Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
SBD/May 23, 2013/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
TaylorMade-adidas Golf yesterday "distanced itself" from a racial remark made by golfer Sergio Garcia about Tiger Woods during a European Tour dinner Tuesday night, according to Michael Buteau of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The company in a statement said, “Sergio Garcia’s recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture. We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere. We discussed with Sergio that his comments are clearly out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter.” Garcia also "apologized for the dinner remark in a statement released by the European PGA Tour and again at a televised news conference yesterday morning, saying it wasn’t meant as a racial slur" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 5/23). Golf World Senior Editor Mike Johnson said TaylorMade-adidas' statement "gives them lots of wiggle room." Johnson: "They issued a very strong condemnation of the wording and the actions of Sergio Garcia, but they also didn’t totally throw him under the bus.” The company “made it a case where if they want to keep him, they can. If they want to cut him loose, they can do that. But I think they're going to take the next few days to see which way the wind is blowing and then go from there.” Johnson noted the public has not "heard much from" other Garcia sponsors ("Golf Central," Golf Channel, 5/22). In N.Y., Mark Cannizzaro cited a source as saying that Garcia "earns slightly more than" $5M annually from his endorsement contract with TaylorMade-adidas (N.Y. POST, 5/23).
MONEY GRABBER: FORBES.com's Patrick Rishe wrote Garcia "adroitly demonstrated how to minimize future income streams, fan adulation, and corporate support." The steps are "quite simple: (1) Open mouth, (2) employ a racial slight against the game’s most famous player, (3) insert foot, and (4) watch the opportunity costs rise." Despite Garcia's apologies, the "damage had been done" (FORBES.com, 5/22). ESPN's Bomani Jones said it was "your typical, disingenuous 'please don't take my sponsorship money' apology" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 5/22). Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller made a similar comment following the '97 Masters, and FOXSPORTS.com's Robert Lusetich noted Zoeller's sponsors "deserted him" afterward. Garcia's comment "wasn't as long or egregious, but it carries the same stain" (FOXSPORTS.com, 5/22). However, ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Woods "rescued Sergio" by addressing Garcia's comments via his Twitter feed. Woods let Zoeller "hang out there to dry for quite some time," and Zoeller "lost a bunch of endorsements as a result of that." But Garcia is "stained with something probably for the rest of his career." ESPN's Michael Wilbon, who believed Garcia's apology was sincere, said, "I don't equate him with Fuzzy Zoeller, who knew what he was doing" ("PTI," ESPN, 5/22).
GOING TO LEAVE A MARK: In S.F., Ann Killion writes Garcia "just changed his reputation forever." Unless Garcia "goes on to win a dozen majors ... his insensitive, racially tinged comment will be one of the first things people think of when they hear his name" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/23). USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes the situation is "a serious matter that is now attached to Garcia for the rest of his career, turning him into the 21st-century version of Fuzzy Zoeller" (USA TODAY, 5/23). Golf World's Tim Rosaforte said, "You just can't walk back from that. It's like posting something stupid on a Twitter account or a website and thinking you're taking it down and it's gone. It's there forever in a sense. It's in your Wikipedia bio. It's part of your legacy" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 5/22). CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote the public will remember Garcia as a "racist." There is "no going back," not from "something as bad as those 12 words from Tuesday night" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/22). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "He's going to have to live with it for the rest of his life, and he's going to see financially it's going to have major effect on him" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/22). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard wrote, "He can’t apologize enough for what he said or for the fact that he should have known better" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 5/22). But SI.com's Michael Rosenberg wrote Garcia made "a real, full-throated apology, and I hope people accept it." A man's "reputation should not be destroyed by a joke, even this one" (SI.com, 5/22).
SHOULD TOUR GET INVOLVED? Both the PGA and European tours accepted Garcia's apology, but ESPN's Pablo Torre said Garcia "needs to be reprimanded in the same way that the NBA or MLB or the NFL would reprimand any of its stars for saying racist remarks." L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke asked, "How can the PGA let this guy come back on Tour without some kind of reprimand? … They have to make a stand against this." But Paige said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has "already established the precedent" after he did not fine or suspend Zoeller in '97. Paige: "They said, 'Okay, that was enough,' so I assume they're going to do the same thing (with Garcia)" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/22). ESPN's Bob Harig noted PGA Tour officials have yet to publicly comment on the issue and said he is not "sure that they will." Harig: "They typically handle these matters behind closed doors" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/22). But ESPN.com's Jemele Hill wrote the PGA Tour "deserves equal, if not more criticism" than Garcia. What is "far more unacceptable is that PGA Tour officials haven't responded substantively and stepped in to suspend Garcia." It "doesn't matter that Garcia made these comments while on the European Tour." The PGA Tour "can't stand by and let its most prominent golfer be insulted" (ESPN.com, 5/22).
