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Volume 24 No. 155

Marketing and Sponsorship

With the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this week, marketers are gearing up for their “most intensive periods of pitching and peddling outside of the Christmas shopping season,” according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Coverage of the tournament on TV and online “will be sponsored by scores of major marketers, spending hundreds of millions of dollars.” Liberty Mutual  will “bring out new commercials in its long-running ‘responsibility’ campaign,” created by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston. Domino’s Pizza is “making a large commitment to the tournament” as the official pizza of the NCAA. The “first fruits of Domino’s sponsorship is a Domino’s Pizza Bracket competition on the company’s Facebook page.” UPS is sponsoring “another competition with voting at the core.” Print Madness, created by Doner, Michigan, will ask consumers to vote on Facebook “for their favorite video clips of five managers of college basketball teams.” Also "adding to the ad spending is activity by marketers that seek to take advantage of all the interest in the tournament but are not official sponsors." Diamond Foods “is offering two ‘bracket’ sweepstakes” on and that carry the disclaimer: “not affiliated with any collegiate basketball league or association.” Applebee’s is a sponsor of ESPN’s online fantasy Round by Round Pick 'Em tied to the tournament -- but “because it is not an official sponsor, Applebee’s refers to the event in a news release with euphemisms like ‘March hoops.’” Meanwhile, TBS, TNT and truTV are working with YouTube “to stimulate interest in online viewing.” On Thursday, the masthead -- the large display ad atop the page -- will “feature clips from games as they are played” (, 3/14).

Nike and its affiliated brands sponsor 55 of the 68 teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, up slightly from 53 in last year's 65-team tournament. THE DAILY's annual breakdown of the shoe and apparel brands worn in the tourney shows there are 52 schools that wear Nike shoes, while three teams don Jordan Brand. Twelve teams wear adidas shoes, up from 11 last year. Temple is the lone school to sport Under Armour gear and shoes. Nike/Jordan jerseys are worn by 51 teams. Anaconda Sports' "The Rock" brand and Russell Athletic both sponsor two teams' jerseys, while Crons sponsors UNC-Asheville. Schools in the chart below are listed by region in their seed order. The first round of the NCAA tournament begins today (THE DAILY).

1) Ohio State Nike/Nike 1) Kansas adidas/adidas
2) North Carolina Jordan/Jordan 2) Notre Dame adidas/adidas
3) Syracuse Nike/Nike 3) Purdue Nike/Nike
4) Kentucky Nike/Nike 4) Louisville adidas/adidas
5) West Virginia Nike/Nike 5) Vanderbilt Nike/Nike
6) Xavier Nike/Nike 6) Georgetown Jordan/Jordan
7) Washington Nike/Nike 7) Texas A&M adidas/adidas
8) George Mason Nike/Nike 8) UNLV Nike/Nike
9) Villanova Nike/Nike 9) Illinois Nike/Nike
10) Georgia Nike/Nike 10) Florida State Nike/Nike
11) Marquette Jordan/Jordan 11) Southern Cal Nike/Nike
12) Clemson Nike/Nike 11) Virginia Commonwealth Nike/Nike
12) UAB Nike/Nike 12) Richmond Nike/Nike
13) Princeton Nike/Nike 13) Morehead State Nike/Nike
14) Indiana State Nike/Nike 14) St. Peter's Nike/Anaconda Sports
15) Long Island adidas/Anacoda Sports 15) Akron Nike/Nike
16) Texas-San Antonio Nike/Nike 16) Boston University Nike/Nike
16) Alabama State Nike/Russell Athletic    
1) Duke Nike/Nike 1) Pittsburgh Nike/Nike
2) San Diego State Nike/Nike 2) Florida Nike/Nike
3) Connecticut Nike/Nike 3) BYU Nike/Nike
4) Texas Nike/Nike 4) Wisconsin adidas/adidas
5) Arizona Nike/Nike 5) Kansas State Nike/Nike
6) Cincinnati adidas/adidas 6) St. John's Nike/Nike
7) Temple Under Armour/
Under Armour
7) UCLA adidas/adidas
8) Michigan adidas/adidas 8) Butler Nike/Nike
9) Tennessee adidas/adidas 9) Old Dominion Nike/Nike
10) Penn State Nike/Nike 10) Michigan State Nike/Nike
11) Missouri Nike/Nike 11) Gonzaga Nike/Nike
12) Memphis Nike/Nike 12) Utah State Nike/Nike
13) Oakland Nike/Nike 13) Belmont Nike/Nike
14) Bucknell adidas/adidas 14) Wofford adidas/adidas
15) Northern Colorado Nike/Nike 15) UC Santa Barbara Nike/Nike
16) Hampton Nike/Russell Athletic 16) Arkansas-Little Rock Nike/Nike
    16) UNC-Asheville Nike/Crons

Rose appearing in
TV, print ads
adidas tomorrow will launch a new global ad campaign around its Sport Performance, Originals and Sports Style labels, the first time the company has dedicated a campaign to its sub-brands. The campaign will feature brand ambassadors FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi, MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham, Bulls G Derrick Rose, singer Katy Perry and members of the adidas skateboarding team. The campaign includes 30- and 60-second spots and an extended two-minute online ad. The spots were directed by Romain Gavras and created and produced by Sid Lee, Montreal (adidas). In Chicago, Lewis Lazare notes Rose is “prominently featured in the 60-second commercial," a “fast-paced, slickly edited montage of imagery.” A “wide array of Adidas footwear and apparel is also on view as the spot zips along.” In addition to the TV spots, Rose will be featured “in new print ads that are part of the overall campaign.” The new ad push “marks the first time Adidas has meshed its sports division with its other, more leisure-focused apparel and shoe divisions in one unified ad campaign” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/15).

