SBJ/May 30 - June 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pantech makes naming rights for Dew Tour’s Ocean City stop its first national sponsorship

Just two months after announcing plans to open the 2011 Dew Tour in Ocean City, Md., the action sports property has signed cellphone manufacturer Pantech as the event’s title sponsor.

The one-year deal is Pantech’s first national sponsorship, and the brand plans to use it to promote its new line of Android phones available through AT&T. Dew Tour title partners typically pay $2 million to $3 million a year for sponsorships. The deal includes on-site activation rights, event signage, rights to use the tour’s logo and marks, and more than 100 commercials across 40 hours of programming on NBC, USA Network and MTV2. It also can pass through rights to one of its biggest wireless partners, AT&T.

“We’ve never done anything this large,” said Erin Magee, director of channel marketing at Pantech. “We know that we play really well with the youth segment, and we want to find a really unique, interesting way to reach out to those customers now that those customers aren’t really moved by traditional advertising.”

Pantech is a subsidiary of Korea-based Pantech Group. It claims $2 billion in total revenue and manufactures phones for AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and Virgin Mobile.

The company’s deal with the Dew Tour comes less than six months after Verizon ended its partnership with the action sports property. Verizon had been the tour’s wireless partner since its inception in 2005. As part of that deal, the wireless provider was able to promote hardware phones it carried at its outlet.

The end of that deal opened the phone manufacturer category for Alli Sports, which organizes the Dew Tour. Alli Sports President Wade Martin believes the one-year deal will develop into a long-term partnership.

“We’re confident we can show enough success in the program that it will continue for the long haul,” Martin said. “Their interest in the property was in a multi-pronged [marketing] approach, and those are the types we have success with.”

The deal gives the Dew Tour, which will have four stops in 2011, its second title partner. Toyota is the title sponsor of a September stop in Salt Lake City. Alli officials are looking for a sponsor for the August date in Portland. They don’t plan to have a title sponsor for the October event in Las Vegas, which will be known as the Dew Tour Championships.

The tour-opening Ocean City, Md., stop is scheduled for July 21-24.

Martin said the tour is looking to find partners in the health and beauty, quick-service restaurant, snack food, and candy and gum categories. It currently has deals with Mountain Dew, Toyota, Ball Park brand hot dogs, JCPenney, MasterCard’s MyPlash brand, Nike 6.0, PowerBar and Sony.

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