SBD/September 6, 2013/NFL Season Preview

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  • NBC Gets 16.2 Overnight For Ravens-Broncos, Down From Recent NFL Kickoff Games

    NBC earned a 16.2 overnight for the Broncos’ 49-27 win over the Ravens in the NFL Kickoff game Thursday night, down 2% from a 16.5 overnight for Cowboys-Giants last year, which aired on a Wednesday night due to a conflict with the Democratic National Convention. The game is down 6% from a 17.2 overnight for Saints-Packers in ’11, which aired on a Thursday. The Kickoff game peaked at a 17.7 overnight in '10 for Vikings-Saints. Despite the drop, NBC easily won primetime last night. The Ravens-Broncos game marked the best Thursday primetime overnight for any program on any net since the '12 London Games. The game earned a 43.9 local rating in Denver and a 37.6 rating in Baltimore (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

    NFL KICKOFF OVERNIGHT RATINGS TREND
    YEAR
    MATCHUP
    NET
    OVERNIGHT
    '13
    Ravens-Broncos
    NBC
    16.2
    '12
    Cowboys-Giants*
    NBC
    16.5
    '11
    Saints-Packers
    NBC
    17.2
    '10
    Vikings-Saints
    NBC
    17.7
    '09
    Titans-Steelers
    NBC
    13.8
    '08
    Redskins-Giants**
    NBC
    10.1
    '07
    Saints-Colts
    NBC
    13.0
    '06
    Dolphins-Steelers
    NBC
    13.5
    '05
    Raiders-Patriots
    ABC
    13.1
    '04
    Colts-Patriots
    ABC
    12.6
    '03
    Jets-Redskins
    ABC
    14.5
    '02
    49ers-Giants
    ESPN
    12.7
           

    CHART NOTES: * = Game aired on a Wednesday night due to Democratic National Convention. ** = Game aired on a Thursday, but began at 7:00pm ET to accommodate Republican National Convention.

    HE'S NO AMERICAN IDOL: In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes NBC turned the "Football Night in America" pregame show, as well as the "opening of the game itself, into a pimp machine for Ryan Seacrest and his new NBC show, 'The Million Second Quiz.'" Zurawik: "You don’t take someone like that and shove him down the throats of serious sports fans on opening night as NBC did Thursday. Nor, do you take someone as singularly talented as Bob Costas and make him party to the con game by having him interview Seacrest." By the time NBC had Seacrest "on the field to lead a faux countdown to what was supposed to be the start of the game, any hope for treating the game of football with respect was gone." Beyond the Seacrest scenario, it "was a mixed performance by the usually stellar" NBC "SNF" crew. Costas "was a little ragged," but NBC and the NFL did "a superb job of staging and telecasting" the Keith Urban concert from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Sideline reporter Michele Tafoya was "all over the weather front that blew up the best laid plans for a carefully choreographed opening and delayed the start of the game by 33 minutes." She reported "every injury as well," and did a "strong post-game interview" with Broncos QB Peyton Manning (Baltimore SUN, 9/6). USATODAY.com's Chris Chase wrote of Seacrest's appearance, "Even if you respect his work ethic and talent ... it's still Ryan Seacrest at a football game. You don't have Cris Collinsworth hosting the People's Choice Awards" (USATODAY.com, 9/5). ABC's Jimmy Kimmel sarcastically said, "Nothing screams football like Ryan Seacrest" ("Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC, 9/5). When Seacrest "was announced to the crowd ... the boo-birds came out in droves" (FOXNEWS.com, 9/6).

    THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS: On Long Island, Neil Best reports starting with Sunday's Giants-Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium, "every NBC game at the Cowboys' building will feature 'FreeD' TV." The plan, "fashioned by a company called Replay Technologies, is to mount a total of 24 high-speed cameras -- 12 on each end -- covering every angle in both red zones to provide a seamless 360-degree arc of replay possibilities." The array of cameras will "start at each 20-yard line and wrap around the backs of the end zones." Rather than replays "having to be pieced together from various angles, the entire area in effect becomes one continuous angle." NBC "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli said that each camera "can record with eight times the resolution of a regular HD camera." He added, "You can zoom in without any pixel loss or picture degradation" (NEWSDAY, 9/6). Meanwhile, NBC this season will feature an expanded collection of digital and social media extensions, including a revamped "SNF" experience online that includes "SNF All-Access," NBCSports.com and the new NBCSports.com/FollowSNF section, designed for fans who want to interact with and track "SNF" and the "SNF Bus." In addition, NBC Sports Group will offer news, exclusive content and social engagement opportunities for football fans through a collection of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (NBC).

    OPENING ACT: USA TODAY's Brian Mansfield notes Carrie Underwood has "recorded a new version" of the "SNF" theme song, "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." She takes over the intro from Faith Hill. Underwood said, "Obviously we wanted to make it sound like me, but we definitely wanted to bring a fun edge to it." She added, "It's wonderful to be in front of an audience that might be a little different for me and to be a part of a football season" (USA TODAY, 9/6). Underwood noted Hill made the song "hers for so many years, so it was like if we're going to do this, we need to make sure (to) switch some stuff up and just make it feel a lot different so it's my thing." Thirteen NFL players will appear in the intro, and Underwood said, "They had the players coming in over a period of a couple days and doing their thing, being all awesome for the camera" ("The Crossover," NBCSN, 9/5).

    Print | Tags: NBC, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, NFL Season Preview
  • Lions, Quicken Loans Ink Five-Year Deal Featuring Prominent Signage At Ford Field

    Quicken Loans on Thursday announced a five-year sponsorship with the Lions beginning this season that lets the Detroit-based mortgage lender "have prominent signage throughout" Ford Field, as well as a "first-of-its-kind seating section for its employees near the player tunnel," according to Michael Martinez of the DETROIT NEWS. Up to 62 Quicken Loans employees at each home game can sit "in a special seating section." They can "relax in overstuffed black leather recliners embroidered with the Quicken Loans logo." An HD LCD TV will be "mounted in front of each seat" in the section, which "is not open to the public." Additionally, Quicken Loans will have "signage on the team’s parking structure overlooking I-375, throughout Ford Field, on microphones and interview backdrops and on the player tunnel tarp." The company also will "sponsor the North Club lounge" at the stadium (DETROIT NEWS, 9/6). The Lions said that the seats are for their eight home games each season and "select events at Ford Field." The seats are "being installed in time for Sunday's home opener" against the Vikings. Another aspect of the deal will be Quicken Loans' status as the team's "official mortgage lender." Also, the tunnel between the locker room and the field "will be lined with vinyl graphics provided by Detroit-based Fathead," which is also owned by Quicken Loans Founder & Chair Dan Gilbert (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 9/5). Quicken Loans President & CMO Jay Farner said that the goal of the special seating section, called the Dream Seats, was to "create a special experience for some of the nearly 10,000 employees of Quicken and its spin-off firms now based in downtown Detroit" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/6).

    Print | Tags: Detroit Lions, Quicken Loans, NFL Season Preview
  • Chargers Propose New Joint-Use Stadium Plan To California Coastal Commission

    Chargers execs now are more hopeful for a new stadium now than they've been in years

    The Chargers on Thursday presented a joint-use stadium-convention center plan for the East Village in downtown San Diego to the California Coastal Commission. The Chargers’ plan is an alternative to San Diego’s current convention center expansion plan that may be considered by the CCC later this year. The Chargers also announced that international investment firm Colony Capital was partnering with the team to pursue the alternative plan for downtown San Diego, as well as for the Qualcomm and Sports Arena sites (Chargers). In San Diego, Susan Shroder notes the idea of a combined project "has been rejected by backers of the current convention center expansion proposal as not meeting the need for contiguous space for large meetings." Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani said that the team and Colony Capital, "along with the team’s architectural firm, Populous, decided that the joint-use plan is more cost effective and environmentally sensitive than a convention center expansion." He also said that the East Village proposal "would improve three San Diego neighborhoods -- including the Qualcomm and Sports Arena sites -- and improve the city’s tax base" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/6).

