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Volume 24 No. 177

Marketing and Sponsorship

Watkins Glen Int'l will “go without a title sponsor for next week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after a potential late deal fell apart,” according to Andrew Legare of the Elmira STAR-GAZETTE. This is the 27th annual Sprint Cup race at the track and “it will be the first without a title sponsor.” Heluva Good!, the sponsor of “the previous three races, decided in February not to renew its contract.” This year’s race “will be called the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen.” WGI President Michael Printup said, “We had been working for about three months with a pretty high level brand inside of America and we were notified last week they couldn’t put together a complete package.” Printup said that title sponsorships “provide between $500,000 and $2 million” (Elmira STAR-GAZETTE, 8/1). In New York, Chris Gill notes the name of the race “was chosen by the WGI staff to bring some attention to Central New York’s most prominent features and help boost local and regional tourism.” Printup said of going without a title sponsor, “It’s a big-time disappointment here, we’ve been very successful here at The Glen for 20-plus years securing a sponsor. It’s not the desired way to go, but the fans won’t see a thing -- this is going to be as seamless as always.” Printup said that talks “fell through late last week, as the company couldn’t reach an agreement with ESPN.” Printup: “The biggest stumbling block we always run into: they’re looking for a combo package, but we only control one end. They want a TV package and we don’t control that” (CORNING LEADER, 8/1).

Bellin Health and the Packers are "extending their partnership with naming rights for the new north gate at Lambeau Field and additional health-related programs," according to Richard Ryman of the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. Bellin Health President & CEO George Kerwin said during Monday's announcement at Lambeau Field, "It is much more than just a marketing relationship." Bellin has been in partnership with the Packers "since 2007, including providing health care services and facilities for players." Bellin will work with the team "on a number of health-related initiatives under the new 'Titletown Wellness' brand." The initiatives include "construction of a sports medicine and primary-health clinic near Lambeau Field." The clinic would be "open to the public, but also would include diagnostic facilities available to players." The plan is to "have the clinic open by 2015" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/31). Bellin also serves as sponsor of the team's practice jerseys (THE DAILY).

JetBlue and USC have agreed to a multiyear sponsorship that was scheduled to be announced today at Long Beach Airport. Fox Sports, the multimedia rights holder for USC athletics, sold the deal to JetBlue. It includes an array of assets, including status as the Trojans’ official domestic airline partner, presenting sponsorship for a handful of football and basketball games, JetBlue-branded seats in the L.A. Coliseum, signage at many of USC’s fields and venues, and a partnership with the USC alumni association. JetBlue will have the ability to extend special offers to USC alums for road football games and other occasions. JetBlue’s only other college deal was a long-running sponsorship at the Univ. of Texas, but that deal expired this year. “The unique nature of the deal is the integration of athletic and alumni association assets,” said Dan Shell, Fox’ VP & GM of the USC property. “You’re starting to see more and more of that across the country, where assets from across campus are incorporated into deals with athletic assets.” Long Beach Airport was chosen as the site of today’s announcement because several JetBlue flights originate from there, and the airline wanted to help the airport show off some of its recent renovations.

Panthers QB Cam Newton has “taken the country by storm since being drafted No. 1 overall last year,” and in just 15 months he has “developed into a national celebrity unlike anything the Panthers have seen since they began play" in '95, according to Steve Reed of the AP. If he is “not flying through your television set" in commercials for Under Armour or Gatorade, chances are fans have seen Newton "featured prominently by the NFL in advertisements for its upcoming preseason games.” No other Panthers player has “come close to grabbing the national spotlight as Newton has” after a record-setting rookie season. Panthers OT Jordan Gross said, “We haven't had a guy who gets this much attention -- ever.” Panthers LB Jon Beason: “We're still a very young franchise in a city where NASCAR is superior. If we win more games here, more of you guys (the media) are going to show up; there will be more endorsement deals and TV commercials for everybody. I think when you do have a mega-superstar on your team it definitely helps you.” Panthers C Ryan Kalil said, “People see him on commercials and think that's what he's been doing in the offseason, but they don't know what he's done behind the scenes.” He added, “You might think he's about the commercials, but that's not the deal. You don't see what we see” (AP, 7/30). In Charlotte, Joseph Person noted Newton is in commercials "just about everywhere else you look these days.” Beason said, “He’s a mega-superstar already” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/31).

I LOVE YOUR SMILE: In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen wrote it is "tough to write a column about Newton that doesn’t come off as an advertisement," but nobody in the organization "says anything critical about him -- not players, not coaches, not management.” When asked in what way Newton’s personality is dynamic, Panthers GM Marty Hurney said, “All you have to do is look at that smile.” Hurney added, “He has a youthful enthusiasm that is accompanied by an extreme professionalism” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/31).

NFL Media yesterday announced a new campaign titled, “It’s Serious Fun,” via David&Goliath, L.A. The campaign recently debuted with three TV spots: “Rooftop” and “Mountain” for NFL Network’s "Thursday Night Football" and “Wheat Field” for Fantasy Football. The promotion consists of national TV, print, radio, online, events and on-air spots, which will appear throughout the '12-13 NFL season (NFL).

: The PGA of America and PepsiCo yesterday announced that they have inked a multiyear renewal of their longstanding deal. PepsiCo beverages will continue to be exclusively served in hospitality and concession areas at the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship, PGA Grand Slam of Golf and any U.S.-Based Ryder Cup events. The beverages also will be poured at PGA of America-owned facilities. PepsiCo brands have served as the organization's official non-alcoholic beverage suppliers since '93 (PGA of America).

WORDS OF A LEGEND: AD AGE, in its "Creativity Pick Of The Day," noted rapper/actor Mos Def, Ogilvy Paris and Steam Films Dir Stuart McIntyre “pay tribute to Muhammad Ali in two beautiful films for Louis Vuitton, the fashion brand's first film campaign ever.” Mos Def recites “two poetic speeches made famous by the boxing legend in a dark, shadowy ring, while graphic artist Niels Show Meulman elaborates on the words with his gorgeous calligraphy.” The campaign includes “a dedicated website that contains photos and recordings of Ali's famous speeches” (, 7/31).

: In California, Jan Norman reports Cypress-based Manhattan Beachwear Inc. “has acquired the license to market Adidas swimwear” in the U.S. Manhattan is the “largest U.S. manufacturer of women’s fashion swimwear.” The first adidas swimwear for men and women under this licensing agreement “will be available in retail stores in January, 2013” (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/1).