SBD/August 8, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Penn State Falls Just Two Spots In Latest CLC Rankings, But Future Could See Big Drops

    Penn State has "fallen only two spots," from 10th to 12th, in CLC's annual royalty rankings for the '11-12 school year, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Despite the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, PSU "still generated more royalties last school year than any other Big Ten school except for Michigan." CLC does not provide sales numbers as the rankings "represent where the schools fall in terms of getting royalties from their trademarked items being sold at retail." State College-based apparel retailer Lions Pride Store Manager Steve Moyer said the store in December, following the news of the scandal and the firing of football coach Joe Paterno, was "down 25 percent over the previous year." But he said that in the "next two months business turned around." Moyer: "When JoePa passed away we were doing really well. It was our best January and February on record." He added that the store has sold "more Nittany Lions gear in the past couple weeks since the NCAA handed down its sanctions but realizes that the future is still a very big question mark." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that PSU sales at sporting goods stores in July "were down 50 percent from where they were during the same period last year" (ESPN.com, 8/7).

    RK SCHOOL RK SCHOOL
    1) Texas 14) Arkansas
    2) Alabama 15) Wisconsin
    3) Kentucky 16) Tennessee
    4) Florida 17) West Virginia
    5) Michigan 18) South Carolina
    6) LSU 19) Texas A&M
    7) North Carolina 20) Missouri
    8) Georgia 21) Florida State
    9) Notre Dame 22) Kansas
    10) Oklahoma 23) Oklahoma State
    11) Auburn 24) Clemson
    12) Penn State 25) Illinois
    13) Nebraska    

    CHANGES TO PENN STATE UNIFORMS: In Pennsylvania, Guy Cipriano reports the names of PSU players "will be added to the back of players’ jerseys” for the upcoming football season. Coach Bill O’Brien said that there is “a poignant reason for the addition of the names: recognizing the players who remain committed to the program.” Cipriano notes the school also is “adding blue ribbons to uniforms, a move designed to support child abuse victims.” It is “possible more uniform changes will be revealed at the opener, although O’Brien and players are keeping images of potential gameday apparel changes hidden” (CENTRE DAILY NEWS, 8/8). ESPN’s Mark May said it is “great that they’re recognizing” the victims of child abuse, while putting names on the uniforms is “another piece of the puzzle to basically say the Paterno era is over ... and we’re trying to move on.” ESPN’s Desmond Howard said this signals “a new era” at Penn State and a way to “get away from yesterday and move into today” (“College Football Live,” ESPN, 8/7).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Collegiate Licensing Co.
  • Dodge President & CEO Gilles Addresses Company's Exit From NASCAR

    Gilles said Dodge tripled its activation at NASCAR races, but couldn't find a team

    Dodge's decision to leave NASCAR following the '12 Sprint Cup season was based on finding “no NASCAR organization that could compete at the level that it wanted,” according to Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS. Dodge President & CEO Ralph Gilles said, “We didn’t want this day to come but it has.” He added that the decision was made Friday to “stop development on its 2013 car.” Pockrass noted Dodge had won 55 Sprint Cup Series races since it re-entered the sport in '01, after first exiting NASCAR in '77. Despite its success on the track, the automaker “could not find a contending team willing to switch manufacturers nor could it find any smaller teams or new owners who could run Dodge cars at a competitive level.” Penske Racing, which announced in March it was leaving Dodge for Ford, had been the only “full-time competitor" for Dodge since '10. Dodge officials “had talks with Richard Petty Motorsports, Front Row Motorsports and other NASCAR teams about switching to Dodge.” The automaker also considered “backing a move to NASCAR by IndyCar Series team Andretti Autosport.” Gilles said, “We don’t want to just show up when we go racing. We want to win. It was a difficult deal.” Gilles "wouldn’t rule out Dodge returning to the sport in the future.” However, he said it would be "quite a significant effort" for the company to return (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 8/7). Sources said that there were questions whether Dodge’s parent company, Fiat, “has any passion for NASCAR, leading to Penske's decision to leave for Ford and, ultimately, Dodge's decision to leave the sport altogether” (ESPN.com, 8/7). NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France said, “They made a business decision not to return in 2013, as they did in 1977 before returning in 2001. We wish them well and hope they again will choose to return to NASCAR at a later date” (NASCAR).

