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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

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).     

Mars maintains its presence in
NASCAR with JGR extension
Mars Inc. Thursday announced a multiyear extension of its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing. The centerpiece of the partnership will continue to be the M&M's brand as the primary paint scheme on JGR's No. 18 Sprint Cup Series Toyota driven by Kyle Busch (Mars Inc.).'s Bob Pockrass noted M&M's joined JGR and Busch in '08. The length of the deal was not announced. Busch and JGR announced a "multiyear extension of their contract in 2010" (, 3/17). Mars Chief Consumer Officer Debra Sandler said that it was a "pretty easy" decision to renew the sponsorship. Sandler: "This is a winning team. You look at coach Gibbs and you see his track record for winning, this man knows how to win. ... Kyle, we think, is one of the best racers in the sport today so we're very, very happy." JGR Owner Joe Gibbs noted the deal is a "marketing tool besides being a -- hopefully -- winning team for them." Gibbs said the "best way to measure a racer's popularity in our sport is apparel sales," and noted Busch ranks "fifth" among drivers in that category. Gibbs: "He's top five as far as apparel sales in our sport and over the last year-and-a-half he has been the fastest in acquiring new fans" (Fox Business, 3/17).

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).

adidas this week kicked off its largest marketing campaign in history, predicated on the assumption that "people are actually crossing cultural lines more than ever," according to the GLOBE & MAIL's Simon Houpt, who examines the campaign under the header, "Adidas Strives To Capture Global Culture Of Teen Spirit." For the last few years, adidas has been “building connections with three different communities: athletes, skate kids, and fans of fashion and music." Now, it wants to “bring those groups all together." adidas Canada VP/Marketing Jeff Cooper said, “We were basically telling stories on an individual basis, reaching out to those targets. But we weren’t pulling it all together and becoming meaningful and saying who we are and what we are, and that we’re relevant to them not just in sport but in fashion and in lifestyle.” Sid Lee Montreal VP Lukas Derksen, whose agency led the campaign's creative, said, “Something that definitely came out of the research is the mashability of kids these days. If you look at kids these days, they mash everything up. They wear stuff that we intended for the court, on the pitch. Stuff that we intended to be style, they wear in the gym.” He added, “I think the Nike brand has always been about the one hero, very individual.” Houpt notes the effort “isn’t just the largest ever by adidas; it is also, by far, the largest in the history of Sid Lee." The agency started planning for the campaign about 18 months ago, and Derksen said, “We spent an awful lot of time trying to figure out what the storyline is. When we landed on this sort of ‘unbridled emotions,’ ‘game faces’ -- this is a universal language. This speaks to a Chinese kid, this speaks to a French kid, this speaks to an American kid. And we all have this passion in common, and people relate to that passion.” Still, adidas will “slightly change its creative executions, dropping in celebrities who are important within different territories.” Derksen: “We have a Chinese version which is 90 per cent the same as everywhere else in the world, but we included a couple of artists and athletes that are relevant in that market" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/18).

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" (, 3/17).

The $10,000 grand prize for's Tournament Challenge is "probably the worst prize in all of sports fandom, considering the stakes," according to Darren Rovell of 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 from a participation standpoint," but it "does hurt the sponsor." Rovell noted while State Farm sponsors the contest, Sprint "sponsors the actual brackets" (, 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" (, 3/17).

SPANGLISH : In Jacksonville, Francine King wrote, "Every time I see the 'El Heat' playing the 'Los Spurs,' I want to throw something at my television. ... I honestly don't understand how Hispanic NBA fans could view the league's lame attempt at selling more jerseys as anything but offensive to their language and their culture." If the NBA really wants to "draw a new demographic, then commit" and "translate the whole thing." King: "Los Spurs should be Espeulas. El Heat should be El Calor. Los Bulls should be Toros. ... I'm not sure what exactly the NBA is afraid of: losing the teams' branding maybe or confusing non-Hispanic fans?" (, 3/17).