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Volume 24 No. 115

Marketing and Sponsorship

Ping announced yesterday that it will sell 5,000 "limited-edition all-pink G20 drivers" similar to the one golfer Bubba Watson used during The Masters for $430 in pro shops starting on June 1, according to David Dusek of Five percent of the proceeds "from the sale of the drivers will go to 'Bubba Long in Pink. Driven by Ping,' which is the company's portion of 'Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million.'" Each will come with a "pink headcover and a pink Ping TFC 169D shaft" with the "Bubba Long" slogan. Since Watson began playing with a pink driver at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, Ping has donated $10,000, plus $300 for every 300-plus-yard drive Watson "has struck using the club, to the 'Bubba & Friends Drive to a Million' initiative" (, 4/10). GOLFWEEK's James Achenbach wrote even before Watson’s victory at the Masters last weekend, there was "plenty of demand for the pink G20." Ping Chair & CEO John Solheim said, "Lots of people wanted it. So we decided to make it available and raise some money for Bubba’s charity at the same time" (, 4/10). Meanwhile,'s Darren Rovell wrote, "Don't be surprised if companies that never advertised in golf take a chance on Bubba. He is truly the 'everyman'" (, 4/10).

STAYING TRUE TO HIMSELF: Watson appeared on CNBC's "Power Lunch" yesterday and Rovell noted Watson can "play the role of Happy Gilmore a little bit," as he never took a golf lesson and is "kind of just a free-spirit kind of guy." Rovell: "How much have you embraced that kind of role?” Watson said, "I embrace it a lot. That's who I am, I haven't changed anything. I haven't changed who I am, who my character is or what I do on and off the golf course. I’m Bubba. For me, it's just natural, it's just who I am. I think that people are going to enjoy it more. I think people are going to see the everyday man learning how to play golf himself coming from the family I came from, the small town that I came from. They’re going to realize that everybody has a chance to do this." Meanwhile, CNBC's Tyler Mathisen asked, “Are there rules as to where you can wear the green jacket or who can wear the green jacket?” Watson: “There's always rules in everything, but rules sometimes can be broken. Out of respect for Augusta, out of respect for The Masters, out of respect for all the members there, all the workers, they want you to be presentable. So my blue jeans and T-shirts wouldn't work today" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 4/10). Watson also appeared on CBS' "The Late Show" last night, and when host David Letterman asked him about his “personal approach to golf,” Watson described it as “awesome.” Letterman: “I mean, after awesome.” Watson: “We coined the phrase ‘Bubba Golf’ because it's just fun. I love the game of golf, I love goofing around, I love just shaping shots. The creativity of golf, every day is a different day because of the weather, the conditions; you never know what's going to happen. So for me, I'm having a blast out there. I'm trying to hit shots, I'm not trying to play it safe, just trying to be aggressive and bury the holes and try to win golf tournaments” (“Late Show,” CBS, 4/10).

The NCAA “is looking for an agency to help improve its branding and communications,” according to a document cited by Kunur Patel of AD AGE. The organization is "looking to hire a full-service agency for $1.25 million annually over two years to primarily ‘increase awareness of and advocacy for the positive values of intercollegiate athletics.’" The incumbent agency is WPP-owned Y&R, which has "opted not to participate in the review.” Patel noted an RFP “was circulated last month,” and under consideration for change “will be the NCAA's current, and lengthy, tagline: ‘There are more than 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and most of us will be going pro in something other than sports.’” The agency “will be responsible for extending the PSA campaign -- which traditionally has run on TV with Turner Broadcasting, CBS Sports and ESPN at no cost to the NCAA -- into other media, including digital and social.” The RFP states that the association “may choose more than one agency.” Patel noted the men's basketball tournament “is not included, as the scope of the RFP does not include championships” (, 4/10).

Reebok and Nike have "agreed to settle litigation over the sale" of Jets apparel featuring QB Tim Tebow, according to Chad Bray of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A stipulated judgment filed yesterday indicated that Reebok will recall Jets apparel featuring Tebow's name and number "from its distribution system and agree to repurchase shipped Tebow Jets merchandise from retailers." Reebok also "agreed not to manufacture, market, donate or advertise such merchandise." An agreement between Reebok and the NFLPA to "market merchandise featuring player names and numbers expired on Feb. 28." A separate "decadelong agreement between the apparel maker and the NFL to market NFL jerseys expired on March 31." However, Reebok had "hoped to add Mr. Tebow's name and number to its existing inventory of blank Jets jerseys and other apparel and sell them under a provision of those agreements that allows it to continue to market those items for a limited time frame" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/11). The AP's Larry Neumeister noted U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Castel "immediately blocked Reebok from selling" 6,000 Tebow-Jets jerseys and 25,000 T-shirts it was distributing to stores "while he heard evidence in the case." After a daylong hearing last week, he "left his restraining order in place and announced that he believed Nike would ultimately prevail in its claims" (AP, 4/10).

