SBD/March 8, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Tackling The Pitch: Under Armour To Make EPL Debut With Tottenham Partnership

    Under Armour will replace Puma as Tottenham supplier starting in '12

    Under Armour and Tottenham Hotspur today announced a five-year kit supply agreement, the Baltimore-based company's first with an EPL club. Beginning with the '12-13 season, Under Armour will provide Tottenham with performance apparel, including training wear and game jerseys for the club's teams, as well as replica merchandise available for retail (Tottenham). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Tariq Panja reported Under Armour will replace Puma as Tottenham's jersey supplier. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Under Armour has been "increasing its agreements with sports teams and athletes in recent years as it seeks to expand outside the U.S." In addition to deals with Patriots QB Tom Brady and skier Lindsey Vonn "to market its cotton performance T-shirts, it provides apparel for the Wales rugby union team" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/7).

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  • NBC, Versus Join Forces To Promote NHL Playoffs On Both Nets

    NBC and Versus are joining forces to push the NHL's "History Will Be Made" Stanley Cup Playoffs ad campaign "on air, online, in store, in print and via mobile and social media" beginning Sunday during NBC's NHL Game of the Week, according to Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. MSNBC and CNBC also will carry the campaign, which features more than 20 spots, including one showing the Blackhawks "ending a 49-year championship drought" last year. The ads are "designed to evoke memories from playoff history." During the playoffs, "new spots will be produced each day featuring a highlight from the previous night's games." NBC and Versus last season "each had their own Stanley Cup campaigns." John Miller, who leads the NBC Sports Agency and NBC Universal Marketing Counsel, said that getting the two networks "to work together came naturally because ever since Comcast's sports assets became part of NBC Sports Group, their promotional teams were folded into the NBC Sports Agency." Miller said that the campaign "will be on for a long time -- starting a month before the playoffs begin." He added, "It's a lengthy campaign but it also has the broad reach of network, the targeting of cable and the additional reinforcement of what the NHL institutional inventory can add on top of that. Because of the singular creative message, it will seem like three times the weight" (, 3/7).

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  • Airlines Likely To Increase Sports Sponsorship With Economy Recovering

    AirTran's "Colts 1" plane is one of many sports sponsorships

    Many U.S. airlines "see teams and athletes as convenient vehicles for their commercial message," and with the economy recovering, sponsorship is "likely to grow even more," according to analysts cited by Roger Yu of USA TODAY. Fans who attend sporting events are "deemed by advertisers as active and likely travelers, which dovetails with airlines' marketing strategy to reach high spenders." Most large carriers "have deals that often go back years with teams in their headquarters and hub cities." Chicago-based United Airlines is the official airline of the Bulls, Redskins and Broncos, who play in "three of its largest hubs." Meanwhile, Orlando-based AirTran "has an exclusive relationship" the Magic, and the airline has signed C Dwight Howard "to sell tickets to vacationers visiting Disney." Local sports affiliation also "comes in handy as airlines expand into new markets." Delta "has been adding flights at its New York JFK hub," and Senior VP/Marketing Tim Mapes said that the airline "has stepped up marketing in the city, signing deals to sponsor the New York Yankees and Mets baseball teams." Yu notes a "particularly effective tool for creating buzz is painting aircraft," and AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest and US Airways "have flown aircraft painted in the colors of teams" ranging from the NFL to MLS. AirTran has "five themed aircraft for teams it sponsors," such as "Falcons 1" or "Colts 1." Airlines' names also "appear in sports facilities, a strategy aimed at increasing visibility." United "sponsors a VIP club at Soldier Field in Chicago, with its logo displayed prominently," while Delta "has showcased its premium-class lie-flat seats at a lounge in Citi Field" (USA TODAY, 3/8). Below is a sampling of sports sponsorships among U.S. airlines (THE DAILY).

    Brewers IndyCar driver Danica Patrick
    Falcons Pro Football HOF
    Ravens Brewers OF Ryan Braun
    Colts Colts QB Peyton Manning
    Bruins Devils LW Ilya Kovalchuk
    Dodgers WNBA Storm
    MLS Timbers Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion
    American Airlines Center Heat
    AmericanAirlines Arena Cowboys
    Stars Islanders
    Mavericks MLS
    USTA Knicks
    Indians Browns
    Astros Texans
    Cavaliers NHL Rangers
    Rockets MLS Dynamo
    10 MLB teams NHL Kings
    MSG (Knicks, Rangers, Liberty) NCAA
    Hawks Jazz
    Lakers Thrashers
    NHL Panthers Clippers
    Red Sox Bills
    Raiders Jets
    six MLB teams Suns
    Celtics Flyers
    Mavericks Sharks
    Nuggets Capitals
    U.S. Airways Center Eagles
    D'Backs Steelers
    Suns Coyotes
    United Center Bulls
    USOC Bears
    Cubs Broncos
    White Sox Blackhawks
    PGA Tour  


