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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

Procter & Gamble has signed Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps “to a seven-figure endorsement deal for its billion-dollar Head & Shoulders shampoo brand,” according to Lefton & Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that Phelps is signed through next year’s London Olympics and “will be featured in a commercial, which was shot in Baltimore last month.” The signing is the “first major endorsement that a P&G brand has closed since the company signed a 10-year, multimillion-dollar deal in 2010 to become" an IOC TOP sponsor. Lefton & Mickle note Phelps’ “global recognition should help P&G as it tries to leverage the Olympics to achieve its goal of increasing its customer base from 4 billion to 5 billion consumers in the next five years.” He joins a roster of athlete endorsers for Head & Shoulders that includes Steelers S Troy Polamalu and Twins C Joe Mauer. Phelps adds Head & Shoulders to a portfolio of sponsors that includes Speedo, Under Armor, Hilton, 505 Games, Hewlett-Packard, Subway, Omega, Pure Sport, Visa and Master Spas. In the run-up to the London Games, Octagon is “focused on signing Phelps to deals with global companies that are committed to using him in international markets” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/5 issue).

Aspen Skiing Co.’s print advertising campaign for the '11-12 season “aims to capture a feeling of what the resort/community embraces and thus far sets it apart from the rest,” according to Carolyn Sackariason of the ASPEN DAILY NEWS. The new concept “harkens back to the Aspen Idea, when visionaries Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke helped create a resort community that centered around mind, body and spirit.” The ads reflect what Aspen “was before it was a ski town -- full of history, culture, recreational opportunities and community.” One ad reads in bold print, “Before Aspen, mountain was never cosmopolitan.” In smaller print below it reads, “Very few places will you find ski bums sharing cocktails with jet setters. The heart of a city. The soul of a mountain town. This is Aspen/Snowmass.” Sackariason noted the copy is "laid out over large-scale imagery of people walking on the Cooper Avenue mall at Galena Street at night.” A separate ad for Snowmass “shows a colorful photo of a little girl with bold print that reads: ‘Before Snowmass, happily ever after only happened in fairy tales.'” The SkiCo “has bought space” for the print ads in several publications, including Outside, Snow, Mountain Sports + Living, Transworld and Freeskier. SkiCo VP/Marketing Christian Knapp, who developed this campaign, said that the ads “will run from October through February.” Knapp added that while the “print buy has been scaled back, there will be a ramp-up in utilizing the digital world, through online advertising and search engine management.” SkiCo has become “heavily invested in social media” such as Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube. The company also is working with “local resort and government officials in their commitment to collectively provide tens of thousands of dollars in marketing efforts to American Airlines, which will enter the Aspen market for the first time this December” (ASPEN DAILY NEWS, 9/6).

In Newark, Mike Vorkunov writes tennis player Novak Djokovic's "dominant season has earned him respect but not marketability." Djokovic's presence at the U.S. Open "has hardly matched his status within the sport." At the tournament, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal "have a Nike store solely devoted to sell T-shirts adorned with their personal logos, mottos and images," and there is a "Lacoste store with a banner photo of Andy Roddick above the doorway." Djokovic in '09 left adidas to sign a sponsorship deal with Italian clothing company Sergio Tacchini. Unlike Nike, "which has created separate clothing lines for Federer and Nadal, Djokovic's image has been more subdued" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/8).

BALLPARK BREW: The Cubs are continuing their decades-long partnership with Old Style beer, which will return to Wrigley Field for the '12 and '13 seasons. The renewed agreement includes updated signage throughout the ballpark and more fan events and  promotional opportunities next season. Old Style is hosting a Fan Appreciation Day at the Sept. 16 Astros-Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Pabst Brewing Co. Chair Dean Metropoulos, whose company makes Old Style, will throw out the first pitch, and 62 fans will be randomly selected to receive Cubs Cash and Old Style gifts (Pabst Brewing Co.).

ROUNDUP: M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment will handle PR for boxer Amir Khan. The sports agency will provide strategic media advice to the Khan's management team with a goal of developing his commercial potential. M&C Saatchi also represents Real Madrid F Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United F Wayne Rooney, and F1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber (THE DAILY)....Respect Your Universe, Inc. announced the introduction of its new high-performance apparel line. The training and competition line was created to specifically enhance the athlete's overall performance (THE DAILY).

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