Heat F LeBron James is "crushing the competition in stores, outselling his nearest rival’s signature sneakers 6-to-1," according to data from SportsOneSource cited by Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES.com. Nike generated $300M "in U.S. retail sales in 2012 for James’ signature shoe, LeBron X," up 50% "from sales of James’ kicks in 2011." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said, "The media attention on him helps him sell more footwear." The LeBron X "caused a stir last summer" when it was reported that the shoes would be priced at more than $300. The "second best-selling active NBA pitchman" is Lakers G Kobe Bryant. His Kobe 8 signature shoes earned $50M in sales "at U.S. stores last year." Knicks F and Jordan Brand endorser Carmelo Anthony "ranks third" with U.S. retail sales of $40M for his Jordan Melo M9. Data also showed that the Nike-owned Jordan Brand has "been on fire" with $2B in U.S. sales in '12. Despite missing the entire '12-13 season, Bulls G Derrick Rose’s signature adidas shoe has "gained traction" with sales of $25M in '12. But Rose "still lags the top guys at Nike." adidas’ other "top endorsers have really struggled." Wizards G John Wall signed with adidas in '10 and retail sales for his signature shoe "were only" $5M in '12. Lakers C Dwight Howard "continues a longtime trend of NBA big men struggling to sell shoes." adidas "moved only" $5M worth of Howard product last year (FORBES.com, 5/22).
TEXAS TWO-STEP: FOXSPORTSSOUTHWEST.com's Shawn Ramsey noted Texans DE J.J. Watt tweeted that he is "getting his own brand of shoes courtesy of Nike, dubbed the 'MegaWatt.'" The release date and price for the shoes "are not yet known" (FOXSPORTSSOUTHWEST.com, 5/22).
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials said that total sponsorship revenue for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 is "up 9 percent over last year and more than 18 percent over 2011," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Officials said that much of the success is "due to the development of new sponsorship categories and filling vacant ones." Sponsors will "get a mix of track signage, tickets, hospitality offerings and the right to use Speedway and Indy 500 logos in their marketing." IMS officials said that for this year's race, the track has "added 23 new sponsors and increased the packages of seven existing sponsors." However, marketers said that most are "relatively small deals in the low-six-figure range." One of the "biggest-name sponsors to join the Indy 500 paddock this year is Philadelphia-based Sunoco." While Sunoco has been an IndyCar sponsor at the league level since '11, Shell "previously had an exclusive sponsorship deal at the IMS." Sunoco is "expected to be active in promoting the race this year." Also notable is Hardee’s, "which is the first fast-food category sponsor at the track since 2008." Other big-name sponsors to "join the race this year are Great Clips, Caterpillar and the National Guard" (IBJ.com, 5/22).
TONY TONY TONY: The AP reported physique and performance products company BSN has "signed on" with driver Tony Kanaan for the Indy 500 and five other IndyCar races. The company will be "represented on Kanaan's car by its energy drink N.O.-XPLODE." It is the "second associate sponsor KV Racing has added to Kanaan's car." The team previously had signed Geico, "which is returning to Kanaan's car for the Indy 500 for a sixth consecutive year." Geico was the "primary sponsor on Kanaan's car last year" (AP, 5/20). SPEEDTV.com's Marshall Pruett reported mobile tech company Hippino.com has "stepped up and signed on" to sponsor Kanaan at the Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit in June. The sponsorship marks the company's "first foray into the series." The Detroit-themed partnership between Hippino and KV Racing will "see proportions of each transaction completed through the brand's mobile app donated to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute" (SPEEDTV.com, 5/22).
FUZZY MATH: Restaurant chain Another Broken Egg Cafe announced that it has signed on to become a supporting sponsor for Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter. The company's logo has been installed on his No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet car (Another Broken Egg Cafe). Meanwhile, Carpenter in an interview with Indianapolis-based WXIN-Fox said of his primary sponsor Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, "We wouldn't have a race team if it wasn't for Fuzzy." Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, who owns the vodka company, said, "All I want to do is kiss the brick." Fuzzy's Vodka has "been a sponsor of the car since 2010" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 5/22).
CONSUMER REVIEW: Indianapolis-based Angie's List announced that it is sponsoring Katherine Legge for the Indy 500. Angie's List has sponsored drivers in the event since '08 (Angie's List).
