Under Armour is “planning to bring aboard a new creative agency to help it make a major splash with its basketball footwear business over the next 18 months,” according to Rupal Parekh of AD AGE. Under Armour Senior VP/Brand Steve Battista said that four firms -- Goodby Silverstein & Partners; TwoFifteenMcCann; McKinney; and CP&B -- are “under consideration for the assignment.” Battista said that he "hopes to name the winning agency within the next three weeks." Battista: “They’ve all come in and met with various members of the team as well as some of our athletes." Under Armour has retained Consigliere Brand Capital to "help select the participating agencies and guide the review process." Of the contenders, TwoFifteenMcCann “is the only agency to currently work with Under Armour.” While the winning agency will “be responsible for the whole of Under Armour's basketball portfolio, which includes both sneakers and apparel, the focus is definitely on boosting consumer awareness of the shoes.” Parekh noted the review is a “sign that Under Armour is ramping up its advertising activities overall” (ADAGE.com, 8/18).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Franklin Templeton Investments “has a two-year agreement as title sponsor” of the Shark Shootout, which puts the tourney “in line with the remainder of the PGA Tour's television contract,” according to Greg Hardwig of the NAPLES NEWS. Franklin Templeton was the title sponsor of the event hosted by Greg Norman from ‘92-‘05. Great White Shark Enterprises President Bart Collins said that “even though the event and Franklin Templeton have had a long relationship, this wasn't a case of the company coming in to save the event.” Collins added that the agreement “wouldn't have happened if everything didn't make sense.” Norman in January said that if there "was not a new title sponsor by June, chances were not good the 2011 event would be played.” Collins said that Franklin Templeton was “one of the companies that they started working with back in January.” Norman, Collins and Shark Shootout Tournament Dir Taylor Ives all indicated that they “never thought of putting the event on hiatus or attempting to move it as the process continued to wear on.” Meanwhile, Norman on Thursday said that PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley “has already committed” to play in the Dec. 7-11 tournament. Norman: "The quality of the field this year is not going to be any different" (NAPLES NEWS, 8/19). In Florida, Seth Soffian notes the title sponsor agreement “will maintain the tournament purse at $3 million.” Franklin Templeton “remained involved with the event as a secondary sponsor the past five years while Merrill Lynch and parent company Bank of America sponsored the event” (FT. MYERS NEWS-PRESS, 8/19).
The Collegiate Licensing Company announced its annual list of top-selling institutions and manufacturers, and the Univ. of Texas tops the list for the sixth consecutive year. Auburn Univ. moved from No. 15 to No. 4 this year due in part to winning the football national championship this past January. The rankings represent royalties reported July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011 on all collegiate merchandise sold on behalf of CLC-represented institutions (CLC). In Austin, Mark Rosner notes UT for the ’10-11 FY “generated slightly more than $10.6 million in royalties from its merchandise over the period” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/18).
CLC TOP 25 SELLING UNIVERSITIES
|North Carolina|| |
|Penn State|| |
|Notre Dame|| |
EYE OF THE TIGER: BLOOMBERG NEWS’ Mason Levinson noted Auburn “more than doubled its royalties from licensed merchandise sales after winning” the national championship. Auburn reported its merchandise royalties “surged to $5.3 million for 2010-11 from $2.5 million a year earlier.” CLC Senior VP & Managing Dir Cory Moss said that it is “a lofty ranking Auburn might keep even without on-field success this season.” Moss: “We definitely anticipate a carryover not only just for the year after but throughout, because we’re continually trying to develop that brand and utilize the national championship to catapult them to the next level.” Levinson noted the rankings cover royalties by clients of CLC, which “account for about 80 percent of the market.” The company “doesn’t represent every major-conference school, with Ohio State and Southern California among those not on its list” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/16). In Orlando, Matt Murschel noted the top apparel categories for last season “were T-shirts, women’s apparel, fleece and headwear” (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 8/18).RISING AT ARIZONA STATE: In Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks notes merchandise with Arizona State Univ.'s new "Nike-designed trident logo has started hitting more stores, and retailers are seeing a generational divide between younger students who like the new design and alumni loyal to the traditional Sparky logo." Kevin Baumann, who manages the Just Sports location in the Phoenix Paradise Valley Mall, said that younger shoppers in his store "like the new logo, while older consumers would rather see the tried-and-true Sparky." Sun Devil Campus Book Stores Merchandise Manager Cindy Benkowski said that demand "is strong for the new merchandise." She added that there has been "especially high demand for black clothing" with the new logo. Nike and ASU launched the new design in April (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/19 issue).
ESPN Friday launched a digital outdoor campaign in the U.K. “that will integrate real-time discussion from its football presenters into the creative,” according to Maisie McCabe of CAMPAIGNLIVE.co.uk. ESPN claims that the outdoor campaign “will be the first UK campaign to integrate live, real-time content and debate, by featuring comments from ESPN football presenters Ray Stubbs and Kevin Keegan while they are on-air.” The outdoor ads will feature topics “discussed on air and passers-by will be encouraged to respond on Twitter, using the hashtag #espnuk.” The campaign will “use a range of digital outdoor sites across the UK, including JCDecaux’s digital six-sheets and Transvision screens in rail stations, and CBS Outdoor’s screens on the London Underground.” The outdoor activity is “part of ESPN’s wider new season campaign, 'Miss Nothing,' which incorporates new TV and mobile ads, made by Wieden + Kennedy, and aims to highlight the range and value of ESPN’s sporting content across multiple devices” (CAMPAIGNLIVE.co.uk, 8/17).
