SBJ/November 14-20, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

J&J orthopaedic division will not renew sponsorship of PGA Tour’s health and fitness center

The sponsor of the PGA Tour’s mobile health and fitness center has decided not to renew its official marketing partnership.

DePuy Mitek, the company that’s the orthopaedic sports medicine division of Johnson & Johnson, had been featured on the side of the tour’s health and fitness trailer since striking a sponsorship deal in 2009.

This year was the last year of the three-year deal, and DePuy Mitek has elected not to return.

The company’s specific spending in golf was not released, but industry insiders said PGA Tour official marketing partnerships go for $2 million to $3 million a year, and the cost to maintain the mobile fitness center was believed to be another $3 million or so.

Johnson & Johnson is expected to redirect that marketing budget to its new sponsorship with FIFA for the 2014 World Cup. J&J is the World Cup’s official health care sponsor.

The tour also learned earlier this month that Transitions would not return as a tournament title sponsor after its March 2012 event. Tour officials said they are already in discussions with potential replacements for the Tampa event, which has been a mainstay on the Florida swing.

The tour did not comment on DePuy Mitek’s departure, but finding a replacement will be high on the priority list with the 2012 season starting in eight weeks.

Tour players have come to rely on the mobile fitness center at each tour stop for rehabilitation of injuries and general workouts.

DePuy Mitek activated with media buys and a series of online fitness videos this year that featured a sneak peek at tour golfers Stewart Cink, Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry performing their workouts. Those 60- to 90-second vignettes were produced by PGA Tour Entertainment and ran on PGAtour.com’s fitness section.

DePuy Mitek’s activation highlighted Orthovisc, its consumer brand for therapy that treats osteoarthritis of the knee.

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