The Packers "renewed their marketing agreement with MillerCoors, their largest sponsor and largest shareholder," according to Richard Ryman of the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. The team and the brewer "announced the 10-year extension Tuesday in the Lambeau Field Atrium, which was adorned with Miller Lite signs and whose main entrance is the Miller Lite Gate." It is the "closest thing to naming rights a sponsor can get at Lambeau, where field naming rights are not on the table." Miller "has been the primary Atrium sponsor" since the renovated Lambeau Field opened in '03. Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said that the agreement "will strengthen MillerCoors' presence in Lambeau" when 6,700 new south end zone seats become available in '13. The south end zone "will be home to a new Miller Lite Club and a relocated Miller Lite End Zone Party Deck." MillerCoors owns 2% of total shares issued by the team, which is "the maximum amount allowed to any individual shareholder." The deal "provides MillerCoors with a variety of retailing and exclusivity opportunities." President & CEO of MillerCoors' craft import division Tenth and Blake Tom Cardella said that the company "looks for ways to use those opportunities to interact with fans, such as making the Miller Lite party deck available for promotional programs" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/18). In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted the deal "gives Miller Lite the rights to develop advertising, consumer promotions, retail point of sale, packaging and other marketing materials featuring the Packers name and Lambeau Field" (JSONLINE.com, 7/17).
I NEED TICKETS: In Green Bay, Hannah O'Brien reports the Ashwaubenon Village Board next week "is expected to discuss eliminating an ordinance that restricts ticket scalping on game days outside Lambeau Field." Ashwaubenon Public Safety Chief Eric Dunning said that the "more than 70,000 fans who converge on the Lambeau Field area on game days make it difficult for the department to station more than one or two officers in the designated ticket-selling area" near the stadium. Dunning: "With our municipality, it's supply and demand, and we have other police services that are being demanded of us. Those resources that we once had available for the ticket area, (they're) being deployed elsewhere now" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/18).
The Red Sox enter play today in 4th place in the AL East with a 46-45 record, and the team's performance is "undermining sales of team merchandise, especially the jerseys of popular players," according to Dan Adams of the BOSTON GLOBE. MLB merchandise licensee Majestic Athletic said that while sales of "jerseys for all of baseball combined are up nearly 40 percent so far this season, sales of Red Sox jerseys are declining at a single-digit pace." Red Sox official team store Manager Scott Saklad said that business "would be off this year but for sales of shirts and other gear commemorating the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park." He added that another explanation for soft sales "is because the Red Sox made few major acquisitions of new players who generate excitement among fans." Adams notes the "shine of last year's blockbuster acquisitions -- Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford -- has faded" as well. The Red Sox remain a "major draw among fans looking to buy baseball jerseys and other gear -- among the top five teams of merchandise sold by Majestic Athletic." Meanwhile, television ratings for Red Sox games "have remained surprisingly strong, with broadcaster NESN pulling in a 7.5 household rating and an average of 224,000 viewers per game." That is "not far off the team’s 7.7 rating at the midpoint last season." Inside the ballpark, fans are "spending more on food and beverages." However, Red Sox Exec VP & COO Sam Kennedy "acknowledged that jersey sales and other merchandise were 'probably flat'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/18).
In a letter Monday sent to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and “other top House leaders, NASCAR was joined” by the NFL, MLB, NBA and Izod IndyCar Series in “begging for lawmakers to keep money flowing” from military sponsorships, according to Stephen Dinan of the WASHINGTON TIMES. The leagues said that sports sponsorships “are the ‘most efficient tool’ in the military’s entire arsenal for reaching potential recruits.” NASCAR and other sports leagues are “feverishly fighting this week to try to defend that spending in the face of a conservative-liberal coalition that says it’s time for the government to stop pumping taxpayers’ money into private sports teams -- at least without more evidence that it pays off.” U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), whose support this year “helped breathe life into the defunding effort,” said, “We’re just trying to say, ‘Look, if you put your name on somebody’s car, show me the numbers.’ I think as a conservative, we’ve got to measure our friends in the military with the same yardstick we measure a social program.” Dinan notes the military spent between $80-100M “in each of the past two years on sports sponsorships, including mixed martial arts and fishing.” But with motorsports teams “getting the biggest chunks of that money, NASCAR has become the chief public target.” The “first blow was dealt this year” when Kingston and fellow U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) tried to strip military funding “and won in the House Appropriations Committee.” The Army recently cut ties with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Stewart-Haas Racing.The two remaining NASCAR entities under scrutiny are the National Guard’s sponsorship of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series and a deal between the Air Force and the No. 43 car driven by Aric Almirola in the Nationwide Series (WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/18).
