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Volume 24 No. 155

Marketing and Sponsorship

Golfer Rory McIlroy has “already filmed his first Nike television commercial, to debut next year,” according to Robert Lusetich of McIlroy appears in the ad “alongside the man who helped recruit him to Nike, Tiger Woods.” The two “banter while hitting the company’s new red driver and marvel at how far they’re hitting the ball.” The commercial features “two other long-hitting golfers, Nick Watney and Kyle Stanley, who have also made the switch to Nike as the company beefs up what has been a disappointing roster.” The McIlroy deal -- which “could net as much as $250 million -- makes him Nike’s highest-paid golfer, replacing Woods” (, 11/2).

The “window of opportunity is closing for NBA teams to sign jersey advertising deals for next season," according to John Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. NBA owners “did not address jersey advertising at length” during their recent BOG meeting. They instead “sent the issue back to the league’s 13-member planning committee to further study the feasibility of having corporate advertising on uniforms.” No consensus has been reached on "what exactly the process would be, including whether deals would be sold on the league or team level, and how any resulting revenue would be split.” The questions about "how teams would split any revenue generated are critical.” Sources said that the amount "could range from $800,000 a year for small-market teams to $15 million annually for big-market clubs” such as the Lakers and Knicks. A source said that various proposals under review include “one plan that calls for teams to pool a fixed percentage of any jersey deal's revenue, with the proceeds then split among all 30 teams.” Lombardo writes "the clock is ticking" for the league to have a system in place for the ’13-14 season. There also is a "fan-sales component." Putting logos on jerseys “at retail is a key part of the initiative.” For the purchasing advertiser, it means "not only having a company logo on the jerseys worn by a team’s players, but also on the jerseys purchased annually by that team’s fans.” A source said that the jersey deals “would have to be in place by April in order for NBA uniform partner Adidas to get the newly branded jerseys to retail by the start of the 2013-14 season” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/5 issue).

MSG Network said that it is "now pulling the offending ads" that promoted the '12-13 Knicks season with "an obvious dig at 'Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,'" according to the N.Y. POST's Page Six. Posters for MSG "recently popped up" around N.Y. with a picture of F Amar'e Stoudemire and the tag line, "It's Friday Night. You can either see a Broadway harness malfunctioning or you can watch real men fly." After the ads rolled out, Broadway blogs "were up in arms." One theater post read, "What does it mean to be a 'real man?'" An MSG official said, "The ad was simply bad judgment on our part. We're in the process of having them immediately removed." A source said that Stoudemire and the Knicks "had no direct involvement with the campaign" (N.Y. POST, 11/5).

Pro Football HOFer Don Shula last coached in the NFL in '95, but the 82-year-old “remains a viable and coveted product pitchman,” according to Craig Davis of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Shula has been “representing Miami-based Warren Henry, a group of high-end car dealerships, since 2008,” and the latest campaign has him as “spokesman for their Legacy certification program for pre-owned vehicles.” He remains “active as a commercial pitchman while current Dolphins attract few promotional opportunities.” Miami Beach-based Floyd Sports Marketing Founder & CEO Floyd Raglin said, "I'm having a hard time pushing the guys on the team, but with Don Shula, you can make a phone call and get him a job. He's turning down jobs right now." Davis reported Shula's endorsements in retirement “often skew toward an older demographic, such as pitches for HearUSA hearing aids and NutriSystem diet plans for persons over 60.” But when he “signed on with Humana health care in his mid 70s, market research showed his appeal spanned a broad spectrum of age and ethnic groups.” Shula said, "I don't do anything just for the sake of doing it. If it's something I feel fits into my personality, what I feel is important and what I actually do, then I'll do it. It's all things that I enjoy doing and take a lot of pride in representing." Davis noted the Shula brand “appears stronger than ever with his chain of steakhouses expanding despite difficult economic times.” His endorsement portfolio has “grown to 34 steakhouses and grills,” including a new Shula Burger chain “that opened its fifth location last month in Fort Lauderdale” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/3).

In Ft. Worth, Barry Shlachter reported eight companies have "expressed interest in naming rights" for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in April at Texas Motor Speedway. TMS Sales Dir Devron Jeffers said that each company sent execs to the track last Friday "to get an up-close look at what NASCAR means to fans." The TMS staff started by "making face-to-face pitches to more than 70 companies after Samsung announced it was waving the checkered flag" on its sponsorship of the Samsung Mobile 500 (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 11/3).

TEE TO GREEN: The WGC-HSBC Champions event will become part of the PGA Tour's FedExCup schedule. The money earned at the event will count as official money on the PGA Tour. In addition, HSBC revealed it will extend its title sponsorship of the HSBC Champions for three additional years through '15 (PGA Tour).

WIZARDS' POTION: In DC, Sarah Kogod noted the Wizards are "advertising a drink promotion they’re calling a 'Bar Tour,' where packages starting at $25 gets you a game ticket and $2 Budweiser products to enjoy during your pre-game celebrations." The ads feature G Bradley Beal, the "only team member who isn’t of legal drinking age." The ad was created by TiqIQ and there was an "oversight in the approval process between the team and the ticket company" (, 11/2).

RISING ITS PROFILE: The NLL and entertainment marketing firm UEG today will announce a strategic marketing partnership. UEG will pursue brand, media, and entertainment opportunities for the league's players and teams. It also will oversee all brand activations, develop interactive experiences, and create a larger TV and digital presence for the league. This will involve pitching NLL assets to filmmakers, TV producers and other entertainment industry decision makers. UEG has offices in N.Y., L.A., Dallas and London, with a client roster that includes Frito-Lay, Procter & Gamble and AT&T. IMG will continue to handle sponsorships and TV contract negotiations for the NLL (Preston Bounds, THE DAILY).