A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito said that the brewer "has a backup plan if NFL games are spiked" this upcoming season, according to Todd Frankel of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. A-B's Bud Light brand will replace Coors Light as the NFL's official beer starting with the '11 season, part of a six-year sponsorship with the league. Brito said, "We've been thinking about, of course, developing a plan B in the unfortunate case (a work stoppage) happens." He declined to reveal "whether the brewer was obligated to pay even without a season." But an A-B spokesperson said that Bud Light "keeps its money if the NFL fails to play, allowing the brewer 'to reinvest those dollars to reach Bud Light consumers in other, relevant ways.'" Despite the new deal, Brito "sought to distance Bud Light's fortunes from those of the football league." He said, "Let's remind ourselves that Bud Light grew in the last three years without that property. It's a very good addition, a very important addition. But again, Bud Light grew even without the NFL" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/18).
Marketing and Sponsorship
NASCAR with JGR extension
Golfers Retief Goosen and Sergio Garcia are “waging a quiet battle with the IRS over endorsement income,” according to Peter Finch of GOLF WORLD. Tax lawyers said that these cases “will likely be precedent-setting and many more could follow.” The IRS claims that Goosen “owes nearly $165,000 in taxes and $33,000 in penalties” from ’02 and ’03. The IRS said that Garcia owes $1.72M in back taxes from ’03 and ’04. Tax collectors “have not hit Garcia with penalties for those years.” The IRS taxes international golfers’ endorsements income “based on how much they compete” in the U.S. If a non-American golfer plays 25% of his events in the U.S., the IRS “will tax a quarter of his endorsement income.” The central issue in the Garcia and Goosen cases is “how much of their endorsement income should be considered ‘personal services’ and how much is ‘royalties.’” Finch notes tax treaties between the U.S. and the U.K. (Goosen's home), and between the U.S. and Switzerland (Garcia's official residence), "do not tax royalty income, only personal services” (GOLF WORLD, 3/21 issue).
BNP Paribas has a "broad tennis portfolio," title sponsoring three of the "nine high-level men's tournaments known as Masters 1000 events," including this week's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., according to Carl Bialik of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The Paris-based bank also has its name "on the back wall" of the French Open, Davis Cup and Fed Cup. Having multiple tournaments "with similar names can be risky for sponsors, because the media and the public could dodge the confusion by referring to the tournaments by the names of their host cities, which tend to be more permanent." Sebastien Guyader, who is in charge of branding and sponsorship for BNP, said that "omitting the official tournament name isn't as big of a problem in the U.S. as it is in Europe." He said naming the sponsor is "very strong in the U.S., less so in other countries. You can see 'BNP Paribas Open' everywhere [at the event]." Guyader noted that examples include the "credentials lanyards, merchandise and, of course, the back walls of every court, where it makes its way into telecasts and many photographs of the event." BNP Paribas Open Tournament Dir Steve Simon indicated that "new sponsored titles usually take three to four years to catch on but that it seems to him fans and the press started calling this tournament BNP much earlier in the relationship." Guyader said that tennis is the bank's "sole sports-marketing focus, at a price of less than $30 million this year." Bialik noted the Indian Wells tournament is "part of an effort to raise awareness of BNP Paribas's presence in North America" (WSJ.com, 3/17).
The $10,000 grand prize for ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge is "probably the worst prize in all of sports fandom, considering the stakes," according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. The "low prize" might have "something to do with the network's partnership with the NCAA and the broadcasting of college basketball games." NCAA officials "have been outwardly uncomfortable with the so-called fantasy games." ESPN also "doesn't technically award" the prize; sponsor State Farm does. The prize "doesn't hurt ESPN.com from a participation standpoint," but it "does hurt the sponsor." Rovell noted while State Farm sponsors the contest, Sprint "sponsors the actual brackets" (CNBC.com, 3/17). Fans submitted more than 5.9 million Men's Tournament Challenge brackets this year, a record for the contest. The runner-up in the men's contest will be named in a random drawing for $5,000. Fans can submit Women's Tournament Challenge brackets until the first game Saturday, and the winner of that contest will receive a $2,000 Best Buy Gift Card (ESPN).
