DirecTV’s new ads for its “NFL Sunday Ticket” package starring Broncos QB Peyton Manning and Giants QB Eli Manning are part of a “multiplatform campaign that touts the benefits of the out-of-market live-game package, including a major price reduction from last season’s offer,” according to R. Thomas Umstead of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. The move comes as DirecTV “looks to turn around a recent stumble on the subscriber front: It reported a new reduction of 52,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2012, the first such loss in the company’s history.” DirecTV has “an estimated 2 million to 3 million Sunday Ticket buyers out of a total subscriber base of about 20 million.” The company is running the first of nine promos featuring the Mannings as "fairy godfathers.” The ads “continue a campaign launched last year" with Pro Football HOFer Deion Sanders, who also is featured in ads this season. DirecTV VP/Marketing Alex Kaplan said that he “expects to see growing mobile views of Sunday Ticket games, after posting ‘significant’ increases last season.” Kaplan said, “All of our product research says that the primary reason people order Sunday Ticket is for the linear product -- even those who use the mobile product” (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 8/13 issue).
WELCOME TO THE TEAM: Broncos VP/Corporate Partnerships Brady Kellogg said that the team has “signed agreements with two more companies that sponsor" Peyton Manning: DirecTV and Papa John’s Pizza. Kellogg said that the Broncos had “been in discussions with both companies before signing Manning.” Kellogg: “They were a part of ongoing business efforts, but Manning really helped” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/13 issue).
Suzanne Johnson, the wife of Jets Owner Woody Johnson, is “the new ambassador and spokeswoman for NFL women’s apparel,” and she is “bringing high style -- and her formidable celebrity contacts -- to the rough-and-tumble world of football,” according to Kirsten Fleming of the N.Y. POST. Johnson "aimed high" with one of her first initiatives and "landed an unlikely collaboration with one of the most exclusive red-carpet fashion houses: Marchesa.” Johnson is “enlisting strong women” such as tennis player and Dolphins investor Serena Williams and “admitted football fanatic" former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to appear in the NFL’s third annual women’s apparel campaign. Designer Georgina Chapman also has signed on, and a “highly anticipated shirt will be unveiled after the NFL’s kickoff on Sept. 5.” Johnson was “approached three years earlier to play a role in the league’s decision to ditch oversize jerseys and patronizing pink T-shirts for female fans in favor of high-end handbags, fitted jerseys and even a line of nail polishes in team colors.” She said, “I couldn’t do it. I just had a baby. So the next year, they asked me again, and Woody said, ‘Go ahead.’” Fleming notes Johnson took part in last year’s “Rivals” ad campaign -- posing with Gwen Reese, the wife of Giants GM Jerry Reese -- and was “so energized that she convinced her girlfriends … to eschew their Bergdorf finery in favor of Jets jerseys at last September’s Badgley Mischka Fashion Week show.” NFL VP/Consumer Products & Apparel Tracey Bleczinksi said, “Suzanne has brought an incredible energy and creativity to this campaign that has taken us to new heights. Her ability to understand our fans, her sense of style and of course her passion for the green and white is unparalleled and invaluable” (N.Y. POST, 8/15).
The second set of ads for MLS Galaxy F David Beckham’s Bodywear for H&M line launches tomorrow and will “coincide with a ‘statue stunt’ planned by the retailer with larger-than-life Beckhams going up” in N.Y, L.A. and S.F., according to Samantha Critchell of the AP. New products “will be added to the collection later this fall.” Beckham in an e-mail said, “I'm very happy that so far people seem to like it and the first season was incredibly successful. The challenge is to keep it going and establish a brand that will last many years. That is my ambition." He added the formula for the H&M bodywear line is largely about his personal preferences of "comfort and fit." Beckham: "It's important to me that Bodywear means more than just briefs and Ts. It's about all the pieces I like." Beckham said that he “values the input of H&M designers, especially when it comes to their technical expertise, to get products to the point where he wants his name on them” (AP, 8/14). The product launch was highlighted by a 30-second ad during NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLVI, of which Beckham said, "It's been so great to read all the comments from fans on my Facebook page, who always let me know exactly what they think" (LONDON TIMES, 8/15).
PROMOTING THE PARALYMPICS: BRAND REPUBLIC's Matthew Chapman reported Beckham will appear in an ad for U.K.-based supermarket chain Sainsbury's debuting today "that will push its Paralympic Games sponsorship." The spot focuses on British Paralympic athletes "as they prepare for London 2012 and aims to highlight the dedication, determination and desire of the athletes" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 8/14).