WELCOME TO CORPORATE AMERICA: Speed’s Tommy Kendall said of the future of military sponsorships in NASCAR, “This is not really a lot different than what goes on inside different companies. ... When you get new people, one person loves it, another person doesn’t.” Kendall: “It’s a charged subject and depending whether you’re a NASCAR fan or not is probably which side you land on.” Speed’s Dave Despain said, “The marketing budget (for the military) is not going to be reduced. They still have to have recruits, they’re just going to go spend it somewhere else” (“Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain,” Speed, 7/15).
There were “no sneaker controversies, real or imagined, in this year's selection” of the USA men's Olympic basketball team, as “fate has made the USA squad all-Nike,” according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. adidas America Global Basketball officials in Portland “had to cringe just a little on Monday if they took a look the Nike-supplied photograph of the USA men's Olympic basketball team.” With adidas endorsers Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard off the team due to injuries, the “millions of dollars that Adidas has spent on endorsement contracts for Rose and Howard -- the one-two punch of Adidas Basketball marketing -- won't have nearly as much bang for their bucks.” But if there is “any consolation” for adidas, it is that Rose and Howard “won't be wearing a Swoosh” during Olympic play with Nike sponsoring the men’s basketball team. Both LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be wearing their Nike Hyperdunk+ shoes that “include a footbed of sensors that will measure how high they jumps, track their highest jump, measure their average jump height and total jumps per game along with steps per second and quickest movements.” Brettman noted it “will be interesting how Nike and Olympics broadcaster NBC make use of the data.” Meanwhile, Nike Global Corporate Communications Dir Mary Remuzzi said that everyone on the USA women's team “except two players will wear the Nike Hyperdunk 2012” (OREGONLIVE.com, 7/17).
TEAM USA PLAYER
Nike Hyperdunk LOW
Nike Zoom KOBE VII
Nike Zoom KD IV
Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2012
Nike Hyperdunk LOW
Jordan Super Fly
Jordan Super Fly
NOTE: * = Kevin Love wears Nike shoes, but his exact brand was unknown at presstime.
The USOC, in conjunction with the IOC, today “begins a moratorium on athletes marketing themselves through companies that aren’t official Olympic sponsors,” according to Barry Svrluga of the WASHINGTON POST.
The moratorium “holds through Aug. 15, three days after” the London Games conclude. USOC CMO Lisa Baird said, “Ambush marketing seems to be an issue that continues to rear its head in every Games. There are ambush marketers out there that want to imply an association with the Olympics. They’ll take terminology; imagery, and they will get very close or crossing the line to really imply that they are a sponsor. That hurts us.” But several athletes and their reps “believe the athletes suffer more.” Agent Erika Wright, who represents U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, called the restrictions “absolutely terrible.” The rules have “been in place for decades, but they have been increasingly contentious as more athletes try to build their individual brands around their Olympic performances.” This “applies to someone like” eight-time Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, but it also “affects lesser-known Olympians.” Wright also represents U.S. swimmer Conor Dwyer, who will make his first Olympic appearance in London. Wright has “wanted to help him sell shirts” that say, “Go Dwyer” or “Team Dwyer” during the Games. The USOC said no. Wright: “The underlying premise behind the rules, there is a good purpose to it. But in application they carry it too far. They scare the athletes to death.” Svrluga notes the pamphlet distributed to athletes says Olympians are “encouraged” to use Twitter and blogs to document their experiences. But the pamphlet continues to say the athletes “are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet” (WASHINGTON POST, 7/18).
EPL club Chelsea and Russia-based Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd. yesterday announced a three-year energy partnership. Gazprom will become the club’s official global energy provider, supplying gas and power at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea’s training facility at Cobham. As part of the deal, Gazprom’s brand will be displayed on LED boards at Stamford Bridge during EPL, FA Cup and Capital One Cup games, on the club’s media backdrops and across its digital platforms.