    DO THE MESS AROUND? In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes Fabiani and the Chargers "now are more hopeful than they’ve been in years," as they have found a "powerful business partner completely onboard the franchise’s cruise." Colony Capital is "one of the most respected real estate investment firms in the world," and they "aren’t going to mess around" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/6). Also in San Diego, Matthew Hall writes reaction to the proposal "was immediate and divided." It is an "old idea -- and one that [was] met with opposition two years ago -- but there are two new wrinkles." There is an "election for a new mayor of San Diego in November and two, the California Coastal Commission will hold a hearing on the existing convention center plans in October." There was "no discussion of how the proposal would be financed" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/6).

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  • Patriots' Brand Unfazed By Off-Field Troubles As Ticket Sales, Ratings Remain Strong

    Fans want the Patriots to be more selective about taking on players

    The Patriots' brand "appears as strong as ever" entering the '13 NFL season, as it is "undented by shortfalls and transgressions that might doom another business," according to Callum Borchers of the BOSTON GLOBE. Despite an offseason that included the Aaron Hernandez scandal and the arrest of CB Alfonzo Dennard, each of the team's four preseason games "was the top-rated television program in the Boston market during the week it was played." Every home game "has sold out before the first snap of the fall" for the 20th straight year, and TiqIQ indicates fans are "shelling out an average of $365.98 on the secondary market for a seat at Gillette Stadium." More than 60,000 people have "paid $100 just to get on a waiting list for season tickets." In a region "full of fans who love their sports teams -- and love to scrutinize them -- the Pats have cultivated a uniquely loyal following." Even the "mighty Red Sox proved susceptible to fan revolt after the team’s epic collapse" at the end of the '11 MLB season. Smith College sports economist Andrew Zimbalist said that the Patriots' on-field success has "glossed over" recent off-field infractions that "may cause fans to raise their eyebrows." However, Borchers cites a recent Channel Media survey of New England sports as showing that fans "want the Patriots to be more selective about taking on troubled players, and treat proven players fairly." Since the end of last season, the Patriots have parted ways with WR Wes Welker, "a bedrock of the offense for six years," and P Zoltan Mesko, one of the team's "most active volunteers." But Borchers writes, "Don't expect local fans to sour on the Patriots, unless their tumultuous offseason is followed by a stunning collapse on the gridiron" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/6).

    PATRIOT MISSILE: Boston-based WBZ-CBS earned a 14.6 local rating for the Giants-Patriots game on Aug. 30, marking the fourth straight week that a Patriots preseason game was the most-watched program in the market. Each of the team's four games (three on WBZ, one national game on Fox) averaged above a 14.4 rating (Patriots).

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  • Colts' Andrew Luck Takes Slow And Steady Approach In Endorsements

    Luck will help design products for Indianapolis-based Klipsch

    Colts QB Andrew Luck is profiled by the INDIANAPOLIS STAR's Zak Keefer, who describes the second-year player as a "dichotomy with a dynamite arm." Luck is "charismatic enough to have Madison Avenue begging for his time," but also "judicious enough to shun the spotlight save one afternoon a week: Sunday." Luck turned down all national TV ads last season, as he "held firm to an old-fashioned credo -- earn it on the field before you earn it elsewhere." Will Wilson, Luck's agent and uncle, said, "We turned down more things than I can remember." Keefer notes Luck last season "owned a thin marketing portfolio" compared to recent No. 1 overall NFL Draft picks. Luck "repped Nike, Quaker Oats and two trading card companies," and had "one-time gigs with Gatorade and EA Sports." He also "began working with Riley Children's Hospital." But other than that, "it was football, football, football," a strategy that "runs parallel with Luck's predecessor," Peyton Manning. One should not "discount Luck's ability to continue to follow Manning's path and embrace more opportunities later in his career," even if it appears Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is "destined to succeed Manning as the NFL's endorsement king." Luck's "objective from a marketing standpoint is to build a local base before expanding nationally." That is, "win over the hometown fans -- first with victories, then by joining forces with their companies." That is "one of the prime reasons Luck signed a multiyear deal this summer" with Indianapolis-based speaker and headphone manufacturer Klipsch. In addition to the company being locally based, the allure for Luck to endorse Klipsch was that it "allows him the chance to put his architectural degree to work" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/6).

