SBJ/April 7-13, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dempsey’s Degree TV spot set to make debut this month

Outside of European imports like David Beckham, an MLS player in national television ads for a consumer packaged goods brand is about as rare as a double-digit soccer score.

Still, this is a World Cup year, so Unilever is going with Clint Dempsey, a veteran of two prior World Cups who’s also captain of this year’s U.S. national team, in a forthcoming TV ad for Degree antiperspirant/deodorant. The ad was shot recently and we’re told it should debut this month, with an accompanying digital and social media campaign.

> PHONE HOME: MLB corporate sponsor T-Mobile is prepping TV ads with Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, the reigning National League MVP. Both had done social media for T-Mobile in the past.

McCutchen’s expanding national endorsement portfolio also includes New Era Caps and Sony, which has McCutchen on the cover of “MLB ’14: The Show.”

> BIRD WATCHING: A nest full of new sales types at the Baltimore Orioles has helped the team land 19 new corporate partners for the 2014 season. Largest among them is Baltimore-headquartered investment management firm Legg Mason, which has purchased a fixed sign on the center-field scoreboard at Camden Yards, a location that formerly had been held by Ford.

The Orioles grabbed a Southwest renewal.
Photo by: ICON SMI
Remarkably, another local brand of renown is in as an Orioles sponsor for the first time: Under Armour. Other new sponsors are Chick-fil-A and Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, a unisex national hair-cutting chain that bills itself as the “The Original Rock ’n’ Roll Barbershop.”

Also, Southwest Airlines and AT&T have returned via long-term renewals.

> SAYING YES: Even with a miserable winter in the East causing a reduction in advertising from the auto category, YES ad sales vice president Howard Levinson says that, despite coming off a record sales year, 2014 sales are pacing “slightly ahead of 2013.” The improving Nets are attracting dollars, and new money on Yankees telecasts includes the growing health care category, where New York Presbyterian Hospital has joined the roster.

“Commitments to the [Winter] Olympics and weather kept things a little tight, so we’re feeling good about where we are,” Levinson said.

Advertisers continue to ask for social media tie-ins. AT&T is sponsoring a photo tweet-in for Yankees fans this year on YES telecasts.
STACEY

> COMINGS & GOINGS: Lee Stacey joins Monumental Sports, the parent company of the Washington Capitals and Wizards, as director of corporate partnerships, reporting to Chief Revenue Officer Jim Van Stone. Stacey is one of a half-dozen recent hires in Monumental’s corporate sponsorship department, which is being reorganized. Stacey returns to a familiar market, as he was senior director of corporate sales with the Washington Bullets and Washington Sports & Entertainment from 1993 to 1996. More recently, he was senior vice president of global sales and marketing with Comcast-Spectacor’s Front Row Marketing in Philadelphia since 2012. He’s also held sales and marketing slots with IMG, the New York Jets and Cleveland Cavaliers. … At Horizon Media’s Scout Sports and Entertainment, Dan Parise moves from associate director to managing director. Parise has been with Scout for three-plus years. Before that he was with the Chicago Fire and the Strategic agency, New York.

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

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