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SBD/March 2, 2011/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
CBS Sports Exec VP/Sales & Marketing John Bogusz said that the NCAA men's basketball tournament is "nearly sold out of TV and digital inventory," the "earliest the event has sold so much inventory in recent memory," according to Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. TNT, TBS and TruTV are "joining CBS in carrying the games and selling the attached advertising." Bogusz and Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Diament indicated that "most inventory sold out in February," though "some is being held in reserve." Steinberg reported as is the case each year, the NCAA tournament "already has a list of prominent supporters that agree well in advance to purchase broad sponsorship packages." Bogusz said that "auto advertisers will be strong in the tournament," and telecommunications companies and fast-food marketers "have also shown strong interest." This is the first year since '90 that tournament coverage will air on an outlet other than CBS, and Steinberg noted advertisers, rather than looking at the ratings of a single broadcast, "will add up the ratings points of broadcasts across CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV." The networks "have had to figure out new contingency plans in case ratings fall short of their promises to advertisers." CBS in past years "could simply make up any shortfalls with ad time in other sports broadcasts" on the net. Under the new agreement, however, inventory that is solely CBS' or Turner's "may not always be available for use" as make goods. Bogusz: "We have actually been a little bit conservative with our ratings estimates. We have inventory to make people whole if for some reason the ratings don't deliver what we're anticipating" (ADAGE.com, 3/1).
DELIVERING THE GOODS: AD WEEK's Anthony Crupi reported new research from Kantar Media shows the NCAA Tournament is the "second biggest postseason sports showcase for advertisers" behind only the NFL Playoffs. CBS in '10 "took in $613.8 million in ad sales revenue," which "easily eclipsed" both the NBA and MLB. The Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals generated $417.7M in ad sales, while the Giants-Rangers World Series drew $345.3M (ADWEEK.com, 3/1).
It would seem that Wood Brothers Racing "would want to respond as soon as possible to sponsorship opportunities” for the No. 21 Sprint Cup car following Trevor Bayne's Daytona 500 win, but such inquiries "took their place in line behind more important things, such as getting cars ready for Phoenix and Las Vegas and doing numerous media interviews that couldn’t wait,” according to Bob Pockrass of SCENEDAILY.com. Team co-Owner Len Wood said of potential sponsorship opportunities, “We’ll get to them and sort through them. That stuff doesn’t happen overnight. We can go anywhere.” Wood Brothers does not have a dedicated marketing department, and Pockrass noted a member of the Roush Fenway Racing communications department has been “going through the requests to find out which ones the Woods should target first.” RFR also is “in the sponsorship hunt for Bayne, who is running the full Nationwide Series schedule for Roush but doesn’t have sponsorship.” Considering that top sponsorships “are going for up to $6 million in that series, potential sponsors likely have a choice to make -- going Nationwide with Roush Fenway or filling out the bulk of the 18 Cup races in which the Wood Brothers currently don’t plan to compete unless funding surfaces.” RFR President Steve Newmark: “When unique opportunities present themselves such as a Trevor Bayne, companies tend to find dollars that may not have otherwise been in the marketing budget when the year started because they view it as a unique opportunity.” Newmark said that inquiries “have come from companies Roush Fenway has talked to for a while as well as companies that had previously not shown interest.” The Wood Brothers has "full sponsorship" for 17 Sprint Cup races this season, and the team "will use the Daytona 500 winnings to run at Martinsville Speedway" (SCENEDAILY.com, 3/1).
Sam Schmidt Motorsports Owner Sam Schmidt yesterday bought the Fazzt Race Team, "one of IndyCar's brightest young teams," according to Curt Cavin of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Schmidt "acquired all of Fazzt's assets," including Bowers & Wilkins' sponsorship program for the '11 season. Fazzt driver Alex Tagliani "will remain driver of the No. 77 car." Fazzt at some point "will move to the former Vision Racing shop now used by Schmidt's team." Schmidt "expects his previously announced IndyCar contracts -- for drivers Wade Cunningham and Jay Howard -- to run out of Fazzt's Indianapolis shop." SSM will continue to field driver Townsend Bell in the Indianapolis 500. Fazzt "was created for the 2010 season, a partnership of Tagliani, Jim Freudenberg and actor Jason Priestley." Cavin writes Schmidt's "first bid at IndyCar team ownership had mixed results, leading him to focus on the Firestone Indy Lights series." Schmidt said that his "four-car Indy Lights program will continue this season" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/2).
Colorado-based sweater-maker Neve Designs “will bedeck U.S. Ski Team athletes and staff for the next two Olympics” in an exclusive partnership through ’19, according to Jason Blevins of the DENVER POST. Neve has been a partner with the U.S. Ski Team “for the past three years.” The team today will announce a partnership extension that makes Neve the official sweater of the U.S. Ski Team for the ‘14 Sochi Games, the ‘15 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships and the ‘18 Winter Games. The partnership makes the nine-year-old company “both a supplier of all U.S. Ski Team athletes and a licensee for team-logoed knitwear.” The 10-employee company “joins heavyweights like The North Face and Boulder-based Spyder as exclusive and long-term partners with the U.S. Winter Olympics teams” (DENVER POST, 3/2). Meanwhile, the Norway-based Bjørn Dæhlie clothing brand extended its partnership with the U.S. Ski Team through ’15. The announcement was made during the Nordic Ski World Championships in Olso. Former Norwegian cross-country skier Dæhlie started the clothing line in ’96 (Bjørn Dæhlie).
In Boston, Todd Wallack in a front-page piece reports the Federal Highway Administration has concluded that "some of the most visible billboards in the Boston area, including the mammoth advertisement for beer on the side of the TD Garden, appear to be illegal and may have to come down." The FHA "found the problem signs during its first inspection of Massachusetts' outdoor advertising program in more than a decade, and reported its findings last week." FHA officials said that the "gigantic sign at TD Garden, which now promotes Budweiser beer to travelers entering the city across the Zakim Bridge, 'appears to be an illegal sign' because it does not have the necessary state permit." However, TD Garden officials "insisted they don't need a state permit" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/2).
SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell reported Hawaii-based GT Sports Marketing has signed exclusive autograph deals with former Auburn QB Cam Newton and DE Nick Fairley, as well as former Alabama RB Mark Ingram. Newton's deal provides for GT to "buy and sell Newton's game-used NFL gear." While the autograph industry "has definitely taken its hits over the last decade," GT President Gary Takahashi said that "several categories still sell: Super Bowl MVPs, Hall of Famers and Rookies" (CNBC.com, 3/1).
NOTES: The Bills "have closed the team's retail store" at Eastview Mall in Victor, N.Y., saying that "strong online sales have made a brick-and-mortar store in the Rochester area superfluous." Bills Senior VP/Marketing & Broadcasting Marc Honan said that the retail store "adjacent to team offices at Ralph Wilson Stadium is popular and will remain open." The Eastview store was the team's "only other retail operation" (Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 3/1)....Brazilian club Flamengo MF Ronaldinho is "teaming up with Ed Hardy creator Christian Audigier on a clothing line." The collection will include "shirts and a variety of hats and will be available to nightclub GHB dealers in Latin America, Japan and the U.S." (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/1).