The PGA Tour and Arnold Palmer today announced that MasterCard will continue to serve as presenting sponsor of the Arnold Palmer Invitational through ’16. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. As part of the deal, MasterCard will provide a concierge service to cardholders during their visit to Bay Hill, access to the MasterCard Club, viewing platforms on the 6th and 18th fairways and discounts on concessions and tournament merchandise (PGA Tour).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Minor League Baseball has signed a multiyear licensing deal with EyeBlack, a Maryland-based manufacturer of protective adhesives used to reduce sun glare. EyeBlack will develop a series of products bearing the names and logos of MiLB and its 160 affiliated minor league teams and 14 leagues. The deal also extends to several MiLB all-star games, mascots and individual MiLB player likenesses. EyeBlack signed a similar agreement last year with MLB, and the latest pact extends the company's reach into the sport. EyeBlack now holds deals with MLB, MiLB, Major League Lacrosse, Nike, more than 150 collegiate programs, and several individual professional athletes, including Bears LB Brian Urlacher and Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley. The company expects to sell more than 1 million pairs of its Original black EyeBlack line, more than twice the total from '11. Financial terms of the MiLB deal were not disclosed.
In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow reported Under Armour “is targeting European athletes with the debut on Tuesday of its first marketing campaign outside of the U.S.” The campaign was created by Make Amsterdam and Under Armour EMEA and will include “television, print, online, social media and in-store advertisements.” The campaign dubbed “New Battles. New Armour” is centered around “real training ‘battles’ pitting Under Armour athletes against unexpected opponents.” UA endorser and Welsh rugby player Jamie Roberts “will go toe-to-toe on March 28” with MMA fighter Chloe Bruce. Other endorsers featured in the campaign include Gold Medal-winning U.S. Olympians Michael Phelps and Lindsey Vonn (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/20).
CROSSED THE LINE: Reebok has “pulled a controversial ad that said ‘cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout.'” Reebok Corporate Communications Manager Dan Sarro said that the ad “was not part of a global marketing campaign and appeared in just one market: at a local gym partner in Germany.” However, a photo of the ad “popped on social media websites in the United States” (BOSTON.CBSLOCAL.com, 3/20).
LET'S STAY TOGETHER: Penske Racing and the Automobile Club of Southern California announced yesterday that they have extended their sponsorship agreement through the ’16 NASCAR and IndyCar racing seasons. The organization will continue to sponsor Penske Racing teams competing in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series. Auto Club will be the primary sponsor of the No. 22 Dodge Sprint Cup entry driven by AJ Allmendinger for two races and the co-primary for an additional two events. AAA will be the primary sponsor of the No. 3 Penske Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Helio Castroneves for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1 (Penske Racing).
MOST IMPORTANT MEAL: In New Jersey, Travis Fedschun noted MLS Red Bulls F Juan Agudelo earlier this month filmed portions of his ad campaign as part of Team Kellogg’s, a team of eight “Olympic and Paralympic athletes meant to show the importance of a healthy breakfast” (NJ.com, 3/19).