SBD/June 23, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Names & Faces: McIlroy's Current Endorsement Potential Debated

One marketer feels McIlroy needs more titles in order to get deals
MARKETWATCH's Russ Britt wrote Rory McIlroy is "likely to get dozens of endorsement offers after setting the scoring record at the U.S. Open over the weekend and trouncing his competitors." Heinz Marketing President Matt Heinz: "This guy is sort of the anti-Tiger Woods. Kids want to golf like Tiger, but they want to be friends with Rory." However, DLB Group COO Giancarlo Molero said that McIlroy, who yesterday indicated he would like to play more tournaments in the U.S., "needs to establish some more consistency." Molero: "It'll take two or three more majors before he can be an asset to global brands" (MARKETWATCH.com, 6/22). Meanwhile, syndicated radio host Dan Patrick yesterday asked McIlroy, “Has Guinness contacted you to sponsor you?” McIlroy: “No, definitely not. I don't really like the stuff, to be honest with you. I don't think I'd be a good spokesperson for the company.” Patrick: “I thought that that's mother's milk in Ireland.” McIlroy: “Heineken is my go-to beer” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 6/22).

IN TROUBLE AGAIN: MARKETING WEEK's Branwell Johnson reported Reebok "has been rapped" by the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority for a promo featuring F1 driver Lewis Hamilton that "makes unsubstantiated claims for its Reezig ZigTech trainer." One complaint said that the claims made for Celliant fibres "could not be substantiated and that the ad was misleading because it implied that the trainers were made with Celliant fibres." Reebok "defended the leaflet, saying that studies proved claims made about Celliant fibre and while ZigTech trainers were not made with the materials, Reebok Apparel products did not contain Celliant." But the ASA "ruled the ad must not appear again in this form." Johnson noted it is the "second time in six months Reebok has had an ad banned for unsubstantiated claims" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 6/22).

BLUE BLOODS: In N.Y., Paul Schwartz reports Colts QB Peyton Manning and Giants QB Eli Manning shot a "spoof of a '70's-style cop show, titled 'Football Cops,'" in N.Y as part of a DirecTV ad campaign. The Mannings "filmed three episodes," during which Eli is shown "sporting a handlebar mustache and mutton-chop sideburns and Peyton a shorter, cheesier 'stache." Eli's character "is named C.J. Hunter -- Peyton is Mike Tahoe -- and the two use black footballs as weapons ... to thwart various crimes" (N.Y. POST, 6/23).

THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reports Reebok-CCM Hockey today is expected to announce that it has signed as endorsers the top five projected picks in this year's NHL Draft -- C Sean Couturier, C Jonathan Huberdeau, RW Gabriel Landeskog, D Adam Larsson and C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The players will endorse "either CCM's U+ Crazy Light skates or Reebok's 11K stick." It could mark the "first time all five were locked up by the same company," though Reebok-CCM made a "similar move" in '09 by signing the top three picks: Islanders C John Tavares, Lightning D Victor Hedman and Avalanche C Matt Duchene (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/23).

NOTES
: In L.A., Salvador Rodriguez noted Clippers F Blake Griffin's partnership with Kia "adds to a growing list of sponsorships," including Nike and Subway. Excel Sports Management VP/Marketing Jaymee Messler, whose company reps Griffin, said, "Blake is just really interested in growing with partners that make sense. He's being strategic about the partnerships he's working with" (LATIMES.com, 6/22)....U.S. Crown Imports and U.S. men's national soccer team MF Clint Dempsey have reached a new marketing agreement. Dempsey will be featured in a promotional campaign, entitled the Modelo Especial VIP Soccer Sweepstakes, which will run through the CONCACAF Gold Cup (James Grant Sports).
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