Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
SBD/February 21, 2014/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
NASCAR and Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., "will try to challenge the stubborn image of drivers as beer-guzzling good ol' boys as part of a new brand campaign breaking" during Fox' broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. NASCAR VP/Marketing Kim Brink said that Ogilvy's three new spots "are designed to work together to promote" the '14 NASCAR season. One 30-second spot, "Machine," "shows off the athleticism" of drivers Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne. The three are shown "pumping iron, riding bikes, jumping rope and kickboxing," and "interspersed with the shots of the trio's grueling fitness regimens are glamor shots of their respective race cars being prepped for the track." The ad asks, "Which is the machine?" An aspirational 60-second spot "will focus on how kids see drivers such as Danica Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart as 'heroes.'" Another 60-second ad, "Change," will "highlight the evolution of the sport from its bootlegging beginnings to billion-dollar present." The spot will "feature clips of legendary drivers" such as the late Dale Earnhardt, "as well as a clip of the famous Cale Yarborough vs. Donnie Allison brawl" at the '79 Daytona 500. This will be Ogilvy's "second big campaign" for NASCAR, and it "will not have a tagline." Instead, all the spots will "direct viewers to Nascar.com at the end." NASCAR and Ogilvy "debated whether or not to use a tagline for the season launch work." Brink said that they were "concerned they'd need multiple taglines to go with their other sub-campaigns launching later this season" (ADAGE.com, 2/20).
NEW & IMPROVED: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Bill King notes five NASCAR sponsors are "scheduled to debut a combined six new commercial spots during Sunday’s Daytona 500 telecast on Fox, doubling the number unveiled during last year’s season-opening Sprint Cup race." Ford, Chevy, Goodyear, Coca-Cola and Nationwide Insurance "all will break new, racing-themed creative." NASCAR VP/Partnership Marketing Norris Scott said, "Partners are using our Super Bowl to unveil new creative. That reinforces the Daytona 500 as a place big brands come to launch campaigns." The ads from Chevy and Coke "will build on campaigns that the sponsors ran last year." Meanwhile, Ganassi Racing sponsor Unilever "will roll out a new spot" for its Axe "Peace" body spray that features rookie driver Kyle Larson. Richard Childress Racing sponsor General Mills also "will break its first new NASCAR themed spot in four years when it rolls out a Cheerios commercial featuring the latest driver of the iconic No. 3 car, Austin Dillon" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/17 issue).
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES: USA TODAY's Nate Ryan writes Patrick's latest GoDaddy ad campaign "represents a new direction in how sponsors will be marketing her in the future -- with a de-emphasis on the cheesecake appeal that has been the hallmark of her previous ads with GoDaddy." Patrick said, "It's like we've gone to a mature content phase. As opposed to high heels, it's business jackets." In GoDaddy's "The Big Leap" campaign, Patrick "drives five prospective business owners around Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Chevrolet Camaro, and each makes their pitch for winning a grant from GoDaddy to support their idea." It is a "significant departure for Patrick, who has starred in 13 commercials for GoDaddy" since '07. The subject matter of past ads "often was racy and suggestive with scantily clad models" (USA TODAY, 2/21).
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Senior Dir Jon Schwartz said that driver Austin Dillon has "been the No. 1 seller among drivers with only one merchandise hauler on site" in Daytona this week. USA TODAY's Jeff Gluck notes that is "everyone but Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson." Dillon "jumped to the No. 7 biggest seller on NASCAR.com; he was 22nd last season" as the Nationwide Series champion. Richard Childress Racing said that among the new offerings for Dillon "are a T-shirt and a die-cast car commemorating" his pole win for Sunday's Daytona 500 (USA TODAY, 2/21).
COOKIE CUTTER: NASCAR and snack company Mondelez on Thursday announced a three-year extension of their sponsorship deal. The extension will designate Mondelez brands Oreo, Nilla Wafers and Nutter Butter as the sanctioning body's official cookies, while Ritz and Wheat Thins will be official crackers. Mondelez will continue to create NASCAR-themed Oreo and Ritz packaging for a Nabisco “Snack & Go” consumer sweepstakes (NASCAR).
LENDING A HAND: Lending Tree has agreed to be the primary sponsor for Swan Racing's Sprint Cup Series No. 30 Toyota for the Daytona 500. The deal comes one day after rookie driver Parker Kligerman's "car was destroyed" during practice at Daytona Int'l Speedway when he flipped the vehicle, "went airborne and ripped out a chunk of the grandstand fence." The funding "gives Swan Racing some breathing room for the rest of the week" (AP, 2/20).
NOTES: Mars Chocolate North America and M&M’s Racing have unveiled a peanut-themed paint scheme for Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota for the Daytona 500. M&M’s "Yellow" peanut candy mascot will be featured on the exterior of the car, the first time that character has made a solo appearance on the car (M&M’s)....CarsForSale.com on Thursday announced that it has inked a deal with Sprint Cup driver Landon Cassill. The site began as primary sponsor for Hillman Racing's No. 4 Chevrolet SS starting in Thursday night's Budweiser Duels (CarsForSale.com).
