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Volume 24 No. 117

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Cowboys and “several dozen companies are courting Ohio State University with offers to supply its licensed apparel,” according to Marla Matzer Rose of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. OSU is "weighing the proposals, aimed at the school's lucrative logo-wear business," and most of the responses are from "current, smaller licensees that want to continue producing some OSU garb.” The Cowboys are “one of three respondents that propose to handle all or most of the college's apparel that is sold everywhere, from college-specialty stores to supermarkets to mass retailers.” OSU Dir of Trademark & Licensing Rick Van Brimmer “declined to name the other two major organizations that are competing with the Cowboys,” and said that a decision “could be made before the end of next month.” The Cowboys “declined requests for comment on their licensing plans.” Sources said that the Cowboys have “made their pitch to at least seven or eight other schools, which have decided to pass.” Sources said that USC “has signed a deal with the Cowboys, but the university declined to comment.” Rose noted an “unsolicited proposal from the Cowboys, along with offers from several other companies, prompted Ohio State to take a close look at whether it could maximize the millions of dollars of licensing revenue it makes each year” (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 5/9).

Air Force and IMG College have “agreed to a multimedia rights partnership, ”according to Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs GAZETTE. The “final details are being worked out, but the partnership should provide Air Force with more marketing opportunities, as well as a nice boost in revenue for the athletic department.” IMG will “handle negotiations for Air Force’s radio rights.” The company also “will negotiate rights for coaches’ shows on television and radio, corporate sponsorships, stadium and venue signage, hospitality and game promotions.” In addition, IMG will  “manage the Falcons’ website, including advertising, and printing and publishing” (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 5/10). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Michael Smith notes Air Force "marks the first service academy to partner with IMG College." The new agreement "will go into effect July 1." Financial specifics are "still being finalized, but industry sources say Air Force will receive a guarantee in the low seven figures annually." The school’s new multimedia contract is "expected to increase revenue over the old contract with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties by 30 to 35 percent" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/9 issue).

SportsNet N.Y. is launching a new series of ads under the banner "More Sports. More Testosterone." The ads were created by Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y., to promote the network's coverage of the N.Y. sports scene. The campaign features a series of ads that depict the positive impact watching sports has on a man's testosterone levels. One ad shows how it has a positive impact on a man's libido, and another on muscle development. The campaign launches this week with a spot dubbed “Muscles.” The ad shows a skinny guy transforming into a muscle-bound man after watching SNY. Another spot, “Libido,” shows the impact watching sports has on a just-married couple (SNY).  In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton notes other than the RSN’s "own air, the ads will run on a variety of cable outlets, in news, late night, and sports programming." SNY President Steve Raab said of the ads, “They support our brand position of having more New York sports on air than anywhere else and we think they will stand up for quite a while on the air” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/9 issue).

The Oregon Track Club has hired SportsOne to land corporate partners for next summer's U.S. Olympic track & field trials, something that "could be more challenging than when the sold-out event visited Eugene four years ago," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. The nonprofit OTC, host of the 10-day event from June 22-July 1, 2012, "has a $4 million target in corporate partnerships." Oregon-based SportsOne also "handled partnership recruitment" for the '08 trials at the Univ. of Oregon. SportsOne Senior VP & Partner Jim Etzel said, "The success of 2008 and the rebirth of TrackTown USA has created a strong platform for companies." Brettman noted USOC sponsor Nike "has purchased a partnership" for next summer's trials, "becoming the first company to do so." Beyond Nike, SportsOne “hopes to recruit a variety of sponsorship, most from $10,000 to $300,000, with the highest tier at $750,000.” Four SportsOne employees are “selling partnerships, two more are working in a support role on the project.” Etzel said that “some partnerships already have been sold, in addition to Nike, and will be announced as the trials approach” (, 5/9).

Nutrition supplement company Herbalife will use its title sponsorship of the '11 World Football Challenge to promote its Herbalife24 brand of nutritional products. Herbalife Senior VP/Worldwide Marketing Rob Levy indicated the L.A.-based company will produce a spot to run on both ESPN and Univision during the tournament, which runs through July and August. Herbalife will also receive on-field and LED signage at the events, and its products will be present in the team locker rooms at all events. Levy said, “Our doctors will meet with team nutritionists to educate them on what the products are all about.” He added all products will be tested by the Banned Substances Control Group -- a drug testing firm operated by anti-doping expert Don Catlin -- to ensure that athletes do not receive contaminated products. Levy said the company worked internally on the deal with CAA and MLS for the title sponsorship role.

In Phoenix, Scott Bordow notes the LPGA “plans to return to” the Phoenix area next year, “hoping to have a title sponsor and long-term commitment in tow.” LPGA PR Manager Mike Scanlan said that tour officials for the past month “have been talking with potential sponsors and scouting possible sites for the 2012 tournament.” Phoenix-based electronic technology firm Avnet is “among the companies to which the LPGA has made a pitch.” Scanlan noted that the LPGA “wants to increase its number of domestic events." This year’s schedule has only 13. After a one-year absence, the LPGA returned to Phoenix in March with the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 5/10).

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: The CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL reports Panthers rookie QB Cam Newton "has already won over one very important Charlotte franchise: Bank of America." BofA sent reps to a luncheon after last month's NFL Draft "designed to introduce" Newton to the Panthers' corporate partners. BofA spokesperson Nicole Nastacie, whose bank is the title sponsor of the Panthers' stadium, said, "As a sponsor, we're excited about Cam joining the Panthers organization" (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/6 issue).

SALUTE THE TROOPS:’s Chris Olds noted the latest NASCAR card set from Press Pass will go on sale June 1 with military-themed "card designs and insert sets (bonus cards found inside packs) that are focused on the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.” Other bonus cards in the Press Pass Stealth Set will “focus on commemorative cards for POW/MIA and other selected military highlights.” The “real hits are likely to be the military-themed autographs that several drivers have signed, complete with extra inscriptions referencing the military or thanking them for their service” (, 5/7).

BEAR HUNTING: RBS today announced that it has teamed with the USGA to produce a new series of video discussions with Jack Nicklaus, a global ambassador of the bank, that will debut today on Additional "Conversations with the Golden Bear" will appear on the USGA's website periodically throughout the year (USGA).