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Volume 24 No. 155

Marketing and Sponsorship

Andy Murray becoming the first Brit in 74 years to appear in Wimbledon final lifts him "into a different league” for sponsors, and while he lost to Roger Federer yesterday, it “will not deter companies swamping him with sponsorship deals,” according to James Melik of BBC NEWS. brandRapport Sports Marketing Dir Nigel Currie said, "Reaching the final is quite an achievement and will only help to shape and enhance his brand." He added, "His appearance in the final has lifted Andy's profile and takes him into a space where global brands will start using him to promote their products. For a brand to be associated with him at a time when he might actually make a conversion and win one of the major tournaments is pretty exciting." Melik noted it is “widely assumed that a successful sportsman or sportswoman can double their on-court winnings with the amount they earn with sponsorships, but that varies greatly depending on the individual.” Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker said, "Some players are very successful on the court and very unsuccessful off the court, including endorsements" (, 7/8). In London, Philipson & Kinder noted Murray has a $15.5M (all figures U.S.) deal over five years with adidas and “earns at least” $3.1M a year from RBS. A sports agent said the match “could easily mean” $155M for Murray. The agent said, “All of Murray’s current contracts will have substantial bonuses for being the Wimbledon champion. I would imagine most of them would contain a clause with a [$1.55M] bonus” (London TELEGRAPH, 7/8).

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Virgin Group Chair Richard Branson has revealed that his health clubs "turned down the chance to support Andy Murray.” Branson “posted the story on his blog and referred to Murray as 'the one that got away.'” In London, Lucy Kinder noted Murray, and his mother Judy Murray, approached Virgin Active “to ask for sponsorship nine years ago but the chain of health clubs did not want to back the Scot” (, 7/8).

WARDROBE MALFUNCTIONS: Murray slipped several times during yesterday's match against Federer, and ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe noted during the changeover between the third and fourth sets, Murray was "delivered another pair” of adidas shoes. However, Murray “threw them down right next to his bag.” ESPN’s John McEnroe said that was a “good move” by Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl, who did not want Murray "to come up with any excuses because he’s like, ‘See, if I had sneakers that I could run in,’ then he doesn’t even change them. He keeps the same ones on.” ESPN's Chris Fowler noted Murray also “had problems with the shorts, the tennis ball coming out of it three times. It cost him two points in a match earlier at Wimbledon.” John McEnroe added, “Rough tournament for adidas” (“Wimbledon,” ESPN, 7/8).

INDECENT EXPOSURE: MARKETING magazine's John Reynolds wrote Serena Williams broke "sponsorship rules at Saturday's women's singles finals by taking her Gatorade bottle into the post-match press conference." All England Club rules state that players "are not allowed to show non-sponsor drinks brands during the Wimbledon fortnight within the grounds." Evian is the "official bottled water of Wimbledon while Robinson's is the official soft drink." Williams was reprimanded by the AEC for the breach, and Wimbledon "managed to edit TV pictures so that the Gatorade logo was not on show" (, 7/9).

Gillette has begun airing a new ad featuring tennis player Roger Federer that highlights parent company P&G's USOC sponsorship in anticipation of the upcoming London Games. The 30-second spot begins with Federer, who yesterday won his record-tying seventh Wimbledon championship, shaving with the Limited Edition Gillette Fusion ProGlide, then jumps to him walking through the tunnel to the court for his match. The announcer says, “You get in the zone long before the match. Get your head right and focus.” The ad then flashes back to Federer shaving again and then back to him being on the court, with the announcer saying, “On match day, you don’t leave anything to chance.” The ad ends with “Gillette” and “The Best A Man Can Get” onscreen above P&G and the Olympic rings with “Worldwide Partner.” Other Olympians sponsoring Gillette include U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay and swimmer Ryan Lochte (THE DAILY).

ESPN has signed a deal with NCC Media LLC that will allow it to “sell a bigger portion of its ad time to political campaigns,” according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The partnership with the ad-sales venture, which is “owned by several big cable operators,” will mean "more political ads appearing on ESPN programs.” Political advertising has “remained primarily on broadcast TV” because cable networks are “mostly national outlets, while most political ads are sold locally.” But cable in recent years has “promoted its ability to target geographically more narrowly than broadcast TV.” And increased ratings have “helped cable win more political ad dollars.” Advertsing research firm Borrell Associates said that cable will draw “about 14% of TV political ad spending this year,” and projected that “the total would reach $6.6 billion.” Borrell estimated that cable in ‘08 “snared about 10% of $4.78 billion.” Vranica notes ESPN is selling NCC “some of the ad inventory that the network would have sold to national advertisers in the ‘upfront’ ad market for the coming season.” ESPN declined to disclose the ad prices in the NCC deal but said that they “were on par with its upfront prices.” The net also “declined to say how much political-ad time was sold.” NCC said that it “was a ‘multimillion dollar’ deal and that it would sell the time to the political campaigns at a slight markup.” ESPN, which is “nearing completion of its upfront deals, said the pact allowed the network to sell a little more inventory than the 50% to 55% that it typically unloads in the upfront season” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/9).