    RELUCTANT MEGA-STAR? In Detroit, John Niyo notes Lions WR Calvin Johnson in a new Nike campaign titled "Calvin & Johnson," plays a "reticent football star" while Sean "Diddy" Combs handles "all the public attention, including his media obligations." Johnson "generally has avoided self-promotion," and has "opted for non-speaking parts" in his marketing deals. In an Acura TV spot he "was seen -- and undressed -- but not heard," while a Nike ad last fall had "regular folks all talk about Johnson, but no one ever sees him." The latest Nike ad includes Johnson's own voiceover, but he admitted, "I didn't even want to do it because of the timing of it." Johnson said that he "hadn’t gotten around to watching the pre-release clips in his email inbox by the time Nike posted it on YouTube" earlier this week. But it "played to good reviews in the locker room" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/6).

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  • Former Raiders Chief Exec Trask Moves From The Board Room To Broadcast Studio

    Trask had no intentions of joining the media upon her resignation from the Raiders

    After 27 years of avoiding television cameras, former Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask now finds herself embarking on a new career path where see will look directly into them. CBSSN last month announced a new Sunday morning program, “That Other Pregame Show,” and tapped Trask for its five-member studio panel. Trask caught up with THE DAILY this week and discussed her role on the show, what it means to be the first female front office exec to make the transition to TV and if she has plans on returning to the league.

    Q: What kind of role does CBSSN have planned for you?
    Trask: We will talk about on- and off-field issues, the X's and O's of football as well as the business operations. I’m going to chime in on whatever I wish to chime in on. One thing that was very intriguing to me and exciting about this is that the individuals with whom I spoke were very direct that I would not be cordoned off and kept only in an area relating to business or off-field issues. Certainly I’m not going to be the person best-suited to tell you whether the fourth-string guard for any given team is going to make the roster or not, but I have spent close to 30 years in football and will be able to chime in on whatever I would like to discuss.

    Q: What kind of adjustment will it take for you in becoming a member of the media?
    Trask: A seismic one. It will be a monumental adjustment. It’s one that is looming large for me right now. Having spent 27 years assiduously running away from cameras, it is not without irony that I’m now embarking on this new adventure in which I’ll voluntarily face the camera. But doing so with CBS and the talent amassed is really a privilege.

    Q: How are you facing this challenge? Are you getting advice from other front office execs who have made the same transition?
    Trask: I am very fortunate to know so many people throughout the sports industry -- some of whom have been on camera for many years -- some of whom have done less work, but some work. They have all been very generous about offering their advice and their thoughts on how I should proceed.

    Q: What do you hope to accomplish for yourself in this role?
    Trask: I don’t know that I could articulate that. This is a new adventure and I will determine whether this is something I enjoy doing. And I will determine -- as will CBS -- if this is something I’m able to do successfully.

    Q: Was television something you thought about when you resigned from the Raiders in May?
    Trask: It did not pop up on my radar -- that’s an understatement. When I resigned from the Raiders, I had absolutely no plan. I had absolutely no idea what I would do next. I really and truly did not have a thought in my mind about what my next adventure would be. I was contacted by a few people about television opportunities and my first response was, “That’s just nutty. I’m not going to go on television.” But when I spoke with a group of people at CBS, it was an exciting phone call.

