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Volume 24 No. 157

Marketing and Sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch has signed a four-year extension to its founding partnership with MLS, "but for the first time the beermaker has given up exclusive local rights to MLS teams," according to Fred Dreier of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The renewal includes four-year extensions with the U.S. and Mexican national teams, and industry sources estimated the total value of the deal, which was negotiated by A-B and Soccer United Marketing, at more than $10M. A-B VP/Media, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Mark Wright said that the brewer will "continue to promote its Budweiser and Budweiser Chelada brands at MLS games and U.S. national men’s team events, and Bud Light at U.S. national women’s team and Mexican national team games in the United States." A-B will "retain media spots and signage at all nationally televised MLS games and will retain use of all league and team marks." It also will continue its presenting sponsorship of the MLS Pub Program and the "Golden Boot" award. But the brewer is "losing exclusivity within local markets, something the league asked for during the negotiations after receiving continued pressure from clubs." MLS informed clubs that it "would be opening up local rights several months before signing the renewal with A-B." A-B was the "first major American brand to come on board with MLS" in '95, a year before the league's inception (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/21 issue).

Muhammad Ali Enterprises (MAE) today announced it has selected IMG Licensing for consumer products licensing. IMG as part of the multiyear deal will act exclusively to represent the Ali brand in Europe and Asia. The agency hopes to provide global opportunities to extend the boxer’s brand to new consumer touch points. IMG will seek opportunities in traditional sports licensing categories including memorabilia and apparel as well as new business areas. MAE controls all licensing rights for the former boxer. MAE is a subsidiary of CKX, Inc., which in '06 acquired a majority interest in Ali's name and likeness (THE DAILY). CNBC's Darren Rovell wrote, "Recent efforts for Ali brand have been very poor" (TWITTER.com, 3/23). 

MLB for the first time has disclosed its best-selling jerseys, and Yankees SS Derek Jeter owned the top-seller for the '10 calendar year. Players from 11 teams finished among the top 20 most popular jerseys, led by the Phillies who had three in the top 10 and four in the top 20. Of note, 12 of the top 20 are under the age of 30, and three -- Braves RF Jason Heyward, Nationals P Stephen Strasburg and Giants C Buster Posey -- were rookies in '10. Also, MLB announced sales of officially licensed MLB merchandise reached an all-time high in '10, up 6% over the previous year. The Yankees led all teams in terms of sales of all licensed products last year, followed by the Red Sox and Dodgers. The following charts show the top-selling individual jerseys for '10, as well as the club licensing rankings (THE DAILY).

RANK
PLAYER
RANK
PLAYER
1
Yankees SS Derek Jeter
11
Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira
2
Twins C Joe Mauer
12
Braves RF Jason Heyward
3
Phillies P Roy Halladay
13
Nationals P Stephen Strasburg
4
Phillies 2B Chase Utley
14
Brewers RF Ryan Braun
5
Phillies P Cliff Lee*
15
Twins 1B Justin Morneau
6
Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols
16
Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury
7
Rangers LF Josh Hamilton
17
Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler
8
Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia
18
Phillies 1B Ryan Howard
9
Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez
19
Giants C Buster Posey
10
Giants P Tim Lincecum
20
Rays 3B Evan Longoria
NOTE: * = Includes jersey sales from his stints with the Phillies, Rangers and Mariners.
RANK
TEAM
RANK
TEAM
1
Yankees
6
Cardinals
2
Red Sox
7
White Sox
3
Dodgers
8
Braves
4
Phillies
9
Twins
5
Cubs
10
Tigers

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CNBC.com's Darren Rovell notes as the "most marketable player on the most marketable team, it comes as no surprise" that Jeter tops the list (CNBC.com, 3/23). In addition to owning MLB's best-selling jersey, Jeter topped THE DAILY's Most Marketable in Baseball study in '10. Jeter also finished first the two previous years the study was conducted: in '05 and in '03. Mauer, who owned the 2nd best-selling jersey last year, finished 3rd in the most marketable study, behind only Jeter and Pujols.

Bacardi Limited has signed tennis player Rafael Nadal as its newest global social responsibility ambassador, leading the spirits company’s responsible drinking campaign, “Champions Drink Responsibly.” The campaign will feature Nadal in ads, PR, consumer experiential initiatives and social media, including a YouTube channel and for the first time a “Champions Drink Responsibly” Facebook page (Bacardi). In Miami, Elaine Walker reports with Nadal as the new ambassador, the “messaging will focus on urging consumers to be a champion by looking out for their friends.” In one of the first ads, Nadal “emphasizes the importance of knowing when you and your friends have had enough to drink.” The ad shows Nadal “holding his tennis racquet over an empty spirits glass” with the message, “I’d always tell my friends where the line is.” A second ad depicts Nadal urging consumers "to enjoy drinking in moderation, emphasizing that quality is what’s important, not quantity.” Nadal is shown holding his hands up in a “Time Out” sign next to an almost finished drink, with the ad including the slogan, “I try to beat everyone at tennis, not at drinking.” Bacardi’s "Champions Drink Responsibly" campaign was initially launched in April ‘08 featuring F1 driver Michael Schumacher as the first ambassador (MIAMI HERALD, 3/23).

