SBJ/September 1 - 7, 2003/Marketingsponsorship

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  • Beijing session targets sponsors for ’08 Games

    The quest for domestic sponsor dollars begins in earnest today in Beijing when 2008 organizers and the International Olympic Committee jointly play host to a one-day conference expected to attract more than 800 executives eager to hear about sponsorship opportunities related to the Games. IOC President Jacques Rogge will attend.

    IOC marketing director Michael Payne said many Chinese companies are starting to pursue sponsorship talks, both locally and internationally.

    At least one China-based company, personal computer maker Legend Group, is pursuing a worldwide PC category sponsorship with the IOC for the 2005-2008 cycle. While global, or TOP, sponsorships have generally been in the $50 million-plus range for four-year deals, industry experts predict top-tier sponsors of the Beijing organizing committee and Games will flirt with $85 million to $100 million price tags.

    — Steve Woodward

    Print | Tags: IOC, Marketing and Sponsorship, Olympics
  • Cleveland Golf strikes gold with help of little-known endorsers

    Cleveland Golf Co. of Cypress, Calif., got a big publicity bonus courtesy of three obscure members of its PGA Tour staff at the Aug. 14-17 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.

    The tournament is one of the sport's four majors and draws the interest of golfers worldwide. This year's tourney left Cleveland Golf sitting pretty as its much larger competitors undoubtedly munched antacid tablets.

    That's because a pack of virtually unknown Cleveland-sponsored players (Tim Clark, Chad Campbell and winner Shaun Micheel) beat 96 of the top 100 players in the world. Many of those players, such as Tiger Woods (Nike), Ernie Els, Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson (Titleist/Footjoy) and Mike Weir (TaylorMade), are sponsored by companies with marketing budgets that dwarf Cleveland's.

    Most sports sponsorships don't need much of a relationship with their properties. Instead, they are designed to reach masses of customers through the properties they sponsor.

    Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL, NFL teams and motorsports properties don't give a flip which brands are their official wireless provider, vehicle, beer, soft drink and bank as long as the checks are good and there are solid marketing programs supporting the relationship.

    But the golf equipment industry's sponsor/player relationship makes it a tougher environment for sponsors because successful golfers won't play with equipment that doesn't match their needs.

    Golf equipment companies need the enthusiastic support of their players. So, the companies must provide good equipment and service. It's also the reason why golf equipment endorsements are a powerful marketing tool if they are promoted properly.

    Cleveland Golf pays cash to each of the 39 PGA Tour players on its staff and provides equipment and support through a six-man mobile service operation at tournaments. It leverages the sponsorships of its marquee players through TV spots on event telecasts and the Golf Channel, print advertising in golf magazines, Internet-based promotions, golf shop retail displays and co-op radio ads that may include autograph appearances with Cleveland staff players at big golf retailers.

    Cleveland Golf is leveraging its success at the PGA Championship. The company's vice president of communications, Randy Romberg, said Cleveland quickly produced a TV spot promoting Micheel's victory. Congratulatory print advertising in golf industry publications and Internet promotion followed.

    There was also ancillary value from the tournament organizer, the PGA of America, which produced a TV spot featuring Micheel that was shown during the next week's CBS broadcast of the NEC World Championships. Romberg told USA Today that he wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland experienced a 10 to 20 percent short-term jump in sales immediately after Micheel's PGA victory.

    Cleveland Golf is an established premium brand. But the single biggest benefit of the PGA victory to Cleveland is enhanced street credibility. With only about 7 percent of the market share of drivers and irons, and $100 million in sales, Cleveland can't match the advertising budgets of its bigger competitors.

    Cleveland's experience at the PGA Championship is an example of how sports sponsorships are supposed to work. If a brand has a solid sponsorship portfolio, and the organization and resources to take advantage of good things when they happen, a bump in sales and brand power follow.

    Mel Poole (mpoole@sportsbusinessjournal.com) is president of consulting and marketing firm SponsorLogic.

