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SBD/May 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Pacquiao Signs Deal With Hewlett-Packard As Top Rank Hopes To Expand His Profile
Published May 6, 2011
DEVELOPING A NEW BUSINESS PLAN: In N.Y., Greg Bishop reports Top Rank had "little experience in handling the endorsements of its boxers," so the company has "taken the unusual step of hiring an expert to consolidate" Pacquiao's marketing affairs. McKelvey "had no experience in boxing" prior to joining the company, but Top Rank and McKelvey "believe unchartered territory trumped the haphazard alternative." Pacquiao's endorsement strategy previously was "handled by anywhere between 30 and 50 friends." McKelvey said, "You name it, they were coming to him and saying, 'Sign this contract, sign this contract.' That made no sense." Bishop reports the strategy "came with real consequences." Pacquiao "lost a potential Gatorade endorsement," as well as an "appearance on an EA Sports video game cover." Pacquiao's portfolio in North America "has never matched his popularity," and McKelvey said that the "deals he had here and the way they were structured were comparable to a lesser-known LPGA golfer." Top Rank in February "sent letters to specific companies outlining its plans" for Pacquiao. McKelvey "wants to broaden Pacquiao's relationship with Nike," as Top Rank hopes deals Pacquiao has recently signed, such as the HP agreement, and a "more prominent Nike placement will lead more companies to follow suit." Bishop notes 19 Nike execs are "scheduled to attend" his bout Saturday against Shane Mosley (N.Y. TIMES, 5/6).