Fanatics.com, since Yankees SS Derek Jeter announced his retirement, "has sold more Jeter stuff" than any other MLBer, according to figures cited by Darren Rovell of ESPN. Rovell said of a report that the dirt Jeter plays on would be sold, "They will be selling everything … (and) you can imagine that he's going to have multiple jerseys, not only for the last couple games, but they're going to be selling everything. When you think about Yankees and collectables and you think about guys who generate the most money from a collectables standpoint in all of baseball, retired and current, they're all Yankees. … Yes, you can expect a ton of collectables to come our way." Rovell said playing for the Yankees and winning championships will allow Jeter to "survive and probably make more than any active baseball player for the first three or four years post-retirement if he wants to do it." Rovell: "Simply, he can still stay the most marketable player in baseball even when he retires" ("OTL," ESPN, 2/19).
The Yankees in the wake of signing P Masahiro Tanaka have "signed a deal with an advertising firm in Japan that wants signage up in some unusual places" inside Steinbrenner Field, home to the Yankees Spring Training, according to Chris Wilkerson of the TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL. The plan "includes signage for four companies hoping to catch eyeballs not ... in Tampa, but back home in Japan." The ad package "includes four companies," dental hygiene firm Sunstar GUM, engineering firm THK, Internet marketing firm Final Code and "a Japanese confectionery whose signage isn’t even in English." The companies' ads "run on interior fencing at the practice field adjacent to Steinbrenner Field as well as inside the stadium and in the bullpen." All of the ads were "carefully placed to be in the background when a large group of Japanese media film Tanaka during spring training." Single-A Florida State League Tampa Yankees VP & Marketing Dir Howard Grosswirth, whose team plays its regular-season home games at Steinbrenner Field, is "in discussions with another company that wants to advertise on a wall inside the bullpen that will be visible for only a few of the 11,000 seats in the stadium, but all of the fans back in Japan when Tanaka is warming up" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/20).
For Empire Athletes agent Joe Barkett, who reps NFL Draft prospect Michael Sam, the past few weeks have "been a constant battle of fielding calls not only from journalists, but also from brands and companies that want to sign his client in order to target the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," according to Mark Burns of SPORTING NEWS. But despite "all of the attention for Sam, Barkett isn't making any kneejerk decisions -- at least in the short term." Barkett said, "At this point, we don’t want Mike doing any of that because we think it sends the wrong message. ... Once he gets drafted and once he signs his contract and starts playing in the league, we can start looking at those a little bit more. Mike is a rookie right now, and he still needs to prove himself at the next level.” In an effort to "market to the untapped gay community, smart brands will focus on Sam's excellence on the field while keeping their message relevant to the general market of consumers." But there still are a "number of variables on the table that will dictate Sam's future earning potential: what team drafts him, the market he plays in, how he fits within a brand's marketing portfolio and, potentially the most telling factor, how he performs on the field." GMR Marketing Exec VP/Client Management Tyson Webber said that if Sam was a guaranteed top-5 selection, there "might already have been a deal in place." But his draft position "still is an unknown." Barkett said that it will "be a few months before any big money follows Sam" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 2/20). While Sam is waiting on signing larger endorsement deals, he did sign with five trading card companies earlier in the week (THE DAILY).
The BNP Paribas Open has added Rolex, Esurance and Michelob Ultra as Premier-level sponsors ahead of the March tennis event. Rolex, as the event's official timepiece in a new multiyear deal, will have on-court placement of specially manufactured clocks. As the official insurance brand through '15, Esurance will now be presenting sponsor for the McEnroe Challenge for Charity. Michelob Ultra, now the official beer through '15, will take over the bar at the Circle of Palms and Garden Club Courtyard. In addition, Tommy Bahama will be a Contributing Sponsor through '15 and will get its own bar on site (BNP Paribas Open).
DEAD & BURIED: In New Orleans, Katherine Sayre reported the owner of a local casket store "says the Saints organization has demanded he stop selling a black-and-gold 'Who Dat' casket, calling the fleur de lis and color scheme an NFL trademark violation." 'Til We Meet Again Managing Partner Jonathan LaHatte said that he "received a cease-and-desist letter Tuesday from the NFL." Saints Senior VP/Communications Greg Bensel said that the club "first contacted the store before it opened, and the owner agreed to redesign the fleur de lis symbol 'so that it was not the exact design of, or confusingly similar to, our federally registered trademarked logo'" (NOLA.com, 2/20).
NOT SO HOT: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Alice Ross noted Puma's sales in Q4 "fell more than expected." The company said that it had "a lack of brand heat." However, CEO Bjorn Gulden said Puma was "still a 'great brand.'" The company is "hoping that recent high-profile sponsorships," including Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and EPL club Arsenal, will "help entice consumers back to its products" (FT.com, 2/20).
DON'T MESS WITH MIKE: In Chicago, Steve Schmadeke reports a federal appeals court has "breathed new life" into Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan’s legal battle with Jewel-Osco "over a congratulatory ad it ran when he was inducted" into the Basketball HOF in '09. Jordan filed a $5M lawsuit against Jewel and also sued supermarket chain Dominick’s, which ran a congratulatory ad in one of its magazines, "calling Jordan 'a cut above' near a coupon for steak." A judge in '12 found that the Jewel ad "was 'noncommercial speech' protected by the First Amendment." However, a 7th Circuit appeals court on Wednesday "reversed that ruling ... allowing the case to move forward" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/21).