    Print | Tags: Baseball, Basketball, CBS Broadcasting Inc., Football, Golf, Golf Channel, Hockey, Marketing and Sponsorship, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA Tour, TaylorMade Golf, Titleist
  • NYC2012 turns to R/GA Web redesign to stand out in crowded field

    NYC2012 will launch a redesigned Web site by the end of this year as it explores all viable avenues to stand out in a crowded nine-city field.

    A multilingual site emphasizing New York's cultural diversity and preparation to become a worthy host of the 2012 Olympic Games is being developed by Robert Greenberg's R/GA agency, said Amy Stanton, NYC2012 director of marketing and communications. The site, replacing an existing nyc2012.com site, will be available in English and French. Other languages are under review.

    The race for 2012 is unprecedented both because of the number of candidates and their stature as instantly recognizable, if not famous, cities. In addition to New York, they are Havana, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. Only the German candidate, Leipzig, which was designated despite competition that included Frankfurt and Munich, faces a potential identity problem.

    The NYC2012 Web site already has a multicultural look, but the new edition will be multilingual.
    Stanton pointed out that a Web site is one of the most effective mediums through which a bid city can extend dynamic, recurring messages or images to anyone in the world. NYC2012 officials also believe that an enhanced Web site will help keep New Yorkers and Americans in tune with the race and the bid's details.

    Of the nine candidates, four do not yet have a dedicated 2012 Web site. They are Havana, London, Moscow and Rio.

    R/GA has designed for clients such as Aveda, Ericsson, IBM and Nike.

    EXODUS CONTINUES: The U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to outsource its licensed-merchandise sales operations has prompted the departure of another managing director.

    Less than two years after she was hired, Teddi Domann left the USOC in August after declining a different job within the organization when her current job became a casualty of outsourcing, according to a source familiar with Domann's decision. Domann came to the USOC from the McDonald's Corp. in 2001, originally under the title of managing director of account marketing.

    Her most recent job, managing director of consumer products, will be eliminated as the USOC continues to shrink its paid staff in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Domann wouldn't comment for this story.

    Later this year, the USOC will announce that day-to-day administration of its licensed apparel and merchandise sales will be turned over to an independent contractor. The outsourcing includes operation of four retail stores at U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Chula Vista, Calif.; Colorado Springs; Lake Placid, N.Y.; and Salt Lake City.

    In June, the USOC's acting chief administrator, Jim Scherr, announced that 18 unfilled positions had been eliminated. Additionally, four staff members lost jobs.

    RING TOSSES: After assembling an independent ethics board, NYC2012 this week submits an ethics and compliance blueprint to the USOC, which will detail how the bid group will deter, monitor and address ethics lapses during the host city campaign. ... Expect an announcement this week from the USOC about a possible TV network deal for the reality series "The Cut." The USOC plans to produce the series, exploring the real-life quest by U.S. athletes to compete in the Olympics, with the William Morris Agency. ... The pending Dec. 1 emergence of a new national governing body for equestrian sports has cut at least one senior post. USA Equestrian is merging with the U.S. Equestrian Team after the federations agreed to end legal battles for control of the sport. USA Equestrian's chief fund-raiser, assistant executive director Kevin Burns, saw his job eliminated, effective this week. Burns is a former USOC regional fund-raising director. ... Disney is "very interested" in acquiring rights to the story of Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner, said his agent, Shep Goldberg of Proper Marketing Associates. Talks continue. ... USA Swimming is exploring the release of trading cards featuring 2004 Olympic prospects, through a deal with SI for Kids. ... Premier Management Group, a Cary, N.C., agency representing Olympic-caliber athletes, named Alison Barnwell vice president and director of Olympic marketing. She formerly worked in the USOC's marketing division in Colorado Springs.

    Steve Woodward can be reached at swoodward@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

    Print | Tags: Ericsson Inc., Marketing and Sponsorship, McDonald's Corp., Olympics, USOC, Walt Disney Co., William Morris Endeavor
  • Under Armour adds spots on MTV to football-heavy sales campaign

    Activewear company Under Armour was slated to debut a new 30-second spot last Thursday, timed around the peak sales season and marking the first time the Baltimore-based company has run an ad in non-sports programming. The ad, which is the cornerstone of the company's $8 million fall/winter TV and print campaign, was to run during MTV's Video Music Awards, and follows up on a 15-second teaser that began airing last month. A 60-second spot is ready for airing, as well.

