SBD/June 26, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Sunderland FC Inks Invest In Africa As Principal Partner; EPL's First Non-Profit Sponsor

    The brand will be displayed on the team's kit for a minimum of two seasons

    EPL club Sunderland signed Invest in Africa as its principal partner and shirt sponsor for the '12-13 season, marking the first time a non-profit organization has sponsored an EPL club. The Invest in Africa brand will be displayed on the team's kit for a minimum of two seasons. Invest in Africa promotes the continent as an investment destination. Tullow Oil, Africa's largest independent oil company, is the non-profit's initial founding partner (Invest in Africa). The club said that its partnership with Invest in Africa is "the most lucrative such commercial transaction in Sunderland's history." The GUARDIAN's Louise Taylor notes Sunderland Vice Chair David Miliband "is confident the agreement will help secure the club's financial future while also opening up a huge new international market." Miliband said, "This is a landmark announcement for Sunderland FC and a landmark for the Premier League. The image of Africa is often one of poverty and conflict, but there is another reality. The African Investment Bank estimates there are 300 million middle-class people in Africa. This is the biggest international venture in the club's history." Miliband added, "It's the best commercial deal in Sunderland's history. But we are not putting a figure on it because there are more companies that are going to join and as more companies join, the benefits will grow." Tullow Oil CEO Aidan Heavey said, "Sunderland will become the Premier League club in Africa" (GUARDIAN, 6/26). The SUNDERLAND ECHO notes the money "invested in the club is not expected to go into [manager] Martin O'Neill's transfer kitty but it does mark the transition of Sunderland towards matching the size of sponsorship deals that established Premier League clubs have been doing for years" (SUNDERLAND ECHO, 6/25).

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  • Delta Signs Two-Year Deal To Become Official Airline Sponsor Of Chelsea FC

    Per the deal, Delta will have logo on media backboards and on the team's website

    Delta Air Lines signed a deal to become EPL club Chelsea's official airline sponsor. Per the deal, Delta will receive LED exposure during homes games, a presence on the club's website and the Delta logo appearing on media backboards for interviews conducted at Stamford Bridge. Additionally, the airline will receive Delta-branded hospitality space at Stamford Bridge's Millennium Hotel (Delta Air Lines). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ben Kesling reports Delta signed a "two-year deal with Chelsea." Soccer's "huge popularity in much of the world and its fast-growing following in Asia have already made it a magnet for international carriers looking to raise their profile." Sponsorship analysis firm Int'l Market Reports Editorial Dir Simon Rines said, "Airline advertising [in club soccer] is an area that's growing. It's driven by the Middle Eastern carriers, and I suspect it will be driven by emerging airlines in Asia." Chelsea is "hugely popular in London, a major Delta destination." Chelsea will be the featured opponent in the '12 MLS All-Star Game on July 25 and the team will play three other exhibition matches in the U.S. as part of the World Football Challenge, "creating immediate overlap between domestic and international exposure" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/26).

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  • Bow To The Brow: Consensus No. 1 Draft Pick Anthony Davis Trademarks Brow Phrases

    Davis trademarked "Fear The Brow" and "Raise The Brow" earlier this month

    Consensus No. 1 NBA Draft pick Anthony Davis “trademarked the phrases ‘Fear The Brow’ and ‘Raise The Brow’ earlier this month,” according to Darren Rovell of CNBC. Davis said, “I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it. Me and my family decided to trademark it because it’s very unique.” Davis said that the only endorsement deal he "has signed so far is a draft night deal with Sprint, pitching the company’s watch live app." Asked if a razor company "could pay him to shave off his unibrow," Davis said that "that’s not going to happen" (, 6/25).

    : In N.Y., Richard Sandomir noted Knicks G Jeremy Lin in February “filed to register a trademark for Linsanity with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” The plan to trademark Linsanity “formed quickly inside Lin’s legal and marketing team.” Arent Fox Partner Pamela Deese said, “We laid out a strategy and moved forward with it in 36 hours.” The trademark would “provide him with legal protection against others who wanted to stamp, sew or print the Linsanity name on their merchandise.” Deese: “We wouldn’t want marks like these if there were no business to be made. But we wouldn’t want them hanging out with someone else, either. It’s defense, but it’s also a good offense” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/24).