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  • U.S. Olympian Dara Torres To Endorse New Line Of Foam Sleep Solutions

    Torre signs on as new endorser for line of foam sleep products

    U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Dara Torres has signed on as an endorser of a new line of foam sleep solutions developed by Sleep Innovations, the New Jersey-based company that develops memory foam pillows, mattresses and mattress toppers. Torres will endorse a pillow and other products in the company's new Rejuvenation line. She will be featured in TV commercials, print ads and viral marketing. The Torres-endorsed product line will be unveiled during the Home Fashion Products Association show in N.Y. later this month. Premier Management Group President Evan Morgenstein, who represents Torres, said, "Dara's got a huge opportunity here because it continues to identify her as a woman and not just an Olympian. Her endorsements speak to people as a role model for women, not just as an athlete." Torres' other sponsors include Hewlett-Packard, Got Milk?, Fitness Nutrition, Innovative Body Solutions and Susta Natural Sweetener.

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  • Loving Cup: Reese's Signs As Big East's Official Candy Sponsor

    Reese's will receive prominent
    exposure at Big East tourneys
    The Big East Conference has renewed its agreement with The Hershey Co. to make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups the conference’s official candy. The deal also gives Reese’s status as a premier partner for the men’s and women’s Big East Conference basketball tournaments. Reese’s will receive prominent exposure inside and outside of MSG for the men’s event and XL Center in Hartford for the women’s championship. This includes an on-court logo at MSG, a logo on the underbelly of the hanging scoreboard and rotational signage courtside. Reese’s also will serve as a sponsor on the Big East’s radio broadcasts and website. The deal was struck and will be managed by IMG College, the rights holder for the conference (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

    TIME FOR A PARADE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Fred Dreier reports Macy’s has signed a three-year deal “to become the official department store” of the SEC and the conference’s championship events. SEC Dir of Marketing & Licensing Charlie Hussey said that the deal “represents an extension into college sports for Macy’s, which already purchases airtime” during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Hussey added Macy’s “already has a good presence with our TV partner, so this makes it the full package for them.” Dreier notes the deal runs through December ’13. SEC officials did not discuss the value of the deal (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/7 issue).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Hershey, Basketball
  • Marketplace Roundup

    Votto will be featured in ads for Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance

    In Cincinnati, James Ritchie reports Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance has signed Reds 1B Joey Votto "for a new advertising campaign." Great American spokesperson Diane Weidner said that the company "will feature Votto in a series of print ads highlighting Great American's brand and its product offerings." Weidner "wouldn't disclose terms of the deal," though she said that the agreement "is limited to just local print ads." Ritchie notes the company has had naming rights to Great American Ball Park since it opened in '03, and Weidner said that the "naming rights tie-in helped lead to the marketing plan that includes Votto" (BUSINESS COURIER OF CINCINNATI, 3/4 issue).

    END OF THE ROAD: In Nashville, G. Chambers Williams III notes Firestone, which will exit IndyCar at the end of this season, "began sponsoring Indy Lights in 1991 and returned to the Indianapolis 500 in 1995" before become the "exclusive tire" of IndyCar in '02. Bridgestone Firestone Motorsports spokesperson Mark Robinson said, "We achieved all of our goals and more since we came back, and we have had a great relationship with IndyCar. The relationship (led to) increased tire sales and brand exposure. But we decided it was time to move on." However, marketing research firm FanLab LLC Dir Brian Evans said he was "initially surprised to hear Firestone was pulling out, because it has been partners with Indy for so long, and it's a great way for the company to show the prowess of its products." Evans: "There isn't the same opportunity for a tire company to do that with baseball, football or hockey" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/8).

    ROUNDUP: The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association has named Marriott Int'l as its official hotel and lodging partner. As part of the deal, Marriott Hotels & Resorts will be prominently featured on the competition uniforms of U.S. alpine and freestyle skiers as well as nordic sports athletes. Marriott properties will also serve as headquarters hotels at major USSA events (USSA)....Switzerland-based bank UBS Thursday "signed a deal to become the title sponsor" for the April 17 F1 Chinese Grand Prix, "two years after previous partner Sinopec raced out of the circuit due to mounting losses." UBS "declined to reveal the deal value" (SHANGHAI DAILY, 3/4).

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