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Volume 24 No. 112

Marketing and Sponsorship

Toyota today announced a two-year extension of its sponsorship of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, which is owned by Feld Entertainment. Financial terms of the agreement were not available. The Japanese automaker has been the official truck and automobile of the sport for seven years. It currently uses the sponsorship to promote its Tacoma Baja series, but it plans to use it to promote its new Tundra in '13 and '14. Toyota Engagement Marketing Manager Jim Baudino said, "It's one of our core properties that we support from the truck side and it allows us to tap into a unique group of consumers. We're able to embrace that whole supercross community, and every year we've continued to benefit." Toyota this year built a national ad campaign for its Tacoma Baja series truck that featured supercross riders from Joe Gibbs Racing's team. Feld Motor Sports COO Ken Hudgens said, "Toyota's been a partner of ours for a long time. They're really invested. They're an active, vibrant, engaged sponsor. Combined with the Monster Energy renewal from a while ago, we have two of our most important sponsors firmed up with extension now and that makes the whole program more solid."

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. puts his perfect 42-0 record on the line Saturday night against Miguel Cotto, and when Mayweather “headlines a pay-per-view event he not only reaps the profits but covers the expenses,” including Cotto’s estimated $10M payout, according to Morgan Campbell of the TORONTO STAR. It is a “high risk formula in which Mayweather trades guaranteed purses for back-end paydays.” Mayweather earned about $40M for his last fight, and he "figures to net even more against Cotto.” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said, “It took years of planning and strategizing. Floyd has the only business model in sports where he keeps 100 per cent of the money. We changed the paradigm when it comes to the way revenue is generated and distributed.” Campbell noted Mayweather subcontracts promotional duties to Golden Boy Promotions, but after “paying them a flat fee, all revenues associated with the event -- ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships, international rights and more -- funnel through Mayweather’s company.” His last three bouts “have totaled 3.65 million pay-per-view buys and $205.7 million in pay per view revenue in the U.S.” However, while Mayweather’s “villain persona helps his profile, it hurts his endorsement portfolio.” Mayweather ranked 49th in Bloomberg’s Power 100 listEND, which ranks athletes’ marketability and popularity. Boxer Manny Pacquiao ranked 28th. Ellerbe “stresses that the money Mayweather makes promoting himself more than outweighs any endorsement cash he’s lost.” Ellerbe: “If you’re able to generate a substantial amount of revenue in the ring, what difference does it make? If Mayweather can make $85-90 million in a 12-month time frame, who cares if he’s getting endorsements or not? Who cares?" (TORONTO STAR, 5/3).

HELPING OUT GOLDEN GLOVES: In Grand Rapids, David Mayo reported Mayweather "donated $40,000 to the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions” and also “committed to cover the entire cost of the National Junior Golden Gloves.” Ellerbe said that the “entire financial commitment is difficult to pinpoint but would fall in the low six figures” (, 5/2).

In Daytona Beach, Brent Woronoff notes in the next three months leading up to the London Games, U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte “will also be all over your television.” Lochte's latest sponsor, Nissan, this past week “went to Gainesville, where he lives and trains, for a photo shoot.” Ryan’s father Steve Lochte said that on Tuesday, Ryan “is scheduled to appear with other Olympic athletes” on NBC’s "Today" in N.Y. In addition to Nissan, Steve Lochte said, "We have had a lot of other endorsements between Gillette, Gatorade, Mutual of Omaha and Nissan, and we have a few more on the table” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 5/4).

STAYING ON THE DEFENSIVE: In Detroit, Karl Henkel noted IOC TOP sponsor Dow Chemical “has mounted an aggressive defense" against critics protesting its involvement in the Olympics, noting that it "had nothing to do” with the '84 Bhopal gas leak. PR experts “question whether Dow's strategy is helping to quiet the uproar, but the company and chemical industry say the negative publicity lets them clarify the issues and discuss the positive contributions of the chemical industry.” Michigan State Univ. College of Business Marketing Dept. Chair Roger Calantone said that the “longer the controversy drags on, the more difficulty Dow will have in reducing the bad publicity.” But Dow in an e-mail countered that “the added scrutiny has benefits” (DETROIT NEWS, 5/3).

ARCH MADNESS: CNBC’s Sue Herera reported IOC TOP sponsor McDonald’s is “under fire for building an Olympic-sized restaurant for the London Olympics.” The two-story, "cathedral-like restaurant ... will seat up to 1,500 people.” News Editor Cindy Perman: “It doesn’t feel right in the sense that we are very critical, particularly with the collective weight gain in many parts of the developed world. But look, at the end of the day if you’re McDonald’s, you can’t miss this.” She added, "As a company, they’re doing the exact right thing by being where they need to be.” CNBC’s Bob Pisani noted McDonald’s has been an Olympic sponsor since ’76 and the menu features “fruit plates and salads.” He added, “I hope it’s going to be there in the Olympic Village" ("Power Lunch,” CNBC, 5/3).

: In London, Declan McGarvey notes U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague has “called a television commercial that was secretly filmed on the Falkland Islands by Argentina a ‘stunt.’” The clip shows Argentine field hockey player Fernando Zylberberg and carries the slogan: “To compete on British soil, we train on Argentine soil.” The ad “aired on the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Argentine destroyer the 'General Belgrano'” during the Falklands War. McGarvey notes the ad “will spark fears of Falklands-themed protests by the Argentine delegation during the Games” (LONDON TIMES, 5/4).