The Univ. of Oregon’s Nike uniform combinations, the “graphic design work and the promotional billboards have all been outside the box,” and Nike VP/Innovation Design & Special Projects Tinker Hatfield “wants to take that extra step with Oregon State, too,” according to Kerry Eggers of the PORTLAND TRIBUNE. Hatfield along with Nike Creative Dir Todd Van Horne and Nike Team & Licensed Business GM Rosemary St. Claire have visited the Oregon State campus “for several meetings with OSU athletic director Bob De Carolis and football coach Mike Riley over the last two years.” The school recently signed an eight-year contract with Nike, and Hatfield said, “We’ve explained we’d like to go outside the contract and do special things for Oregon State, too.” Hatfield’s “personal preference is to return to the ‘OSU’ logo and go from there.” Hatfield: “The ‘OS’ was well-designed, but really, Oregon State’s image should be more classic and more traditional, with a twist, and not try to be something they’re not.” He added, “You brand Oregon State as a more traditional entity and also more about the state of Oregon.” Eggers notes “much of Nike’s plan has to do with attracting both recruits and young fans, who wind up following the university’s teams for decades if things go well.” De Carolis said, “We’re getting a large amount of product, and now we’re in their graphic identity group. We’re trying to figure out what our branding image is and how that ties into a new logo. Wherever it leads, it probably won’t be launched until the 2013 football season.” He added, “You can’t influence every single demographic group. Is it about recruiting, taking it to retail, to Beaver Nation -- what it is? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be powerful. Those different uniforms and helmets, that stuff’s all slick. But if you don’t win [on] the field, it doesn’t do much good” (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 1/19).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Hyundai Motor America VP/Marketing Steve Shannon said that the automaker “will run a 60-second ad just before kickoff” of Super Bowl XLVI on NBC, according to Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. Shannon noted that Hyundai has “run ads in that slot in the past few years, but none as long as 60 seconds.” Shannon also said the ad would be "anthemic." Steinberg noted the automaker will "also run two 30-second spots during the game, one in the first and one in the fourth quarter.” Shannon said that ads during the game “can get lost in the action of the event … but the pre-kick moment offers clarity and is thus worth a 60-second berth.” Hyundai has advertised in the Super Bowl “since 2008 but did not start buying pre-game inventory until 2009” (ADAGE.com, 1/18).
Bowl ad, promoting Oikos Greek yogurt
MMA clothing line Respect Your Universe Inc. is “preparing for a mid-February launch of its first line of apparel,” where it will “go head-to-head with some established” MMA brands, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. While RYU will see "little to none" of the competition with Nike, adidas and Under Armour, the company “expects to eventually sell its products to other sports, such as football and baseball, as well as reaching a global audience.” A handful of brands owned by the N.Y.-based Authentic Brands Group, “especially Tapout, appear to be leading in mixed martial arts clothing sales, though independent sales data is not readily available.” Based on what appears "on the UFC website, the selection is limited to T-shirts, warm-up pants and hats.” RYU sees “an opening for higher-quality -- and more expensive -- clothing that can be used for mixed martial arts workouts or worn afterward.” Fabrics will be “up to 90 percent organic and/or recycled materials.” The company “tested its China-based supply chain last year by selling T-shirts and hats.” It has since “made inroads into the UFC world, becoming an official UFC event sponsor and signing two fighters as endorsers in the past two months, Jon Fitch and Phil Heath.” The spring line “will include 35 different styles,” with items such as “performance t-shirts, compression top, compression shorts, fight shorts, training tops, pants and shorts, hoodies, track and wind jackets and various headwear items such as beanies and caps.” RYU execs said that “another 100 styles will be offered this fall, including products aimed at women, who make up more of the training market than men.” The company’s “target audience is between 18 and 24 years old” (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/19).
