SBD/November 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

Poll shows that Rodgers is "insanely popular" in state of Wisconsin
In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted a new poll by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is "insanely popular" in Wisconsin. The poll shows Rodgers is "viewed favorably by 89% of the 1,170 Wisconsin voters it surveyed from Oct. 20-23," while "only 4% had an unfavorable opinion of him." PPP indicated that it has "never in its polling experience encountered a favorable percentage as high as the one for Rodgers." It also found Packers coach Mike McCarthy is viewed favorably by 77% of respondents. Former Packers QB Brett Favre is viewed favorably by 41% of respondents and unfavorably by 45% (JSONLINE.com, 11/3).

OWNING THE CITY:
CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin noted Asics has been the "footwear and apparel sponsor of the New York City Marathon since the late 1980s and it's expected to sell over $2 million worth of marathon merchandise just this Sunday." Asics America CEO Kevin Wulff said the company does a "ton of activations" around the marathon. Wulff: "We try to own the city during the marathon, leading up to the marathon, during the marathon and a little bit after the marathon. So we'll have a new campaign that we're actually debuting here as part of the marathon called 'Stop at Never'" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 11/3). Wulff said he could not quantify how much the sponsorship to the company’s bottom line, but he noted Asics will sell "millions of dollars of marathon product" during the event's expo (Fox Business, 11/3).

NEW BRAND IN THE RUNNING: MARKETWATCH's Sam Mamudi noted '09 N.Y. Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi "will be wearing shoes made by Skechers USA Inc. -- the first time the company will have its shoes worn at a competitive sporting event." Skechers, "which this summer signed Keflezighi to a one-year deal, is hoping the exposure will show how serious it is about entering the lightweight running shoe category, a new area for the company." Skechers Fitness Group President & CMO Leonard Armato: "It’s not going to be easy because people aren’t used to Skechers making running shoes ... but we think our running technology is right in the sweet spot of the industry" (MARKETWATCH.com, 11/3).

THE ICEMAN COMETH: In N.Y., Andrew Adam Newman notes a commercial for Columbia Sportswear features Wim Hof, a bearded man who "runs barefoot, wearing only shorts and running across a frozen lake." After "jumping into a hole cut into the ice, he resurfaces from another hole, and then is buried up to his neck in snow in an acrylic glass box." The brand calls Hof an "'antispokesman' for a new line of electrically heated jackets and gloves." Five commercials, via Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, California, "will appear only online beginning Monday" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/4).
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