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Volume 24 No. 154

Marketing and Sponsorship

Doritos today will announce "plans to seriously boost the booty in its seventh annual Crash the Super Bowl contest," as the brand will "link up with one of Hollywood's most successful directors, Michael Bay," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The consumer who "creates the top-ranked Doritos commercial aired during the Super Bowl -- as determined by USA Today's Ad Meter consumer poll of best-liked Super Bowl commercials -- wins the chance to work with Bay on the next installment of the 'Transformers' movie franchise, to be filmed in 2013." With the promo, Doritos "aims to not only break through the Super Bowl clutter, but to add another notch to its history of generating top Super Bowl spots." If a Doritos spot "tops USA Today Ad Meter, the creator also wins $1 million." Five finalists for the Crash the Super Bowl contest "will be announced in January." Fans will then "vote online for their favorites." The top two "will be broadcast during the game" (USA TODAY, 9/19).

The Orioles are currently tied for first place in the AL East, and sales of the team's merchandise "are skyrocketing," according to data provided by online retailer and cited by Darren Rovell of Only the Yankees and Giants "have sold more gear than the Orioles in September." The team "jumped from the 14th spot in August to No. 3, having sold 40 percent more merchandise in the first half of September than in the entire month of August." Sales of the team's official New Era cap are up 102%, making it the "seventh-most popular team" in MLB. Fanatics added that 67% of people "who purchased Orioles gear from their website came from outside the state of Maryland." Rovell noted not only has the team's performance "jump-started sales," it also comes from the fact the Orioles "decided to wear retro all of the time." Orioles Communications Dir Greg Bader said that "so many people are now wearing the team's apparel that 'you can't go a few feet in downtown without seeing Orioles gear'" (, 9/18).

Leo Burnett USA announced the NCAA selected the firm as its lead advertising, branding and communications agency. The deal includes strategic planning, creative development and national advertising. The account will be led from Leo Burnett's Detroit office. With the deal, the NCAA's marketing is moving to a more multiplatfom strategy (Leo Burnett). TV creative is "expected to debut during next year's March Madness, though it's likely that print, radio and digital work will appear before then" (, 9/18).

BAD TO THE BONE: UFC fighter Jon Jones said that his new Nike shoe and clothing line "will be out in three to four months.” Jones said, "I have a lot of pride with this deal. I consider myself a pretty marketable individual.”’s Lynn Hoppes noted Jones is currently “working with the Nike designers on the color and style” of his line (, 9/18).

O YES HE DID: The AP's John Wawrow noted Bills DE Mario Williams yesterday at a Buffalo-area supermarket unveiled "MariO's,” the “latest limited edition cereal produced by” Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports. The company previously “brought area sports fans ‘T.O's,’ during Terrell Owens season in Buffalo, and ‘Flutie Flakes,’ during Doug Flutie's tenure as the Bills quarterback.” The cereal box is in "Bills red and blue colors, with a picture of an open-mouthed Williams pretending to be roaring on the front.” Williams will be “donating all of his proceeds to Carly’s Club,” a charity that “supports patients at Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute” (AP, 9/18).

GOING FOR A RUN: Nissan extended its partnership with N.Y. Road Runners through ’13, becoming a top partner of the ING N.Y. Marathon and presenting sponsor of the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile, which takes place Saturday (Nissan).