Procter & Gamble’s Oral-B brand has signed a one-year endorsement deal with Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman. The brand’s logo will be featured on Newman’s helmet the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, and it will use Newman in support of a marketing campaign designed to raise awareness that its toothbrushes are made in the U.S. The brand will host Q&As and run appearances with Newman at four Sprint Cup races this year: Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte; the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona; the AdvoCare 500 in Atlanta; and the AdvoCare 500 in Phoenix. Oral-B in addition to that will feature Newman in a print ad that will appear in race programs at tracks during the Sprint Cup season. Oral-B Communications Manager Kris Parlett said, “We wanted a spokesperson in the sport of NASCAR with multiple qualities. We want this person to be respected, clean, as far as a good record, and someone who conveys the American spirit, the Americana. The more you dig into what Ryan does on the track and off the track, the more you find he’s a family man. He was a great fit to represent our brand.” Newman also has endorsement deals with Coca-Cola, Polaris, Chevrolet and other companies.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick -- Go Daddy’s “most famous spokesperson -- did wear form-fitting workout clothes for the photo and video shoot” that she did yesterday in Charlotte, but she “wasn’t there to create something controversial,” according to Theoden Janes of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The focus was “on the business at hand: Two Pros Fitness.” Go Daddy chose to feature the gym “as part of Coca-Cola 600 Weekend, contacting owners E.Z. Smith and Roland Payne just two weeks ago to offer to build a new website for Two Pros Fitness ... and to see if it was all right to bring Patrick to the gym for a visit.” Two Pros Fitness’ new website -- www.twoprosfitness.com -- launched Tuesday. The promos shot yesterday “will be used online and circulated via social media over the weekend.” As Patrick “posed next to a heavy bag toward the rear of the gym,” more than a “dozen people grunted through a circuit of exercises" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/23).
Ford is using what it "claims is Europe's 'Super Bowl' moment to kick off a new brand campaign to promote the range of technologies available with its vehicles," according to Alex Brownsell of MARKETING magazine. The car maker is "timing the pan-European campaign" to go along with Saturday's UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, "of which Ford is a sponsor." A 30-second TV ad will "break during the half time interval" of the match between Bundesliga clubs Bayern Munich and Dortmund, "with the aim of bringing to life Ford’s 'Go Further' brand promise." Ads also will be "shown on perimeter board during the game." Ford is placing a "heavy digital and social focus on the new campaign, and visitors to Ford’s homepage [are] greeted with a new-look design emphasising range of 'smart, safe and green technologies'" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 5/23).
BE ACTIVE: MARKETING WEEK's Joseph & Shields noted the likes of adidas, Heineken and Jaguar "are looking beyond traditional media to real-time marketing and co-creation to maximise the competition’s growing global reach." Several brands will pay U.K.-based ITV up to $376,000 (all figures U.S.) for a spot during the Champions League final, a 65% increase on the average price, with the broadcaster expecting to gain around $12M in revenues from its coverage. Social media is expected to "play a major component in non-sponsors marketing activity around the match." adidas "will assemble a team of marketers, artists and agency members to create campaigns in response to events during Saturday’s match." Heineken has "taken the Champions League Trophy on a global tour with fans able to share picture and videos of themselves around each location." The brewer "is using the content in its 'Road to the Final' online campaign." Jaguar "is partnering with mobile app Shazam to allow customers to explore its latest F-Type sports car and win the chance to test drive it" (MARKETING WEEK, 5/21).
MARKETING DAILY's Tanya Irwin noted Miller64 is "launching 'GO64,' a summer-long initiative that will include local events, celebrity appearances, giveaways and social media." The program officially begins June 4. Miller64 will "sponsor a web series from production and distribution company DBG called 'The Sub.'" The show will "chronicle what happens when recreational sports teams are surprised with former professional athletes being placed on their roster." Viewers can "look forward to seeing" former NFLer Terrell Owens, volleyball player Jennifer Kessy, former soccer player Brandi Chastain, former MLBer David Justice and Basketball HOFer-elect Gary Payton (MEDIAPOST.com, 5/20).
YOU CAN DEPEND: Dependable Cleaners yesterday said that it has "teamed up" with the NWSL Boston Breakers this season as the women's soccer club's official dry cleaning partner. In Boston, Ira Kantor noted the brand will "launch the 'Dependable Play of the Game,' where fans can visit its Facebook page and vote on the Breakers’ play of the game after each game." Additional initiatives "include Dependable Cleaners as the title sponsor" for the Breakers game on July 21 agianst the Portland Thorns (BOSTONHERALD.com, 5/22).
I LEFT MY HEART: MEDIA LIFE MAGAZINE's Diego Vasquez wrote S.F. "remains a healthy media market, thanks in part to its successful sports teams." Advertisers are "buying up inventory on TV and radio sports broadcasts to reach" area fans. An ad buyer said, "The San Francisco sports industry has been thriving with the 49ers' Super Bowl appearance and also the Giants winning the World Series and continuing to do well this season" (MEDIALIFEMAGAZINE.com, 5/21).