    Under Armour’s logo holds center stage as activewear firm takes its ad campaign to MTV’s Video Music Awards.

    The bulk of Under Armour's spending will be in pro and college football on ABC and ESPN, and in other programming throughout ESPN's English-language networks. Buys on MTV and MTV2 round out the television component.

    The spot is called "Breakdown" and features Dallas Cowboys Eric Ogbogu leading a breakdown, a noisy pregame ritual used by football teams to psych up and focus.

    Under Armour handles all of its creative and media buying in-house. It is expecting revenue of $110 million this year, up $10 million from its expectations in January. Its ad and marketing budget is 10 percent of its revenue, according to Steve Battista, director of marketing. He said the 2003 budget is fully committed already.

      BRAND NEW JAYS: The Toronto Blue Jays will unveil new logos Tuesday that will replace marks that date back to 1997, which fans viewed as "tired and dated," according to Lisa Novak, the team's senior vice president of business affairs and administration. A sneak preview of new uniforms for 2004 will take place Wednesday.

    The marks incorporate many radical changes to the current marks. For starters, they all feature either the word "Jays" or the letter "J" — not the currently used letter "T" or the word "Blue." Focus-group research by Washington, D.C.-based Charlton Research showed Toronto fans had a strong association with the nickname "Jays," but Novak disputed media reports that the team was considering changing its name to the single moniker.

    A more vibrant tone of the team's blue will be used, and a "metallic graphite" silver/gray is being introduced as well, Novak said. The team declined to release the logos prior to their introduction at a news conference Tuesday evening; after that they can be viewed at torontobluejays.com.

    The team will give a sneak preview of the new uniforms that will accompany the logo change in 2004 during a game Wednesday. The threads will not be on players but will be showcased in "entertainment events" that Novak would not elaborate on.

    The team has designed two new alternate uniforms in addition to the home and away standards for 2004. It will employ one of the alternates in 2004 and roll out one more in 2005. A similar strategy will be employed with team marks, with new secondary marks for merchandise being rolled out through 2005.

    Toronto firm Brandid handled the logo and uniform makeover for the team. MLB and licensee Majestic Athletic collaborated on the project, which Novak said will cost the team slightly more than $100,000, including research, design and promotion.

      AFTER "TMAC," COMES "A10": The Atlantic 10 has developed new primary and secondary logos that play up the "A10" slang moniker that the conference formerly shunned. "Even when newspapers were referring to us as 'A10,' the one thing we always wanted was to be recognized with our formal name. But we were being told that that's not how people were seeing us as an identity," said Commissioner Linda Bruno. Lynnfield, Mass., branding firm Conover Tuttle handled the opinion research and image makeover for the 28-year-old conference.

    Contact Noah Liberman at nliberman@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

    Print | Tags: Baseball, Dallas Cowboys, Football, Marketing and Sponsorship, MTV, Toronto Blue Jays, Under Armour
  • Under Armour titles marathon

    Under Armour Performance Apparel, the hot-shot Baltimore-based manufacturer of compression sportswear, has agreed to a three-year deal worth about $500,000 to be the title sponsor of the Baltimore marathon.

    The agreement ends Corrigan Sports Enterprise's search for a title sponsor to replace Comcast, which pulled its support after two years.

    "We're obviously very excited about having a local partner that is associated with athletics as the title sponsor," said Lee Corrigan, president of Baltimore-based Corrigan Sports, which has organized the marathon since its resurrection in 2001.

    More than 4,500 runners have signed up for the marathon, half-marathon, five-kilometer run and corporate relay Oct. 18.

    Further conditions of Under Armour's deal were not disclosed. Officials at Under Armour could not be reached for comment.

    Scott Graham writes for the Baltimore Business Journal.

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
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