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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

ESPN and Wieden + Kennedy, N.Y., took the net's “excellent ‘It's not crazy, it's sports’ campaign into posthumous territory,” according to Tim Nudd of AD WEEK. The net yesterday released an online documentary titled "Team Spirit" that explores “one of the most peculiar -- OK, craziest -- sports topics around: fans who take their favorite teams with them to the grave." The eight-minute film, directed by Errol Morris and posted to ESPN's YouTube page, looks “at the unlikely trend of sports-themed funerals.” The theme is an “odd and unsettling topic, to be sure.” But in Morris' “skillful hands, it becomes a surprisingly poignant expression of just what sports means to people.” Morris achieves the “perfect tone -- bemused yet respectful, lighthearted yet heartfelt.” The film is “shot and scored beautifully, with artful title cards and graphics and playful music” (, 8/1).

A special paint scheme which promoted "The Dark Night Rises"on NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Sprint Cup Chevy during the June 17 Quicken Loans 400 has been Lionel NASCAR Collectibles' “best-selling diecast since the end of the 2011 season,” according to Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS. The rankings are only for its "Action Racing Collectibles brand and take into account sales from the end of last season through July 10.” The "Dark Knight" paint scheme used at Michigan Int'l Speedway was in place when Earnhardt got his first Sprint Cup victory in 143 races. Diecasts of Dale Earnhart Jr. cars account for four of the top 10 spots, while two versions of the late Dale Earnhardt No. 3 Chevy holds two spots. Lionel also announced a “20th anniversary Action Racing Collectibles diecast car -- the company began selling diecasts 20 years ago as Action Performance -- and also announced that all diecasts produced over the next year will have a 20th-anniversary bottom stamp” (, 7/31).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew /
“The Dark Knight Rises” Chevrolet Impala
Dale Earnhardt 1989 No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Tony Stewart No. 14 Office Depot 2011 Championship Chevrolet Impala
Dale Earnhardt 1989 No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet Lumina
Matt Kenseth No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion
Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 AMP Energy Chevrolet Impala
Richard Petty 1986 No. 6 STP Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Mark Martin No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota Camry
Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 National Guard/NASCAR Unites Chevrolet Impala
Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 AMP Energy/7-Eleven Chevrolet Impala


Davis is one of the 54 players from this
year's draft to sign a deal with Panini
Panini America has reached a multiyear autographed trading card deal with No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Hornets C  Anthony Davis. The deal will make Davis the eighth draft pick from the top 20 in this year's draft to sign exclusively with the trading card company. Panini has deals with 54 of the 60 total draft picks, in addition to 12 undrafted free agents. Panini, the NBA's official trading card, has now signed deals with the No. 1 overall pick from the last four drafts (THE DAILY).

CLASSY GLASS: The Blue Jackets yesterday announced they have expanded their corporate partnership with Lexus, which has been a partner with the NHL franchise since the ’08-09 season. As part of the partnership the two will introduce “The Lexus Glass Seats,” which will give the automaker naming rights to the entire first row of seats closest to the ice at Nationwide Arena. Lexus will have branding throughout the seating area. Other elements of the partnership include a Lexus vehicle on display on the main concourse for all home games, broadcast inventory and in-game electronic messaging in the arena bowl (Blue Jackets).

A GOOD SIGN: In S.F., Eric Young reported Lexus has agreed to sponsor the ‘13 America’s Cup. Lexus will be the "official vehicle" of all preliminary races as well as of the Final in S.F. America's Cup sponsorships "have lagged this year," but last month, execs said that a number of deals "were in the pipeline." Other pending deals involve "an investment firm and medical/insurance company." Sources said that a deal with an "airline also is possible." The highest-profile sponsors for the America’s Cup include Louis Vuitton, Puma and Moet & Chandon (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 7/30). 

I'VE GOT SOUL: Headphone/earphone maker SOUL Electronics yesterday announced a deal with Jets QB Tim Tebow, making him a new brand ambassador. Tebow will be featured in the company’s “SOUL of Greatness” video series and campaign. He will also represent the brand at various events throughout the year and will be a development partner for his own specially branded SOUL products. SOUL already has endorsement deals with Gold Medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, FC Barcelona MF Cesc Fabregas and Magic C Dwight Howard (SOUL).

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