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Volume 24 No. 112

Marketing and Sponsorship

Gatorade “dropped its title sponsorship” of the annual Daytona 500 qualifying races earlier this year, “but the PepsiCo brand plans to extend its sponsorship of NASCAR’s victory lane at 12 racetracks,” according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal with ISC will see the brand “continue to be associated with one of NASCAR’s most visible locations, Gatorade Victory Lane.” The company will “have branding in victory lane at ISC’s 12 Sprint Cup tracks and have the location described as Gatorade Victory Lane on radio broadcasts from those facilities.” Gatorade also “will receive tickets and hospitality at the tracks.” Financial terms of the “new, multiyear deal” were not available. The last deal, which included the Gatorade Duels title sponsorship, “was a 10-year agreement valued at more than $2 million a year.” Gatorade will become the “official isotonic beverage of ISC’s tracks.” The brand also will “add the sports nutrition category to its deal so that it can promote its line of energy chews, gels and bars.” In exchange for expanding into sports nutrition, Gatorade “gave up the rights to the energy drink category, allowing ISC to sell that for the first time in the last decade” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/24 issue)

The Dolphins are no longer the “500-pound gorilla on the South Florida sports landscape,” and players’ “supplemental income, earned from appearances and advertisements, has seen collateral damage,” according to Adam Beasley of the MIAMI HERALD. Dolphins RB Reggie Bush “at one time earned $1 million annually from Adidas and appeared in national spots on behalf of Pizza Hut and Subway.” Bush said, “I would say it’s probably tapered off a little bit; that’s obviously a given.” He added, “We have to take advantage of the passion of football here. We’ve got to help fire that up, keep that going because that’s going to help us down the road.” Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said, “It’s been a rough decade. Winning and having a team that people are excited about is at the center of everything you do.” Miami-based brand manager Bruce Turkel said, “They’re just not part of the community. You see Dwyane Wade and LeBron James everywhere, in advertisements, publications. But beyond the hard-core fan base, people are hard-pressed to name the (Dolphins) players.” Beasley reported the organization has “taken steps to change that perception.” Players every Tuesday “fan out across the area for charitable appearances,” and the club last week “handed out a total of $20,000 in scholarships to four academically gifted high schoolers.” South Florida-based agent David Canter reps six current Dolphins and he said that marketing opportunities “still exist even in this climate.” However, he noted agents “need to be more creative to get at them.” Dolphins CB Sean Smith, one of Canter’s clients, has a deal “with Remix, the boutique watch line that’s unique because of its bold, customizable colors.” Beasley noted “several Dolphins players are members of, a service that allows the public to order custom video messages from celebrities and athletes -- for a fee, of course” (MIAMI HERALD, 9/23).