    DIMINISHING RETURNS
    : In a Q&A with THATSRACIN.com, Gilles addressed where, if at all, Dodge might increase its motorsports presence. Gilles: “We are happy with our size right now. We actually, at the beginning of this year, invested in NASCAR even more heavily. We actually tripled our track side activation, our web content, our media support and also PR support of NASCAR.” He added, “We are about where we want it to be. We also have introduced RallyCross and ALMS (American Le Mans Series). But again, it's not a matter of taking NASCAR budget and reappropriating it. They were separate budgets to start with; so it's really a matter of going and racing at the level and quality that we are accustomed to, not necessarily budget management.” Gilles said of ROI's role in the company's decision, "We are investing more than ever before in terms of track side. We have actually been measuring the data and been very pleased with the amount of leads that we get midway during the races. So that part of it was working well.” Gilles: “Any motorsport, it's difficult to measure ROI. It's how do you extract the best from it as a PR exercise and market exercise.” Gilles said, “We went from activating six races to over 22 races, which means full displays, car lines; a lot of money was spent on having a bigger presence. So unfortunately, the house of cards kind of fell apart” (THATSRACIN.com, 8/7).

    WORD ON THE STREET
    : SPEED analysts weighed in on the impact of Dodge exiting NASCAR. Dave Despain said, "Symbolically this is a very big deal; it comes at a very bad time; and it's a kick in the gut to loyal Dodge fans.” Mike Joy: “Any manufacturer brings technology and support dollars that help strengthen their teams, and absent Dodge, we might have had fewer viable teams in the sport than we have right now.” Tom Jensen: “The significance of Dodge’s exit is largely symbolic. Dodge has been the fourth dog in the race for a number of years now.” Former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty said, “For Dodge to leave now is significant. Sponsorship is down on a lot of cars. Teams running in the back and middle of the field are struggling to find finances and manufacturer support, so with only three manufacturers next year and those three probably entrenched with their current teams, Dodge leaving widens the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’” Larry McReynolds: “Anytime a major sponsor of any kind, whether a manufacturer, primary team sponsor or series sponsor packs up and goes home, it doesn’t look good for NASCAR. I don’t think the particular manufacturer’s departure will have much of an impact on the fan base” (SPEEDTV.com, 8/7). USA TODAY’s Nate Ryan writes, “The impact on on-track competition will be minimal." But it "will hurt the prospects of midpack teams that were seeking to join the elite via a manufacturer-driven jolt of cash and technical support” (USA TODAY, 8/8).

    Print | Tags: NASCAR, Marketing and Sponsorship
  • Columbia Sportswear Signs Deal With Swire Resources To Expand Sales In China

    Columbia Sportswear Co. has “entered an agreement to form a joint venture with Swire Resources Ltd,” in order to “expand Columbia's sales in China as well as that of Columbia subsidiary, Mountain Hardwear,” according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Swire Resources Ltd., a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Limited, “has operated as Columbia's exclusive independent distributor of Columbia and Mountain Hardwear branded products in China since 2004, and in Hong Kong and Macau since 2002.” In China, Swire sells to “a network of wholesale dealers that, as of June 30, operated approximately 530 Columbia Sportswear retail locations and 45 Mountain Hardwear retail locations in 135 cities.” The new joint venture is “expected to begin operations in January 2014 with headquarters in Shanghai.” Columbia will “own 60 percent of the joint venture; Swire will own 40 percent, with profits and losses shared in similar proportions.” The joint venture carries “an initial term of 20 years and includes a provision for the purchase or sale of the minority interest any time after the fifth year.” A five-member board, led by Columbia President & CEO Tim Boyle, will “oversee the joint venture.” The board will include “two other members from Columbia and two from Swire” (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/8).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
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