CBS Exec VP Sports Sales & Marketing Jo Ann Ross yesterday said the net has "less than a handful of spots left" for ads during Super Bowl XLVII, according to Alex Ben Block of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Ross added that more than 95% of the total advertising inventory has been "sold at a record average price of $3.8 million -- and some at more than $4 million." Ross: "We literally have just a couple units left in the game. We are really pleased.” Block noted the $3.8M price is “up from” the $3.5M NBC got last year. The pregame and the game are “sold by the hour and half-hour to title sponsors.” CBS Exec VP/Sports Sales & Marketing John Bogusz said that those “are all set ... with the exception of one half-hour in the pregame show, which is the subject of active discussions.” Block reported of the top five Super Bowl advertisers during the past decade, "only General Motors has not signed on" for the '13 Super Bowl. The others, "in order of their ad spend, are Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo, Walt Disney Co. and the Coca-Cola Co.” While not naming any studio other than Disney, Ross and Bogusz said that “the major movie companies will be very visible in the game" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 11/13).
Marketing and Sponsorship
TiVo has signed NFL Jets QB Tim Tebow “as its brand ambassador,” with TV commercials for TiVo "set to air nationally starting Nov. 27,” according to Edward Baig of USA TODAY. TiVo is adding a "Tim Tebow Zone" collection with “picks of the quarterback's favorite shows, movies and kids content.” The company also is “donating up to $1 for each ‘like’ on TiVo's official Facebook page (up to $25,000) to the Tim Tebow Foundation for children in need” (USA TODAY, 11/14). ESPN.com's Darren Rovell notes Tebow's job "will be to try to increase the consumer base using the recording device." TiVo "wasted no time with Tebow, posting a YouTube video on the company's website" earlier today. Tebow in the video says TiVo is a "player that can do more than one thing, which I respect." TiVo joins Nike, FRS, Jockey and Soul Headphones on products that use Tebow as an endorser (ESPN.com, 11/14).
EPL club Liverpool is "in talks with banking firm Standard Chartered to extend and improve on a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal" currently worth US$31.7M per year, according to Chris Bascombe of the London TELEGRAPH. Less than two years into a four-year contract, Standard Chartered has been "granted a period of exclusivity enabling it the option of prolonging its relationship with Liverpool and the club are confident they can better the arrangement," which began in '10. A lack of participation in the UEFA Champions League would "seem to make investment in Anfield less attractive." However, that "does not appear to have left any lasting damage and Liverpool are confident a healthy relationship will be extended." Club execs also "believe the lack of Champions League football will not have an unduly negative impact on negotiations because Standard Chartered is based in Asia where the Premier League holds such sway" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/14).
The NBA and adidas on Monday unveiled the special "BIG Color" uniforms for all 10 teams playing on Christmas Day, commemorating 65 years of NBA games on Dec. 25. The uniforms feature a monochromatic color scheme with solid color team logos, names and numbers framed with minimal accent color. The uniforms are part of the adidas Winter Court Collection, which will be available for purchase at NBAStore.com, the NBA Store in N.Y., Champs Sports and team retailers tomorrow (NBA). CBSSPORTS.com’s Matt Moore wrote the Jazz uniform “isn't that much different from the feel of their normal dark blues.” The green outline is so dark it looks "blue-on-blue.” Meanwhile, the Lakers' “clean white look is fantastic, and that one's sure to be popular.” But the Thunder's “terrible color scheme somehow looks worse here,” and the Spurs' jerseys are “just depressing." The Nets' jersey is “obviously the best, but that's likely just because I think black is the coolest color, ever.” The Heat, Grizzlies, Pacers and Bulls “all look sharp as well,” and the “more defined colors look nice" (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/13). CBS Sports Network's Doug Gottlieb said of the uniforms, "My only point of contention would be that they're all kind of the same thing. Brooklyn's are all black with the white numbers. The Heat are all red, they're all kind of the same running theme and I wish we could change it up just a little bit" ("Lead Off," CBS Sports Network, 11/12).
Trek Bicycle Corp. President John Burke said his company's decision to end its sponsorship arrangement with cyclist Lance Armstrong was "agonizing," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Burke said, "Here’s someone who had been a great partner with Trek for a long time. You know, you’ve been hearing, ‘I’m clean. I’m clean.’ And then all of a sudden, ‘No, you’re not.’” He added that he "never asked Armstrong if he was doping." Burke: "Every once in a while it would come up. And, you know, he would vehemently deny it. And he had been tested 800 times. There was no evidence.” Burke added that he "felt he didn’t need to ask Armstrong because of his strong denials." He said, "He had said it in front of the cameras hundreds of times. So it was like, I take people at their word." Burke noted that he "did not speak to Armstrong when the company decided to cut ties." But he said that he "spoke to one of Armstrong’s agents," and that it was a "lengthy" conversation. Burke: "What Lance did was he got a lot of people in America riding bikes. That’s his legacy. Trek’s business went up because of that." Walker noted with Armstrong gone, Trek "will continue to sponsor cycling stars, not only for the exposure but because the riders help the company develop new products" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/13).
COURT REPORT: In N.Y., Michael O'Keeffe noted Armstrong's attorneys last week, in "what is apparently an attempt to keep Armstrong from testifying under oath in a lawsuit," met with Dallas-based insurance firm SCA Promotions officials to "cut a deal" settling the firm's lawsuit to reclaim bonuses paid to the cyclist for three of his seven Tour de France wins. SCA President Bob Hamman said, "There was a discussion, but nothing substantive yet." O'Keeffe noted Armstrong's attorneys last week "offered SCA $1 million to resolve the dispute" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/13).
In Milwaukee, Joe Taschler notes Southwest Airlines' status as a major sponsor of the Packers includes “in-stadium digital branding and the Southwest Deck at the Tundra Tailgate Zone at Lambeau Field. Packers DE Jerel Worthy and LB Brad Jones “worked alongside Southwest employees at Mitchell International on Tuesday, loading baggage and greeting passengers as part of the airline's partnership with the team.” Southwest execs said that as the company “solidifies its place as the dominant carrier at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport, the airline is seeking to embrace the culture of the state and region.” Southwest Airlines Partnership Marketing Dir Patty Herbeck said that becoming a major sponsor of the Packers is “part of that.” Southwest and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways “operate about 50 flights a day from Milwaukee” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 11/14).
KICK THE TIRES: MAQUINADOESPORTE’s Erich Beting reported Bridgestone "in the coming weeks will be named the new title sponsor of the Copa Libertadores," which is South America's most prestigious club soccer competition. Bridgestone and CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American soccer, are "in the final stages" of negotiating a four-year, US$80M deal. Bridgestone would replace Banco Santander as title sponsor (MAQUINADOESPORTE.com.br, 11/12).
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS: T’Wolves F Kevin Love, U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn, Raiders RB Darren McFadden, Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez, skateboarder Tom Schaar, Avalanche D Erik Johnson and U.S. women’s national soccer team MF Tobin Heath launched Playmaker Nutrition, a children’s nutritional company and vitamin brand. The company will be dedicated to encouraging kids and teens to become health conscious, productive members of their communities (Playmaker Nutrition).