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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

The NHL Rangers are the latest organization to hop on the Jeremy Lin train, as the team referenced the Knicks G in an ad that ran in Newsday Thursday, according to Harrison Mooney of YAHOO SPORTS. The ad promoting Thursday night's game against the Blackhawks featured a photo of Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist, but included the text, “LinQvist!” The move “did more than remind people that the Rangers were playing Thursday night.” While Lin has the Knicks "riding a seven-game win streak that's pushed them all the way up to eighth in the NBA's Eastern Conference,” Lundqvist "has the Rangers in first in the East and is arguably the best goaltender in the NHL right now.” However, Mooney wrote, “The Rangers shouldn't have to incorporate Jeremy Lin puns into their advertisements to get people to pay attention to them” (, 2/16). On Long Island, Steve Zipay wrote, "Maybe if his name was 'Lin-qvist', he’d get more notice in New York" (NEWSDAY, 2/15).

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Rebecca Ford cited a social analytics study by research firm General Sentiment that found that Lin’s “rapid ascension to fame has led to the NBA player becoming one of the hottest subjects of social media.” From Feb. 6-14, Lin “generated the most Twitter volume of any NBA player,” as users mentioned him 2,610,684 times "on social media and Twitter.” Lin also is "more talked about than the president.” The study also stated that “within that time period, users mentioned Lin more frequently than President Barack Obama on social media and Twitter” (, 2/16). The Marketing Arm’s Davie Brown Index found that Lin currently ranks No. 64 in endorsement scoring. His score puts him alongside celebs like Saints QB Drew Brees, Colts QB Peyton Manning, Steelers S Troy Polamalu, actor George Clooney and investor Warren Buffet. Lin ranks No. 24 in aspiration, with consumers finding him within the same category as Baseball HOFer Cal Ripken Jr. and actor Denzel Washington. For awareness, the DBI found that he is known by about 38% of U.S. consumers. He is about as well known as Bears LB Brian Urlacher, Mariners RF Ichiro Suzuki, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, Baseball HOFer Ozzie Smith and Thunder F Kevin Durant (THE DAILY).

TRENDY ... FOR NOW: Lin said of his No. 17 jersey being the No. 1 seller in the NBA, “I think it’ll be like that for a little bit … and then things will resume to the way they were before.” He added, “Right now, this is the thing that’s going on, and the Knicks are just a team that everyone’s watching, and so you’ll see a spike in jersey sales like when (Tim) Tebow first started, his jerseys went up, and then as the season went on, it kind of leveled out” (N. Y. POST, 2/17).

Non-Olympic sponsor Nike is the brand “most associated with the 2012 Olympics and is far out-performing Olympic sponsor and rival Adidas,” according to research by digital agency Jam cited by Matthew Chapman of MARKETING magazine. Research on web buzz conducted from Dec. 1-Feb. 7 "shows that Nike is dominating conversations on the internet, with 7.7% of the conversations about the Olympics associated with the brand.” By contrast, adidas is only “pulling in 0.49% of conversations, despite a reported [US$158M] sponsorship deal to be the official Olympic sponsor.” HSBC is receiving “the second-most buzz on the web in relation to the Games, but it is far behind Nike with just 0.68% of the web buzz.” Coca-Cola and British Airways “have come in third and fourth, ahead of Adidas in fifth.” Coca-Cola has come out “on top of the ‘Olympic Sponsors’ social leader board,’ which takes into account Facebook fans, Facebook engagement, Twitter followers and YouTube video views” (, 2/15).

: Coca-Cola Wednesday announced its plans for a global ad campaign around the London Games. The effort, dubbed "Move to the Beat," was created by London-based agency Mother and features a music track called "Anywhere in the World" written by Mark Ronson and Katy B. The ads include 30- and 60-second spots, plus two longer films running two and four minutes. U.S. hurdler David Oliver, Russian runner Kseniya Vdovina, Singaporean archer Dayyan Jaffar and Mexican taekwondo fighter Maria Espinoza appear in the effort (Coca-Cola Co.). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott noted Coca-Cola debuted the “Anywhere in the World” music video on YouTube Wednesday, and the song will “serve as an anthem for Coca-Cola’s Olympic sponsorship efforts.” Coca-Cola Global Senior VP/Sparkling Brands Shay Drohan said the campaign represents “the coming together of pop culture, music, sport and celebrity in London.” Drohan said that there are “also plans for Mr. Ronson and Katy B to perform live in London during the Summer Games.” The commercials will start “running on television this month in Europe and then appear in other countries on a rolling schedule between now and July 27, when the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to begin” (, 2/15).

