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Volume 24 No. 157

Marketing and Sponsorship

CAA Sports’ Corporate Consulting division “has won one of sports’ most competitive and closely watched marketing agency reviews of the year, landing the sports/entertainment agency business of JPMorgan Chase,” according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Chase’s sports portfolio is "headlined" by its 10-year, $300M MSG deal, which encompasses the NHL Rangers, Knicks and WNBA Liberty, MSG itself, Radio City Music Hall and the Chicago Theater. Also “in the Chase portfolio” are sponsorships with the NFL Giants and Jets, a U.S. Open tennis relationship, sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival, a deal with NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports, and naming rights to the D’Backs' ballpark. JPMorgan Chase Head of Sports & Entertainment Marketing Steve Pamon said, “We looked at all the leading agencies, and CAA was strong in activation, acquisition, negotiations and strategy.” Pamon added, “The key thing is maximizing the value of our relationship with Madison Square Garden. The second thing is going to be expanding into core financial markets across the country; to support JPMorgan Chase not only nationally, but as a global player; and determining what the key activations will be that will drive value” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/8 issue).

London-based short-term loans company Wonga is “set to become the new shirt sponsor” for EPL club Newcastle United after the club “decided to drop Virgin Money at the end of the season,” according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Wonga “already sponsors Scottish Premier League club Hearts and English second-tier team Blackpool.” A source, who did not provide financial details, said that the "deal being negotiated is for shirt sponsorship only, rather than also including naming rights to Newcastle's stadium.” Weir notes the “prospect of the term Wonga -- slang for cash -- featuring in the club's stadium name had prompted fresh criticism on fan forums.” EPL rules “allow a company to sponsor the shirts of more than one club, meaning a promotion for Blackpool back to the top flight would not impede a deal with Newcastle” (REUTERS, 10/8). In London, Ben Martin notes Wonga “has come in for criticism for the high interest it charges on loans.” The deal comes as “new figures show the Office of Fair Trading has stepped up its scrutiny of the payday lending industry” (London TELEGRAPH, 10/8).

Following the controversial infield-fly rule call in Friday's Cardinals-Braves NL Wild Card Game, Wisconsin-based retailer "has quickly come up with a 'Worst Call Ever 10.05.12' T-shirt for Braves fans who want to further express their indignation," according to Christopher Seward of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The company hopes to "capitalize on the outrage" of the Braves fans. co-Owner Scott Tappa said, "You may not have been in the stands at Turner Field that night, but you were probably showering garbage on your living room floor as the travesty unfolded in front of you." The shirt is "similar to one the company quickly produced after the Green Bay Packers’ Sept. 24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after another disputed call." Tappa said that his company "sold 3,000 of the 'Worst Call Ever' Packers T-shirts to fans in all 50 states, and filled orders as far away as Germany and Afghanistan." The Packers' T-shirt sold for $12.07; Tappa said that 12-7 "should have been the final score in Green Bay’s favor in the Seattle game." However, the Braves T-shirt is priced at $20.12, to "reflect the year the Division Series hopes were dashed." Tappa said that his company "couldn't sell the Braves shirt for $6.30 to reflect the final score because the company would lose money" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/6).