tums -- are making against the team going into '11, and Norris said he was encouraged by some of the associate sponsorships announced this week by other NASCAR teams. Norris: "I feel like the storm has passed. There's still some collateral damage. Until we rebuild the collateral damage, we can't get the sport back to where it was." MWR and NAPA Auto Parts yesterday announced that Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 15 MWR Toyota in this year's Daytona 500 featuring a NAPA paint scheme that honors Waltrip's 25th consecutive start in the race as well as the 10th anniversary of the '01 Daytona 500. Waltrip won in '01 driving for team owner Dale Earnhardt, who was fatally injured on the final lap of the race (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).
RIGHT ON TARGET: ESPN.com's Ed Hinton noted Earnhardt Ganassi Racing "secured 100 percent renewal for this season with sponsors whose contracts were up" despite the Sprint Cup Series still suffering from "corporate sponsorship dropout in a still-sagging economy." Bass Pro Shops and McDonald's "will go again" as primary sponsors of the No. 1 car driven by Jamie McMurray, while Target stays with Juan Pablo Montoya's No. 42 car. EGR was "born just two years ago from the merger of two troubled teams by economic necessity" -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing -- but it "now is as healthy as they come, if you figure funding per car." EGR Competition Dir Steve Hmiel said of team Owner Chip Ganassi's treatment of Target, "I've never seen anybody take care of a sponsor like he does" (ESPN.com, 1/24).
NOTES: Richard Childress Racing yesterday announced a six-race agreement on Kevin Harvick's No. 29 Sprint Cup car with sandwich chain Jimmy John's. The car will be primarily sponsored by Budweiser this season; RCR still has 10 races to sell on it (Mickle)....NASCAR has reached an exclusive multiyear deal for K&N Filters' oil and air filters to be the league's official air filter (THE DAILY)....Rockstar Energy Drink has signed MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo to a sponsorship deal. The deal marks Lorenzo's first U.S. sponsor and Rockstar's first-ever sponsorship of a MotoGP racer (Rockstar)....Music magazine Vibe is "slapping its logo on rookie driver Darrell Wallace Jr.'s race car and promising extensive editorial coverage in support of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program." Vibe is "working with Wallace's race team, Revolution Racing" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/23).
Infiniti today announced a partnership with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports. The automaker, which will run a multimedia campaign during regular-season men's basketball games and the Division I men's basketball tournament, will receive co-branded features during hoops coverage on CBS and the three Turner Broadcasting networks. Infiniti will also serve as the presenting sponsor of Turner's March Madness pregame shows and will present in-game "coaches spotlights" during the tournament (Infiniti).
DOUBLE BOOKED: The USTA’s lawsuit against Olympus Corp. for breaching its sponsorship agreement yesterday received a trial date of June 30, which is the same date as the women’s semifinals at Wimbledon. Olympus has also countersued the USTA. It is possible the two sides settle before the case reaches trial. The USTA is seeking to enforce the last year of the U.S. Open and U.S. Open Series sponsorships, while Olympus wants a court order to break them, alleging the USTA violated terms of the agreements. The case is filed in New York State Supreme Court, Westchester division (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).
MOVING TARGET: In Raleigh, Luke DeCock noted Versus is airing NHL All-Star Game promos depicting RBC Center in “downtown instead of West Raleigh.” The arena in one shot is “in the midst of downtown skyscrapers -- including a few that appear to have been moved here from elsewhere -- as players skate on a road of snow through an urban canyon toward the arena.” The closing graphics of the commercial “superimpose the arena on the downtown skyline.” Versus VP/Creative Services Tripp Dixon: “We thought it was important to show the RBC Center and some of Raleigh in the promo for the All-Star Game; however, our main objective was to create another superhero world -- our version of Gotham. People don't skate down buildings or skate down the middle of streets, so the spot does require some suspension of disbelief. That's kind of the whole idea here. Everything in the commercial isn't totally factual" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 1/25).
CONFLICT OF INTEREST? In Portland, Allan Brettman notes ESPN’s Erin Andrews, who recently signed an endorsement deal with Reebok, two weeks earlier gave an “on-air report that delivered a hit to one of Reebok’s chief competitors, Nike.” Andrews reported that TCU players “were having problems slipping on the Rose Bowl turf because of new Nike shoes they were wearing.” Brettman wonders, "Would it have made a difference at the time if Andrews were under contract with Reebok to endorse a workout shoe?" ESPN Communications Manager Michael Humes said, “It’s rare she would cover stories involving shoes in her role. With that said, if something relevant comes up, she would disclose her Reebok connection" (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/26).