SBD/August 24, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketplace Roundup

KPMG launched the "Where Is The Blue Hat Taking You?" campaign with Mickleson
KPMG, official hat sponsor of golfer Phil Mickelson, on Thursday launched the "Where Is The Blue Hat Taking You?" contest. The interactive social media campaign focuses on Mickelson's new blue hat. The contest invites fans to participate by purchasing Mickelson's blue hat and submit creative photos via Twitter that features the hat with the hashtag #PhilsBlueHat. Ten of the most creative submissions will be selected as finalists. Fans can vote on their favorite photo on PhilsBlueHat.com and the winner will receive an invitation to join Mickelson in San Diego at the Oct. 15 Monday Night Broncos-Chargers game. KPMG partnered with Mickelson and non-profit First Book in March to launch "Blue For Books" in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of literacy. For every hat purchased at PhilsBlueHat.com, KPMG donates 100% of the proceeds to First Book (KPMG).

LOSING STEAM: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Waldmeir & Tsui reported Li Ning "has warned it may post a full-year loss due to inventory overhang and slowing domestic economic growth." Its shares "fell 3.8 per cent in Hong Kong on Thursday, compounding a 4.5 per cent fall on Wednesday." Li Ning on Wednesday night "reported an 85 per cent drop in first-half net profit" to $7M. The company said that it "expected its second-half gross profit margin to be similar to the first half's 44.2 per cent, which was down from 47.3 per cent a year earlier." Li Ning CFO Nicholas Chong said that one reason for the "projected full-year loss is that spending on the recently concluded London Olympics ... will be booked primarily in the second half" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/23).

EXPANDING THE MARKET: ESPNW's Kate Fagan wrote there are "fewer marketing dollars for female athletes than their male counterparts, less pie to go around, and Lolo Jones happens to be one of the small number of women who've been able to make their brands stick." This should be "a cause for celebration for all female athletes, that a hurdler -- not a basketball player, not a soccer or tennis star, but a hurdler -- has become a household name." Before Jones "burst onto the scene, the amount of sponsorship dollars bestowed upon female hurdlers was minimal." She "created a market for herself where there was none" (ESPNW.com, 8/23).
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