    HOME OF THE BRAVE? BLOOMBERG NEWS' Victoria Slind-Flor reported the Braves are in “settlement talks with Walt Disney Co. over a disputed trademark registration.” Disney’s film “Brave" was released in the U.S. this month, and in “anticipation of merchandise opportunities connected to the film, Disney filed 14 applications to register ‘Brave’ as a trademark for a wide range of goods.” The MLB team “objected to Disney’s attempt to register the mark for use with a variety of food items, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, snack foods, meat, poultry and processed fruits and vegetables.” The team said that consumers "might be confused about the source of ‘Brave’ branded food products Disney might sell” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/25).

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  • NBA Draft Sponsors Finalize Activation Programs

    All draftees will receive an adidas draft cap that they will wear on stage

    NBA corporate sponsors are finalizing activation programs for Thursday night's NBA Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. State Farm replaces Kia as the event's presenting sponsor this year, giving the insurance company inclusion in the draft logo, four 30-second ad units during ESPN's broadcast, ads and enhancements on NBA TV, draft features and a large ad presence on, including a roadblock on draft day. Social media extensions include draft updates on Facebook as well as tune-in and event alerts on Twitter. Associate sponsor Sprint receives on-site signage, along with broadcast and digital ads. At Prudential Center, Sprint is sponsoring an NBA Draft “Green Screen” photo opportunity, through which fans can print a branded photo of themselves shaking NBA Commissioner David Stern's hand on the draft stage and share the photos via Facebook and Twitter. Sprint also will give phones and service contracts to drafted players. Meanwhile, associate sponsor HP will have hardware placed and used at the event, along with HP-branded index cards used to read each pick. BBVA, the NBA’s official bank, will host a family seminar and will have on-site branding, as well as social media and broadcast units. Gatorade will have product and branded cups throughout the event. AmEx will host two exclusive experiences for card members: a 2012 NBA Draft Experience and a D-League Fantasy Camp/NBA Draft package. NBA lead apparel licensee adidas will supply the official draft caps, which players will wear on stage. The event marks the final sendoff for the NBA at Prudential Center, as the Nets tip off next season at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    PICK A CARD: Panini America, the NBA's exclusive trading-card licensee, has signed seven top-projected NBA Draft picks. The agreements grant Panini exclusive rights to produce autographed trading cards with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Austin Rivers, John Henson and Andre Drummond. Since the lockout delayed the start of the '11-12 season, Panini also will release "rookie" cards before the start of the '12-13 season with players who were actually rookies this past season, including Rookie of the Year Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving, T'Wolves F Derrick Williams and Nuggets F Kenneth Faried. Panini's "12-13 HOOPS" trading cards will be released Aug. 8. Panini had five NBA releases during the '11-12 season, and will have 25 in '12-13.

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  • Marketplace Roundup

    Broncos QB Peyton Manning was in Greeneville, Tenn., on Sunday for the "shooting of a national television commercial for Buick” (, 6/25). The AP noted in the commercial, Manning “comes upon a traffic jam, yells football signals into the GPS and the system responds by quickly telling him how to get around the delay.” The commercial “is likely to be aired by the end of July.” Manning was also in the area “to participate in the annual Niswonger Children's Hospital Golf Classic in nearby Jonesborough” (AP, 6/25).

    SPOTLIGHT ON HER: In Portland, Allan Brettman notes Nike on Sunday introduced the video “Voices” to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Title IX. The video “shines a spotlight on some well-known athletes who dealt with the painful, early days of the game-changing legislation." The video features athletes such as the first women’s marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, former WNBAer and U.S. Olympic gold medal winner Lisa Leslie, boxer Marlen Esparza and WNBA Mercury G Diana Taurasi (OREGONIAN, 6/26).

    I WORK OUT: USA Basketball signed a partnership with 24 Hour Fitness making the fitness club an official sponsor of the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national teams. 24 Hour Fitness first partnered with the organization in ’08, just before Beijing Games. The company will host a tip-off even in London during the Olympic Games with USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo and men’s national team head coach Mike Krzyzewski (NBA).

    MILWAUKEE'S BEST: In Green Bay, Wes Hodkiewicz noted the “fifth and final” Brewers TV spot featuring Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was released yesterday. The ad is titled, “Other Job” and is the “final commercial entry in the joint effort between the Brewers and Rodgers, who joined forces during February to film a series of television spots.” The production of each of the ‘12 Brewers ads “was handled by the creative team of 2-Story Creative and Metaphystico” (, 6/25).

    MATCH POINT: The Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits presented by Geico will be held in Pittsburgh for the first time in the event’s 20-year history. Pittsburgh-based pharmaceutical company Mylan signed on to be the title sponsor of the event and will also be an official sponsor of the WTT Pro League. The tournament will take place on Oct. 16, at the Petersen Events Center. The event will help raise funds for the fight against HIV and AIDS (WTT).

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