Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

The NFL yesterday announced the renewal of its partnership with PepsiCo with a new agreement that will take effect in '12. The deal will align several PepsiCo brands with the NFL, including Gatorade and Frito-Lay, which will continue their relationships with the league, and Pepsi Max, which will remain the league's official soft drink. Additionally, Quaker Oats and Tropicana will be new partners with the NFL, and PepsiCo will continue to sponsor the NFL Int'l Series (PepsiCo). Sources estimated that PepsiCo "will invest up to $2.3bn through its NFL sponsorship up to 2022." The sources added that the NFL will receive "between $15m and $20m a year for each brand" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/7). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman reported the deal is "one of the largest sponsorships to date in U.S. sports." A source said that "in addition to the national rights fee, PepsiCo could spend an estimated $1.3 billion on marketing and other NFL-related spending during the agreement." The NFL previously "announced new sponsorship deals with insurer USAA and electronics company Bose Corp., as well as a renewal with auto maker General Motors Co." NFL officials said that "sponsorship revenue will rise 15% this year, pushing projected league revenue to a record $9.5 billion, $100 million more than was previously projected." PepsiCo Senior VP/Global Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms said that "securing the NFL extension was an important goal, with the current deal set to expire at season's end." NFL Media COO Brian Rolapp said that the "PepsiCo deal would have been tough to pull off had the lockout not ended" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/6). PepsiCo Chair & CEO Indra Nooyi said, "We'll have all kinds of engagement with the fans in-stadium and fans at home because we have an incredible lineup of products." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "We're fortunate. Our sponsorship business is up, particularly coming off of a difficult lockout and obviously we're still going through a very difficult economy. But I think it shows the strength of the NFL and our relationships. ... This is more than just a sponsorship agreement. This is really a partnership to promote each other's brands and to make them stronger and do that on a global basis" ("The Call," CNBC, 9/6).

NEW LODGINGS: Marriott Int'l yesterday announced it signed a multiyear deal with the NFL to be the league's exclusive lodging category sponsor. Courtyard by Marriott will be the official hotel of the NFL, and will continue its four-year relationship with NFL Network, and NFL Mobile from Verizon throughout the partnership (Marriott International).

NBC Sports is on pace to sell out its Super Bowl telecast earlier than ever before. The broadcaster only has "a handful" of spots remaining in the game telecast, and NBC has had conversations for all those units, according to NBC Senior VP/Group Sales & Marketing Seth Winter. NBC has sold some of its spots for a record-setting $3.5M per 30-second spot, Winter said. Last year, Fox sold 30-second Super Bowl spots for about $3M. Fox also went into last season with only a handful of spots, officially selling the game out in October. NBC looks to be on a similar pace. NBC was not authorized to identify specific advertisers that committed to the Super Bowl telecast, but Winter said the automotive category continues to set the pace, followed by soft drinks, malt beverages and movies. "The usual suspects are back in the Super Bowl," he said. The pregame show has more spots remaining, though it also is selling well. It has sold hour-long sponsorships and exclusive windows to some advertisers. Its "Sunday Night Football" regular-season schedule is more than 90% sold and its revenue so far this season exceeds the revenue NBC Sports brought in from last year's NFL schedule. Winter credited a scalding hot market and NBC's sales strategy for selling across several of its properties. Every one of the Super Bowl's ad sales has an ad component beyond the game, including golf, the NHL, college football and the NFL regular season. Its schedule of Notre Dame games is virtually sold out. "College football is probably the second most sought after sports media platform," Winter said. "I wish we had more" (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

