SBJ/20100913/This Weeks Issue

Nike puts name on Winter Dew Tour stop

In an effort to promote the first line of Nike 6.0 winter outerwear this year, Nike has signed on as the title sponsor of the Winter Dew Tour’s Breckenridge, Colo., event this December.

The three-year deal, which is valued in the low seven figures annually, deepens Nike 6.0’s relationship with the Dew Tour, which began with an associate sponsorship of the Summer Dew Tour in 2008. The agreement also furthers the brand’s strategy of not just sponsoring but attaching its name to action sports events. In addition to the Breckenridge event, it was the title partner of the Summer Dew Tour’s BMX event in Chicago, a Huntington Beach, Calif., BMX event in August and the U.S. Open of Surfing in August.

Nike is also signing athletes like snowboarder
Mason Aguirre to wear Nike 6.0 outerwear.

“We’ve been committed to the Dew Tour, but sometimes we’ll elevate things to shine the light a little brighter,” said Zach Boon, Nike 6.0 North American brand manager. “We’re cranking up the kilowatts a bit. It’s a statement around this new, [outerwear] product line.”

Nike replaces Totino’s Pizza as the title partner of the Breckenridge Open. Totino’s decided to discontinue its spending on action sports and became the only 2009 Winter Dew Tour partner to cut ties with the tour. Toyota, which signed a two-year Winter Dew Tour renewal, will be the title sponsor of the tour’s last stop at Utah’s Snowbasin Resort in February, and Verizon Wireless, Paul Mitchell, Ball Park, Matador and PowerBar all return as associate partners.

Alli Sports, the company behind the tour, continues to look for a title partner for its January event at Killington, Vt. It remains in renewal negotiations with Wendy’s, which title sponsored a similar stop on the calendar last January. The tour is at 90 percent of its sponsorship goal financially, said Alli Sports President Wade Martin.

“We have one position left to sell,” Martin said. “I’m not sure if we’ll sell that position or not, but I’m confident there will be more deals between now and December. The winter tour is in a good place.”

In addition to the title rights, Nike 6.0 receives on-site and retail activation rights, and advertising during NBC, USA Network and MTV2 broadcasts. The brand plans to hash out its activation plans, which will emphasize its new outerwear line, in the coming months, Boon said.

Nike previously offered winter sports outerwear under the label of its ACG brand. It rebranded the line under the Nike 6.0 label this year in an effort to continue to expand the reach of its premier action sports brand, which is the fastest-growing category at the company. Nike 6.0 and Nike SB currently combine for an estimated $390 million in business.

In addition to title sponsoring the Breckenridge Open, Nike 6.0 has signed several freeskiers and snowboarders to wear its new line of outerwear. It has signed snowboarders Mason Aguirre, Greg Bretz and Matt Ladley, and freeskiers TJ Schiller, Jossi Wells and Andreas Hatveit. It hopes to sign female athletes in the future, Boon said.

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