SBJ/Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Ugg to feature Brady in television ads; Wade hawks skin care

Terry Lefton
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won’t be playing in Sunday’s Super Bowl, so if we were really snarky, we’d suggest that he has a lot of time to push his new alliance with Ugg boots and shoes in Dallas during Super Bowl week. Of course, we’re above that.

However, Ugg President Constance Rishwain tells us they won’t be doing anything marketing-wise with Brady until the spring, and those ads won’t be seen until Sept. 1. She did, though, also reveal for the first time that the three-time Super Bowl winner will appear in TV ads for Ugg and that the creative work, which will be the brand’s first television campaign, has been quietly awarded to M&C Saatchi. Print work will continue to be handled by House Design, Los Angeles.

Ugg made Super Bowl XLV-logoed boots.
“Our women’s boots had such explosive growth that the perception is we’re only a women’s brand,” Rishwain said, “but when people walk into our stores [29 Ugg stores have opened; there will be 45 by the end of 2011], they are always surprised to find out how extensive our men’s line is. So it’s a perception we need to change.”

Ugg will still have some Super Bowl presence. Rishwain said her company made about 350 pairs of Super Bowl XLV-logoed Butte boots for coaches and players. They will not be sold at retail, and Rishwain said Ugg has no plans to license any NFL marks for their men’s products.

Dwyane Wade is the latest of more than a dozen athletes to tour Mission Skincare.
WADE’S NEW MISSION:
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade is the latest of more than a dozen athletes to join the lineup at Mission Skincare, which has former Reebok Chairman Paul Fireman, former NBC Chairman Bob Wright and serial entrepreneur Ray Sozzi on its board.

The three-year-old brand, which employs a “designed for and by athletes” positioning, should hit about $20 million in retail sales this year. Its “athlete-care products,’’ including ultra-grip gels to keep hands dry during competition, and anti-chafe cream, are sold in sports specialty retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hibbett Sports and mass drug chain CVS. In the pipeline are a new muscle rub and some new foot-care products, said Josh Shaw, Mission founder and president.

Mission’s athletes do product development and appearances as well as social and digital media elements for the company. Shaw said Mission will spend between $5 million and $7 million on marketing this year, including the possibility of the brand’s first TV advertising. Other Mission endorser/owners include Serena Williams, MLB all-star David Wright, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and gold medal soccer champion Mia Hamm. The athletes get an equity stake in Mission, royalties and a financial tie to their own foundations or another charity.

Packer fans
GETTY IMAGES
Data from Scarborough Sports Marketing shows why the passionate fan bases of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers could result in a record television audience on Super Bowl Sunday, and a record for licensed product sales.
MARQUEE MATCHUP:
There’s already chatter that this Super Bowl matchup could yield a new high, both in terms of a TV audience and in licensed product sales. Some convincing data from Scarborough Sports Marketing makes the case for why. Green Bay and Pittsburgh, of course, both have devoted national followings, but locally, their fans rank among the most avid fans in the NFL in a variety of measures. Out of 77 markets where data is collected by Scarborough, Pittsburgh and Green Bay are close to the top in a variety of key measures. Green Bay fans were No. 1 when they were asked if they had “any” interest in the NFL; whether they would spend $50 on an NFL ticket; and whether they had watched the Super Bowl, watched any NFL action on TV or listened to the NFL on radio during the prior 12 months. Pittsburgh-area respondents were ranked No. 1 when asked if they had spent $50 or more on NFL apparel in the past year, while Green Bay was No. 3 by that measure. Pittsburghers ranked second in whether they were “very interested’’ in the NFL and whether they had watched the NFL on TV over the past year. Pretty strong numbers that help support the case for why this could be a boffo sales Super Bowl.

MAJESTIC PRACTICE PLAN: MLB uniform rights holder Majestic Athletic was scheduled to film a TV ad at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington last week to back the launch of Majestic’s batting practice jersey. The ad was set to feature Texas center-fielder and AL MVP Josh Hamilton, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler and San Francisco Giants outfielder Cody Ross. Waylon Advertising, St. Louis, is the ad agency.

“Coming off an MVP season in a region that gets really excited about baseball, Hamilton just seemed like the right guy,” said Michael Johnson, vice president of marketing at VF Corp.’s licensed sports group. The ad will depict fans and players taking batting practice together. “It is the first time we’ve used players in advertising, and we’re still delivering the message that we’re as close to on-field as you can get,” Johnson said.

The ad will break in March and run through the season on national and local baseball broadcasts, backed by a point-of-sale, print, and digital/social media campaign, which Johnson said was Majestic’s largest product launch ever.

The new batting practice jersey is designed with fabric said to make it the lightest batting practice jersey yet, along with a new full-button front. It will launch at retail this spring with the same $100 price point as its predecessor. 

Terry Lefton can be reached at tlefton@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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