    Q: Will you handle discussions on the Raiders just as you would any other team?
    Trask: That’s the plan. I certainly would hope I would approach my analysis of each team in the same manner -- which would be fair and forthright.

    Q: You were somewhat of a pioneer in becoming one of the first female NFL front office execs and are following a similar path with television. What significance does that hold with you?
    Trask: It has been my practice throughout my career to comport myself without regard to gender. My view has always been that if I don’t want other people to consider my gender to be a factor, then I should not consider my gender to be a factor. So it is a point that has been made to me repeatedly, but really, I have never focused on my gender. Certainly if there are young women who view this as an opportunity in the future, then that’s terrific and CBS deserves a tremendous amount of credit in that regard.

    Q: How are you going about preparing for this? Have you met any challenges along the way?
    Trask: We’re all navigating it right now because a challenge is that the show is broadcast live from New York and I’m based in California. So we’re navigating how I will do that preparation work with my colleagues when they’re 3,000 miles away and a three-hour time zone away. (Trask will appear live in N.Y. for approximately half the season and from a CBS studio in California for the other half.) Perhaps my biggest challenge will be getting CBS to move the studio to Malibu. I think too just battling my own trepidations about being on camera. I have a very patient husband -- he always keeps me grounded.

    Q: Do you have any aspirations of getting back into the league eventually?
    Trask: That’s not something I’m looking to do at this point. I would leave it at that right now. It’s certainly not something that I have considered to date, and I don’t know that I ever would consider that. But four months ago if you would have asked me if I would be willing to do television, I would have said you were nutty.

    Print | Tags: CBS, NFL Season Preview
  • EA Sports Sees Sharp First-Week Sales Decline For "Madden" Compared To '12

    EA Sports late Thursday said it sold 1 million units of "Madden NFL 25" in its first week of retail release, down 39% from a comparable figure of 1.65 million units for "Madden NFL 13" last year and down 28% from 1.4 million units for "Madden NFL 12" two years ago. The decline arrives despite a high-profile promotional campaign conducted over the past six months designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the popular football video game. Both Sony and Microsoft are scheduled to release their next-generation gaming consoles in November, and some buyers may prefer to wait until then when "Madden NFL 25" will release on those platforms. Amazon and Game Stop both have introduced trade-in programs aimed at enticing consumers to buy "Madden NFL 25" now for the XBox 360 or PlayStation 3 and then exchange it in November for a next-generation version. But the sharp decline in initial "Madden" sales suggests those programs have not had as much success as hoped. The 1 million units sold for "Madden NFL 25" was still good enough to have the game rank as the top-selling video game in North American during August, regardless of genre. Meanwhile, Amazon execs called an exclusive $99 anniversary version of the game that includes a free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket this season the best-selling sports game preorder in company history (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

    THE MISSING LINK: The AP's Lou Kesten wrote "Madden NFL 25" represents the "culmination of a quarter-century of innovation, taking a victory lap before the franchise moves onto the next generation of higher-definition game machines." There is an "awful lot to do in 'Madden 25,' even if it's missing a certain something -- namely, John Madden." The current game announcers, CBS' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, "don't have his spark." Simms has "turned into the kind of traditionalist blowhard who will berate you for not punting on fourth down, even if you're six points down with less than a minute to play" (AP, 9/5).

    Print | Tags: EA Sports, NFL Season Preview
  • NFL Media Notes: Ray Lewis Brings Unique Perspective To New Analyst Role

    Lewis alleges that last year's Super Bowl blackout was a conspiracy

    THE MMQB's Don Banks wrote of new ESPN NFL analyst Ray Lewis, "I don’t really care what ESPN is paying the former Baltimore Ravens great this season to impart his wealth of football insights. I’m more interested in what ESPN is paying the person who’s paid to keep Lewis on point, because that’s the toughest job in television this year, bar none." Lewis has alleged the blackout during Super Bowl XLVII was a conspiracy, which "could be just the appetizer in the feast to come with Lewis’ new career as a TV analyst." Monday nights "may never be the same now that the future Hall of Fame linebacker has joined ESPN’s desk full of football experts" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/4).

