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Redskins QB Robert Griffin III topped jersey sales for all NFL players from April 1 through Dec, 31, 2012, according to figures from NFLShop.com. Griffin was followed by Broncos QB Peyton Manning at No. 2 and Patriots QB Tom Brady at No. 3. During the same period last year, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers topped all players, but fell to No. 6 this season. After finishing last season with the No. 2 jersey and finishing '10 ranked No. 3, Jets QB Tim Tebow ranked No. 10 this year. Texans DE J.J. Watt was the highest-ranked defensive player at No. 9 overall. Watt did not rank in the top 25 last year. Other rookies joining Griffin on the list are Colts QB Andrew Luck (No. 4) and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (No. 19). Wilson had not cracked the top 25 until late in the season. The Super Bowl XLVI-winning Giants took the top spot for all teams in merchandise sales, followed by the Redskins at No. 2 and Steelers at No. 3. After ranking No. 3 and No.4, respectively, last season, the Saints and Eagles dropped out of the top 12 this season (THE DAILY).TOP-SELLING NFL PLAYER JERSEYSRKPREV
PLAYERRKPREV PLAYER1n/a Redskins QB Robert Griffin III144 Saints QB Drew Brees217 Broncos QB Peyton Manning1511 49ers LB Patrick Willis35 Patriots QB Tom Brady1613 Cowboys TE Jason Witten4n/a Colts QB Andrew Luck1715 Ravens LB Ray Lewis5n/a Giants WR Victor Cruz18n/a Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware61 Packers QB Aaron Rodgers19n/a Seahawks QB Russell Wilson78 Giants QB Eli Manning2025 Panthers QB Cam Newton8n/a Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski21n/a Ravens RB Ray Rice9n/a Texans DE J.J. Watt22n/a Broncos LB Von Miller102 Jets QB Tim Tebow23n/a Lions WR Calvin Johnson116 Packers LB Clay Matthews24n/a 49ers RB Frank Gore123 Steelers S Troy Polamalu2524 Vikings RB Adrian Peterson13n/a Seahawks RB Marshawn LynchTOP-SELLING NFL TEAM MERCHANDISERKPREVTEAMRKPREVTEAM17Giants7n/a49ers2n/aRedskins88Packers31Steelers96Bears42Cowboys10n/aRavens55Patriots11n/aTexans6n/aBroncos12n/aSeahawks
DA BEARS: In Chicago, Danny Ecker cited data from Fanatics.com between Thanksgiving and Christmas showing that “five of the top 10 best-selling pieces of Chicago sports gear were Bears apparel.” That includes the “simply-designed Bears ‘Critical Victory’ hoodie, which was the most popular Chicago sports purchase, as well as the Nike ‘Da Bears’ T-shirt, which ranked second in holiday purchases.” The “ever-popular Derrick Rose youth jersey” ranked third. Missing from the list was “any Chicago Blackhawks apparel -- not a surprise amid the NHL lockout” (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 1/2).
With Super Bowl XLVII one month away, CBS Exec VP/Sports Sales & Marketing John Bogusz said that the net "has two 30-second Super Bowl ad slots left to sell -- and those could be gone at any moment," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. Bogusz said, "We're very, very close to being sold out." Moreover, CBS, with record rates of up to $3.8M per 30-second spot, will "post record Super Bowl ad sales revenue for the game." This will be the first Super Bowl that "includes three commercials that each will be longer than one minute." CBS will not "name the advertisers, but Chrysler has aired long-form ads in the past two Super Bowls." Even with the game still a month away, many advertisers "are well into marketing mode." SodaStream, which sells home soft-drink-making machines, will "air its first Super Bowl spot to get consumers more familiar with its products." Gildan USA also is "making its first Super Bowl appearance in a racy spot targeting Millennials." Bogusz said that Super Bowl commercials must be "approved by network censors, and more than one has been sent back by CBS for re-editing." Bogusz "declined to name" those advertisers. However, Gildan Retail VP/Marketing & Merchandise Rob Packard conceded that the company's spot "was returned." He said that the net "felt that the ad, which features a woman in her boyfriend's T-shirt, showed a bit 'too much leg'" (USA TODAY, 1/2). In the Money section of yesterday's edition of USA TODAY, the paper ran a full-page ad touting its Ad Meter program, which it described as "the ultimate commercial showdown," and will let fans "get in on the most influential ad event" by rating commercials that run during the Super Bowl (THE DAILY).
DESTINY'S VIRAL CHILD: MARKETING DAILY's Steve Smith reported in a promotional run-up to singer Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime performance, Pepsi is "asking fans to snap and upload images of themselves in a series of specific poses that will be used in the on-air intro video as the singing star takes to center field." The mobile-optimized Pepsi.com/halftime site is "rolling out a series of photo poses until Jan. 19." The poses "include head bopping, feet tapping, and hip shaking." The images "can be uploaded with the accompanying #PepsiHalftime hashtag to also be entered in a contest that will send 50 winners to the live Super Bowl performance in New Orleans where they also will be part of dress rehearsals and an on-field dance team." Pepsi "started promoting the effort last weekend on Times Square billboards" (MEDIAPOST.com, 1/2).