WHO'S IN, WHO'S OUT?'s Anthony Crupi reported "automotive dollars sparked the demand" for Super Bowl XLVI. Fox landed eight automakers for 20 commercials during Super Bowl XLV, and Winter acknowledged that NBC's broadcast "will be just as flush with car dollars as last year’s production." He said, "You will see the same strength in auto this year that you did last year. I can literally count on the fingers of one hand the number of car advertisers who won’t be back.” Along with the "in-game spots, NBC is doing well with its shoulder programming around the event" (, 9/6). USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz reports Mercedes-Benz "won't return in 2012" after airing a spot during this year's Super Bowl. Conversely, Kia Motors America VP/Marketing & Communications Michael Sprague said that the South Korean automaker "will return to the Super Bowl for the third-consecutive year." Teleflora spokesperson Missy Miller said the flower delivery service will return, while Skechers has purchased a 30-second spot "to air during the two-minute warning of the first half." Founder & CEO Bob Parsons said that the company "will be back for its eighth Super Bowl with at least one and possibly two slots." Driver Danica Patrick again will star in the Super Bowl effort. Parsons noted that Go Daddy "has 12 possible Super Bowl ad scripts and will select from those" (USA TODAY, 9/6).

The NBA earlier this summer "quietly signed Sprint Nextel to a new four-year sponsorship deal," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the $45M rights fee paid by Sprint "was one of largest ever collected by the league and that total value of the agreement approached $250 million, including media commitments and other contractual requirements." Sources said that it was "fervent interest by upstart cell brand MetroPCS and the subsequent leveraging of Metro against Sprint that allowed the NBA to sign Sprint to what one well-placed source said was 15 percent to 20 percent more than what incumbent NBA wireless sponsor T-Mobile had been paying." T-Mobile had been one of the league’s "most active sponsors over the past six seasons." With the start of the '11-12 season in jeopardy due to the lockout, activation plans "are scant," but sources said that Sprint’s "newfound NBA rights have much more to do with content, similar to competitor Verizon’s NFL rights deal." Sprint "did not have any NBA team sponsorships at the end of 2010, so it will likely add those." Sprint’s Boost Mobile prepaid cell brand was a Knicks sponsor for the '10-11 season, but that category "is now open at MSG" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/5 issue).  

Following the Univ. of Maryland's football team debuting it new Under Armour jerseys during its win Monday night over the Univ. of Miami, the jersey's "hideousness became a trending topic on Twitter," but what the uniforms "really did for Maryland was create a national buzz, however uncomplimentary," according to Kelly Whiteside of USA TODAY. Critics were "commenting on every detail from the yellow and black/red and white helmet modeled after the state flag down to their matching cleats." ESPN's Skip Bayless wrote on his Twitter feed, "These Maryland uniforms are shockingly hideous. But guarantee you, they'll be talked about on every show tomorrow. National pub for Terps." Whiteside noted UM "warmed up in different uniforms, including helmets." The pregame helmets "used a Tortoise shell design, consistent with the school's 'Fear The Turtle' slogan" (, 9/5). UM coach Randy Edsall noted the team kept these uniforms "under the lid" when it unveiled the new UA jerseys last month. Edsall: "This was our ‘Pride’ uniform, Maryland Pride, part of the new branding we’re doing at Maryland. We want everyone to feel a part of what we’re doing and incorporate the state colors. We’re playing for every person in the state of Maryland, we’re playing for everybody that’s ever worn the Maryland jersey." Edsall said he showed the team prior to the game a video from Under Armour about the jerseys, and the players “just blew the roof off the hotel.” He added, "I’m just so proud of our partnership with Under Armour and them giving us the opportunity to wear all the uniforms we have. But this was really something special. We wanted to make it something special because we were on ESPN primetime. ... It’s great to see that the uniqueness and the innovation that Under Armour has that allows our kids to wear those great uniforms" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/5).’s Heather Dinich wrote UM QB Danny O’Brien “was surprised" when told the jerseys were "getting blasted on Twitter." O’Brien: “For real? We thought they were cool” (, 9/6).