JUST FOR KICKS: In Portland, Allan Brettman notes the MLS season begins tonight and adidas’ “three stripes will be everywhere as every team will be outfitted in a uniform designed at the Adidas America office in North Portland.” adidas is “among a few companies comprising the 22 MLS sponsors who've been financial partners” since the league’s inception in '96. adidas last August “extended its contractual commitment to the league” through '18. Brettman notes adidas' presence in MLS “doesn't end with uniforms, balls, equipment and merchandise.” The company tomorrow “will kick off its largest brand marketing campaign ever,” and Adidas America Dir of Brand Marketing for Sport Performance Britt Jorgenson said, "We do have plans to integrate the MLS into this campaign starting on a smaller scale in March. As we move to the summer and then the playoffs we'll come back with a soccer and MLS story line similar to what you're seeing" in the original video commercials (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/15).

This year's 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule "includes nine races that currently have no sponsorship tie-ins," according to Kenny Bruce of Title sponsorship deals for the series' "more popular events can come at a significant cost, with high-end events thought to run anywhere from" $3-4M, while the "average cost for most Cup events" is about $1.5M. Each of the "seven races that had no sponsorship in early February of 2010 secured funding by the time their respective races were held." This year's fall race at Talladega Superspeedway is "coming out of a three-year deal with Amp Energy drink and is currently without sponsorship," but Talladega Chair Grant Lynch said that he "expects a company to come on board before the October event." Lynch also said that while "having a sponsor step up and put its name on a race can increase income for a track," that is "not the only benefit, given the association with the right type of sponsor." Lynch: "The outreach and the ability of having a sponsor that engages the sponsorship (is just as important). ... Certainly getting a sponsor that just wants the TV exposure and doesn't want to do anything beyond that doesn't really help you a lot as you try to sell more tickets." Bruce noted the Daytona 500 "has been without anything other than a 'presented by' tie-in for 50 of the 53 years it's been on the Cup schedule," and Daytona Int'l Speedway President Joie Chitwood said that he "doesn't see that changing anytime soon." Chitwood: "We have partners like Budweiser and GMS and COPD and Gatorade. We have great relationships. They have their names on other events, the Bud Shootout, the Gatorade Duels, things like that" (, 3/12).

MAKING HISTORY: History network yesterday announced a deal with Charlotte Motor Speedway to name the Memorial Day weekend NASCAR Nationwide Series race the Top Gear 300. The race will air nationally on ABC at 2:30pm ET on May 28 (History). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reports the "one-year agreement, which sources valued at slightly more than" $1M, gives History "a chance to show its car-centered, reality show 'Top Gear' on the nation's largest video board." History officials said that the deal was "driven by the demographic fit it saw between 'Top Gear' and NASCAR, and the opportunity to show 'Top Gear' and other History Channel programming on the speedway's new, 80-foot-tall by 200-foot-wide Panasonic LED board." Mickle notes History in '07 did a series of track deals in order to promote the launch of its show "Ice Road Truckers" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/14 issue).

Under Armour "has confirmed that it is planning to include its 'E39' technology in the shirts" for EPL club Tottenham Hotspur, a system that is "comprised of sensors that send second-by-second updates on everything from a player's heart rate to core body temperature, breathing rate and acceleration," according to James Hurley of the London TELEGRAPH. Smartphones and laptops "receive the data so that coaching staff can monitor players' fitness and performance during training and matches." Under Armour also "wants to share the information with broadcasters," which would give fans "unprecedented access to players' athletic performance and even state of mind during key moments in a match." Under Armour Exec VP/Global Brand and President of Int'l Mark Dowley: "We can metrically tell you what is happening to the body of somebody kicking a penalty in front of 60,000 people. You can watch his heart rate as he waits to take the kick. For the first time you can see inside an athlete as they perform. It adds to the drama." Dowley said that he "believed that more Premier League teams will be interested in the technology once they see Tottenham employing it." Under Armour "launched the E39 shirt in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine last month," and the company "believes E39 could be used successfully in almost any televised sport." Under Armour is "planning to sell a retail version of the kit" (London TELEGRAPH, 3/13).

UNITED FRONT: Aon Global CMO Phil Clement appeared in a podcast for, where he discussed sponsoring the jersey for EPL club Manchester United. He said Aon was "looking to something very major in the marketing arena," something that would "unify the firm ... and amplify our brand globally." The deal is reportedly a four-year and $120M, and Clement noted it is "safe to say there was a lot of debate internally" as to whether to make the deal. Clement: "It turned out that the price tag for what we wanted to accomplish and what are mission was really the most efficient way to go about it" (, 3/14).

VF Corp. Friday said that it is "counting heavily on the surging popularity of its outdoors and action-sports apparel to help it reach an ambitious five-year growth initiative," according to Richard Craver of the WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL. VF said that it "plans to reach $12.7 billion in revenues by 2015 -- up $5 billion from 2010 -- primarily through outdoors and action-sports apparel sales, as well as expanding internationally and with its retail stores." The company said that the "bulk, or $3 billion, of the revenue growth would come from its outdoor and action-sports apparel categories, which are led by The North Face and Vans brands." It added that "by 2015, the two categories should account for at least half of VF's total revenues." About $1B in revenue growth "would come each from jeanswear sales, led by the Lee and Wrangler brands, and combined from its sportswear, imagewear and contemporary-brands categories." VF also set a 15% "annual growth target for international sales, with Asia expected to lead the sales increase, followed by Europe -- its largest global market -- and the Americas" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 3/12).