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Volume 24 No. 160

Marketing and Sponsorship

A new Under Armour campaign featuring Panthers QB Cam Newton markets the company's "new offerings in the Boxerjock line," using the theme, "You'll never wear regular underwear again," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. UA is "expanding its presence in the underwear category by broadening its collection of boxer briefs." The campaign, created internally, includes "print and online ads, social media, ads in stores, direct mail and events." N.Y.-based Optimum Sports is "handling the media planning and buying." The budget for the Boxerjock campaign is estimated at $1M. UA has "long played up the performance aspect of its products," and the new boxer briefs are "meant to add a fashion component to the brand's undergear." UA Senior VP/Global Brand Marketing Stuart Redsun said that the Boxerjock campaign "is meant to fit in with the ads for other Under Armour merchandise." Optimum Sports Managing Dir Tom McGovern said that the media plan for the campaign, which includes a digital billboard in Times Square, "is broader than usual for Under Armour." Ads will appear in magazines like GQ, Maxim and Men's Health, and McGovern said of the campaign, "There's more of a fashion target." Elliott reports the new boxer briefs "are part of ambitious plans from Under Armour to increase sales in 2012 that also include new products like the Armour Bra sports bra, Charged Cotton clothing, a revamping of its line of athletic shoes and ColdBlack apparel." The new Boxerjock products "are being sold by two department store chains, Macy's and Nordstrom," in addition to sporting goods stores and the company's website. This is "the first time the brand will have a presence in Macy's" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/1).

Panini America has signed No. 2-overall NFL Draft pick Robert Griffin III to an endorsement deal. Under the agreement, Griffin's first trading card will be part of Panini's '12 Prestige release in late May, early June. Griffin autographs will be in all 18 Panini NFL releases, and he will also be in Panini’s HRX video trading cards. In addition, he will participate in social media campaigns for the card marketer. He will also appear on packaging. CAA's Mark Heligman reps Griffin, who has previously signed deals with adidas, Castrol, EA Sports, Gatorade and Subway. Panini has already signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck. As of presstime, the company had signed 24 of the 32 first-round NFL draftees, including eight of the top 10 (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

PICK OF THE LITTER: ESPN’s Kristi Dosh reported Madison Avenue “has its sights on” Griffin more so than Luck. New England Consulting Group Dir of Business Development John Stone said, “When it comes down to marketability, it’s no contest. Luck is awkward in the way he speaks. RG3 is a rock star.” He added, “If you look at some (of) the most iconic marketing stars in the last decade -- (Derek) Jeter, (Peyton) Manning, (Michael) Jordan -- RG3 is ahead of them at the same age as far as charisma, overall dynamic personality, his ability to communicate, his authenticity and just being a refreshing personality.” Dosh noted Griffin came out on top in the most recent Q Score survey receiving an overall score of 20, "five points above the average for all NFL players.” Half of all sports fans “are at least familiar with him.” Luck is “slightly more well-known, with 54 percent of fans saying they’re familiar,” but his Q Score come in “below Griffin’s at the NFL average of 15, meaning more sports fans identified Griffin as one of their favorites rather than Luck” (, 4/26).

Front Row Motorsports has signed McCall Farms, the manufacturer of Green Boiled Peanuts, for a one-race primary sponsorship at the May 12 Bojangles Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C. Financial terms of the deal were not available. The S.C.-based company will be featured on the No. 34 car driven by former Roush Fenway Racing driver David Ragan. McCall Farms sells canned boiled peanuts, beans, tomatoes and other products. The company plans to launch a sweepstakes on David Ragan's website where it will give away T-shirts and boiled peanuts. McCall Farms Sales Manager Camp Blanton said, "The NASCAR fan is our consumer. If it goes well, we'd possibly do more of this down the line." Front Row Motorsports has open inventory on one of its two cars during every race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Front Row CMO Robin Johnson said, "We know we aren't going to be the competition on the racetrack week in and week out, but we feel we can beat them on value proposition. We're focusing on challenger brands that may not be No. 1 in their category yet. We're a challenger team."

COAL TRICKLE: JR Motorsports signed the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity to a sponsorship. The deal will see the coalition become the primary sponsor on JRM cars at four races and an associate sponsor through the rest of the '12 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Sports Marketing Consultants, Inc., which is headed by Andrew Campagnone, assisted with the deal.

Helzberg Diamonds yesterday announced that it is sponsoring jockey Javier Castellano, who will ride Gemologist in the Kentucky Derby on May 5. As part of the deal, fans can share Helzberg’s "I Am Loved" button with a Kentucky Derby design via Facebook and Twitter along with their favorite Kentucky Derby memory or story. Castellano will also be available to meet fans at two Helzberg Diamond locations (Helzberg Diamonds).

MAD ABOUT YU: In Dallas, Jeff Mosier reported Wasserman Media Group, which represents Rangers P Yu Darvish, sent “a cease-and-desist letter” to Texas resident Eric Vaughan, who was selling Darvish-inspired T-shirts at Wasserman also “sent a copy of the letter to Big Cartel, the online firm that handled the business of processing the orders.” Big Cartel “pulled the plug on sales of the shirts” last Friday. Vaughan’s attorney Joe Bahgat said that he “thinks the ‘Yu is My Homeboy’ shirt will eventually be on sale again.” The T-shirts were "popularized in part by Texas Rangers catcher and fan favorite Mike Napoli.” (, 4/30).

DRINK TO THIS: MARKETING WEEK’s Sebastian Joseph reported sports drink Lucozade launched the “latest phase of its ‘Faster. Stronger. For Longer’ marketing campaign” during yesterday's Manchester United-Manchester City EPL match “with a TV spot starring England forward Ashley Young.” The ad, via Grey London, is the “first in the series to promote the brand as official sports and energy drink supplier to the England team.” Other ads in the series “have starred Team GB athletes Mo Farah, Phillips Idowu and Louis Smith as Lucozade owner GlaxoSmithKline looks to promote its sponsorship of this year’s Olympic Games” (, 4/30).

YOUR NAME HERE: Piedmont Natural Gas yesterday announced that it has “signed a long-term agreement” with the Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights to “become the first founding partner” of the team’s proposed new baseball stadium. The deal “would include signage and other promotional opportunities," but it remains unclear “whether the ballpark will actually be built” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/1). This comes a week after BB&T announced it had bought the naming rights to the prospective ballpark (THE DAILY).