The growth and strategy behind GMR’s international business is the focus of part two of our conversation with GMR Marketing Exec VP/Sports Marketing Mike Boykin, who visited the SBJ/SBD Studio last week. Boykin acknowledges the company got notice from their clients years ago that they needed more international expertise (“What we learned from our clients is they wanted one agency. They wanted a global agency, they wanted one butt to kick”), he discusses the company’s work leading up to the '12 London Games (“We are entering into stage two of the preparation as it relates to the Olympics for both Visa, P&G and a lot of P&G brands”), what the planning schedule is for activation (“A lot of clients have learned, with the Olympics, is don’t just do it within 20 days of the Games”) and what type of activation consumers can expect to see around the Games (“More in digital, more in social, with still a focus on television, the power of television can’t be denied. … [But] how are we going to make it work at retail? That’s a key point for both P&G and Visa”). Finally, he talks about the company’s growth in markets hosting future international events (“We won’t be in Sochi long-term. Brazil is a much different situation. We will be in Latin America for the next decade, and in a big way”).
View part two of the conversation below, and see part one from Thursday's issue.
Universal Studios' "Fast Five" will title sponsor the Sept. 16 Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, marking the first time a movie will attach its name to a NASCAR event promoting its DVD release. "Fast Five" stars Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster will serve as grand marshals for the Fast Five 225, and Gibson will sing the national anthem. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Chicagoland Speedway will produce ads and promotions targeting the local Hispanic community leading up to the event. Universal is scheduled to release "Fast Five" on Blu-ray and DVD on Oct. 4 (Chicagoland Speedway).
TAKING STOCK: ESPN.com's John Oreovicz wrote Danica Patrick "is going stock car racing," and the move is "the worst-kept secret in motorsports." Oreovicz: "The only question was when, not if. And, like everything else in Patrick's career, it's been dictated more by marketing than by actual motor racing." Patrick "pretty much lost her interest and motivation in Indy cars when she took her first laps in a stock car at Daytona International Speedway in February 2010 -- and saw the long lines at her merchandise trailer, lines of people patiently waiting to spend their hard-earned dollars." Oreovicz wrote not only has Patrick's "talent as an Indy car driver peaked but her marketability in the series has, as well" (ESPN.com, 8/18).
CREDIT WELL EARNED: ESPN the Magazine's Ryan McGee said Richard Petty Motorsports majority Owner Andrew Murstein and his partners deserve credit "for stepping in and doing what looks like a legitimate job." McGee: "We’ve seen outside investors come in before and not take care of business. He appears to have done that." Team namesake Richard Petty "also gets a lot of credit because he’s the one that got all these people in the room.” Petty and the RPM organization “over the years ... have caught a lot of flak for handling things poorly financially with the earlier versions of Petty Enterprises. But they should get a lot credit here because they got the people in the room that now have those cars legit top-15 contenders on a weekly basis” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 8/19).
OWNERSHIP FORMULA: SKY.com's Mark Kleinman cited sources as saying Singapore billionaire Peter Lim is "buying a minority shareholding the McLaren Group," which owns the McLaren F1 team. It is unclear "how large a stake Lim is buying in McLaren although the deal is likely to value the company at hundreds of millions of pounds." Kleinman noted it is unknown whether Lim, worth an estimated $1.6B, "will have a seat on the McLaren board, although it wouldn't be surprising if he does" (SKY.com, 8/18).
Apparel brand O'Neill Thursday announced that its O'Neill 365 collection, a female-targeted fitness line, will hit stores next spring. Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer Natalie Coughlin will serve as the face of the collection and will be featured in the brand's national advertising campaigns and in-store collateral. Coughlin also will promote the launch of the new line at events nationwide via the O'Neill 365 Icons program, which will recognize female athletes at a grassroots level (O'Neill). Meanwhile, Under Armour announced an endorsement deal with U.S. Olympian Alicia Sacramone, the first gymnast to sign with the Baltimore-based apparel company. Sacramone worked with Under Armour to design a custom leotard, and she will represent the brand in the '12 London Games should she make the U.S. team (Under Armour).
PAINT THE TOWN RED: In Miami, George Richards noted the NHL Panthers are "in the middle of replacing the green seat coverings in the lower bowl of the BankAtlantic Center with red ones" as part of the team's new "Seeing Red" campaign. Zimmerman Advertising "has its logo on the new seats," which "look pretty nice." Since Zimmerman Advertising Owner Jordan Zimmerman is a partner in the Panthers, "it's not known how much -- if anything -- he shelled out for this" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 8/18).
PUT A CAP ON IT: In Atlanta, George Mathis reports California-based Billion Int'l Trading Inc. is "being sued for more than half a million dollars for trying to import counterfeit" Braves caps into the U.S. Federal prosecutors on Thursday said that a "federal complaint seeks the financial penalty for violating the intellectual property rights" of the MLB club. The caps, "intended for distribution in the Atlanta area, were seized" at the city's Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l Airport in December '08 (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/19).