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Volume 24 No. 113

Marketing and Sponsorship

Apparel company Gildan today will announce that it will air a spot during Super Bowl XLVII on CBS, marking the “first time the brand has advertised” in the game, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The spot is “scheduled for the third quarter,” and will feature Gildan Activewear. The commercial, from DeVito/Verdi, N.Y., is called "Getaway" and is “part of the first campaign for clothing like T-shirts, underwear and hoodies bearing the Gildan brand and being stocked by chains that include Kmart, Kohl’s, Shopko, Target and Walmart.” Gildan Retail VP/Marketing & Merchandising Rob Packard said, “We’re stepping up every facet of our marketing to develop a national brand presence.” He added that the Super Bowl appeals to Gildan “because the campaign is being aimed primarily at younger consumers in the so-called millennial generation.” DeVito/Verdi President Ellis Verdi said that “given how costly a Super Bowl spot is, ‘it makes a lot of sense’ to begin publicizing it early.” Elliott reports among the ways DeVito/Verdi and Gildan “will try that are a pair of initiatives on Facebook, including one that will let people insert photos of themselves or their friends in a scene of the commercial, paid search ads, banner ads and preroll ads that appear before online videos.” Gildan also hopes to "whet appetites for the Super Bowl commercial with two spots, ‘Fire’ and ‘Rollercoaster,’ that strike a similar chord” to “Getaway.” Packard said it is likely the company will run one of those ads during Saturday's Gildan New Mexico Bowl on ESPN (N.Y. TIMES, 12/12).

Gold Medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will “star in the new TV ad for Virgin Media" in the U.K., continuing a relationship that "began with DDB, the brand's former ad agency,” according to Maisie McCabe of MARKETING magazine. Sources said that members of the company's marketing team “flew out to Jamaica in late November to shoot a Bartle Bogle Hegarty-created TV ad with Bolt.” Bolt has “starred in a number of ads for Virgin Media including a TV ad made by DDB UK early this year which showed Bolt dressed up as Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group.” A Virgin Media spokesperson declined to comment on “whether Bolt was going to star in a new Virgin Media TV ad” (, 12/12).

Canadian clothing company Roots instructed one of its retail stores in Ottawa to modify a "big Toronto Maple Leafs merchandise display" following a complaint from a Senators fan that there was "no equivalent for the local team," according to James Gordon of the OTTAWA CITIZEN. Fan Spencer Callaghan took a picture of the Maple Leafs display and "attached it to a complaint ... to the official Roots public relations Twitter account." The message was later "picked up by Senators fan group Red Scarf Union." Roots yesterday on Twitter indicated that it would be "removing all Leafs good from its capital locations, pointing out the merchandise was still available on its website and in other stores." However, Roots Dir of Communication & Public Affairs Robert Sarner last night said that the company "would in fact continue to sell Leafs goods" in Ottawa. Blaming "confusion" for the initial tweet, Sarner in an e-mail said, "We did instruct the Bayshore location to modify the original display in their store after a few Sens fans perceived (incorrectly) that we favour the Leafs and made certain negative assumptions about us." Callaghan said that an "outright ban was over and above anything he expected or wanted." However, he did say, "Red Sox fans would burn the building down if there was a Yankees display like that." Gordon noted removing all Maple Leafs merchandise "would have been a bold move from a business perspective," as recent games between the Leafs and Senators "suggest split loyalties" (, 12/11).

11 Sports Media, a soccer marketing firm, has been engaged by Denver-based Rush Soccer to sell the jersey rights for the youth program. Following a deal earlier this week with adidas to be the club's official apparel partner, