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Volume 24 No. 114

Marketing and Sponsorship

Heat G Dwyane Wade has “officially departed Jordan Brand for Beijing-based footwear and apparel company Li-Ning,” according to a source cited by Jared Zwerling of ESPN.com. Wade “had been with Jordan Brand” since ’10, and his contract expired on Oct. 1. Rumors “started heating up that Wade would be leaving Jordan Brand last month when he wasn't scheduled to debut a new sneaker” for the ‘12-13 season. 76ers G Evan Turner, who endorses Li-Ning, tweeted yesterday, "I'd like to welcome the homie D Wade to the Li-Ning family!!!" The tweet has “since been removed.” Zwerling noted Wade is “now Li-Ning's biggest headliner.” The company’s current endorsers in addition to Turner include Raptors G Jose Calderon and former NBAer Shaquille O'Neal, “whose shoes are only sold in China.” Li-Ning has “struggled mightily in the U.S. to make an impact after launching the first Baron Davis sneaker, the BD Doom.” Company execs “obviously hope to change that with Wade” (ESPN.com, 10/1).

Quicken Loans today announced it will expand its sponsorship of Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 39 Sprint Cup car driven by Ryan Newman. The Michigan-based mortgage lender signed a new deal that will see it double the number of primary Sprint Cup races it sponsors in '13 from nine to 18. Industry sources valued the company’s previous nine-race deal at more than $4M. Quicken Loans execs last year said they signed on to sponsor the No. 39 car in part because the company wanted to be affiliated with a team that also had a military sponsorship. The company ultimately found enough value to expand its sponsorship despite the fact that the Army, which sponsored 12 races for the No. 39 car this year, decided to end its support of Stewart-Haas. Quicken President & CMO Jay Farner in a statement said, “We were not sure what to expect with the 2012 season being our first in the sport. What we quickly found was that NASCAR fans are tremendously passionate and loyal to the brands that help drive their sport. It was their commitment to our company that ultimately allowed us to significantly increase our involvement with the sport, Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman.” The Quicken deal comes at an important time for SHR. The team had more than 30 races to sell across its No. 39 and No. 14 cars, after both Army and Office Depot, which sponsored 22 races on the No. 14 car, opted to end their co-primary support of the team. The team is still shopping 15-20 races on Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car for ‘13. In addition to the sponsorship, Quicken announced a new sweepstakes that will run through this November and reward up to five entrants with a full year of mortgage payments.

Yankees SS Derek Jeter tops the list of MLB’s most-popular jerseys based on sales of Majestic jerseys since the ’12 All-Star break. Six players made the top 10 after not appearing in the top 20 on the ’11 calendar-year list released in March of this year. The chart below lists the 20 most popular jerseys (MLB).

MLB MOST-POPULAR JERSEYS SINCE ALL-STAR BREAK
RK
NAME
RK
NAME
1
Yankees SS Derek Jeter
11
Dodgers CF Matt Kemp
2
Rangers LF Josh Hamilton
12
Cardinals 3B David Freese
3
Yankees RF Ichiro Suzuki
13
Reds 1B Joey Votto
4
Nationals RF Bryce Harper
14
Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler
5
Angels CF Mike Trout
15
Tigers 1B Prince Fielder
6
Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen
16
Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista
7
Rangers P Yu Darvish
17
Giants C Buster Posey
8
Braves 3B Chipper Jones
18
Cardinals C Yadier Molina
9
Tigers P Justin Verlander
19
Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera
10
Yankees 2B Robinson Cano
20
Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie

MISSING IN ACTION: ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell wrote if there is “anything that stands out on the list, it's that buying jerseys of pitchers doesn't seem to be in vogue, with Darvish and Verlander the only pitchers in the top 20.” Being in a large market “can help jersey sales, but not if the team itself doesn't perform.” Rovell wrote the Red Sox, Cubs and Mets were “noticeably absent from the list.” The Orioles “had no players on the list despite playing their way into their first playoff appearance since 1997” (ESPN.com, 10/1).

FIFA will “use retro sponsors’ ads for the first time in a campaign to promote the 2014 World Cup,” according to Joseph & Bacon of MARKETING WEEK. FIFA will use “posters, logos and adverts from past World Cups to promote tickets and merchandise for the next World Cup in Brazil.” The governing body “could use past campaigns from sponsors such as Mastercard as well as previous World Cup mascots.” The move “aims to boost merchandise sales during what the organisation calls the ‘off-years’ between each tournament where there is less attention on the World Cup brand.” FIFA Head of Strategy & Brand Management Ralph Straus said that the initiative is “part of [a] wider strategy to make ‘storytelling’ a more prominent part of how it markets the World Cup.” Marketing “starts at the end of the year and [will] gradually ramp up over the next 12 months to next December when the draw for the tournament takes place.” Straus said, “We’re conscious not to go into the market and offer the marques to pretty much anybody and just make products with it and start selling. It needs to be part of an overall concept and it needs to be carefully tested” (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 10/1).

Saints QB Drew Brees has signed a deal to become an endorser and investor in Swink.TV, a California-based online startup enabling sharing and tagging of high school athletic video. Users upload game video to Swink.TV, which encodes, edits and tags the material for social media sharing and searching. The company was co-founded and is led by Dan Policy, son of former 49ers President Carmen Policy. Brees also is involved in mobile and social gaming company WedgeBuster (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

GOT MUSCLE?: Packers LB Clay Matthews will appear on a limited edition 14-ounce bottle of Muscle Milk sold in Wisconsin. The bottle is “part of the Muscle Milk Recovery Grant Program that provides money to high school athletics programs across the country” (GREENBAYPRESSGAZETTE.com, 10/1). 

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE: In Denver, L. Wayne Hicks notes Broncos QB Peyton Manning since turning pro in '98 has “pitched MasterCard, Gatorade, Sony, DirecTV, Reebok, Spring, Wheaties and ... Oreo cookies." Manning has also done commercials for the Buick Verano and Papa John’s pizza since signing with the Broncos in March. Boulder-based TDA Advertising & Design Art Dir Barrett Brynestad said that companies are “gravitating to Manning for their advertising because of both the athlete’s likability and his success." He added those brands “hope his likability transfers to whatever he’s promoting.” Brynestad said he considers Manning to be “a little robotic” in his ads but added the quarterback “achieves what a celebrity endorser needs to achieve” (DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/28 issue).