SBD/January 9, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Olympic Marketing Notes: Oakley Planning To Renew Deal With Lindsey Vonn

Vonn is expected to seek to compete at the '18 Pyeongchang Games
Oakley Global VP/Sports Marketing Pat McIlvain said that even though U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn's deal expires after this season and she is not competing at the Sochi Games, the company "is interested in renewing its deal" with Vonn if, as expected, she "continues her skiing career and looks to compete" at the '18 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. McIlvain said, "We need to sit down with Lindsey, figure out what her goals are and make sure they align with what our goals are. But we have every intention of continuing the relationship with Lindsey." He added that Oakley in the meantime is "not planning any changes in how it 'leverages' its relationship" with Vonn (ADAGE.com, 1/8).

DRESSED TO IMPRESS: In Portland, Allan Brettman noted Columbia Sportswear yesterday unveiled "the uniforms for the U.S., Canadian and Russian freestyle ski teams." Columbia officials "have high hopes for a marketing boost, calling the uniforms for the three federations the company's largest global investment ever" in the Olympics. However, the officials "would not say how much money Columbia has invested." The Columbia-designed uniforms feature details such as "a snow camouflage pattern to help mask body movement -- a key judging component -- for moguls skiers," and graphics and prints "unique to the sponsored countries" (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/8).

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
: AD AGE noted Hill Holliday has created a "moving new series of online docs" for Liberty Mutual. The series -- titled "Rise" and directed by Jay Heyman of Make -- highlights "tremendous setbacks in the careers of athletes" like speed skater J.R. Celski, Paralympian Rico Roman and skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender. The stories "promote the insurance company's sponsorship of the USA team." In the run-up to the Olympics, Liberty Mutual will "debut the short films on a dedicated Rise website and through social media." Each week, the Liberty Mutual will "highlight a single athlete, who will take over the brand's Facebook cover photo and Twitter skin" (ADAGE.com, 1/8).

SCIENCE OF SPORT: MLIVE.com's Heather Jordan noted the U.S. luge team in Sochi will have "some help from an unlikely source" in Dow Chemical Co. A team of Dow scientists "worked with USA Luge to engineer new sleds" for Olympic competition. Meanwhile, Dow's involvement in the Games "goes beyond the sport of luge." The company's sponsorship of the games "makes it a Worldwide Olympic Partner and also the 'Official Chemistry Company' of the games." Dow has been a technical partner of USA Luge since '07. Officials said that the company developed the sled at "its Michigan operations’ core research and development division in Midland" (MLIVE.com, 1/8).
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