GREAT WAY TO MARKET SCHOOL, PROGRAM: SI's Stewart Mandel indicated that the UM's uniforms "gave a previously unbuzzworthy program a national identity." Mandel: "As ugly as (the uniforms) were to anyone over a certain age, it accomplished exactly what they want it to. For three hours [Monday] night, everyone was talking about Maryland football. When's the last time anyone talked about Maryland football?" UM Associate Media Relations Dir Shawn Nestor "didn't deny that the goal of the uniforms" was to create "some buzz, but said that they were just a nod to the state's heritage" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/7). USA TODAY's Reid Cherner writes Edsall "is a marketing genius trying to rebuild a program." Cherner: "What is better than a coast-to-coast splash on opening night?" (USA TODAY, 9/7). ESPN’s Tony Reali said, “If the idea is you want people to talk about them, then this worked. Maybe next week they come back with the turtle shell helmet” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 9/6). SportsNet N.Y.'s Eamon McAnaney said, “It worked. Maryland on national TV made a splash. ... The Terps hadn't had this much exposure for in forever” ("The Wheel House," SportsNet N.Y., 9/6).

DESIGNED TO MAKE A SPLASH: In Baltimore, Rosen & Barker note UA "intended for the uniforms to make a splash," but maybe "not this much splash." UA Senior VP/Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said, "It probably got a little bit more attention than we thought. It was a little bit polarizing. You either like it or you don't like it." Rosen & Barker report UM "had originally planned to debut the look for the Notre Dame game" on Nov. 12, but there was "so much at stake during Monday night's game -- new coach, a season opener -- that the team decided, why wait?" (Baltimore SUN, 9/7). Also in Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd wrote “The Terps’ new look is hideously spectacular. And I mean that in a good way -- sort of.” Edsall “is pulling out all the stops trying to energize the Maryland football program and its lethargic fan base.” He is “trying to draw attention to the Terps any way he can,” and when UM “came out in their garish new unis ... it was mission accomplished.” Cowherd: “How to describe the new look? It’s as if Salvador Dali ... got together with the Under Armour uniform designers and they all smoked something ... and decided: ‘Random patterns from the Maryland state flag in a sequential pattern – or not! Can you see it?! Yes! Perfect!” (, 9/6). YAHOO SPORTS’ Matt Hinton wrote UM gave us a “fair warning last month, rolling a line of 32 new uniform combinations.” But somehow the team "managed to come out ... in something even weirder for their rare turn in the national spotlight.” Hinton: “Screw it: I like ‘em. That’s right. The new look is original, it’s extremely specific to Maryland” (, 9/5).

PAGING MR. BLACKWELL: ABC News’ Diane Sawyer previewed a report on UM's uniforms titled “Ugly Uniforms?” by noting the Internet "was flooded with chatter about the uniforms based on the state flag,” and many people were asking whether they were the “ugliest sports uniforms ever” (“World News,” ABC, 9/6). Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s David Kaplan asked, “Did you see these absolutely brutal looks? Those things were awful" (“Chicago Tribune Live,” Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 9/6). SportsNet N.Y.'s Chris Carlin: "Those things are God awful! I thought Dale Earnhardt Jr. was going to drive down the field looking across the finish line with that checkered play. Hey, next time just match them up with those old-time NFL Zubaz pants. It’ll complete the look” (“Loud Mouths,” SportsNet N.Y., 9/6). ABC’s Sharyn Alfonsi said the uniforms were “part comic book villain, part medieval times jester" (“GMA,” ABC, 9/7). In Phoenix, Bob Young: "Hideous is too kind. We might call an injury lawyer" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/7). The AP's Jim Litke: "We have glimpsed the future of college football, and it's not good" (AP, 9/6).

