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Volume 24 No. 117

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Univ. of Nebraska football team played Saturday's game against Wisconsin wearing a one-time alternate uniform by adidas, and the financial benefit "is significant" to the school, according to Jordan Pascale of the Lincoln JOURNAL STAR. Lincoln-based retail store Husker Headquarters Marketing Dir Blaine Braziel said that replica jerseys "run about $65 and have been selling briskly." Braziel said that retailers were shipped the replicas earlier this month and they "sold out of their first allotment last weekend." Huskers Headquarters sold 10 jerseys "in the first 30 minutes after it opened Friday." Braziel said, "It creates a fervor. They are great short-term sellers because they are new and different." Pascale noted miniature replicas of the black helmets Nebraska wore Saturday "go for about $30," while T-shirts with the alternate jersey theme "run about $18." NU's official online retail store "offers 13 items with the new 'N' logo." NU Assistant AD/Marketing, Licensing & Concessions Michael Stephens said that the reaction "has been different compared to the nostalgic 1962 replica jerseys the team wore in 2009 to mark the 300th consecutive sellout of Memorial Stadium." He added that there "are possibilities in the future" for other alternate uniforms. Stephens: "We're interested in doing it from a marketing standpoint, but we want to keep with tradition and don't take that lightly" (Lincoln JOURNAL STAR, 9/29). In Madison, Tom Oates wrote the Big Ten "should have called Saturday night’s game ... the adidas Bowl." adidas was "attempting to showcase two of its signature college football programs ... in old-school fashion." The uniforms were "an odd mix of 50-year-old lettering with ultramodern fabric and design." Oates: "Some thought they were cool, some thought they were hideous, most didn’t give it a thought after the opening kickoff" (Wisconsin STATE JOURNAL, 9/30). ESPN’s Desmond Howard said of the uniforms, “Not a big fan.” He noted it was adidas' attempt "to hang with Nike." ESPN’s Lee Corso said, “They look like soccer uniforms” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 9/29).

IRISH EYES ARE CRYING: ESPN’s Chris Fowler noted Notre Dame will "make a fashion statement” against the Univ. of Miami this Saturday, as the team will wear helmets with the “nice shiny gold on one side and then a special surprise on the other side. ... You got the brand-new updated leprechaun logo." Players are excited about the new helmets, but a "lot of the traditional Notre Dame fans are very stirred up that you’ve messed with the Golden Dome.” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said, “Our players, our recruits, they all love the look and we do it one time a year. It’s not something that we do every week. We do it in this Shamrock Series so we make sure that everybody identifies this one game with our opportunity to appeal to the young kids that we’re recruiting. If you didn’t like what we had last year, you’re definitely not going to like it this year. We’ve just resigned to the fact that we’ll have one game a year where we try to appeal to the younger audience” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 9/29).

BUCKING UP: In Columbus, Jacob Kanclerz reported Ohio State Univ. football jersey sales are "starting to recover," and coach Urban Meyer is "a big draw, too." Columbus-based retail store College Traditions Owner Kelly Dawes said, "The Urban shirts are flying. We're selling a ton of Urban shirts -- more than jerseys." She added that jersey sales are "twice as good as they were last year at this time" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/30).

Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera will have “plenty of opportunity to cash in” if he can become the first Triple Crown winner since ’67, according to Darren Rovell of MLB and the MLBPA have “already talked with licensees to produce gear should Cabrera accomplish the feat.” Memorabilia company Tri-Star Productions VP Bobby Mintz said Cabrera could make “six figures” from an autograph deal. Despite Cabrera’s success, MLB records show he has “only the 19th-best-selling jersey in the league since the All-Star break” even with his “online jersey sales doubling year over year." The Marketing Arm Senior VP Bill Glenn said of the Triple Crown possibility, "Certainly it helps marketability, but it's not likely to turn him into a Peyton Manning-like endorser." The Davie-Brown Index, a polling service owned by The Marketing Arm, “reveals that Cabrera is more well-known than” baseball HOFer Dave Winfield, Braves 3B Chipper Jones, Heat G Ray Allen, Phillies P Cliff Lee and Chargers QB Philip Rivers (, 9/29).

F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is "expected to become the face of Mercedes advertising after signing a three-year deal” to leave the McLaren team and drive for Mercedes, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING magazine. The signing of Hamilton “comes after Mercedes-Benz signed a new commercial agreement with F1's commercial rights holders, which guarantees the team's long-term commitment to the sport.” One “contractual difference between Hamilton's deals with Mercedes and McLaren is that Hamilton was allowed only one personal sponsor -- Reebok -- by McLaren.” His other marketing opportunities were “restricted to McLaren sponsors such as Santander and Vodafone.” At Mercedes, “his contract gives him a lot more freedom and he will be allowed a larger portfolio of sponsors” (, 9/28).

ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: In London, Tom Cary noted Hamilton's deal “could be worth” as much as US$100M. Mercedes "is waiting” for its BOD in Stuttgart to sign off on the new F1 Concorde Agreement, the commercial pact that binds the teams to the sport, before making an official announcement about Hamilton (London TELEGRAPH, 9/28). In a separate piece, Cary wrote Hamilton's advisors, Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment, "know little about the mysteries of F1 engineering." But Hamilton would not have been "ignorant of all these facts." Cary: "Do not believe those who would have you believe that he was persuaded to move purely because of Fuller’s lust for filthy lucre." It may have "played a part -- there is no doubt XIX will make more money out of him at Brackley and they may have tacitly encouraged him to make the leap” (London TELEGRAPH, 9/29). Also in London, Ted Macauley wrote XIX Entertainment executives were “probably behind the switch because they want to make him a global name, like they did with” MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham and the Spice Girls (London DAILY STAR, 9/30).

The ATP World Tour and the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club outside of Jacksonville, Fla., have “entered a marketing agreement in which they will promote each other to their respective clientele,” according to Ashley Gurbal Kritzer of the JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. No dollars “will be exchanged, but the Inn & Club, a 250-room oceanfront resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, will be promoted on the ATP’s website.” The resort in exchange will “promote the ATP on its website and give the ATP access to its database of guests’ information to market its tennis tournaments.” Ponte Vedra Inn & Club VP/Sales & Marketing Andy Radovic said that the resort “hopes to increase its exposure on a national and international level through the agreement.” He added that the agreement, announced Sept. 21, is “in its ‘embryonic stage’ and is the first of its kind for the resort.” Gurbal Kritzer reports the website cross-promotions "will likely begin in 30 days.” Radovic said that the resort “could host ATP exhibition matches,” but the facility is “not large enough to host tournaments” (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/28 issue).