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SBD/May 31, 2013/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
The annual "Crosstown Cup" MLB interleague series between the Cubs and White Sox is “no longer attached to a corporate name,” according to Danny Ecker of CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS. The teams “plan to line up a new sponsor moving forward” after the end to BP's three-year deal. White Sox Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Brooks Boyer said, "We'll find the right partner for it down the road and get it sponsored at some point. We've got prospects." Boyer admits landing a sponsor for this year's games was "a little more challenging" because of MLB's new rivalry week schedule. Intra-city teams now play against each other in “back-to-back, two-game home sets instead of two three-game home stands about a month apart.” He said when the series are separate, "it builds the anticipation and keeps the market alive.” Ecker notes that “non-weekend games and tough weather breaks combined with Blackhawks mania and, of course, a lack of enthusiasm about either team this season dulled the buzz on the 16-year-old series.” Paid attendance at the three games this week, not including Tuesday’s rainout, was 31,293, "about 10 percent below last year's average.” Ticket prices on the secondary market for “all the games were down as well” (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 5/31).
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has signed an endorsement deal with EpiPen, which are epinephrine auto injectors used to treat allergic reactions, and he is "appreciative of the product" because he had it used on himself just last year, according to Brian Hall of FOXSPORTSNORTH.com. Peterson during training camp "suffered an allergic reaction to shellfish in some jambalaya" and Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman "used an EpiPen on Peterson to help him breathe better after his throat had started to close." Peterson "hopes he doesn't have to use the EpiPen again." He said, "I do not want to use it, but I keep it around." Peterson added of other endorsement deals he has garnered in the offseason, "Castrol Edge, signed back with Nike, so I've got some stuff going on right now. You will see me more. Stay tuned" (FOXSPORTSNORTH.com, 5/30).
COVER THREE: YAHOO SPORTS' Les Carpenter noted Redskins QB Robert Griffin III on Thursday was answering questions during a news conference "when suddenly" Redskins Senior VP/Communications Tony Wyllie "interrupted the session and pulled Griffin away" because Griffin had an adidas logo on the neckline of his shirt. Griffin was almost fined by the NFL last season for wearing an adidas shirt in a pregame warmup, when NFL rules allow only for gear by league sponsor Nike. But on Thursday, Griffin "tempted a larger fine by 'popping' his Adidas workout shirt when asked if he had put on more muscle in the offseason." He said that the tight-fitting material "made him look stronger." The adidas logo "might have skipped most people’s notice," until Wyllie "pulled him aside and tried to turn the collar inside out" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/30).
Indianapolis 500-winning driver Tony Kanaan in his post-race interview last Sunday "babbled on about everything BUT his sponsors," which is notable because those in motorsports typically "realize how critical corporate sponsors are to the sport," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Anyone who has "been around motorsports for any length of time, especially the drivers themselves," know one cardinal rule -- "no sponsors, no racing. It’s that simple." Schoettle: "I couldn’t believe what I was hearing at the conclusion of Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 ... I was astounded how few times I heard the drivers who were standing in front of a TV audience of nearly 5 million people say almost nothing about their sponsors." The importance of sponsors in motorsports is "why NASCAR drivers have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs to mention their sponsors every five seconds." One would think Kanaan would be "acutely aware of the importance of thrusting his sponsors in the spotlight when he has the chance." Fellow IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti also "made zero mentions of their sponsors in post-race interviews." Just Marketing Int'l Founder & CEO Zak Brown said of the lack of mentions, "My only guess would be after a long and grueling and mentally draining race like the Indy 500 that the drivers simply had lost some focus and dropped the ball and didn't mention their sponsors. I'm sure the drivers will have that pointed out to them and they won’t make that mistake the next time around" (IBJ.com, 5/30).
LOST MY RIDE: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin reports Panther Racing on Thursday announced the "termination" of its contract with driver JR Hildebrand. Driver Ryan Briscoe was "named as a replacement" for this weekend's Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/31).
While many would "assume an Olympic gold medal is a passport to a raft of lucrative endorsement deals, the reality is that" U.K. long jumper Greg Rutherford does "not have a single sponsor to his name," according to Simon Hart of the London TELEGRAPH. Even Rutherford's "long-standing kit contract with Nike" has ended. Rutherford said that without any income other than "competition appearance fees and prize money, ... TV appearances and speaking engagements have become a necessity to pay the mortgage." He said, "I’m not poor. I’d be lying if I said I was. But if people believe that the reason I go on TV is because I love the sound of my own voice, that is completely and utterly wrong." Rutherford admits that the end of his Nike deal has "come as a 'complete kick in the teeth.'" Rather than being "rewarded with an enhanced Nike deal, Rutherford was shocked to be offered a reduced contract on terms he was unable to accept." He said, "They offered me a contract but the clauses were such that, by the end of this year, I would end up earning probably less than I would have done on my old junior contract. ... To sign a contract for a lower amount with horrible clauses, why would you do that?" Rutherford added, "It’s as if they’re saying, 'You’ve done really well at the Olympics but you’ll never do it again and so we’re not interested.'" Rutherford now has plans to "set up his own clothing brand, 'GRavity.'" He said, "If you’re wearing kit from your own start-up company, then you don’t have to feel you’re being controlled." Hart notes "it is not only Rutherford’s Nike deal that has disappeared." He had "affiliations with a few other brands in the run-up to the Olympics but no longer receives any income from them" (London TELEGRAPH, 5/31).
Doyen Global Managing Dir Simon Oliveira, who serves as David Beckham's publicist, has “signed an image-rights agreement" with La Liga club FC Barcelona F Neymar "that makes Brazil’s most-marketable soccer player the first client of his new sports investment group,” according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Oliveira said that Neymar’s management company, NR Sports, “signed an accord through 2017 with the new Doyen Global unit of London-based hedge fund Doyen Group.” He added that Doyen Global will “seek new sponsors and partners for Neymar outside Brazil.” Oliveira: “Our primary focus in the first stage will be on building Neymar’s profile in Asia, where we believe there is real potential for growth” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 5/31).
THE FRESHMAKER: SPORT.es reported that Neymar also "has a new sponsor" in Mentos. The deal brings Neymar's number of sponsors to 12. Mentos Marketing Dir Elzilene de Moraes said, "Neymar is an athlete beloved by the whole world. He has boldness and the ability to surprise, the same characteristics as Mentos. It is a great success for us to further strengthen our relationship with our customers" (SPORT.es, 5/28).