SBD/September 14, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Flying Away: Memphis Airport Ending Tony Allen Partnership After Free Agency Departure

Tony Allen signing with the Pelicans earlier this week means his "days as a spokesman for the Memphis airport are over," according to Michelle Corbet of the MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Allen had been the "featured spokesman in airport ads and videos" for Memphis Int'l Airport for the past two years. While his contract with the airport ended back in April, it still "retains the rights to use his likeness indefinitely." As it became clear Allen "would sign with another team, the airport started to scale back" the use of his images and videos. It is now "working to change out any remaining artwork." The airport had "used Allen's likeness on billboard advertisements, in promotional videos, on cardboard cutouts for social media and more." Meanwhile, the airport "still has a year left of its $530,000 partnership with the Grizzlies and, while it does not have agreements with other individual players, it plans to work with the team to reach existing and potential travelers" (, 9/14).

WELL LOOK WHO IT IS: The Grizzlies will play the Pelicans in their home opener this season, and in Memphis, Geoff Calkins wrote the team "couldn’t have been happy to learn that Allen will be back at FedExForum on opening night." It will be a "waste of a good crowd," as the home opener was "always going to sell out." Allen’s return following seven seasons with the team also "was always going to sell out." Combining the two "doesn’t help with ticket sales" (, 9/13).
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