UGA criticized for wearing "circus gear"
during season-opening game
MORE FASHION FAUX PAS:’s Paul Lukas wrote the first weekend of college football “certainly had its share of, um, memorable looks.” UM was "in court jester mode," and for "some reason I kept thinking the players looked like living chess pieces." However, that was not the only school to debut new looks. The "two-tone facemask" that Georgia wore Saturday night "sounds like a cool idea; in practice, it makes you look like someone gave you a bloody lip." Lukas: "OK, so it probably wasn’t even a good idea in theory, but it was probably better than the rest of Georgia’s uniform costume on Saturday. The good news: This was a one-off design that won’t be worn again this season.” Meanwhile, for reasons that "aren’t entirely clear, gray is a ‘hot’ color in design circles at the moment," but it is "not so great if you’re wearing a gray football jersey," as Oklahoma State did Saturday. Lukas: "It’s a pretty weird choice for the season-opening game, right?” (, 9/6). However, Anthony Slater, sports editor of OSU student newspaper The Daily O'Collegian, said, "The entire reaction was more negative than the team was expecting" (USA TODAY, 9/7). In N.Y., Barry Rubinstein wrote, “We already have been exposed to several degrees of ghastliness on the college football uniform front already with this season still in the infancy stage. On Saturday night, Boise State wore uniforms that could have been developed by the same folks who came up with MLB’s ill-fated turn-ahead-the-clock unis from a few seasons back. ... And the less said about the million and four horrid combinations worn by the Oregon Yucks, I mean, Ducks, the better. All that said, we may have a hit a new low [Monday] night” (N.Y., 9/6).

COMPANIES GETTING WHAT THEY WANT: In N.Y., Lenn Robbins notes the attention paid to the jerseys worn by UM, UGA and Boise State was "exactly what the marketing folks at Nike and Under Armour were hoping would happen." They created "something really repulsive and let the media provide billions of dollars in free advertising." Oregon "needs its Nike uniforms to help it develop into a brand," but Maryland and Georgia "are brands." UGA fans "should have been insulted to see the Dawgs dressed in traveling circus garb," while UM fans "should have cringed when their team took the field looking as if they found old rugby helmets and slapped on [some] face masks" (N.Y. POST, 9/7). In DC, Ned Martel asked if the UM jerseys were "yet another salvo in a very colorful corporate contest" between UA and Nike (WASHINGTON POST, 9/7). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said the uniforms were "brilliantly ugly, because this is going to set the agenda for what every school in America is going to do with their uniforms.” Wilbon: "Teams will scrap their uniforms before Saturday and call Kevin Plank” (“PTI,” ESPN, 9/6).

MORE TO COME: In West Palm Beach, Jason Lieser notes Michigan and Notre Dame, which are both adidas schools, "plan to wear unconventional jerseys" for their meeting Saturday night. UM "will wear maize and blue striped tops that are a combination of modern and retro," while Notre Dame will "wear gold helmets that have a large, green clover on each side" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/7).

Santa Barbara-based footwear brand UGG will debut its first TV spot featuring Patriots QB Tom Brady during Monday's Patriots-Dolphins "MNF" game on ESPN. “Steps,” from M&C Saatchi, L.A., is the first wave of a campaign with Brady to support the UGG men's line of footwear and outerwear, which will run across TV, digital, print and outdoor. Three additional spots will run online.

Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin has signed a long-term global endorsement deal with Bauer. The deal covers on-ice equipment -- including skates, sticks, gloves, helmets and pads -- and follows last week's announcement of a deal in which Nike locked up Ovechkin for base layer and other apparel rights. He had been under contract to CCM for hockey equipment. IMG Managing Dir, Senior VP & Head of Global Consulting David Abrutyn, who handles Ovechkin's marketing, could not be reached for comment. Bauer is the latest in a series of deals Ovechkin has signed since aligning with IMG in November '09. He has added Gillette, Verizon, Capital One, and Cadbury/Kraft Foods for its Mr. Big candy bar (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY). YAHOO SPORTS’ Greg Wyshynski noted Bauer “isn’t showing its hand on whether the marketing approach with the Washington Capitals captain will have floating-head-inside-the-locker whimsy" like CCM's efforts with Ovechkin. Bauer President & CEO Kevin Davis said, “We’re going to evaluate that with Alex as we go forward. We’re going to do something that’s authentic, true to the sport and true to the athlete.” Asked if Ovechkin could wear a Bauer hat during an NHL press conference, since the league has an official deal with Reebok, Davis said, "If Alex would like to put on a Bauer hat, I’m sure he’s welcome to. He’s welcome to put on a Nike one as well.” He added that there “are different rules for different press conferences for the NHL” (, 9/6).

