SBD/August 17, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Notre Dame Unveils Special Edition Uniforms For "Shamrock Series" Game

    Notre Dame will only wear the uniforms for the "Shamrock Series"

    Notre Dame Thursday revealed special adidas uniforms for its Oct. 6 "Shamrock Series" game against the Univ. of Miami at Soldier Field, and "they will feature a two-colored helmet," according to Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com. Sparkling gold -- "similar to what Notre Dame's helmets bore last season against Maryland -- takes up a little more than half of the Irish's helmets." Dark blue "takes up the other side, which features the leprechaun logo in white." Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick also said that he "has host sites down for future Shamrock Series games through 2016, but he is still trying to nail down some opponents" (ESPN.com, 8/16). In South Bend, Eric Hansen notes the "Twitterverse had already erupted in extreme reactions" to the special edition jerseys. The feeling was "far from universal, though." Some Notre Dame fans "didn't have any more use for them than they did for a recent column by ESPN.com's Rick Reilly, questioning Irish football relevance in college football's big picture." Swarbrick said, "Because the game is now part of something that is going to last and has its own identification as the Shamrock Series, we decided in a very conscious way to take this an use this as the one time each year that we modify our uniforms." Hansen: "It's certainly the widest departure from the traditional ND uniforms and helmets in memory" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/17).

    HANGUPS WITH THE HELMET: USA TODAY's Eric Smith wrote the uniforms are "quite a change from the traditional blue jerseys and gold helmets and pants normally worn by Irish teams at home." The uniforms are "sure to inspire some strong reaction from college football traditionalists." So it appears adidas "was successful if its goal was to grab attention with something outside the box" (USATODAY.com, 8/16). CBSSPORTS.com's Tom Fornelli wrote the uniforms "aren't all that bad." Fornelli: "I'm not a huge fan of the pants, but the jersey is pretty nice. Where things go terribly awry is the helmet" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/16). YAHOO SPORTS' Graham Watson wrote where the "whole uniform loses it, where it becomes The Fonz on water skis, is the helmet. What is that?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/16). NBCSPORTS.com's Keith Arnold wrote whether "or not these uniforms will be a success will be dictated by whether or not the Irish walk out of Soldier Field with a victory" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/16).

    FUTURE SITES: The SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE's Hansen writes the '13 Shamrock Series game "has long been scheduled for Arlington, Texas, with Arizona State as the opponent." This year's game will "have several academic tie-ins as well as exporting some ND traditions to Chicago." There will be "a portable version of the Hammes Bookstore, a Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, a Friday football luncheon at Navy Pier and a pep rally in Millennium Park." Hansen notes moving Notre Dame's regular-season finale in '13 with Stanford from Palo Alto to China was "gaining steam" until Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby became the Big 12 Commissioner. Swarbrick said, "It's still a high priority for us. But that (Bowlsby's job change) derailed a little bit of that discussion and the momentum of it. We're anxious to restart those discussions" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/17).

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  • Gatorade Launches Usain Bolt Ad Touting Brand's Lack Of Olympic Sponsorship

    After his "epic performance" at the London Games, Gold Medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt gets an "epic commercial to match" from Gatorade, according to Tim Nudd of ADWEEK. The spot, via TBWA\Chiat\Day, shows Bolt as "a Grim Reaper of sorts," who "stalks his way through London." On his way to the Olympic Stadium, "the voiceover gloats about how Gatorade didn't have to advertise at the Games because it was already inside the athletes." The narrator says, "We weren't there on stadium billboards. We weren't there on double-decker buses. We weren't on buttons, souvenirs or commemorative snow globes. We weren't there officially sponsoring anything. We were there for real. Inside the bodies of some of the greatest athletes on earth" (ADWEEK.com, 8/16). Meanwhile, BRAND REPUBLIC's Matthew Chapman noted non-Olympic sponsors Thursday began running newspaper ads featuring Olympic athletes "as they seek to take advantage of the end of the advertising blackout period." Brands including U.K. Athletics main sponsor Aviva, Volvo and Virgin Media "have taken out Olympics-related advertising." Aviva is "running a high-profile campaign" in many major U.K. newspapers which features athletes including Gold Medal-winning U.K. athletes Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 8/16).

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  • Foot Locker Rolls Out Humorous Ad Campaign With NBA Players In Compromising Positions

    Foot Locker Thursday unveiled its latest national advertising and integrated marketing campaign titled "Approved." The first three spots of the campaign, via BBDO, feature Knicks F Carmelo Anthony, Heat F Chris Bosh, T’Wolves F Kevin Love and Thunder Gs James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The humorous commercials feature the players off the court in various compromising situations highlighting the season’s latest trends in footwear and apparel (Foot Locker). ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell wrote the new ad featuring Harden and Westbrook “edges into the lead for the best spot of the year.” The premise is that NBA players “go to great lengths to protect the gear they buy from Foot Locker” (ESPN.com, 8/16).

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