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SBD/October 17, 2013/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
Former GM Global CMO Joel Ewanick on Tuesday said that signing the sponsorship deal between Chevrolet and EPL club Manchester United "that ultimately led to his ouster last year was a 'no-brainer,'" according to Ryan Beene of AUTOMOTIVE NEWS. Ewanick, in his first public remarks about his July '12 ouster, said that it was "clear that the deal would bring Chevrolet increased brand exposure, purchase consideration and awareness around the world worth 'over four times' the sponsorship's cost," which sources have pegged at $600M over seven years. Ewanick was dismissed "within weeks" of the deal's announcement. Sources later said that "improper handling of the deal led to Ewanick's firing." Ewanick said, "The way this was going to work over time, I would say that for the amount of money we were talking about, it was the biggest no-brainer I've seen." The ManU sponsorship is "one of the few major initiatives from Ewanick's tenure that has stuck at GM." Within days of his dismissal, GM "expanded the partnership to include the right for Chevrolet to display its logo on the team's jerseys, which was not part of the original agreement that Ewanick inked." Ewanick's charge at the company "included consolidating what GM spent on marketing globally and reallocating resources to be more efficient." The ManU deal was "the result of GM looking for more efficient ways to spend its marketing dollars" (AUTONEWS.com, 10/16).
Michael Waltrip "seems to have borne the most negative brunt of the fallout" from the cheating scandal around his NASCAR team, according to Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. Davie-Brown Index data shows that Waltrip "suffered significant drops in aspiration (falling 24% from a top-20 ranking), endorsement (a 17% decline) and trust (22%) in a Sept. 29 survey." Repucom Exec VP/Americas Peter Laatz, whose company produces the index, said that the impact was "negligible for drivers involved in the scandal." There was "no precipitous decline in the index" for Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer, and both "surpassed their car owner in the most recent ranking." Laatz added that there "wasn't as much widespread PR damage for NASCAR." Polling showed "an increased awareness that might be reflected in TV ratings" during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But there were "negatives in the Repucom data." When asked how the scandal had "changed their perceptions of NASCAR, its teams and its drivers, 28% of fans said their views of teams had worsened (vs 18% for NASCAR and 21% for drivers)." Repucom "calculated more than 100,000 Twitter posts and 271 million impressions" from the night of the race in Richmond that led to the scandal "through the addition of [Jeff] Gordon to the Chase six days later." The day after NASCAR penalized MWR, "73% of the tweets were positive, and it spiked to 93% on the day Gordon was added." Laatz: "If social media didn't exist, Jeff Gordon wouldn't be in the Chase. I'd take it a step further that if social media didn't exist, NAPA would still be in the sport" (USA TODAY, 10/17).
IMAGE IS EVERYTHING: SI.com's Lars Anderson asks, "Where does Michael Waltrip Racing go from here?" The "perception of cheating ... will haunt this team for the foreseeable future." Once the "scent of a scandal has enveloped a team, it's a hard thing to fumigate." Anderson: "Will Michael Waltrip Racing ever be the same? No. Will it ever seriously contend for a Sprint Cup championship? It's possible" (SI.com, 10/16).
TAKING THE FALL? Ryan said of Truex Jr. leaving MWR after the scandal, “The guy who was the least complicit, the least culpable, Martin Truex Jr., who admittedly was just racing as hard as he could, racing his guts out that night in Richmond to get in the Chase, how does he become the person who bears the brunt and the worst of the fallout here? I think the simplest way to explain it is just bad luck in sponsorship and contracts. He had the sponsor that decided that they didn’t want to stay with Michael Waltrip Racing” (“NASCAR Race Hub,” FS1, 10/16).
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith, who heads the Indiana Economic Development Corp., said the organization's main interest in its recent deal to place on-court ads at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was "the national TV exposure of 40-plus games," according to Barb Berggoetz of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Smith said, "I'm absolutely convinced we got a good buy. ... If this was solely advertising just for the fans inside the building, it would be less attractive for us." The agency's "A State That Works" slogan is "emblazoned twice on the hardwood floor" at the arena, and is "located just out of bounds, in front of the home bench and the visiting bench." Smith said, "This is really about telling our story and lifting our brand. The one thing I’ve heard consistently is we have a great story in Indiana, but we just need a bigger megaphone to tell the story." Smith said that the ad spend is within the $1.3M "allocated by the Indiana General Assembly for the agency’s marketing" for '13-14. The slogan, along with "several other related IEDC ads, was first visible" at yesterday's preseason game against the Mavericks. The deal also includes "advertising on the digital ribbon board that encircles the mid-level of the fieldhouse, the digital sideboard between the two benches, goal post pads, and logos on the backdrop for Pacers coaches’ and players’ interviews at the fieldhouse" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/17).
USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz noted Nestle yesterday announced plans for a '14 rollout of the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup, and the brand has "even purchased its first-ever Super Bowl commercial to tout it." Butterfinger Brand Manager Jeremy Vandervoet said that because the new candy will launch early in the year, he "approached his bosses about broadcasting Nestle's first-ever Super Bowl commercial for the rollout." Vandervoet: "They approved the idea in five minutes." Horowitz noted the 30-second spot "will air in the second half" (USA TODAY, 10/16).
DEW POINT: ADWEEK's Christopher Heine noted Mountain Dew is "testing a couple Vine-based TV spots" and the first "appeared over the weekend on NBC Sports, while the second is scheduled to run on Sunday via ESPN." The commercial on ESPN will "highlight Mountain Dew's Dale Earnhardt Jr. sponsorship" during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (ADWEEK.com, 10/16).
BUDDING ROSE: The GUARDIAN's Jason Stone notes Bulls G Derrick Rose stars in a new adidas ad entitled "Basketball is Everything," directed by Stacy Wall. The creative is a "solemnly-made piece of work that's been beautifully put together and -- as long as you can avoid thinking about the irony of him presenting this claim in a commercial for which he's being paid a squillion dollars -- it's a pretty persuasive message" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 10/17).
SWING OF THINGS: GOLF DIGEST STIX' Stephen Hennessey notes the Pill golf ball essentially is a ball "with two sides cut off," and it "forces you to hit the center of the clubface on putts or chip shots." If you "don't hit it squarely, the Pill wobbles and won't roll straight." Pill inventor Paul Nagi "hired a rep to take it out on the PGA Tour, starting last week at the Frys.com Open." He said that about 30 PGA Tour golfers "have tried the Pill, and he hopes to sign some as official endorsers" (GOLF DIGEST STIX, 10/16 issue).