SBD/January 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Andy Murray Starting Tennis Season Without Sponsors On Shirt

    Murray historically sported a patch from RBS, his sponsor since age 14

    Andy Murray will wear a shirt "without any sponsor logos or patches on the sleeves" for at least the first few weeks of the tennis season, according to Mark Hodgkinson of the London TELEGRAPH. Murray in previous years has advertised RBS and Highland Spring on his sleeves, but "those contracts have expired so he has unpicked the patches while his representatives at 19 Management renegotiate." It seems "certain that he will appear at the Australian Open, which starts on Jan. 17, in a blank shirt." While RBS has "sponsored Murray since he was 14, and he has worn a Highland Spring patch for the past four years," his reps at 19 Management are "talking to other companies about possibly sponsoring" the tennis star. Murray was "due to wear his 'clean' kit on Monday at the Hopman Cup exhibition in Perth." Hodgkinson noted while tennis players who endorse Nike are "contractually obliged to wear ‘clean’ shirts without any other companies’ logos, Murray’s contract with Adidas, which is believed to be worth seven figures a year, allows him to have a couple of patches" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/3).

    HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: Tennis player Kei Nishikori has signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with apparel company Uniqlo, based in his native Japan. IMG, which reps Nishikori, claims that he is the highest-profile athlete to endorse the brand (IMG).

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  • Nike Makes Big Splash With Seven-Figure Deal For Surfer Wilson

    Wilson joins Nike's portfolio of surfers after eight years as a Quiksilver endorser

    Surfer Julian Wilson has signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Nike 6.0 worth "somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000,000 a year," making it "hands down one of the biggest surfing's ever seen," according to Jake Howard of The exclusive partnership will "see the swoosh front and center on the nose" of Wilson's board, while he also will sport Nike 6.0 "apparel, footwear and wetsuits." Wilson said, "Nike has been pushing the direction of the sport of late and I'm really eager to be part of that movement." The Nike deal comes after Wilson "parted ways with Quiksilver" after eight years. Wilson's manager and brother, Bart Wilson, said, "Julian had a lot of good years with Quiksilver. ... We just felt that at this time, given that Julian had the chance to reassess, the move to Nike is the right decision." Howard noted Nike 6.0 in '09 added surfers Kolohe Andino and Carissa Moore to its roster, and "most recently upped the respective deals of 2009 World Junior Champ Kai Barger and 2011 Women's ASP World Tour rookie Laura Enever." The action sports brand also has "committed a wealth of resources to the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing and the Hurley Lowers Pro." Still, Wilson's deal is "a whole new level" for Nike 6.0, and will "raise the bar for top tier surf contracts in the future" (, 1/4).

    QUIK TO THE PUNCH: Quiksilver yesterday announced that it has signed a five-year endorsement contract with surfer Stephanie Gilmore. The deal with Gilmore coincides with the debut of Quiksilver’s global girls line, scheduled for next month (Quiksilver).'s Jon Coen noted Gilmore, a four-time world champion who has "ridden for Rip Curl her entire pro career, won her first World Championship her rookie year of 2007, and has dominated the Womens tour since." Gilmore will "become a brand ambassador" for Quiksilver's women's line. Coen noted until now, the brand had "sponsored female artists, musicians, photographers, and fashion designers but conspicuously lacked a surfer" (, 1/5).

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Castrol today announced a multiyear sponsorship deal with the NFL, giving the company category exclusivity in motor oil and related lubricants for the length of the deal. Castrol Edge synthetic motor oil will be the company's lead brand in its NFL activation. That activation will extend across a number of NFL platforms, including game broadcasts, NFL Network and (Castrol).

    HERO OF THE DAY: YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski noted the NHL's partnership with Stan Lee to "create 'NHL Guardians' comic book heroes" has "apparently inspired the motif for Versus' 2011 NHL All-Star Game commercial that began airing this week." Players in the ad are "featured striking iconic poses and doing heroic things like skating down dark roads next to large tanker trucks." Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews, Penguins C Sidney Crosby, Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin and Canucks G Roberto Luongo are "all represented in the ad" (, 1/5).

    FUELING THE JETS: The Jets yesterday announced sponsors for "Jets Wild Card Week," ahead of Saturday's playoff game against the Colts. Pepsi as part of the initiative is integrating its Pepsi Max franchise into Jets social media properties, while is the presenting sponsor of the new "What's Your Take Playoff Chat" feature on the Jets' Facebook page. Pepsi Max and also are sponsoring a playoff rally the Jets are hosting today from 5:30-7:00pm ET. Additionally, fans can pick up Jets Playoff Rally towels courtesy of SportsNet N.Y. and Toyota throughout Manhattan today (Jets).

    THE OLYMPIC SPIRIT: Procter & Gamble's "newly expanded 'Proud sponsor of moms' campaign" is "tied to Procter's sponsorship of the Special Olympics." The campaign includes a commercial featuring Special Olympics athlete Molly Hincka with her mother, Kerry (, 1/5)....BMW, the official automotive partner of the '12 London Olympics, has "launched an initiative designed at supporting British Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls on the road to 2012" (, 1/4).

    ROUNDUP: The PBR "has hired Charlotte-based event marketing agency JHE to provide game-day presentation equipment and assistance for the 2011 season." PBR is the "first non-motorsports client to hire JHE in several years" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/3 issue)....Fans will be able to choose the apparel golfer Ian Poulter wears during his opening match of the Feb. 23-27 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship through a "Dress Ian" Facebook campaign, launched by the tournament and Poulter's IJP Design. Fans can go to to view and vote on the outfits and to purchase outfits at a discounted rate (Accenture Match Play Championship).

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