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Volume 24 No. 160

Marketing and Sponsorship

CBS Exec VP/Sports Sales & Marketing John Bogusz indicated that the net has sold "more than 50% of its ad inventory" for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII next February and "could reach sell-out levels approaching 80% in the next few weeks," according to Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. Bogusz said that the "pace of sales is being pushed by automotive marketers." The Super Bowl has become a "veritable parking lot of auto promotion over the last three years, with Hyundai, Audi and others attempting to make big sales statements." CBS' sales effort "does not appear to have been affected" by GM's decision not to advertise during the game. Bogusz said that movie studios and drink marketers "are also in the mix." Bogusz: "We do have movies in the game and we are still talking to movies. We are in active negotiations with beverages." Steinberg noted NBC last year was "able to sell between 65% and 75% of its Super Bowl inventory by early June as it wrapped upfront negotiations" (ADAGE.com, 5/30). ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi reported buyers are claiming CBS is "selling units at an average cost of $3.8 million," which would be a 9% increase of NBC's rate last year. CBS Corp. Exec VP & CFO Joseph Ianniello yesterday said, "Demand for the Super Bowl is very, very healthy" (ADWEEK.com, 5/30).

The NFL yesterday released its top-selling player jerseys for the period of April 1-May 28, with the first two picks in last month's draft making a big splash. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III ranks third for the time period, with Colts QB Andrew Luck ranking fourth. Griffin and Luck have the two top-selling jerseys during the month of May. Broncos QB Peyton Manning continues to top the list, with Jets QB Tim Tebow ranking second. Below is a list of the top 25 player jerseys sold during the time period (NFL).

Top Selling NFL Player Jerseys on NFLShop.com (April 1 - May 28, 2012)
RANK
PLAYER
RANK
PLAYER
1
Broncos QB Peyton Manning
14
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
2
Jets QB Tim Tebow
15
Lions WR Calvin Johnson
3
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
16
Packers LB Clay Matthews
4
Colts QB Andrew Luck
17
Bears LB Brian Urlacher
5
Giants QB Eli Manning
18
Giants WR Victor Cruz
6
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
19
Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware
7
49ers LB Patrick Willis
20
Raiders RB Darren McFadden
8
Patriots QB Tom Brady
21
Broncos LB Von Miller
9
Panthers QB Cam Newton
22
Cowboys TE Jason Witten
10
Steelers S Troy Polamalu
23
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
11
Cowboys QB Tony Romo
24
Patriots WR Wes Welker
12
Ravens LB Ray Lewis
25
Eagles QB Michael Vick
13
Saints QB Drew Brees
 
       

NO SURPRISE HERE: In Denver, Mike Klis wrote it should “surprise no one that Peyton Manning’s new No. 18 Broncos jersey and Tim Tebow’s new No. 15 Jets jersey were the NFL’s top two selling jerseys in the months of April and May.” Kils: “New teams, new look, new jerseys. The only question is who would be No. 1.” The scenario of Manning replacing Tebow “reiterated that Manning is better than Tebow -- and therefore Manning is cooler than Tebow” (DENVERPOST.com, 5/29). ESPN’s Stephen A Smith said of Manning leading the list, “I just applaud the fact that people are recognizing football players before celebrities” (“First Take,” ESPN2, 5/30).

A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN: In DC, Dan Steinberg wrote Redskins fans “have done this before; Donovan McNabb had the NFL’s second-highest selling jersey after he was traded to D.C.” Steinberg: “I still haven’t been able to figure out the last time a Redskin had the top-selling jersey in the league.” Despite being ranked third, and only being a Redskin as of late April, Griffin “has already done something that very few Redskins have done over the past two decades” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/29).

Saints QB Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, “through their Brees Dream Foundation, are launching an apparel company this fall," according to Jaquetta White of the New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE. Recent Harvard Business School grad Lauren Baum, who along with five other students “helped Brees refine the idea,” would “not disclose many details of the project, including the types of products it would sell, how many people the venture might employ and its revenue projections.” Idea Village Founder Tim Williamson, whose organization is partnering with the Brees Dream Foundation, said that the apparel line “will be 'much like' Product Red, a licensed brand that partners with companies like Gap and American Express to sell everything from shirts to credit cards bearing the Red logo.” That company was founded by U2 singer Bono “as a way to get the private sector involved in raising awareness and money to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.” Williamson did not say "what products the Brees line would sell or what causes it might promote" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 5/30).

MEDIAPOST’s Sarah Mahoney reported Hanes is using Bobcats Owner and brand endorser Michael Jordan to introduce “tagless underwear for men with a new TV campaign.” The ads are scheduled to “run on high-profile entertainment and sports programming, including the NBA playoffs.” Jordan in the spots “steps in to rescue men from these relentlessly irritating tags.” In one spot, a “mild-mannered cubicle dweller is trying to get some work done, constantly interrupted by the banter of his tag.” Jordan then “yanks it out and runs it through the shredder.” In another, the tag “gives gratuitous (and insulting) grilling advice to its owner, before Jordan throws it into the flames” (MEDIAPOST.com, 5/29).

DANCING DONALD: In Milwaukee, Don Walker wrote after Packers WR Donald Driver won “Dancing With The Stars,” his “national profile has increased markedly.” Lammi Sports Management Founder & President Brian Lammi “has been working with Driver for 10 years to develop his marketing career and recently inked a new 25-year deal to work with the Packers star.” Lammi said, "We certainly have felt an immediate increase in PR requests and national media requests. We also had a number of requests for national speaking engagements." Driver has had endorsement deals “with McDonald's, Nike and Kwik Trip, to name a few” and he also has “a longstanding relationship with Goodwill.” But now Lammi “is looking for some bigger, more meaningful deals” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/26).

MAKING IT OFFICIAL: GOLFWEEK’s Gene Yasuda reported athletic brand Ashworth “in a move designed to showcase its performance wear and greater presence on pro tours … announced Justin Rose as its latest brand endorser.” Rose is already part of the TaylorMade-adidas family that owns Ashworth and began wearing the brand’s “shirts and Cardiff shoes at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth” (GOLFWEEK.com, 5/28).

CLOSE TO HIS HEART
: In Indianapolis, Phillip Wilson wrote IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani is teaming with Quebec-based Le Petite Bretonne "to produce a peanut-free cookie.” Tags On The Go has “begun distribution in Canada and is expected hit grocery stores in the U.S. later this year.” The cookies “come in two flavors: oatmeal made with real oatmeal and chocolate chip made with real chocolate from 50 percent cocoa.” A raisin cookie “is next in line for production.” Tagliani “foresees a Tags On The Go racing sponsorship and selling his cookie at Indianapolis Motor Speedway” (INDYSTAR.com, 5/26).

Stats LLC has struck a joint partnership with U.K.-based Apollo MIS, in which Stats' SportVU player tracking technology will be blended with Apollo MIS' player fitness and health management system. The pair will initially focus on deepening their involvement in basketball, as SportVU is used by 10 NBA teams, including the Celtics, Thunder and Spurs, and Apollo MIS' Elite product is used by the Knicks. "Getting into the training and non-game settings, where Apollo has a real expertise, was a place we wanted to next take our technology, and it was a natural to come together," said Brian Kopp, head of the Stats Sports Solutions Group. The pair will participate in an undisclosed revenue sharing agreement. Also as part of the expansion into athlete development, Stats has hired Paul Robbins as its director of elite performance. Robbins, an expert in cardiovascular programming and metabolic assessment, has worked with Athletes' Performance, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and numerous individual athletes and teams across each major U.S. sport.

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