MARKETING magazine's Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith noted Unilever deodorant brands Rexona, called Sure in the U.K., and Clear are to "sponsor British Formula 1 team Lotus in a multi-year deal." The deal "uses the Rexona global brand identity" outside of the U.K., while the "Sure brand name is only used in the UK." The Rexona and Clear brand logos will "appear on the Lotus F1 Team's overalls and cars." A marketing campaign to "raise awareness of the sponsorships is currently in development and is expected to launch in time for this year's first F1 race in Australia," on March 18. The deal was brokered by JMI (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 2/6).
RIDING THE BANDWAGON: In Oklahoma City, Jennifer Palmer noted the market for Thunder gear has "exploded and businesses are jumping on the big-league-city bandwagon for a piece of the retail action." Owners of Oklahoma City-based screen printing business Tree & Leaf Clothing "began making a line of Thunder parody shirts in 2009." Co-Owner Dustin Gilpin said that their designs "neither feature a Thunder logo nor a player's full name because they don't want to infringe on copyrights or trademarks." He added that the company has a "working relationship with the Thunder" (OKLAHOMAN, 2/5).
INNER CONFIDENCE: In his latest TV commercial for the "MLB 2K12" video game, Tigers P Justin Verlander's inner voice says as he plays the video game, "I won't just be perfect, I'll be the most perfect. They'll say, 'Hey, Justin, how do you do it?' Well, I'm part cheetah, part ninja, that's how. In fact, I'm a ninja riding a cheetah." Angels P C.J. Wilson eventually joins Verlander and their inner voices "get into a spat" (FREEP.com, 2/7).
THE WHEELS COME OFF: Cyclist Alberto Contador’s doping conviction could cost him more than US$6.6M in "fees, fines and lost earnings,” according to CyclingNews.com. The site also reported that “at least one potential sponsor -- Hugo Boss -- has ended its relationship with the rider due to the outcome of the case” (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 2/7).