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Volume 24 No. 158

Marketing and Sponsorship

Go Daddy Exec Chair & Founder Bob Parsons on Thursday announced that NASCAR driver Danica Patrick “will appear in both of the website domain provider's commercials during the Super Bowl,” according to John Marshall of the AP. The announcement resulted in “quelling speculation that the NASCAR star would have less of a role” in the company's advertising. Parsons said, "It was always fairly understood that Danica -- she's our spokesperson, has been in our successful Super Bowl advertising for the past." Patrick has been featured in the Super Bowl spots “since partnering with Go Daddy in 2007,” with her 10 Super Bowl ads being “more than any other celebrity.” But her appearance during the Super Bowl “came into doubt" last month when Go Daddy announced it had signed Deutsch, N.Y., to produce its two 30-second Super Bowl spots. Though Patrick is “still one of the most recognizable drivers in auto racing even after switching from IndyCar to NASCAR, her spot in last year's Super Bowl was ranked last out of 55 commercials by consumers in an online ad meter" conducted by USA Today and Facebook (AP, 11/8). Patrick said, "I definitely thought there was a chance I wouldn't be in them. It was a pleasant surprise that he announced I would be in both of them. I was thinking one. To hear two, it did surprise me a little bit" (, 11/8).

SALUTE TO THE TROOPS:’s David Newton noted Go Daddy also announced it “would match up to $1 million in donations to the Semper Fi Fund, which benefits those injured while serving in the armed forces.” Patrick will carry the Semper Fi Fund logo “on the hood of her car" in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway (, 11/8).

The Bobcats have renewed their founding level sponsorship deal with Lowe’s. Financial terms of the four-year agreement were not disclosed, but Lowe’s will increase its involvement in the team’s educational community service efforts. “As we started our renewal discussions, our priorities have shifted,” said Lowe's Dir of Sports & Partnership Marketing Rick Coffee. “It is less about brand mentions and more about how we can provide a deeper level of engagement on the community level.” Lowe’s will keep the same level of in-arena advertising while scaling back external signage at Time Warner Cable Arena. The company also will buy an undisclosed number of lower-bowl tickets from the team. “We are swapping out our (upper bowl seats) for fewer, better seats,” Coffee said. Lowe’s has been a Bobcats founding level partner since the team's inception in '04. The team also counts Presbyterian Healthcare, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, and Time Warner as founding level partners. “Keeping the founding level partnership base is critical to our success,” said Bobcats President & COO Fred Whitfield. “The deal gives them a year-round presence (inside Time Warner Cable Arena). The other piece is connecting with the community. We will partner with them on an educational platform every year.”

MLL Charlotte Hounds MF Jovan Miller said that he will not wear a jersey made by Warrior Sports after discovering the company was running an ad campaign with the hashtag "#NinjaPlease," according to Dianne Gallagher of WCNC-NBC. Warrior is "one of MLL's main investors and makes the jerseys, among other gear, worn in games." Miller, one of only three African-American players in the MLL, said, "The actual meaning behind 'Ninja Please' is the 'N-word Please.' They put ninja in it to kind of disguise it." He added, "It was offensive. I didn't feel like there was necessarily malice behind it, but I felt like they knew they could get away with it. Warrior is a company that prides itself on being 'edgy' but this is too far." Gallagher noted MLL had "shared the campaign on Facebook and retweeted it on Twitter." Miller: "As far as Major League Lacrosse is concerned, I do believe they were just ignorant to what the phrase was. But in those (Warrior) offices, when someone came up with that phrase, I believe they knew exactly what they were talking about." MLL Commissioner David Gross said, "I honestly didn't know what it meant until someone told me to look it up. MLL was simply posting and retweeting a sponsor. We deleted all of it after I found out what it meant." Miller said that he would "like an apology and explanation from the people at Warrior." Gallagher noted as of Thursday night, Warrior had "removed any active references" to the campaign (, 11/8).

The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin reported unless there is "something unusual in the deal between" the NHL and Molson Coors, the brewer "can seek compensation only after 25 percent of the regular schedule is lost." All sponsor contracts with the NHL "typically have similar language defining when they are entitled to compensation for opportunities and profits lost due to the lockout." One of the reasons "many believe that the NHL will resume play in December is that it corresponds with the point at which the cancelled games might oblige the league to take care of its sponsors" (, 11/8).

STILL THE KING: In Las Vegas, Ron Sylvester reported the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure "is leaving" Las Vegas Motor Speedway and will be replaced by the Richard Petty Driving Experience. The Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure had been operating in Las Vegas "since last year" and the move "resulted from an exclusive deal signed last month" between the Richard Petty Driving Experience and LVMS. Jarrett Racing Adventure CEO Tim Shannon said that the company is "looking to expand in Texas, Chicago, Kentucky, Atlanta and Miami" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 11/9). 

MAKING THEIR PITCH: La Liga club FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi "has signed a sponsorship deal" with Procter & Gamble, and will "promote the shampoo brand Head & Shoulders." The marketing campaign featuring Messi will include "a series of TV commercials along with online ads" directed at a male audience (, 11/8)....YAHOO SPORTS' Brooks Peck noted Nike launched La Liga club Real Madrid F Cristiano Ronaldo's new "love to win, hate to lose" clothing line. To promote his latest contributions, Ronaldo "and his Real Madrid teammate/angriest friend Pepe did a bit of modeling in a music studio" (, 11/7).

LIKE A HURRICANE: In Tulsa, Bill Haisten noted the Univ. of Tulsa men's basketball team unveiled "new uniforms." The Nike outfits were "delivered this week" and were designed by coach Danny Manning "with the help" of TU Equipment Manager Greg Criser and Basketball Operations Dir Justin Bauman. Criser said that striping on the jersey shoulders and sides of the shorts "was inspired ... by the stripes on TU's football helmets." The black and white basketball uniforms "include gold-blue-gold stripes" while the "gold uniform has red-blue-red stripes" (TULSA WORLD, 11/9).