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SBD/March 3, 2011/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
EA Sports will be conducting a consumer voting effort to select the cover athlete for its upcoming college football title, "NCAA Football 12," repeating a successful effort first used last year for "Madden NFL 11." Beginning tomorrow, users will be able to go to Facebook.com/easportsncaafootball and select between Auburn DT Nick Fairley, Alabama RB Mark Ingram, Washington QB Jake Locker and Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray. Voting will close April 4 and the winning choice will be announced April 19 on ESPN2's "First Take." Much like the "Madden" effort, predictably yielding Saints QB Drew Brees as the ultimate cover choice, the latest move is designed to drive consumer awareness to the title, set for release this summer, and build buzz. "We do this on the gameplay side all the time, getting as much feedback as possible from fans. So now we're doing more of this on the marketing side, too. It's the right thing to do," said EA Sports Senior Product Marketing Manager Randy Chase. "We're looking to build off what happened last year with 'Madden,' but do it in even more of a grassroots way and incorporate more social networking." Coke Zero will be a key sponsor for the fan voting effort. EA Sports will additionally stage a booth at NCAA Bracket Town fan festival at the Final Four in Houston where it will hold on-site voting for the cover athlete (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). Fairley and Locker appeared on ESPN2's "First Take" this morning, and both made their case to be the next cover athlete by holding up campaign-like posters featuring their images asking fans to vote for them. Locker: "It's great that the fans get to be involved in this process and will be able to as fans of college football, determine who's on the cover for next year. So it's cool to make them a part of this process" ("First Take," ESPN2, 3/3).
Mexican brewer Tecate is “building what it expects to be its largest retail promotion ever around” the May 7 Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley bout, backing its usual PPV rebate “with commemorative cans featuring the fighters and creating bilingual promotional materials for the first time,” according to Bill King of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Tecate will produce “about 100,000 cases -- or more than 1 million of the 24-ounce cans -- for distribution in participating stores in the Western U.S., Texas and Illinois beginning the first week in April.” It also will run a "national program offering a $25 rebate on purchases" of the PPV in all states that allow it. Tecate “anticipates reaching about 20,000 stores with the commemorative cans and eclipsing 50,000 stores with the overall promotion" around the fight, which coincides with Cinco de Mayo. King notes Tecate’s activation in boxing “has been popular with Hispanic grocers” since the company entered the sport in ’07 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/28 issue). Meanwhile, Tecate “did not renew” its deal with ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights,” choosing instead to “sponsor more cards on Spanish-language channels Telefutura and Fox Deportes.” Tecate began sponsoring “Friday Night Fights” in ’09 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/28 issue).
BACK FOR MORE: MEDIAPOST’s Karl Greenberg noted Tecate and Tecate Light are “running their 10th consecutive sponsorship of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the weekend of April 15.” The brands will be offering “more than $100 in discounts to racing event tickets and snacks, as well as promotions and live music concerts leading up to the main race.” They also will “offer car cleaning products with the purchase of a 12-pack or larger of Tecate Light or Tecate in Southern California,” and stores will “give out free passes” to Tecate Light’s “Fiesta Friday” concert (MEDIAPOST.com, 2/28).
Celtics F Jermaine O’Neal has launched Le Jaunty, his "own line of menswear,” according to Jill Radsken of the BOSTON HERALD. Denim is “at the core of Le Jaunty, which juxtaposes urban streetwear with an air of gentility.” Though the brand's mascot is a "hawk and its tagline is ‘Gentlemen of an Inclusive Society,’ Le Jaunty isn’t priced rich.” T-shirts begin at $30, and the “line tops out at $125.” Le Jaunty Design Dir Michael Chew Shaw said, “The demographic is the 20- to 35-year-old who wants casual wear, but a little dressed up." O’Neal said, “I’ve always been interested in fashion. It’s exciting, something that I love to do.” O’Neal added he is “extremely hands-on” with design and production. He hopes that the line “makes a retail entrance at Macy’s or Nordstrom” (BOSTON HERALD, 3/3).
The Knicks have released a line of Carmelo Anthony-themed merchandise for sale at MSG and NYKnicksStore.com. In addition to more than 1,000 No. 7 jerseys, the Knicks beginning yesterday at MSG are selling Anthony swingman and fashion jerseys, a variety of men's and women's fashion T-shirts, basketballs, pennants, pins, key chains and rally towels (Knicks).
CHIPS & PUTTS: The LPGA Tuesday introduced the Sherwood Taipei hotel as the title sponsor for its first event in Taiwan. The Oct. 20-23 LPGA Taiwan Championship will have a prize pool of $2M (FOCUSTAIWAN.tw, 3/1)....Capital One Bank last week "signed on as the official bank" of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic. The tournament's signature venue "will be branded the Capital One Bank Champion's Club." The bank's sponsorship also will include a "presenting role in the annual Louisiana Forward Economic Summit to be held April 26" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/3).
WINNING HAND: In Jacksonville, David Bauerlein reported the NFL last week "won a quick victory over Jacks or Better LLC after the business repeatedly refused to remove a photo of Jaguars quarterback David Garrard from its website." Jacks or Better "agreed to pay $5,000 and not use images of Garrard or any NFL trademarks without written authorization" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 3/1).