Fifty-one of the 64 teams in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament sport the Nike swoosh or Jordan Brand logo on their shoes, down slightly from 52 teams in last year’s event, according to THE DAILY's annual breakdown of shoe and apparel brands worn by tournament teams. Eight teams wear adidas shoes, down from 10 last year. Gardner-Webb is the sole team wearing New Balance. Nike/Jordan jerseys are worn by 47 teams. Under Armour jerseys and shoes are worn by four teams, up from just one last year. Schools are listed by region in their seed order. See Tuesday’s issue of THE DAILY for the breakdown for the men's tournament (THE DAILY).
|1) Connecticut||Nike/Nike||1) Stanford||Nike/Nike|
|2) Duke||Nike/Nike||2) Xavier||Nike/Nike|
|3) DePaul||Nike/Nike||3) UCLA||adidas/adidas|
|4) Maryland||Under Armour/Under Armour||4) Kentucky||Nike/Nike|
|5) Georgetown||Nike/Nike||5) North Carolina||Jordan/Jordan|
|6) Penn State||Nike/Nike||6) Iowa||Nike/Nike|
|7) Iowa State||Nike/Nike||7) Louisville||adidas/adidas|
|8) Kansas State||Nike/Nike||8) Texas Tech||Under Armour/Under Armour|
|9) Purdue||Nike/Nike||9) St. John's||Nike/Nike|
|10) Marist||Nike/Nike||10) Vanderbilt||Nike/Nike|
|11) Dayton||Nike/Nike||11) Gonzaga||Nike/Nike|
|12) Princeton||Nike/Nike||12) Fresno State||Nike/Nike|
|13) St. Francis (Pa.)||Nike/Nike||13) Hampton||Nike/Russell Athletic|
|14) Navy||Nike/Nike||14) Montana||Nike/Nike|
|15) Tennessee-Martin||adidas/adidas||15) South Dakota State||Nike/Nike|
|16) Hartford||Nike/Nike||16) UC Davis||adidas/adidas|
|1) Tennessee||adidas/adidas||1) Baylor||Nike/Nike|
|2) Notre Dame||adidas/adidas||2) Texas A&M||adidas/adidas|
|3) Miami (Fla.)||Nike/Nike||3) Florida State||Nike/Nike|
|4) Ohio State||Nike/Nike||4) Michigan State||Nike/Nike|
|5) Georgia Tech||Nike/Russell Athletic||5) Green Bay||Nike/Nike|
|6) Oklahoma||Nike/Nike||6) Georgia||Nike/Nike|
|7) Arizona State||Nike/Nike||7) Rutgers||Nike/Nike|
|8) Marquette||Nike/Nike||8) Houston||Nike/Nike|
|9) Texas||Nike/Nike||9) West Virginia||Nike/Nike|
|10) Temple||Under Armour/Under Armour||10) Louisiana Tech||Under Armour/Under Armour|
|11) James Madison||Nike/Nike||11) Middle Tennessee State||Nike/Nike|
|12) Bowling Green||adidas/adidas||12) Arkansas-Little Rock||Nike/Nike|
|13) Central Florida||Nike/Nike||13) Northern Iowa||Nike/Nike|
|14) Gardner-Webb||New Balance/Uniforms Express||14) Samford||Nike/Russell Athletic|
|15) Utah||Nike/Nike||15) McNeese State||Nike/Nike|
|16) Stetson||Nike/Nike||16) Prairie View A&M||Nike/Russell Athletic|
USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz writes social media is a "slam-dunk marketing strategy" for companies advertising around the NCAA men's basketball tournament. It has "so utterly infiltrated" the tournament that marketers are "knocking their cyberheads together to come up with creative ways to keep consumers engaged." Coca-Cola is "so gung-ho that it's upped its social-media spending around the tournament tenfold." The company this year broke its Coke Zero Social Arena, and it "will spend more than 20% of its tournament budget on social media this year compared with 2% last year." Meanwhile, Hershey's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups brand is "coaxing fans to visit its Facebook page with the lure of shooting a half-court basket for $1 million at next year's tournament" (USA TODAY, 3/18).
BACK TO BASICS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Mike Esterl reports PepsiCo is "attempting to put a big new charge into its U.S. soda business after losing more ground last year to Coca-Cola Co. in their decades-old cola wars." The company "plans to spend 30% more to pitch its beverages on U.S. television in 2011 than in recent years." Some analysts said that PepsiCo "has been too focused on its other businesses in recent years, including a relaunching of the sports drink Gatorade and new forays into more nutritious snacks, at the expense of its U.S. soda business." PepsiCo Beverages Americas CEO Massimo d'Amore said that the company is "'totally committed' to expanding its soft-drink sales and plans to launch a new television-advertising campaign for its flagship Pepsi-Cola this summer" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/18).
ON DECK: Victoria's Secret PINK and MLB Properties on Thursday announced the expansion of their exclusive assortment of co-branded merchandise to include 12 new teams, bringing the total number of clubs to 23. The spring collection will feature the D'Backs, Orioles, Indians, Rockies, Tigers, Brewers, A's, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Rangers and Nationals (Victoria's Secret). By the '12 season, MLB "expects all 30 clubs will be represented" (USATODAY.com, 3/17).
SPANGLISH : In