SBD/March 31, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

WXYZ-ABC’s Don Shane noted Lions WR Calvin Johnson is appearing in a Acura commercial, and he wonders, “Should a high profile, all-pro player for the Lions, owned by the Ford Motor Company, be making a commercial for a Honda product?” The Lions said that there is “nothing in a player’s individual contract with the team that prohibits him from being part of a commercial for a car company that competes with Ford.” Pro Football HOFer and former Lions RB Barry Sanders in the mid-90s “made a Cadillac commercial” (WXYZ.com, 3/29).

SOX IT TO ME: New Balance announced that it has signed Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis to a multiyear endorsement deal. New Balance will be Youkilis' official on-field footwear and on- and off-field athletic footwear and apparel provider. The company is partnering with Youkilis to sponsor his "Youk's Kids" charity, including the recently launched "Athletes for Heroes" program. Youkilis joins Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia as an endorser of the company. Pedroia agreed to a multiyear deal with New Balance last season (THE DAILY).

HITCHING A RIDE: Armored AutoGroup, owner of STP and Armor All brands, and Pedregon Racing yesterday announced a multiyear sponsorship of Tony Pedregon’s NHRA Full Throttle Nitro Funny Car. As part of the deal, Pedregon’s car will display the STP and Armor All brands during the season. STP will serve as the primary sponsor at the Las Vegas, Houston and Sonoma races, and an associate sponsor for the remaining events. Armor All will be designated as an associate sponsor for the full season (Pedregon Racing).

LEAVING THEIR MARK: In Kentucky, Scott Sloan reported Maker’s Mark execs Monday “unveiled the newest limited-edition bottle, the latest in a series supporting” the Univ. of Kentucky. The ’11 Maker’s Mark Mile bottle “honors the 75th anniversary of Keeneland and features the track’s anniversary logo in gold, with gold wax coating the top.” The bottle “notes that this year is the 15th anniversary of the distillery’s sponsorship of the Maker’s Mark Mile race” at the track. Proceeds from the sale of the bottles will go to the Lee T. and Patsy Todd Jr. Development Fund for Music Outreach at UK’s School of Music (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 3/29).
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