Oakley today formally announced the addition of defending Masters champion Bubba Watson to its roster of golfers. Watson fills a void left by another major champion, as Rory McIlroy left the company following the '12 season and is likely to sign a long-term deal with Nike. Oakley last month sued McIlroy for breach of contract. Watson the previous three years had an apparel deal with Travis Mathew (THE DAILY). SB NATION’s Emily Kay noted Watson will "join Ryder Cup teammate Zach Johnson at Oakley." Travis Mathew Marketing Dir Leif Sunderland said that the change “had been in the works for some time,” despite Twitter chatter that “the rift occurred because of some sort of ‘controversial’ photo Watson tweeted from Kapalua” in Oakley gear. Sunderland “declined to comment on reports that Watson has had a financial stake in Travis Mathew, which teamed with the big-hitting lefty to raise funds for various charities by selling limited editions of Bubba wear” (SBNATION.com, 12/31).
HAPPY NEW GEAR: GOLFCHANNEL.com’s Rex Hoggard reported Nike has signed golfer Kyle Stanley to a "multi-year golf ball, clubs, footwear, glove, apparel, headwear and accessory deal.” The company also "signed Nick Watney to a multi-year deal, which includes the same rundown as Stanley.” Stanley and Watney are “expected to be joined on the Nike staff” by McIlroy. A Nike spokesperson said that "there will be a ‘major’ announcement on Jan. 14," which is the Monday before the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, where McIlroy and Tiger Woods will make their season debuts. Hoggard noted Stanley and Watney “appear to be stepping in at Nike for Stewart Cink, who tweeted a photo early Tuesday of his new TaylorMade staff bag with a message ‘Happy New Year to all.’” Lucas Glover “also left Nike for TaylorMade,” which signed John Huh and Ryan Moore as well. Chris Kirk “joined the action tweeting that he was joining the Callaway Golf staff -- as did Gary Woodland” (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 1/1). In Tacoma, Todd Milles reported Stanley on Tuesday prior to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions “debuted his new look -- an all-Nike golf bag and wrapped up in the company’s customary swoosh from head to toe.” Stanley said, “I never thought about (a change) because I had been with Titleist so long ... but we (me and Nike representatives) talked. And as players, we are all interested in getting better, and I feel like I can do that with this new stuff" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 1/2). Meanwhile, Izod yesterday announced deals with Scott Piercy and Spencer Levin. The two golfers will wear Izod Golf apparel on course beginning this month, joining Webb Simpson (Izod).
Apple's new iPhone 5 ad features actor Jeff Daniels talking about "how great it is not to be interrupted by a call when he's having a dream" about tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, according to Tim Nudd of AD WEEK. The spot highlights the phone's "Do Not Disturb" feature and involves "a vigorous game of Ping Pong." The table tennis action is "superbly filmed, and the sisters' reactions at the end of the point are priceless." It may be the "most enjoyable iPhone spot yet." It is a "shame, then, that it happened to be released for New Year's -- when, due to a glitch involving the rollover to 2013, 'Do Not Disturb' suddenly stopped working for a number of users on Tuesday morning" (ADWEEK.com, 1/2). AD AGE's Simon Dumenco noted the spot is "mildly entertaining," but unfortunately for Apple the Williams sisters are "promoting an Apple software feature that's been making news in the new year for being buggy." If you view the ad "on YouTube, you'll see that 'comments are disabled for this video' (per usual for Apple)." In other words, "Do Not Disturb Apple, please" (ADAGE.com, 1/2).
In Oklahoma City, Kersey & Tramel note Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops in a news conference yesterday was "asked about his recent appearance in an AT&T commercial." Stoops responded, "Hello. Give AT&T a plug right there." He said, "They approached me a few weeks before one of our off weeks and asked me if I would be a part of a commercial." Stoops said that he "went to Putnam City High School to film the spot on a Thursday night so he wouldn't miss any practice time." Stoops said, "I think I was there from 11 at night until 1 to 1:30 in the morning for that 'Hello.' That's how bad I am. It took two-and-a-half hours to say that. I don't know how many takes." He added, "It just sort of came that way. It just felt the recruiting exposure and putting the program in front of people never hurts. As long as it fits your schedule" (OKLAHOMAN, 1/3).
CAR & DRIVER: ESPNW.com's Brant James cited sources as saying that NASCAR driver Danica Patrick will "drive for Turner Motorsports in her 10-race commitment to this year's Nationwide Series schedule." Patrick drove for JR Motorsports "in her first full-time Nationwide season last year." Sources said that Patrick's car "would be sponsored by GoDaddy.com" (ESPNW.com, 1/2)....Turner Motorsports yesterday also announced that its two-year primary sponsorship by Great Clips in the Nationwide Series would not continue into the '13 season (Turner Motorsports).
BALANCING ACT: The GLOBE & MAIL's Rachel Brady reported ATPer Milos Raonic has "landed a lucrative new deal to make him the first athlete endorsing New Balance tennis clothing and shoes." A source said that he would be "wearing a line of custom clothing and shoes from his new sponsor" at the Brisbane Int'l tournament this week. Raonic had "previously worn gear from Lacoste, which he had been endorsing both on the court and in casual-wear photo shoots for the French athletic wear label" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/2).
TOP OF THE HEAP: AD AGE has been counting down last year's "best moves in brand creativity," and on Tuesday ranked Nike No. 1 in TV and print categories as "one of this year's most innovative advertisers." Nike's "Find Your Greatness" ad took the top spot on TV, while the company's Nike Volt -- the "vivid neon-green-meets-highlighter-yellow color that [was] featured on hundreds of athletes' shoes during the Olympic Games" took print's top spot (ADAGE.com, 1/1).