USA TODAY’s Nate Ryan in a sports section cover story reports results “might not factor heavily into the rehabilitation” of Kurt Busch’s image in corporate America, which “views its drivers as well-groomed spokespeople as much as athletes.” Team Owner Richard Petty said that his team “looked at hiring Busch during the offseason but couldn’t find sponsors that wanted to align with him.” GMR Marketing VP/Business Development Jimmy Bruns said, “His off-track performance is going to be as important or more important than his on-track performance. Before a sponsor puts dollars behind him, they’re going to see how he reacts this year.” Busch will drive for Phoenix Racing this season and team GM Steve Barkdoll, who oversees the team’s PR and marketing, said that a “few major companies had inquired about the chance to back a star at a discounted rate compared to one with a major team” (USA TODAY, 2/17).

EXPAND YOUR VOCABULARY: In Florida, Mark DeCotis notes NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, who unapologetically has used her gender and attractiveness to sell her brand in racy commercials, took a shot at people who use the term sexy to describe attractive woman athletes.” Patrick said, “It’s like if there’s a pretty girl, it’s like they don’t know how to describe a pretty girl other than being sexy. It has such a negative connotation to it. You don’t say those kinds of things or frame it like that for a guy or even sometimes talk about it.” She added, “It seems like with female athletes, if they’re pretty, they only know how to describe them in a sexual way. I don’t care, but I just wonder why we can’t talk about it in a different way. Why can’t there be other words for it? Why does it have to be somewhat negatively twisted? Something without the word sex in it” (FLORIDA TODAY, 2/17).

NOTES: Ford is launching a multi-tiered marketing campaign focused on its production car engine EcoBoost beginning with next weekend’s Daytona 500. EcoBoost will serve as the primary paint scheme for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Sprint Cup debut in the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford. EcoBoost will also be featured for select races on the No. 17 Ford of Matt Kenseth throughout the ‘12 Sprint Cup campaign (Ford)....Zest bar soap and body wash will serve as the primary sponsor for Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 Sprint Cup series car driven by Matt Kenseth for four races this season (RFR)….Federated Auto Parts will sponsor the FAS Lane Racing Sprint Cup entry driven by Ken Schrader in nine races and will serve as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the season (THE DAILY).

England's FA has been "accused of 'money grabbing' after replacing" the men's soccer team national kit after eight games, the "fewest number of games a home England jersey has ever been worn for." A new kit will be "launched at this month's friendly match against the Netherlands that will subsequently be used during this summer's" UEFA European Championship. Umbro said that "changing the shirt after such limited usage was standard practice." The company said, "The new kit is launched at the end of an 18-month cycle which the last few kits have all fun for. The number of games for which the kit is worn is entirely down to the fixture list during the cycle" (, 2/16).

VIDEO GAMES: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott reports on a session at the “2012 TV and Everything Video Forum” presented by the ANA, which looked at the “nascent state of the business of providing consumers video content.” Collective Senior VP/Emerging Media Justin Evans: “It’s a head-spinning time to be in video. I guess that’s what it feels like when you’re at the beginning of the future.” Samsung CMO Ralph Santana “advocated ‘story-sharing, fueled by social media,’ as a successor to brand story-telling, and gave as an example a campaign, the U.S. Olympic Genome Project, that will support the Samsung sponsorship of the 2012 Summer Olympics.” Santana noted that the campaign, created by Team Epic, will enable Facebook members to learn “how closely they are connected” to members of the U.S. Olympic team (N.Y. TIMES, 2/17).

NAMES & FACES: In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted Bucks F Jon Brockman has signed a one-year contract with Seattle-based Intrepid Sportswear in "various online and print materials." Brockman, who played for Univ. of Washington, is the company's "first athlete endorser." Intrepid Sportswear is an "independent custom team-sports apparel provider offering uniforms at half the price of other manufacturers" (, 2/15)....Tennis products manufacturer Babolat on Wednesday announced a deal for U.S. tennis player Sam Querrey to use its racquets for the next three years (THE DAILY).

NEW CLOTHES: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds noted EPL club Manchester City D Joleon Lescott is "launching his own branded clothing line." Lescott is "believed to be in discussions with the club over the proposal, which is thought to be a line in casual clothing appealing to a young, 20s, demographic." Details of where Lescott's clothing line will be sold are "as yet unknown, but it is thought he is looking to launch the line by the summer" (, 2/15).