SBD/June 1, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

Sadler suing new ownership of Richard Petty Motorsports, his former team's Bob Pockrass reported NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler is "suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc." The lawsuit, filed against RPM's new ownership group, alleges that Sadler "has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him." That agreement had a "non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year." Sadler's contract with the former owners of RPM -- the Gillett family -- "ran out at the end of last year" (, 5/31).

WHAT'S IN STORE? AD AGE's Neff & Schultz report after spending "millions in advance on multibrand, in-store promotional deals" with the NFL, several league sponsors -- including Procter & Gamble, Mars and PepsiCo -- "find themselves faced with the possibility of a truncated season that could do more damage to their plans and brands than those of the networks and TV buyers." In-store events "have calendars set a year or more in advance," and product "has to be produced and displays have to be filled, regardless of whether games get played." Snickers is "plowing ahead with its in-store promotion plans." But Mars Chocolate North America Chief Consumer Officer Debra Sandler said the brand could "scale back a few accounts." Jason Dial, who was Dir of Global Sports Marketing for Procter & Gamble when it reached its current agreement with the NFL, said that the company "was aware of the potential for a labor dispute when it negotiated its deal" (AD AGE, 5/30 issue).

TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE: N.Y.-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. yesterday announced that it is acquiring Academy Sports + Outdoors. The purchase price was not disclosed, and the deal is "expected to close in six to eight weeks." Academy President Rodney Faldyn said that the retailer's goal is "to make the ownership transition seamless for customers by maintaining the same selection, pricing and customer service" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/1).

SHOW YOU CARE: AdvoCare Int'l has signed on to title sponsor the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The multiyear deal, which goes into effect for this year's race on Sept. 4, also makes the Texas-based company the official performance elite products of AMS (THE DAILY).
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