Steelers WR Hines Ward was arrested Saturday morning on a DUI charge, and Baker Street Advertising Exec VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said that the arrest “could taint Ward's image, particularly due to the timing.” Ward less than two months ago won ABC’s "Dancing With The Stars." Dorfman said, "It is (Ward's) first mistake. If he can stay on the straight and narrow and have a great season, do all the right things, meaning apologize, show contrition, promise to never do it again and make sure that you never do it again, he can probably get back and still be a marketable athlete" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/10).
RACING DOLLARS: In Las Vegas, Steve Tetreault reported the U.S. House of Representatives last week voted “to defend U.S. military sponsorship of NASCAR and other motorsports against an effort to cut spending by more than half for the programs.” Lawmakers “voted 167-260 to kill an amendment” by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) that “would have cut spending on motorsports” from $63M to $20M. U.S. Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) said that “spending on NASCAR is a ‘recruiting tool’ that the Army expects will help attract 28,700 prospects and give recruiters access to 182 schools through its sponsorship” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/10).
KEEPING THE FIELD IN FOCUS: In Charlotte, Joseph Person noted IMG “has tried to keep” client and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Cam Newton’s appearances “to a minimum and limited his sponsorships to blue-chip companies in Under Armour and GMC.” IMG’s Carlos Fleming, who handles Newton’s marketing, said, “Our goal is to not really do too much too early.” Under Armour “will launch an Auburn/Cam Newton apparel collection this summer," while his "shoe series will debut next spring” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/10).
NAME CHANGE: AROUND THE RINGS’ Ann Cantrell reported IOC TOP sponsor Atos Origin “is now Atos after the acquisition of Siemens IT Solutions and Services GmbH.” The French IT provider “changed its name on July 1 after the deal was approved by shareholders.” It is “unclear if Atos has already changed its corporate imagery related to the Olympics” (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 7/10).