MARKETING DAILY's Karl Greenberg reported Honda "has a big marketing push on deck" for the Indianapolis 500 this year. The company is sponsoring the pre-race show on ESPN and ESPN.com, and it also "has a whole fleet of print, TV, and interactive ads during the coverage." Honda is "running banners on ESPN.com all month, and will expand that to a Web site takeover" on May 28, the day before the race. There also will be print ads and custom creative in Road & Track, SI and USA Today. The campaign includes "two new TV spots directed to regional spot buys" (MARKETING DAILY, 5/20 issue).
NOTHING BETTER THAN THE REAL THING: Coca-Cola has selected eight Olympic hopefuls to promote its products leading up to the '12 London Games, and Coca-Cola Dir of Olympic Marketing Dina Gerson said that the company "looks for diversity in sport, gender and ethnicity when preparing its roster" of endorsers. It also "takes into consideration public speaking ability, the athletes' story and their potential to medal." However, Gerson noted that medal potential "is not the most important thing." Gerson: "We looked at over 600 athletes and talked to everybody from the U.S. Olympic Committee to NBC to the International Olympic Committee" (ADAGE.com, 5/18).
READY TO RIDE: The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, which kicks off its '11 season Saturday, has signed new sponsorships with Oakley, Makita Tools, Air National Guard and manufacturer KTM. The deals are collectively valued in the mid-seven figures. The series also renewed partnerships with Rockstar Energy, GoPro and Muscle Milk. The sponsors join the series at a time when it is planning to increase its broadcast exposure. For the first time, Fuel TV will be airing 24 total hours of live coverage of races. The series will have three hours of coverage on NBC and 21 hours of coverage on Speed (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).