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SBD/October 8, 2013/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s jersey remained the top-seller among players on NFLShop.com from April 1 through the end of September, while Broncos QB Peyton Manning took over the No. 2 spot from Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. Kaepernick held the top spot when sales were examined through the end of June. While the order changed slightly, the five players with the top-selling jersey remained the same. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson and Redskins QB Robert Griffin III again filled out the top five. Eight of the top 10 player jerseys belong to QBs. Besides Peterson, Texans DE J.J. Watt was the only non-QB in the top 10, moving up from No. 16. Among those making the top 25 after missing the list the last time are Giants WR Victor Cruz, Cowboys WR Dez Bryant and DE DeMarcus Ware, Dolphins DE Cameron Wake and Eagles RB LeSean McCoy. Dropping out of the top 25 were Ravens WR Torrey Smith and QB Joe Flacco, Broncos WR Wes Welker, Seahawks WR Percy Harvin and retired Bears LB Brian Urlacher.TOP-SELLING PLAYER JERSEYS ON NFLSHOP.COMRANK
(April 1-Sept. 30)PREV. RANK
(April 1-June 30)
PLAYER11 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick25 Broncos QB Peyton Manning32 Seahawks QB Russell Wilson44 Vikings RB Adrian Peterson53 Redskins QB Robert Griffin III66 Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill77 Patriots QB Tom Brady89 Packers QB Aaron Rodgers916 Texans QB J.J. Watt1015 Saints QB Drew Brees118 retired Ravens LB Ray Lewis1211 Giants QB Eli Manning1318 Packers LB Clay Matthews1413 49ers LB Patrick Willis15n/r Giants WR Victor Cruz1620 Cowboys TE Jason Witten17n/r Cowboys WR Dez Bryant1812 Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch1914 Ravens RB Ray Rice2019 Colts QB Andrew Luck21n/r Dolphins DE Cameron Wake2221 Steelers S Troy Polamalu23n/r Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware2422 49ers RB Frank Gore25n/r Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
TEAM GAME: Like the team’s QB, the 49ers kept their spot as the team with the top-selling merchandise on NFLShop.com. After ranking No. 4 through the end of June, the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens dropped out of the top 10 through the end of September. The Bears moved up to No. 6 after not ranking in the top 10 in the previous rankings.TOP-SELLING TEAM MERCHANDISE ON NFLSHOP.COMRANK
(April 1-Sept. 30)PREV.
(April 1-June 30)
TEAM11 49ers23 Cowboys38 Broncos42 Seahawks55 Patriots6n/r Bears77 Packers810 Giants96 Steelers109 Redskins
Revenue at helmet manufacturer Riddell has grown by more than 40% since '09 to more than $200M, due to "high-tech helmets, demand for more protective gear and higher price points for some products," according to Danny Ecker of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. While costs from "concussion-related litigation and the resulting increased insurance premiums are hurting, parents' willingness to pay for top-of-the-line equipment is preserving the company's profits." New sales and "reconditioning of used football helmets" make up more than 50% of revenue at Riddell, a subsidiary of Easton-Bell Sports. Riddell's "25-year sponsorship deal with the NFL expires at the end of this season." Sales of the Riddell 360, the company's top-of-the line helmet, are "up 20 percent year over year." The Chicagoland Youth Football League President Geoff Meyer said that more parents are fundraising to purchase "top-of-the-line helmets" besides less expensive helmets covered by league fees. As a result, Riddell is "seeing stronger sales from stores such as Sports Authority and Dick's Sporting Goods." Still, most of its sales "come from 250 reps nationwide who work with teams and leagues." Riddell was "named in some of the lawsuits that were part" of a recent $765M settlement between the NFL and more than 4,000 ex-players over concussion-related claims filed against the league since early '11. It "still faces claims from hundreds of those plaintiffs," and other cases "are popping up." The company's legal costs "are leading to higher liability insurance premiums." Riddell also has a lawsuit "against 29 of its previous insurers to get a court order requiring them to defend and indemnify the company in lawsuits from NFL players over head injuries suffered decades ago" (CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 10/7 issue).
USOC sponsors are “finalizing and announcing rosters of athletes to represent their brands" in advance of the '14 Sochi Games, according to Rachel Axon of USA TODAY. Skier Torin Yater-Wallace, who signed with Target in '11, has since “signed a sponsorship with Kellogg’s and is expected to add other USOC sponsors." Figure skater Evan Lysacek, Alpine skier Ted Ligety and hockey player Julie Chu have “each added three sponsors.” Sled hockey player Rico Roman, “an Army veteran who had his left leg amputated after an IED explosion in Iraq, also has added three USOC sponsors.” Some companies have “chosen to sponsor lesser-known athletes." PMG Sports President & CEO Evan Morgenstein said that lesser-known athletes or “those in less popular sports” can draw “small amounts -- from $7,500 to $30,000 -- from sponsors, while superstars can earn low- to mid-six figures." Axon notes Liberty Mutual, which “became a USOC sponsor in January and has a roster of 13" Olympians and Paralympians, "sought stories of athletes overcoming adversity.” Liberty-sponsored bobsledder Jazmine Fenlator “lost her family’s home in Hurricane Irene” in ’11, and skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender “overcame the death of her father and shattering her kneecap in a snowmobiling accident to compete in Vancouver.” Sponsors generally look for “a compelling story and medal potential” in a potential brand representative, but “more and more, companies are looking to social media influence.” Agent Brant Feldman said, “At the end of the day, if you don't have a story, a sponsor can't spin that another way" (USA TODAY, 10/8).
RING BEARERS: USANA Health Sciences has signed U.S. ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson, U.S. speedskater Travis Jayner and Candian hockey player Meaghan Mikkelson as its newest brand ambassadors (USANA).
Nike yesterday announced that it is "taking a minority investment" in Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup Grabit, Inc., a company "in Silicon Valley’s emerging robotics technology field," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. How Nike will work with Grabit was "not immediately clear." Nike Global Communications Dir for Sustainable Business & Innovation Del Hudson said, "Grabit is still an early-stage technology and we are exploring different applications across logistics, distribution and in manufacturing." Grabit is an "industrial automation and materials handling solutions company." It announced yesterday that it has "secured Series A funding -- the first major round of outside investment." Grabit's current customers include "some Fortune 500 companies in industries such as warehouse automation, parcel handling, consumer products, and textiles" (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/8).
The Madison Square Garden Co. and Lenox Hill Hospital, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, today announced a multiyear marketing partnership designating Lenox Hill as the official hospital of the NHL Rangers and an official partner of MSG. Lenox Hill will receive brand exposure across multiple platforms, including inside MSG, online at BlueshirtsUnited.com and on MSG Network. The hospital as part of the deal will be highlighted on static and digital signage in MSG during Rangers games, including a branded dasherboard, home bench and penalty box signage. Lenox Hill also will be the presenting partner of the Rangers Club Seat section (MSG).
SIGN LANGUAGE: In Newark, Ted Sherman notes in an effort to "head off the possibility of clever marketing gimmicks being put in play to crash the world’s biggest party, the billboards around the state’s Meadowlands Sports Complex will not be available for rent to just anyone" during Super Bowl XLVIII. Officials said that the outdoor signs "are being reserved for exclusive use by official NFL sponsors during game week." The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority said that the billboards "were locked down at the request" of the NFL and the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/8).
EXTENDING ITS REACH: In Australia, John Stensholt reports casino and resort operator Crown has extended its sponsorship with Chinese WTAer Li Na "for a further two years in a multimillion-dollar deal to promote the company to its Asian customers" (AUSTRALIA FINANCIAL REVIEW, 10/8).