AdvoCare has signed on to be title sponsor of the Nov. 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, which marks the penultimate race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The fall race at PIR had been title sponsored by Kobalt Tools the past two seasons and Checker Auto Parts from '99-'09. AdvoCare also serves as title sponsor for the Labor Day weekend Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Phoenix, Tyler Killian notes terms of the multiyear deal were not disclosed. One question the deal brought about was "whether the new sponsorship will result in additional upgrades or improvements to the facility." PIR President Bryan Sperber did not "elaborate on any specific plans but said the partnership with AdvoCare will help facilitate future advancements" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/26). Also in Phoenix, Mike Sunnucks noted AdvoCare has made "some forays into sports marketing," including sponsoring Saints QB Drew Brees and Browns QB Colt McCoy. The company also "is the primary sponsor" of a Nationwide Series car owned by Richard Childress and is the title sponsor for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.AdvoCare CEO Richard Wright said, "One of my personal goals is to make AdvoCare a household name" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/25).
The Ryder Cup begins Friday in Medinah, Ill., and merchandise sales on Shop.PGA.com are at record levels. Site visits per day are up 186% and sales have already exceeded any prior year. Sales during the final round of the PGA Championship on Aug. 12 and the Monday following the event resulted in the two highest sales days in the history of the tournament. Ryder Cup merchandise sales on Shop.PGA.com have seen growth each month this year. Sept. 4, the day the U.S. Ryder Cup captain’s picks were announced, was the highest sales day for Ryder Cup merchandise this year. Even before the tourney starts, Shop.PGA.com has sold more Ryder Cup merchandise than in any other calendar year. Top sellers among Ryder Cup merch are polos, caps, jackets and a pin flag. The PGA of America’s e-commerce site is administered by Fanatics.com, the de facto online retailer for most large U.S. sports properties, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR and ESPN.
NBA Kings officials said that the team today will "announce a partial lineup of corporate partners for 2012-13, including new sponsors Nokia Siemens and Wal-Mart, and a returning former sponsor, Verizon Wireless," according to Tony Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. For Nokia Siemens, the deal "is the first with a professional American sports team." The Kings said the list represents "more sponsorship commitments than at any point during the Kings' 27-year tenure in Northern California." However, there are "several sponsors" which have "left the team, including long-time supporter Carl's Jr., hospital giant Sutter Health, which had a one-year deal, and Jiffy Lube's area franchises." Another sponsor from last year, software maker Synergex International Corp., said that it "felt betrayed by [Kings Owners] the Maloofs' decision to walk away from the arena project." Kings officials yesterday "insisted Synergex remains a sponsor with a multiyear deal." But Synergex President & CEO Michele Wong said that her company "won't renew its sponsorship after the Maloofs rejected the arena deal last April." Wong: "We felt that they were not showing good faith." Meanwhile, the team "remains without an arena naming-rights partner," but has been "in talks with several potential replacements, including Sleep Train Mattress Centers." Sleep Train Founder & CEO Dale Carlsen this week said there are "no real updates" to report on the talks (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/26).
British toymaker Hornby “suffered dire sales in their London 2012 merchandise this summer,” sending the company’s shares "tumbling by more than a third,” according to James Thompson of the London INDEPENDENT. A key problem is “understood to have been a distinct lack of demand at big retail chains" for Hornby's figurines of official London Games mascots Wenlock and Mandeville. A source said that “big retailers, such as Tesco and Argos, got cold feet after sales of the mascot toys disappointed, which led to them cancelling orders en masse from licensee Hornby early in the summer.” The lower than expected sales of merchandise “hit Hornby's profits" by $4.9M (all figures U.S.). Hornby before the Olympics explained that it “had initially enjoyed ‘strong’ orders from retailers and ‘encouraging’ consumer purchases.” But the problem was that retailers "had also purchased huge quantities of London 2012 merchandise from other licencees and [when] faced with a glut of unsold stock they ‘resorted to deep discounting.’” The company said that it “now only expects to ‘break even’ this year,” following a profit of $7.3M in ‘11-12 (London INDEPENDENT, 9/26).