MOSCOW'S HOMETOWN HERO:'s Chuck Gormley noted when Ovechkin’s contract with CCM expired, Bauer "jumped at the opportunity to sign Ovechkin to a six-year partnership, which will carry through the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.” Davis: “Russia and that area of the world is a great growth opportunity for us, especially leading up to the 2014. What we know is that hockey is as iconic to that country as it is in some of our biggest markets.” Bauer and Ovechkin “have agreed to donate 108 sets of equipment to the Dynamo Hockey School in Ovechkin’s hometown of Moscow," as well as to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association in DC (, 9/6).

EPL club Newcastle United is launching its own line of branded lingerie in a "move to raise the club's appeal to its female and male fans alike," according to Reynolds & Farey-Jones of MARKETING magazine. The "range of black-and-white lingerie includes bras, French knickers, stockings, suspender belts and camisoles, and will be sold in a variety of sizes." The "garments are emblazoned with the club crest," and Newcastle has made a deal with "underwear specialist Premier Lingerie to supply the underwear." Prices for the lingerie range from US$11-43. The products "are now available to buy from the Newcastle United online shop" (, 9/7). Premier Lingerie said that "women now form about a fifth of regular football supporters in the UK, but only between three and five percent of club merchandise is aimed at them" (, 9/6). Wolverhampton was the first EPL club to "stock lingerie in their club shops," and West Ham United "famously launched limited Katy Perry lingerie in 2009 after the singer turned up at the MTV Awards sporting underwear in the club's colours" (, 9/7).

AD WEEK’s Anthony Crupi noted Nissan last Saturday debuted a new campaign starring past Heisman Trophy winners including Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, and Doug Flutie. Like a hybrid of MTV’s “The Real World” and HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” the “Heisman House” concept “gathers under one roof many of the most celebrated college football players of the last 30 years.” The spot aired on “ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC” and will run each Saturday night throughout the college football regular season. Nissan has “cued up four 45-second Heisman House spots.” The spots are “an extension of Nissan’s ongoing association with the Heisman, which includes sponsorship of a season-long campus tour as well as print, digital, and other cross-platform buys” (, 9/2).

ACE IN THE POCKET: In N.Y., Claire Atkinson noted during Stacey Allaster’s two-year tenure as WTA Chair & CEO thus far, league revenue “is up 10 percent year on year, while sponsorship revenue is up 60 percent.” Sony Ericsson is “the biggest supporter” of the WTA, having spent $86M "on the sport since 2006.” Allaster is “currently negotiating for an extension of the current marketing deal, which will culminate at the end of 2012.” In the last few months, the WTA “has signed programming deals with Tennis Channel and ESPN that will take the year-end championships through 2013.” In addition, Allaster has “been working hard to grow interest in the sport in Asia” (N.Y. POST, 9/4).

SAM I AM: Charter Communications announced Rams QB Sam Bradford will star in its new ad campaign. The campaign kicked off yesterday with cable and broadcast TV ads, in print, online and via outdoor media. The creative features Bradford alongside other Charter customers and employees. Charter is the first large St. Louis-based company for which Bradford has agreed to serve as a spokesperson. This comes after Charter recently expanded its deal to sponsor the Rams (Charter). As part of the Rams' deal with Charter, the team’s press conferences, interviews and studio shows “will be conducted in the newly renamed Charter Studio at the team’s facility.” Charter will also “carry additional team-related VOD programming including player profiles and cheerleader footage” (CABLEFAX DAILY, 9/7).

RIDE WITH ME: Cycling teams Leopard-Trek and RadioShack will merge “to form a new cycling squad for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.” Leopard-Trek on its website Saturday said that the team “will be rebranded as the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Professional Cycling Team and use Leopard-Trek’s existing World Tour license.” The Luxembourg-based team will be managed by Johan Bruyneel (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 9/5).