    PLAYING THROUGH THE PAIN: In Houston, David Barron noted FS Southwest reporter Patti Smith will "be playing hurt Monday night in San Diego as she helps host the network’s Texans pre- and postgame shows." Smith suffered a torn ACL in her left knee Aug. 24 in "an accident involving an equipment cart at Reliant Stadium." She worked during the Saints-Texans game the following day and "has continued on the job since the accident." Since post-surgical patients "face travel restrictions, she will not undergo surgery until next Thursday." Smith said that she "was riding on an equipment cart when a piece of gear on the back of the cart hit an awning on Budweiser Plaza at the stadium." Smith: "A pole hit the overhang, which flipped me off the cart. I did a flip in the air, landed on my head and suffered a torn ACL" (CHRON.com, 9/5).

    SUPER-SIZE ME: In N.Y., David Hinckley reported WNYW-Fox sportscaster Russ Salzberg is scheduled to "launch a Super Bowl countdown show" on Friday. The weekly half-hour show will run from 10:30-11:00pm ET and is called "Super Football Friday." It will cover "the full gamut of Super Bowl prep, and give viewers plenty of time to digest it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/5).

    DA BEARS: ChicagoBears.com's "Training Camp Central" coverage was highlighted by 237 new pieces of content across its digital platforms from July 24-Aug. 18, including 104 videos that were viewed approximately 2 million times. The site saw a 17% increase in unique visitors compared to the same period in '12, as well as a 21% gain in page views (Bears).

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  • NFL Franchise Notes: Bills' Season-Ticket Sales Down 1.7%, But Sunday's Opener Sold Out

    In Buffalo, Mark Gaughan notes the Bills' season-ticket sales total for the '13 season is 42,540, which is "down 725 season tickets from last year." Sunday's season opener against the Patriots is "sold out, and limited tickets are available" for the Sept. 15 game against the Panthers and the Sept. 29 game against the Ravens. The season-ticket total is "respectable considering the Bills have not made the playoffs in 13 years and have started over again with a new regime this season." However, the total is "believed to be in the bottom quarter of the NFL" (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/6).

    GRASS IS GREENER: NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Ray Anderson said that the league is "satisfied at this point with the condition of the playing surface" at FedExField and with the Redskins’ plan to "maintain the field throughout the season." But Anderson on Thursday reiterated that the NFL will "monitor the condition of the field" as well as other stadiums "over the course of the season." Anderson in February said that after the Redskins' first-round playoff game against the Seahawks, in which two players suffered serious knee injuries, the league "would take a more active role and would be more vigilant in monitoring the condition of fields league-wide, particularly later in the season in stadiums with natural grass playing surfaces" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/5).

    DAWG DAYS OF SUMMER: In Cleveland, Kevin Kleps reported the Browns' front office is "encouraging its followers to 'Paint the Town Browns.'" The Browns earlier this summer via a "Paint the Town Browns" website and the team's Twitter account "gave away 12 prizes in 12 hours, including 'exclusive' experiences, tickets, an all-inclusive road trip and autographed items." The team also will "host a tailgate party" Friday from 1:00-6:00pm ET at Crocker Park that will "feature appearances by Browns alumni." Fans "should have confidence that the team 'gets it' in at least one regard -- it must do everything possible to reconnect with a fan base that had grown as discouraged as ever during the disastrous Pat Shurmur era" (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 9/5).

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  • NFL Marketplace Roundup

    USA TODAY's Erik Brady reports ESPN Radio 980 DC "rejected" a proposed ad from the Oneida Indian Nation in opposition of the Redskins nickname. Station Senior VP/Sales Lewis Schreck in an e-mail to Oneida wrote, "No way!!!!!!!" ESPN 980 is the flagship station of the Redskins and is operated by Red Zebra Broadcasting, a company whose "primary investors" include Redskins Owner Dan Snyder (USA TODAY, 9/6).

