SBJ/August 28 - September 3, 2006/This Weeks News

Kyocera, Nike to sponsor football on FSN

Fox Sports Net cut a pair of sponsorship deals for high school and college football programming last week that will add at least $1.5 million to the network’s coffers.

Kyocera will sponsor FSN games featuring the
Pac-10 and Big 12, with national champ Texas.
FSN signed Kyocera to a sponsorship deal worth in the low seven figures for the network’s Big 12 and Pac-10 college football games. The consumer electronics company will showcase its Kyocera Wireless and Kyocera Corporate brands during the games.

Deal terms will have Kyocera sponsoring FSN’s weekly studio show, “College Football Saturday Kickoff.” It also will attach its logo on-screen to the starting lineups, play of the game, the scoreboard and game breaks (during Pac-10 telecasts).

FSN’s college football lineup will include 23 national games this fall, including 15 that will be available in high definition. This marks the first time FSN has offered college football games in HD.

FSN also signed Nike to sponsor an expanded high school football lineup this fall that will feature eight national games.

The agreement represents a “nice six-figure deal” for the network, said Kyle Sherman, Fox Sports Net’s executive vice president of ad sales. Sources peg the deal’s value at north of $500,000.

The deal will allow Nike to put its logos on-site and on-screen. Nike is talking with the featured schools about sponsoring product giveaways at the games, Sherman said.

Sherman’s group is close to closing at least two more national ad sales deals for the high school games, though he cautioned that the network isn’t working overtime to get more advertisers on board.

“This is more about the program that we’re doing with Nike than making this a big ad sales hit,” Sherman said.

That program includes an online competition on FoxSports.com. Last year, Nike sponsored a “Pic of the Week” that asked viewers to upload high school football photos. It logged 100,000 entries.

This year, Nike hopes to drive traffic to its own Web site, nikegridiron.com, as well.

Sherman pointed to the surprisingly high online activity last year as the main reason why Nike re-upped its sponsorship. While its ratings last year were tepid (its high was a 1.0 rating in Dallas for a game on FSN Southwest that involved two Texas teams), the high school lineup is helping Fox’s group of regional sports nets curry the favor of local sports fans.

“We’re not measuring success from a ratings standpoint,” Sherman said. “We want to serve our local audience with programming that we can take outside of its local footprint.”

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