"VOICE" OF A GENERATION: ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's James Hibberd noted NBC is "going big with a special 'The Voice' Super Bowl ad" from director Peter Berg. The 60-second spot titled "Vokal Kombat" will feature singers Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green -- the four "Voice" judges -- "employing martial arts, weapons, and dirty tricks to win the battle royale." The second season premiere of "The Voice" airs directly following the Super Bowl broadcast (EW.com, 12/19).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Penske Racing Wednesday announced that AJ Allmendinger "will leave Richard Petty Motorsports to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge" in '12, according to Jay Pfeifer of SCENEDAILY.com. Allmendinger "will replace Kurt Busch, who parted ways with Penske Racing after the 2011 season." Allmendinger "will work with rookie crew chief Todd Gordon" (SCENEDAILY.com, 12/21). ESPN.com's David Newton reported Allmendinger was "picked over David Ragan, who interviewed with the Dodge team and sponsor Shell Pennzoil shortly after Busch was released." Ragan "could be a candidate" to pilot RPM's No. 43, although sources said that the team "has talked to Busch twice about the job and he appears to be the front-runner if sponsorship can be found." Ragan also "could drive for Phoenix Racing, with which he had a tentative agreement before pursuing the 22." RPM released a statement Tuesday saying that it "plans to remain a two-car team in 2012" (ESPN.com, 12/21).
Umbro is "standing behind" EPL club Chelsea D John Terry "for the moment despite the England captain facing criminal charges for alleged racist abuse" of EPL club Queen Park Rangers D Anton Ferdinand, according to Russell Parsons of MARKETING WEEK. Terry "denies the charges and has vowed to fight 'tooth and nail' to clear his name." A spokesperson for Umbro, which makes Terry's cleats and has a "long-standing sponsorship of the England team," said Terry "is still an Umbro sponsored player." The spokesperson declined to comment further until "the legal process has completed." The spokesperson added that reports that Umbro has "removed images of the player from its website are untrue" (MARKETINGWEEK.com, 12/22). However, in Belfast, Sam Wallace reports Umbro has "distanced itself from the England captain by removing from its website all key images" of Terry. Umbro's website "features only one picture of Terry and a search of his name yields only three results" (BELFAST TELEGRAPH, 12/22). The DAILY EXPRESS' Paul Joyce notes Umbro is "using a team picture with Steven Gerrard as national captain despite the fact John Terry remains one of their most high-profile clients" (EXPRESS.co.uk, 12/22).
NHL Jets G Chris Mason is about to give Ontario-based goalie equipment maker Brian's Custom Sport a "huge boost that could make it a trendsetter across the NHL," according to Paul Waldie of the GLOBE & MAIL. Brian's has created a "takeoff on the Jets' logo." The logo is "split in half between the two pads." The company "put the same look on his glove and blocker." The equipment "has won over league officials and Mason hopes to have it this week." Mason: "When they sent me the design, I loved it." Waldie reports Mason was "so keen he showed it to Ondrej Pavelec, the Jets' other goalie, who is considering putting something on his pads." Brian's "specializes in innovative gear and coming up with wild designs for goalie pads, gloves and blockers that incorporates things like beer cans, playing cards, $100 bills or wild animals." The company has supplied goalies in the juniors, college and the AHL, but "competing for NHL goalies has been almost impossible partly because it meant going up against giants like Reebok and Bauer that have deep pockets for sponsorship deals." However, Mason this summer "dropped his Bauer gear and switched to Brian's." He then called the company a few weeks ago "to see if they could do something with the pads" because he had "always been interested in having a unique look for his gear." Brian's only other NHL deals are with Blues G Jaroslav Halak and Blackhawks G Ray Emery (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/22).