ENSURING A WINNER:'s Charles Jay noted Nike signed Timothy Bradley to a one-year endorsement deal "a few weeks ago, in advance of his June 9 fights against Manny Pacquiao," with whom Nike also has a deal. Nike in the past has been "known to sign a lot of athletes, and this is their way of making sure that they will be on the winning end of that fight, which will undoubtedly lead to something bigger for the winner." For Bradley, the "money part of the thing is a bit unclear right now, but it is known that Nike will supply Bradley with training gear, along with [his] trunks and robe for the fight." Bradley does "not appear to be a potential problem athlete for Nike," while the same cannot be said for Pacquiao, "who is facing tax difficulties, among other things, in his native Philippines, although it is uncertain how much weight Nike really puts on this" (, 4/10).

With the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin tonight, THE DAILY presents a comprehensive list of official NHL corporate partners for the '11-12 season (THE DAILY).

Reebok Outfitter
PepsiCo (Pepsi, Gatorade,
Aquafina, Frito Lay)*
Soft Drink, Energy Drink, Water, Snack
Bridgestone* Tire, Winter Classic naming rights
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Ticketmaster Secondary Ticket Provider
Cisco Technology/Network Solutions
Compuware* Global Applications, Premiere Series naming rights
Las Vegas Convention
& Visitors Authority
Home of NHL Awards
Starwood Hotels Hotel
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
MillerCoors/MolsonCoors Beer
Verizon* Wireless Service Provider
McDonald's QSR
Honda Vehicle
Discover Credit/Debit/Affinity Card
Geico Automotive Insurance
Kraft (Nabisco)* Cracker/Cookie/Snack Mix
Scotiabank* Bank/Financial Services Provider/Affinity Card
Tim Horton's Coffee/Breakfast/Donut
Visa* Credit/Debit Card
Bell Wireless Service Provider
Hershey's Confections
Canadian Tire Home Improvement Retailer

NOTES: * = Deal also extends to NHLPA.

MARKETING magazine's Alex Brownsell noted adidas is "rolling out its biggest UK ad campaign to date with the aim of showcasing British talent and encouraging UK consumers to 'Take The Stage'" in '12. adidas will "launch a 60-second TV ad," created by agency Sid Lee, that will feature Team GB athletes Victoria Pendleton, Louis Smith and Tom Daley. Further TV ads will "promote adidas' Sport, Street or Style product ranges, including its official Team GB kit." MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham will "offer viewers the chance to photograph him on set," while Bulls G Derrick Rose will "invite a winner to play basketball with him in the US." adidas UK Marketing Dir Nick Craggs said the campaign would "celebrate London" (, 4/10).

STUCK IN THE PIT: In Ft. Worth, Carlos Mendez notes NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne is "unable to get sponsorship to race his Nationwide car at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend," and he "can't even say how many more races he'll be able to run the rest of the year." Ford EcoBoost sponsored him for three races, and he had Roush Fenway Racing's 25th anniversary logo "on the hood for the first race." Two weeks ago, he had "backing from and Crawdads Classics." However, Mendez notes Bayne does "have a Sprint Cup car." His No. 21 Ford, "owned by the Wood Brothers, is entered in Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/11).

DUGOUT DEALS: Rays 3B Evan Longoria joined pilot and aerobatics champion Kirby Chambliss for a ride over Tampa in a custom two-seater Edge 540 plane, marking Longoria's first endeavor as a Red Bull athlete. He joins a roster of athletes including MLB Giants P Tim Lincecum, Clippers F Blake Griffin, Celtics G Rajon Rondo, Nets G Deron Williams, skier Lindsey Vonn, Dolphins RB Reggie Bush and Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware (Red Bull)....Majestic Athletic’s new MLB ads debut this week on MLB broadcasts. The ads from agency Periscope has Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Blue Jays LF Jose Bautista literally “riding the backs" of the fans who wear their jerseys. The ad will run through the '12 season (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

NOTES: In Houston, Joseph Duarte cited a source as saying yesterday that Rice Univ. is "close to an apparel agreement for its football program" with adidas. An announcement is "expected soon." The agreement will "begin with football and be a slow rollout that eventually includes all sports on campus" (, 4/10)....Subaru has signed a two-year deal with the MLS Rapids and MLS Real Salt Lake to be the presenting sponsor of the Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup. Real Salt Lake won the first of three rivalry matches at home Saturday (THE DAILY).