SBD/April 13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

LeBron James signs on as endorser for Audemars Piguet luxury watch brand
Heat F LeBron James has signed as the latest endorser of luxury watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet. James will represent the company globally and create a limited-edition watch, with the proceeds of any future auction of his timepiece going to his LeBron James Family Foundation. James joins other sports stars including F1 driver Michael Schumacher, FC Barcelona F Leo Messi and golfers Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh as endorsers for the company (Audemars Piguet).

THIS IS THE STORY OF CHAMPIONS: MARKETING magazine's Alex Brownsell reports MasterCard has "launched a marketing campaign to promote its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League," ahead of the final match at Wembley Stadium on May 28. MasterCard is "rolling out an integrated campaign promising consumers 'priceless' experiences and content around the final, including an 'ultimate prize' of a pitch-side seat at the game." The company also is offering "historic pieces from some of the most memorable games from the tournament, plus items from current players." MasterCard has created "print, outdoor, digital and experiential ads," via McCann, London, while a dedicated microsite "also went live this week" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 4/13).

WAYNE'S WORLD: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds reported Ireland-based betting company Paddy Power is the "first brand to confirm that it is putting together a sponsorship proposal" for Manchester United F Wayne Rooney, who recently lost a deal with Coca-Cola. Paddy Power "considers an association with a high-profile sportsman as the next step in its development." Sources indicated that the company "had identified Rooney as a brand ambassador before the end of his partnership with Coke." In addition, PepsiCo reportedly has been "considering an approach for Rooney," though sources said that "any such deal was unlikely" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 4/12).

BOOST OF ENERGY: Dover Int'l Speedway has signed 5-Hour Energy as the title sponsor of its Nationwide Series race in May. The race will be known as the 5-Hour Energy 200. The Michigan-based energy brand sponsored a '10 Nationwide Series race in St. Louis. It is in its fourth season as the primary sponsor of the Rusty Wallace Racing No. 66 Toyota driven by Steve Wallace (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

HOME ON THE RANGE
: The MLB Rangers have been named the recipient of the '10 American Advertising Federation -- Ft. Worth Dateline Award, "more than three decades after winning the award for the first time." The award "honors a group or individual who has brought positive exposure to Fort Worth or Tarrant County the previous year" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/10).
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