EPL club Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre claims that the club "proved its standing as one of the 'biggest football brands in the world'" by confirming a $38.6M (all figures U.S.) annual kit deal with Warrior Sports, according to Mark Ogden of the London TELEGRAPH. Liverpool will receive $231.8M "over six years from Boston-based Warrior following the agreement, which sees Liverpool stand second only to Barcelona -- who have a [$40.6M] deal with Nike -- in the lucrative kit sponsorship market." Ayre has "hit back at claims by adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer that Liverpool’s absence from European competition has diminished the club’s appeal by pointing to the size of the Warrior deal as proof of the Anfield outfit’s global popularity." Although Manchester United is "expected to secure a world record" $927.3M-plus kit deal before their current $36.6M deal with Nike expires in '15, Liverpool’s success in "clinching such a lucrative deal with Warrior highlights the untapped commercial value" of the club (London TELEGRAPH, 1/19). In London, Oliver Butler notes the contract with Warrior "differs from the adidas deal in that it gives back control to Liverpool over all their merchandise not related to the team kit but Warrior has yet to build up a supply chain as big as that of the German company." German market research company PR Marketing indicated that Liverpool is the "fourth-biggest replica kit seller in football, behind United, Real Madrid and Barcelona." About 900,000 shirts are "sold annually and, in the adidas stable, only Real sell more jerseys." Liverpool's "defection has come as a huge blow to the manufacturer" (LONDON TIMES, 1/19).
Extreme sports such as ice climbing and base jumping, a "one-time bit player on the scene ... has exploded in recent years, thanks in part to social media and TV coverage,” according to CBS' Jeff Glor. Sponsorships also have “helped these athletes reach new heights,” with base jumper Jeb Corliss having eight sponsors, including camera company GoPro. GoPro Owner Nick Woodman said, “What he does is really risky, but to him it’s actually not nearly as risky as you or I would think because he’s so good at it.” However, Glor noted Corliss and freeskier Sarah Burke have suffered serious injuries lately, while ice climber John Roberts recently died. PR consultant Joe Favorito said, “A lot of big brands -- rightly so -- don’t want to take that chance. You don’t want to see blood spattered all over a logo that you’ve invested billions and billions of dollars in.” Favorito said what “they’re trying to do is offset cost and take it to another level as a ‘professional athlete.’" Favorito: "People think when you’re associated with sponsors, that makes you a professional. Sometimes it makes you a little bit more risky.” After the taped report, base jumper J.T. Holmes appeared in-studio and said he was “really anti-regulating things” when asked if extreme sports should be regulated and have sponsors. Holmes: “What I’d like to see is more of an awareness for the fundamentals and the basics training” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 1/18).
BBC NEWS reported British Airways planes “will be repainted in a dove design to mark” the ‘12 London Games. The artwork by U.K.-based designer Pascal Anson will be seen on aircraft "from April and the design will stay for at least the duration of 2012.” Some of the airline's A319 and 747s “will be redecorated using an ‘Olympic colour’” (BBC.co.uk, 1/18).
JOINING FORCES: Spalding and Sports Specialties LLC yesterday announced an agreement making Sports Specialties the exclusive licensee for Spalding indoor sports construction equipment in North America. Sports Specialties will focus its efforts on indoor construction equipment such as overhead and wall mount basketball goals, volleyball poles and official stands as well as accessories such as scoreboards and scorer's tables. Spalding will continue to sell its entire line of equipment into privately funded facilities, and the Spalding line of portable backstops used by the NBA and the NCAA Final Four Tournament will also continue to be sold exclusively by Spalding (Spalding).
NOTES: Baseball HOFer Jim Rice has just completed a new TV commercial which will promote the new single "At Fenway," now on sale at Best Buy and Amazon.com. The song was written and recorded by Brian Evans and the commercial was filmed last Monday at The Groveland Diner in Groveland, Mass. (Brian Evans Music Group)....Iowa Speedway officials Tuesday announced that the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board will continue their title sponsorship of the annual Iowa Corn Indy 250 event at the track on June 23 (Iowa Speedway).
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