SBD/January 7, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Tiger Woods, Golf Digest Decide To End Relationship After 13 Years

    Golf Digest becomes fifth company Tiger Woods has parted ways with since '09

    Tiger Woods and Golf Digest "parted company Thursday, ending a 13-year relationship between the world's most visible golfer and the world's largest golf magazine," according to Larry Dorman of the N.Y. TIMES. Golf Digest "has run monthly articles with Woods's byline since 1997," but Chair & Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde said that Woods' column in the February issue "would be his last." Woods, "whose deal with the magazine was his second-longest after his ongoing 14-year endorsement deal with Nike, will have his name removed from the magazine's masthead" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/7). The AP's Doug Ferguson noted Golf Digest "never disclosed terms of the deal, although it was believed to be among the smallest financially for Woods -- no more than $2 million a year." The value "came from exposure, along with some content provided for Woods' website." IMG Senior VP & Global Managing Dir of Golf Mark Steinberg said of his client, "The reality is his deal was up at the end of the year. Because we're living in this digital world, they needed more time from him. He wasn't ready to commit to any additional time at this point with everything going on -- trying to work on his swing and other things." Ferguson noted Golf Digest "put his column on hold last February while Woods took time off to sort out his personal life, resuming the column in September" (AP, 1/6). USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy notes besides Golf Digest, Woods "has lost or mutually split with four corporate sponsors since the November 2009 car crash that ignited a news media storm over his extramarital affairs: Gillette, Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture" (USA TODAY, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: Golf, Marketing and Sponsorship
  • NFL Team Sponsors Activating Around Wild-Card Weekend

    Colts to have sponsor placard activations scheduled for Saturday's game

    The Chiefs, making their first playoff appearance since '06, have used their turnaround from a combined 10 wins over the past three seasons to winning 10 games this season to snag an important new sponsor. Seeking awareness among its B-to-B target, Scout Investments is presenting sponsor of this Sunday's playoff opener against the Ravens. The K.C.-based institutional asset management firm also took a multiyear naming-rights deal to the Chiefs expanded club level. Team-controlled media and rights to use the facility for corporate events were also included, said team Exec VP & COO Mark Donovan. Grocery chain Hy-Vee is sponsoring a card stunt during the game's first quarter, in which fans in the lower level will attempt to fashion a design with arrowheads on each end of the stadium, Hy-Vee logos in the corners and a huge "Go Chiefs" sign. Miller, Sprint, and Coke are among the sponsors of a downtown pep rally Friday. Meanwhile, the Colts, hosting the Jets Saturday night in a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game, are also doing a card stunt, sponsored by lead playoff patrons Sprint, Toyota, and Huntington Bank. The cards will combine to form the team's "All In" tagline. Colts Senior Director of Marketing Chuck O'Hara said that throughout this week, playoff posters have been distributed at various malls, along with ticket giveaways, and include appearances and autographs by Colts alumni and cheerleaders.

    Eagles giving away rally towels before Sunday's
    game against the Packers
    BROTHERLY LOVE: In Philadelphia, where the Packers are pitted against the NFC East Champion Eagles in their first home playoff game in four years, stadium entitlement holder Lincoln Financial has its brand name on 70,000 rally towels. Eagles Senior VP/Business Ari Roitman said Pepsi is in as presenting sponsor of the playoffs for the team, on behalf of its Pepsi Max low-calorie cola brand, and was presenting sponsor of a Center City pep rally on Thursday. On game day, there will be sampling of Pepsi Max around Lincoln Financial Field, along with some in-stadium marketing activity. Pepsi will also support at retail, and Eagles sponsors Budweiser and Miller are activating with some on-premise marketing. Eagles Senior VP & CMO Tim McDermott has fashioned a playoff campaign centered around a "Heart" thematic, which will be on the rally towel, leveraged across a variety of media and employed by some corporate sponsors, including ACME, which is selling Heart apparel through its supermarkets.

    TURN IT UP TO 12: Aside from its inconsequential designation as the Official Decision Engine of the Seahawks, Microsoft's Bing search engine is the team's presenting sponsor for the playoffs and will have its brand on 50,000 12th man "We Are 12" rally towels that will be given to fans at Saturday's game against the Saints. Other Seahawks sponsor activation included cheerleader and player appearances over free coffee and doughnut holes at Top Pot Doughnuts and a Washington Lottery ticket giveaway at Qwest Field. A 12th man flag will fly from Seattle's Space Needle for what the team is celebrating as Blue Friday.

    Print | Tags: NFL, Microsoft, Marketing and Sponsorship, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks
  • Polamalu Unseats Tebow Atop Jersey Sales List

    Steelers S Troy Polamalu "sold the most jerseys" from April through the end of the regular season on, according to Darren Rovell of It marks the first time that a defensive player "has led the league in jersey sales" since Bears LB Brian Urlacher in '06. Polamalu and Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, who ranked No. 9, were the "only non-quarterbacks in the top 12." Broncos QB Tim Tebow, who had ranked No. 1 since being drafted but only started two games this season, "was knocked out of the top spot to finish third." Saints QB Drew Brees ranked No. 2. Rovell noted since the NFL "started compiling jersey sales stats for the 2001 season, a rookie has never finished the season as the best seller" (, 1/6).