IOC President Jacques Rogge said that top Olympics officials "questioned whether it was appropriate" to allow IOC TOP sponsor McDonald’s to "continue sponsoring the games amid mounting concern about the global obesity crisis,” according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Rogge said that there “had been a ‘question mark’ over the sponsorship of the Olympics by McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, a sponsor of the games since 1928 and also signed up until 2020.” Rogge: “For those companies, we’ve said to them: ‘Listen, there is an issue in terms of the growing trend on obesity, what are you going to do about that?’” Rogge said deciding to renew McDonald’s sponsorship deal “was not an easy decision.” But he added, “Then we decided to go and to have the benefit of their support at grassroots levels.” He pointed to the “introduction by McDonald’s of healthier menu options and Coca-Cola’s zero-calorie drinks as evidence of the companies’ taking their public health responsibilities seriously” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/9). Blitz notes Rogge “insists the Games are no more or less commercial than when he took over in 2001.” Rogge said, “Our approach is not more commercial, the returns or the revenues we get have augmented.” He said that although IOC revenues "may look healthy,” they need to be “maintained and sponsorship is vital.” Rogge said that the IOC is providing $1.3B to London “in cash and value in kind,” but he insisted that it “is not the IOC’s responsibility to help fund the construction of venues and determine the legacy of hosting the games” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/9).

YOUR NAME HERE: In Ft. Worth, Gil Lebreton noted the USOC in ’00 “began paying qualifying athletes for their living and training expenses.” However, Olympians can now “be paid for public speaking appearances and for endorsing products.” U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps has “lucrative sponsorship deals with, among others, Hilton, Subway and Omega.” Gold Medal-winning swimmer Dara Torres has “endorsement agreements with McDonald's, HP and Bengay.” Gold Medal-winning gymnast Nastia Liukin has deals with Visa, AT&T and Longines, and hurdler Lolo Jones has deals with Asics, Oakley, BP and Red Bull, "though she has yet to win an Olympic medal” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 7/8).

IOC TOP sponsor Coca-Cola has “tweaked” its Olympic campaign and “created one of the few localized versions” in China, according to Anita Chang Beattie of AD AGE. The "Beat of China" campaign taps into the “national pride abundant among young Chinese, urging fans to submit their own beats to help create an anthem to cheer on their athletes competing far away from home.” Coca-Cola Sparkling Beverages Dir for Greater China and Korea Marina Palma said, “Previous research showed that after the huge success and high relevance of '08 (the Beijing Olympics), there was a perceived distance between Chinese people and London. The main task was to close that emotional and physical distance in a relevant way.” Chang Beattie reported the result is a marketing effort that “includes mini-documentaries featuring the personal stories of five Chinese Olympians, calls to action across various media urging consumers to submit their own beats on a dedicated website, a traveling roadshow, special Coke cans and even an Angry Birds game.” The campaign “launched in April at the Bird's Nest National Stadium in Beijing, featuring a performance of the official Coke anthem by Hong Kong pop star Jacky Cheung.” An updated version of the song “will be released on July 12, incorporating the beats submitted by consumers.” Coca-Cola data showed that the mini-documentaries “were viewed 320 million times within two weeks.” The company “set a goal to collect 100 million beats, but consumers have submitted more than 180 million, with a few more days to go.” Leo Burnett Exec Creative Dir Gordon Hughes, whose company created the campaign, said, “In the past, there was a tendency to lionize these athletes, to make them into heroic figures. Our first task was to humanize them.” Palma said that since the campaign launched, Coca-Cola “has seen marked increases in brand preference and share gains” (, 7/6).

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick "will not appear in a series of ads for's 'Inside/Out' campaign, which will air the next few weeks during the London Olympics," according to Lacey McLaughlin of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. Go Daddy VP/PR Elizabeth Driscoll said that the new campaign "doesn't necessarily mean the days of the provocative commercials are over, only that the messaging of the ads will change." Patrick Friday said that she "wasn't familiar with the campaign by name." Patrick: "The last filming we did was in early May." She said that the shot and stills "were for use in the Tubes in London during the Olympics, but those stills are already up." Patrick "doesn't know when she'll be shooting another" Go Daddy commercial. She said, "This is the dullest time of the year for shooting stuff. Usually it happens in the winter and the spring" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 7/7).

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING: Patrick appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” Friday morning, and host Dan Patrick said to her, “Clear something up that you ... wanted to be referred to as pretty (and) not sexy.” Danica: “I was just really trying to make a point to say that I feel like it’s sort of the go-to word that everybody uses for female athletes, or maybe the way I feel I get described. Sometimes it’s appropriate, for sure, but sometimes it’s more appropriate to say other words.” Dan Patrick then asked, “How would we describe you?” Danica replied, “I don’t know. Feminine, determined, pretty -- if you feel like that’s the case.” Dan asked that if she “had to do it all over again, would you have sold yourself the way you did?” Danica: “I wasn’t selling something fake. I feel like for me there are different sides to my personality, as I’m sure many others. Sometimes you show one side and sometimes you show another side because definitely when I go to the racetrack ... no hair, no make-up, just go and get the job done. If looks could kill, I probably would by sometimes the way I walk down pit lane. I try and smile a little more often. I realize that was kind of off-putting” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 7/6).