Tiger Woods following The Masters “is set to join Nike Golf president Cindy Davis on what the company is calling its ‘Make it Matter’ tour,” a three-city “promotional swing through Asia,” according to Gene Yasuda of GOLFWEEK. The tour is “designed to fuel the region’s growing interest in the game and promote Nike products.” The tour begins in China with stops in Shenzhen (April 12) and Beijing (April 13), then moves to Seoul, South Korea (April 14). Nike initially “had planned on visiting Tokyo as well, but altered its itinerary, respecting Japan’s need to focus on efforts to recover from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the nation March 11” (GOLFWEEK.com, 3/22). In Korea, Oh Young-jin writes Woods' visit “may help some golfers improve their game and give them ‘bragging rights’ but, the chance is that, to the bigger audience, it will be a sideshow and it will reinforce golf’s negative image that it doesn’t deserve.” A Nike spokesperson said, “We will ask reporters to submit their questions and select some from them that Tiger will address.” Young-jin: “In a way, Nike is prudent enough not to hold a question-and-answer session during Tiger’s visit” (KOREA TIMES, 3/23).

In Philadelphia, Ed Barkowitz reports the Pennsylvania Lottery "again is selling instant scratch-off games featuring the Phillies and Phillies-related prizes." The $5 game, which also has a Pirates version, will "have cash prizes of $10 million and second-chance drawings for items ranging from Phillies season tickets to team merchandise." Lottery officials "expect the games to generate" $10M in profits (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/23).

PLAYING A FEW MORE ROUNDS: In Miami, Van Smith & Kaufman report Sony Ericsson "recently signed a three-year extension to remain the title sponsor" of the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament through '14, and Sony Ericsson Global Head of Marketing Steve Walker said the company considers the event to be "our flagship event." Walker: "Rather than just broadcast about our new products, we can interact with fans and introduce new products here" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/23). Meanwhile, MARKETING WEEK's Lara O'Reilly reported Sony Ericsson "will use its sponsorship of sport and tennis events to push its soon to launch PlayStation smartphone, the Xperia Play." Head of Global Marketing Partnerships Stephan Croix: "Our sport sponsorships allow us to promote our phones in a subtle and authentic way to our fanbase. Our promise to fans is to enrich their experience during the game but also before and after" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 3/22).

IMPLICATIONS OF ACQUISITION: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott noted the "advertising implications for the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T will take some time to unfold." Publicis Worldwide, Seattle, creates advertising for T-Mobile, and the agency is "owned by the Publicis Groupe of France." T-Mobile's current campaign "mocks the quality of the service that AT&T provides its iPhone customers, borrowing the format of the recent campaign for Apple that made fun of Microsoft." Meanwhile, advertising for AT&T is "created by the Atlanta and New York divisions of BBDO North America, part of the BBDO Worldwide division of Omnicom Group." Elliott noted when companies combine, "one area they often look at to save money and become more efficient is in ad spending." But it is "unclear at this point how much an AT&T that includes T-Mobile would reduce its spending on advertising" (NYTIMES.com, 3/22).

T-MOBILE AT&T
Publicis Seattle Advertising BBDO
ZenithOptimedia Media buyer MEC
Wasserman Media Group Sports marketing The Marketing Arm;
Velocity Sports & Entertainment
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide PR In-house
$51.6M Sports ad spend ('09) $226.7M
NBA, Celtics, Rockets, Heat, Magic, WNBA, CONCACAF Champions League Sponsorships AT&T Center; AT&T Field (Chattanooga); AT&T Park (S.F.); Jones AT&T Stadium (Texas Tech); AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic; AT&T Red River Rivalry; Champions Tour AT&T Championship; The Masters; PGA Tour AT&T National; PGA Tour AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am; AT&T Williams F1 team; USCO; USSF; U.S. Fencing; USA Diving; USA Gymnastics; 14 MLB teams; six NBA teams; seven NFL teams; seven NHL teams; NCAA and athletic programs at 33 colleges; seven college football bowl games; ACC, SEC; PRCA
Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley Endorsers Blake Griffin, Shaun White, Apolo Ohno