In Sydney, Samantha Lane noted the Australian Olympic Committee is “intent on protecting swimmers from wearing ‘substandard’ Speedo suits at the London Olympics,” and is giving athletes “unprecedented rights to ditch the team sponsor and wear something else.” The AOC Wednesday said that “even Speedo's Australian ambassadors ... should not feel obliged to wear their sponsors' problematic new product if they were concerned it could hinder them in London.” Thirty-two swimmers “applied for permission to wear alternative brands by the AOC's original January 27 deadline.” But the circumstances of Speedo's “largely unpopular new suits" mean Australian Olympians will have until April 16 "to apply to wear alternatives in London” (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/15).
SUPPORTING THE ALMA MATER: MARKETWATCH’s Sam Mamudi cited an IBISWorld study that found that “one-fourth of all goods sold through licensed sports apparel stores in 2012 will be college-branded.” The NFL, the “highest-earning sports league in the world, is expected to rank second this year, with a 22.6% share,” and MLB third with 22.9% of sales. MLB-licensed goods until recently had been the “biggest sellers at licensed sports apparel stores.” But a combination of “more television exposure and an increasingly professional approach to merchandising has seen college products rise from third in 2009, behind MLB and NFL, to number one in 2010 and last year -- and likely in the years ahead.” IBISWorld analyst Brian Bueno said that the “top-selling colleges last year" were Texas, Alabama and Florida (MARKETWATCH.com, 3/15).
CHEERS TO THIS: MillerCoors Marketing Communications Manager Scott Bussen said that the company is “running advertisements for three of its top brands -- Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Miller64 -- during the run of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.” In Milwaukee, Rich Rovito noted MillerCoors also is airing a Miller Lite “responsibility” spot, which “emphasizes the importance of having a designated driver.” Bussen said that the beer brewer also “has a partnership with DirecTV that gives it ‘an increased presence’ during tournament broadcasts” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/15).
CUP COMETH OVER: YAHOO SPORTS’ Greg Wyshynski reviewed the NHL’s new “Because It’s The Cup” campaign and wrote the “Where It’s Been” ad is a “gorgeously shot spot that chronicles some of the Stanley Cup's strangest journeys, including the bottom of a swimming pool.” It does a “really nice job of conveying that quirky vibe in a short running time.” The “Two Halftimes” spot “might just be the kind of thing that convinces the non-believers to check out the Playoffs” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/15).