Marketing and Sponsorship
Denmark F Nicklas Bendtner "could face UEFA action over ambush marketing after revealing a pair of bookmaker-branded underpants when he scored last night in a 3-2 defeat against Portugal" in Euro 2012 play, according to the London TELEGRAPH. Bendtner revealed the logo for Irish bookmaker Paddy Power "during celebrations of his second goal, a move which appeared a clear violation of UEFA rules." Regulations "ban any advertising on players' kits" during the tournament (London TELEGRAPH, 6/14). The GUARDIAN's Marcus Christenson notes the Danish FA, "sponsored by another betting company, Ladbrokes, was unhappy with the striker's action." Danish FA Communications Dir Lars Berendt said, "We have spoken to the player and he will not play in those (underpants) against Germany on Sunday." Bendtner "insisted he did not know that he had done anything wrong." He said, "It is just a pair of lucky boxer shorts that I used the first game as well and have used before the tournament. I didn't know that I was breaking any rules but I am aware of that now" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 6/14).
NBC has "finished its sales of commercial time" in the upfront market and the net "sold about" $1.8B, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. This compares to an estimate of $1.7B "in the upfront market last spring" (NYTIMES.com, 6/13). In N.Y., Claire Atkinson notes NBC, thanks to NFL games, "was able to hike football ad rates" by 9%. Media buyers said that the NFL "was in high demand among advertisers." NBC's gains were "more modest for the rest of its lineup." Ad execs said that the net "took in just under" $1.8B, with ad rates up 6% to 7%. Miller Tabak & Co. analyst David Joyce "estimated the final tally" for all nets at $9.57B, a 4% uptick that "reflects rate increases even as the networks sold less ad inventory." One network sales exec said, "Autos spent more this year, as did retail, but pharma spent less. The (movie) studios also told us they'd be down this year because there are no big tentpoles" (N.Y. POST, 6/14).
When Dennis Miller tees off at the U.S. Open in S.F. this afternoon, the 42-year-old club pro from Youngstown, Ohio, will be sporting logos of corporate partners on his shirt. However, Auntie Ann’s Pretzels and Handel’s Ice Cream will be sharing space with a much larger brand -- the 49ers. The team logo will appear on Miller’s bag, and he has sported a 49ers cap since first arriving at Olympic Club. While 49ers Dir of Corporate Communications Steve Weakland said the team does not have a formal sponsorship agreement with Miller, he acknowledged team Owners John and Denise DeBartolo York “offered to help” Miller. The Yorks are from the Youngstown area. Weakland said, “Dennis is a lifelong 49ers fan, and as a token of appreciation he and his caddy are planning to wear 49ers apparel” (Katherine Zdrojeski, THE DAILY). Miller earlier in the week said of the Yorks, “They got on board, and I really appreciate their support. I hope the fans enjoy the hat and the bag and all that good stuff this week” (ESPN.com, 6/11). GOLFWEEK’s Nick Masuda noted Miller “now has four sponsors on his shirt ... where he didn’t have any a week ago” when he played in a sectional qualifier in Columbus. Kirk Hough, who is caddying for Miller this week, said, “That financial support allowed him to just concentrate on golf. He can now just enjoy the experience” (GOLFWEEK.com, 6/11).
The Univ. of Arkansas football team yesterday unveiled new uniforms for the '12 season and the school is “keeping its cardinal uniform and helmet, but is adding a white version of both,” according to Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com. The new designs feature Nike Pro Combat technology. The white helmet “has a very different look to it with the red outlined Razorback logo on it.” Arkansas also introduced “a new anthracite (gray) color as an alternate.” The shoulders are “accented with jagged metallic ‘Razorback lines, which reflect the hairline along the mascot's back’” (ESPN.com, 6/13). Arkansas AD Jeff Long said, "We are never going to go away from our staple of cardinal and white because that is what is important to us, but at the same time we've provided some exciting options as well" (ARKANSASMATTERS.com, 6/13). YAHOO SPORTS’ Graham Watson wrote the new uniforms “are classy and sharp and will look great should Arkansas live up to expectations” on the field (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/13). USA TODAY’s Nicole Auerbach wrote it seems like “more and more schools are going with the ‘cool’ uniform route, aiming to please players and attract recruits.” Arkansas made that “pretty clear by including player quotes in the uniform release” (USATODAY.com, 6/13).
SHOWING SOME SKIN: USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz wrote “jocks in their skivvies,” an advertising tradition that “first raised eyebrows three decades ago when Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer bared some flesh in his Jockey briefs, is evolving into something closer to a bona fide free-for-all.” The targets of these ads “isn’t just guys, it’s gals, too.” Jockey found that women make “more than 40% of male underwear purchases.” N.Y. ad consultant Allison Cohen said, “The woman is the gatekeeper when it comes to all things underwear” (USA TODAY, 6/14).
HOMETOWN HEROES: In Cincinnati, Kevin Kelly reported NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Kentucky native Michael Waltrip will be “bringing a University of Kentucky-themed car to Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400.” The special paint scheme “will commemorate UK’s eighth basketball title” (CINCINNATI.com, 6/12).
AND THE WINNER IS... CBSSPORTS.com’s Pete Pistone noted the winning paint scheme voted by fans for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s "The Dark Knight Rises" movie partnership “has been unveiled.” Earnhardt's No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet “will carry the winning design" in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan Int'l Speedway (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/12).
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