    COWBOY UP: In Dallas, Candace Carlisle reported the Cowboys are "partnering with Miami-based luxury lifestyle brand Peace Love World to create a collection of female-friendly apparel." The 1,800-square-foot "pop up store -- known as Peace Love World Style Lounge -- will open at AT&T Stadium on Sunday" for the Cowboys' regular-season opener against the Giants. The store is "expected to expand or contract based on customer demand near the Victoria's Secret PINK store at the North Main Club." The "I am Game" collection "includes sweaters, sweat pants, fashion tops and sleepwear will feature the Cowboys star and the Peace Love World designs." The items will be priced from $35-158 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/5).

    CIRCLE THE WAGONS: The Bills have entered into a multiyear partnership with Rhode Island-based lifestyle brand Alex and Ani. The brand will receive in-stadium signage, team related social media, online media, branding and grass roots initiatives. Alex and Ani also will receive the designation Official Jewelry of the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders, and will be integrated into the Jills media platforms, as well as the Junior Jills program (Bills).

    NOTES: Redskins QB Robert Griffin III in his newest adidas spot says he will "blow up last season." During the voiceover the football field in the commercial "actually blows up" (WASHINGTONPOST.com 9/5)....Rawlings Football signed 49ers LB Patrick Willis to its advisory staff roster. Willis will appear in broadcast, print, digital marketing campaigns and promotions beginning this season (Rawlings).

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  • NFL Names In The News

    Doctors diagnosed Sanders with more than a dozen medical conditions

    In L.A., Ken Bensinger reports Pro Football HOFer DEION SANDERS in '11 "filed a workers' compensation claim in California, alleging head trauma and other injuries incurred while playing" for the Cowboys. The case is "pending, but in November 2010, Sanders was determined to be 86% disabled by the Division of Workers' Compensation." Four doctors diagnosed "more than a dozen medical conditions, including cognitive impairment and behavioral/emotional disorder." Sanders is "one of a host of current NFL employees, including at least six other NFL Network analysts and dozens of assistant coaches and team personnel, who have made such claims." The filings from the league's own employees "underscore the depth and complexity of a head injury problem that the NFL is trying hard to put to rest" (L.A. TIMES, 9/6).

    DOLPHIN TALE: In Miami, Greg Cote writes he applauds Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS' $200M donation this to the Univ. of Michigan because he is "donating money that he didn't have to." But he adds, "What interests me the most is that his donation comes just weeks after Ross fought so hard in a losing battle to gain public funding for about that same amount of money for renovations" to Sun Life Stadium. Cote: "Half of me still applauds Ross, but the other half wonders why he doesn't just pay for his own stadium improvements" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 9/5). In West Palm Beach, Frank Cerabino writes the effort for public funding for stadium improvements "was dealt a severe blow," as the donation "does nothing to help Ross build a case that taxpayers should shoulder half the costs of the capital improvements to his private business." It is "too bad he can't just pretend that fixing up his own stadium is just another collegiate donation" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/6).

    PANNING FOR GOLD: 49ers Exec VP/Development LARRY MACNEIL said of Levi's Stadium, "The North Santa Clara area is great for development in general. I think you're seeing the stadium spark some interest." He added, "For us, as we were doing site selection, there was excellent traffic infrastructure that is very well-maintained -- great access to the three major freeways, public transit that has been invested in and works -- and then just a very well-run city." MacNeil: "We're a couple weeks ahead on some things, but I would not rely on that to say we're going to be open ahead of our July 31 target date. We still have a lot of work to do. We are 60 percent done. We are now starting to work on interior finishes, and there's a lot of time and man hours on that. The work force from the local labor market has been great" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/5).

