THE BIG LEAD’s Barry Janoff reported Chrysler UK has “signed a deal that makes it the NFL’s official car sponsor in the U.K.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. GM is the official auto marketing partner of the NFL in the U.S. The Chrysler deal “follows on the heels of Papa John’s signing an agreement to become the NFL’s official pizza sponsor in the U.K.” Chrysler said it will receive a “comprehensive rights package relating to the NFL’s assets and key events," including yesterday's NFL International Series game and the Super Bowl. The agreement also includes “exclusive broadcast sponsorship of Sky Sports’ live NFL coverage throughout the 2011 season” (THEBIGLEAD.com, 10/23).
GET ON THE BUS: The NFL launched a new “Play 60” ad yesterday that aired during the week's NFL coverage. The spot featured Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson driving a school bus taking kids, Panthers cheerleaders, the team's mascot and Panthers players and coaches to a workout field. The promo included QB Cam Newton, WR Steve Smith and coach Ron Rivera, among others. The spot’s announcer said, “Hop on the Play 60 bus and join the movement today at NFLRush.com” (THE DAILY).
BIZ BOOMING FOR BUSCH? In Charlotte, Jim Utter reports Kyle Busch Motorsports “will be expanding next season.” Busch announced on Friday that his organization “will field a full-time team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series next season, for which he likely will drive several races” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/22). Busch said that he is “only a few races shy” of having his No. 18 Camping World Truck Series entry “fully sponsored for next season” (SCENEDAILY.com, 10/21). YAHOO SPORTS’ Jay Busbee wrote the announcement “certainly answers questions of whether Busch would be able to sustain his team financially; he'd made comments earlier about the difficulty of sustaining his truck team, and in fact had to shutter one because of sponsor issues” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/21).
LINE 'EM UP! The Lightning announced the team has renewed its sponsorship with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida as the exclusive health insurance provider. The team has also signed a new agreement with CDW, with the company providing more than 300 flat-screen, HD LG TVs as part of the St. Pete Times Forum’s $40M renovation. CDW as part of the deal will receive various marketing elements (Lightning).