The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Georg Szalai cited a ZenithOptimedia forecast that predicted U.S. advertising spending on cable networks will “for the first time trump spending on broadcast networks this year.” The company estimates that U.S. broadcast network ad spending “will be flat at $17.4 billion this year, down from a previous expectation of 3 percent growth, while cable networks spending will rise to nearly $18.0 billion, up about 10 percent from $16.3 billion in 2010.” Zenith expects broadcast spending next year to drop 1% to $17.2B “despite the return of the Olympics to NBC amid a projected increase in online and cable viewing for the games in London, compared with an estimated 9 percent gain to $19.6 billion for cable” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/12).
BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER? Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee discussed agent Mark Steinberg, who reps Tiger Woods, joining Excel Sports Management and said, “It is an important business decision going forward for Tiger Woods to look for places where he can change the way he’s perceived as, not only as an athlete, but a personality. He needs to align himself with certainly elite athletes, but squeaky clean athletes.” Excel represents Yankees SS Derek Jeter, Phillies 1B Ryan Howard and Clippers F Blake Griffin, among others, and they “have very positive images.” Chamblee: “Tiger Woods, should he come back, will make more money than he's made before, not just for himself, but any business he’s aligned with and any ancillary businesses that are with him“ (Golf Channel, 7/11).
EXPANDING THE PRODUCT LINE: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow notes Under Armour is “beginning to make a push into the equipment business, seeking to tighten its grip on certain sports where it already has a sizeable market share.” Under Armour views equipment “as an opportunity to put more of its products into the hands of athletes who wear the company’s clothing during competition.” The company “recently debuted a $79.99 leather football, and this November a $59.99 basketball will hit shelves.” The company also is “rolling out its first line of lacrosse stick heads, handles, gloves, arm and shoulder pads and goggles.” Under Armour executives said that they “aren’t rushing to roll out new equipment lines, rather opting to be patient for when the right opportunities arise.” But Sharrow writes, “It does represent a large opportunity” (BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/8 issue).
DELIVERING SECURITY: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan reports FedEx has renewed its presenting sponsorship of the Southern Heritage Classic, the “annual football game between Jackson State and Tennessee State,” through '14. Game Founder Fred Jones said, "It's just invaluable to us. It's been something that the kind of presence FedEx has here locally, and nationally, internationally, it gives us a presence that you can't measure and that's the most important thing.” Morgan reports Allstate Insurance also has “renewed its deal as a corporate partner” through ’14 (Memphis COMMERICAL APPEAL, 7/13).