    PLAYING HOUSE: The $20M L.A. home of Patriots QB TOM BRADY and his wife, GISELE BUNDCHEN, is featured on the cover of the October issue of Architectural Digest. The 14,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-style home was "built with mostly recycled or reclaimed materials" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/6).

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  • Spons-o-Meter: NFL Lines Up 26 Partners To Start ’13 Season

    THE DAILY presents a comprehensive list of the official corporate partners of the NFL for the '13 season. NFL corporate partnership benefits vary from deal to deal, but they typically include category exclusivity, use of league marks for advertising and promotional purposes, event signage, media exposure through radio, print and TV ads, as well as various hospitality benefits. The group below does not include media or apparel partners, or any pending renewals that expired at the end of the '12 season.

    SPONSOR CATEGORY
    SINCE
    Gatorade Isotonic beverage
    '83
    Visa USA Payment systems services
    '95
    Campbell’s Soup Soup
    '98
    FedEx Worldwide package delivery service
    '00
    Frito-Lay Salted snack/popcorn/peanuts/dips 
    '00
    General Motors Car & passenger truck
    '01
    Mars Snackfood Chocolate & non-chocolate confectionery
    '02
    Pepsi Soft drinks
    '02
    Bridgestone Tire
    '07
    Procter & Gamble
    (Gillette; Head & Shoulders; Vicks; Old Spice)
    Grooming products, fabric care/air care, household needs
    '09
    Verizon Wireless telecommunication service
    '10
    Barclays Affinity card/rewards program (NFL Extra Points)
    '10
    Papa John’s Pizza
    '10
    Castrol Motor oil
    '10
    Anheuser-Busch Beer
    '11
    USAA Insurance/military appreciation
    '11
    Bose Home theater system
    '11
    Marriot Hotel
    '11
    Xbox (Microsoft) Video game console, interactive video entertainment console
    '11
    Quaker Hot cereal
    '12
    Procter & Gamble (Tide; Duracell) Household cleaning, battery power
    '12
    Lenovo Computers (desktop, laptop and computer workstations)
    '12
    McDonald's Restaurant
    '12
    SAP Cloud software solutions, business & business analytics software
    '12
    Microsoft (Surface, Windows) Sideline technology (tablet, PC operating system)
    '13
    Cover Girl Beauty
    '13

    Print | Tags: NFL Season Preview
  • Talking Points: NFL Season Opener Generated More Than 20 Million Facebook Interactions

    There were more than 20 million Facebook interactions (posts, comments, and likes) related to the Broncos-Ravens NFL season opener Thursday night. About 53% of the buzz about the game was from men.

    TOP FIVE SOCIAL MOMENTS FROM THE GAME
    4th quarter: Peyton Manning throws his record-tying 7th touchdown pass to seal the 49-27 victory.
    Pre-game: Severe lightning and rain delay the start of the game by 33 minutes.
    2nd quarter: Playing in his first NFL game, Julius Thomas catches his 2nd touchdown to help tie the game at 14-14.
    3rd quarter: Broncos WR Wes Welker catches his 2nd touchdown of the third quarter to give the Broncos a 35-17 lead.
    2nd quarter: Ravens take a 14-7 lead on Ray Rice's 1-yard TD run.
    TOP FIVE DEMOS BUZZING ABOUT THE GAME
    Men 25-34
    Women 25-34
    Men 18-24
    Women 18-24
    Men 35-44

    Meanwhile, Steelers S Troy Polamalu leads all active NFL players in fans of their official Facebook page.

    TOP FIVE MOST POPULAR ACTIVE PLAYERS ON FACEBOOK
    Steelers S Troy Polamalu (2.33 million)
    Eagles QB Michael Vick (2.22 million)
    Lions RB Reggie Bush (2.13 million)
    Patriots QB Tom Brady (1.92 million)
    Saints QB Drew Brees (1.60 million)

    Print | Tags: NFL Season Preview
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