    Steelers S Troy Polamalu
    Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
    Saints QB Drew Brees
    Packers LB Clay Matthews
    Broncos QB Tim Tebow
    Chargers QB Philip Rivers
    Colts QB Peyton Manning
    Titans RB Chris Johnson
    Patriots QB Tom Brady
    Ravens LB Ray Lewis
    Eagles QB Michael Vick
    Patriots WR Wes Welker
    Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
    Redskins QB Donovan McNabb
    Giants QB Eli Manning
    Cowboys TE Jason Witten
    Eagles WR DeSean Jackson
    Browns RB Peyton Hillis
    Jets QB Mark Sanchez
    Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson
    Cowboys QB Tony Romo
    Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
    Vikings QB Brett Favre
    Steelers WR Hines Ward
    Cowboys WR Miles Austin

    SCORE ONE FOR PEYTON: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jared Diamond reports The Nielsen Co. and E-Poll Market Research's "N-Score," which "measures the endorsement potential of athletes," found that Peyton Manning "dominates" Tom Brady in marketability. Nielsen to determine the scores "administered surveys to 1,100 Americans above the age of 13," and the results are "based on the public's awareness of the athletes and on a series of questions pertaining to their appeal and attributes." The N-Score also "shows the public's response to controversy." Eagles QB Michael Vick's rating "peaked at 60 in September 2005, but plummeted to 5 in January 2008, shortly after he was sent to prison." Vick's score "has since climbed to 16 nationally and 72 in the Philadelphia market." Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger "has seen a similar rise since his suspension from football, up to 22 from a 6 in May" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: NFL, Football, Marketing and Sponsorship
  • MLS Crew Search For New Shirt Sponsor After Glidden Deal Ends

    The logo of paint manufacturer Glidden "will no longer adorn the front of the Crew's jerseys after the company declined to renew its signature sponsorship" of the MLS club, according to Shawn Mitchell of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Glidden's logo had been "prominently displayed on the Crew's jerseys" since the '08 season. The uniform sponsorship was worth a reported $1M per season for the Crew. The company will remain a team sponsor, and the Crew hope to "find a new jersey sponsor soon." Crew President & GM Mark McCullers said, "We're talking to some other people. It's prudent to have a couple of irons in the fire, but it's a big investment. My guess is that we probably won't have a jersey sponsor when we start the season, but we do have some people genuinely interested" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Columbus Crew
  • Nash Reportedly Leaves Nike After 15 Years For China-Based Luyou

    Nash's deal with Luyou continues trend of deals between NBA players, Chinese brands

    Suns G Steve Nash has “left Nike and signed with Chinese brand Luyou,” according to Terms of Nash's agreement with Luyou have not been disclosed, but Nike in a statement said, “We can confirm Steve Nash is no longer under contract with us.” The Nike-Nash partnership "ends after 15 years." Nash’s decision to endorse a Chinese footwear brand “follows in the footsteps of recent headline deals,” including Celtics F Kevin Garnett leaving adidas for Anta and Clippers G Baron Davis and Grizzlies C Hasheem Thabeet signing with Li-Ning. Nash is repped by BDA Sports, which has "pioneered Chinese endorsement deals for NBA athletes with its clients,” including Rockets C Yao Ming (, 1/6).’ Matt Moore noted Chinese shoe companies have “progressively signed more and more players to endorsement deals.” Peak “recently nabbed” Mavericks G Jason Kidd and Lakers F Ron Artest.” Nash has “made a significant push the past few years in expanding his global presence," and his move to Luyou “echoes the mass integration of NBA players in the Chinese market.” The NBA is “becoming more global as an entity, and the players are moving to be a part of that globalization” (, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Nike
  • Marketplace Roundup

    Wells Fargo agress to extend
    its role with Bobcats
    In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg reported Wells Fargo “has agreed to extend its role as one of the Charlotte Bobcats’ biggest sponsors.” Wells Fargo, a “founding-level” sponsor, “inherited the relationship after buying Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp.” in '08. The original sponsorship “expired before the current season.” Terms of the three-year deal weren’t disclosed, but industry sources "peg the agreement at $1 million to $3 million annually" (, 1/6).

    NO REPLACEMENT: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin notes “negotiations between IndyCar and Firestone continue, but if the tire manufacturer ends its association with Indy-car racing after this season, the sport will suffer in ways not yet known.” Cavin: “With no disrespect to Honda, Firestone is IndyCar's best partner, and no company does more to promote the sport. Firestone buys win ads in major publications featuring the drivers and their teams. It showcases Indy-car racing through some of the best commercials on television. It sponsors races. It is title sponsor of the Indy Lights Series. It brings customers to events.” There is “no logical replacement.” Goodyear is the “only company with experience handling the loads created by Indy cars on oval tracks, and its focus is NASCAR” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/7).

    MOVING AT A TURTLE PACE: The Steelers “asked a federal judge Tuesday to fine Turtle Creek Sportswear $500 a day for every day the shop has ignored or continues to ignore a 2005 court order to stop selling items similar to official Steelers merchandise.” The Steelers “asked the judge to order the company to turn over any money from the sale of merchandise infringing on the team's trademarks” (, 1/5).

    ROUNDUP: O’Reilly Auto Parts has agreed to multiyear deals to become the naming-rights sponsor of the 14th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals from July 7-10 near Chicago, and the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals from Aug. 5-7 near Seattle. With the addition of these events, O’Reilly Auto Parts is now the title sponsor of five events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series (NHRA)….Golfer Tim Clark has “ended his relationship with Srixon and signed an endorsement contract with Titleist” (, 1/6). 

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
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