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SBJ/April 30-May 6, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
Armato takes new role as chairman at Leverage Agency
Published April 30, 2012, Page 12
Now he’s going to try his hand at running a marketing services agency. Armato has joined the Leverage Agency, NYC, as chairman (a position once held by Tony Ponturo) and managing director. The agency has opened a West Coast office in Los Angeles to accommodate Armato, who will bring Skechers’ sports and entertainment needs to Leverage as his first business development contribution to the group. Leverage, founded by CEO Ben Sturner, has a client roster that includes the ACC, Ivy League, Top Rank Boxing, Harlem Globetrotters, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Bike NY, New York City Triathlon and USA Volleyball.
|“Too many agencies have a list of things they are selling. We want to be the agency that shows brands how to grow.”
Chairman, Leverage Agency
“It’s a time when, with social media and a splintered media landscape, every brand is asking what to do,” said Armato. “Too many agencies have a list of things they are selling. We want to be the agency that shows brands how to grow.”
Sturner touted the new addition by stating, “We’re looking for Leonard to add vision, strategy, leadership and some top-level connections.”
SPINNING THE NFL BOTTLE: While the NFL free agency period began in March, the unprecedented free agency in the carbonated beverage category for teams and venues began well before then and continues today. This category has long been one of the largest deals for teams and venues, and given its size and stature, the NFL is also a bellwether for where sponsorship is heading across sports. So that makes this offseason even more fascinating, because more than 20 NFL teams have carbonated beverage deals up for renewal. As always, it’s the competitive set that makes it compelling. At the end of last season, Coke and Pepsi had an even split of the 32 NFL clubs. Sources tell us that the recent Dr Pepper Snapple Group deal with the Bears (which includes RC Cola) is likely an NFL one-off and if that’s the case, that would leave an odd number of teams, meaning Coke or Pepsi will end up with a plurality.
Pepsi has held NFL league sponsorship rights since 2002, a deal that was quickly followed by a number of long-term team sponsorships, especially at what were then future Super Bowl sites.
|Colas, a pillar of sponsorship rosters at NFL clubs, could see a shift in the balance of power.
Snapple has also renewed with the Ravens, continuing its “official iced tea and lemonade” designations.
We’re told that the Green Bay Packers have also renewed with Coke, which went into the offseason with seven pending renewals.
From a variety of carbonated sources, the only team we have heard that is flipping from blue state to red is the Philadelphia Eagles, which are close to ousting Pepsi and replacing it with Coke. Pepsi has been an Eagles sponsor since Lincoln Financial Field opened in 2003. An Eagles deal would give Coke a team to replace the Bears, and put it ahead of Pepsi in terms of the number of NFL team deals by the slimmest of margins. But we’re not necessarily assuming all the other teams will remain with their incumbent colas, so stay tuned for an updated leaderboard.
Terry Lefton can be reached at email@example.com.