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Volume 24 No. 157

Marketing and Sponsorship

Goodyear Tire and NASCAR have "negotiated a five-year extension that will carry their partnership" through '17, according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources valued the deal at $12-15M a year. Goodyear will "maintain its position as the official tire of NASCAR." The most "significant change in the new agreement is that Goodyear will have more flexibility in how it activates its sponsorship." The deal "asks only that Goodyear spend a set amount and gives the tire company the flexibility to choose where and how to spend that money." Goodyear VP Pierre Jambon said that the company "asked for that flexibility because the evolving media landscape made it important to preserve the ability to spend more on digital in the future as consumers continue to migrate online." Jambon: "That was a critical piece of our discussion with them" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/3 issue).

An SEC spokesperson said that game officials asked the Univ. of South Carolina (USC) football team to "switch out of their military-benefit uniforms after pregame warmups because the numbers were hard to see,” according to Andrew Shain of the Columbia STATE. USC was wearing “special black jerseys with gray and black numbers and trimming as part of a tribute for wounded veterans and their families” for Saturday’s game against Auburn. The “gray and black print in the numbers were stars and stripes in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.” Under Armour “unveiled the jerseys 11 days ago, but about a half hour before kickoff, game officials had the Gamecocks switch out of the uniforms that benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.” A UA spokesperson said that the school “approved the jersey design.” SEC Associate Dir of Media & PR Chuck Dunlap said that schools are “not required to have design approved by the SEC and conference officials are unaware of any NCAA review requirement.” Dunlap expects that ADs “will discuss reviewing new jersey designs when they meet in December.” Dunlap: “We want to make sure this never happens again.” USC Associate AD Charles Waddell: “Under Armour is very sorry about the situation. Next time we’ll make sure to have our I’s dotted and T’s crossed” (Columbia STATE, 10/2). The Wounded Warrior jerseys “will be auctioned off with the funds raised going to the project’s ‘Believe in Heroes’ campaign.” Similar jerseys “are to be worn by Texas Tech on Nov. 12 and South Florida on Nov. 19” (AP, 10/1).

RECRUITING TOOL: In Oklahoma City, Gina Mizell writes uniforms are “a way to appeal to student-athletes -- both current ones and potential ones.” Univ. of Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen said that he "approached Nike about adding uniform elements to use as a recruiting tool.” Christensen: “It's just another avenue to get in front of recruits and get them excited about what we're doing.” Mizell noted the "chance to make money is also involved.” Oklahoma State Univ.’s new contract with Nike, “which was amended to reflect the new uniforms, gives the university $1.7 million in athletic apparel over the next two years.” For every Nike replica uniform sold at retail outlets, “about $3.50 comes back to the school.” With four jersey options, “there is a greater opportunity to sell more” (THE OKLAHOMAN, 10/1).

USA Today and Facebook are "joining forces" on the annual Super Bowl Ad Meter. Consumers for the first time "will decide the winner" of the ad meter, as they will be "able to view and vote on the ads, see how other people rank the ads and share their favorites with Facebook friends." The winner "will be announced after the online voting period." The "traditional focus group of viewers also rate the ads during the game in a controlled environment" (USA TODAY, 10/3).

NO PARTING IN DEATH: In N.Y., Matt Flegenheimer wrote under the header, "Increasingly, Devoted Sports Fans Go To The Grave With Team Spirit." Flegenheimer noted "many families have chosen to say goodbye with meticulously prepared -- and, often, quite expensive -- floral arrangements bearing a logo of a favorite team." There has been an "emergence of sports-themed arrangements," but florists' use of trademarked team images "does not appear to have been challenged by local franchises." Spokespeople for the Yankees and Mets said that any trademark claims "were league business." An MLB spokesperson said that "no one had ever requested permission to use a logo for a floral arrangement, but that baseball had not sought out offenders." In the N.Y. area, the Yankees "are the most consistent seller for many florists" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/1).

ON THE DOLLAR: IndyCar team owner Sarah Fisher said that she hopes Ed Carpenter's win yesterday at the Kentucky Indy 300 "will resonate with the team's primary sponsor, Dollar General, which recently said it wouldn't return to the IndyCar program" in '12. Sunday was Fisher's first win as either a driver or team owner, and she said, "I still don't believe it. It's unreal" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/3).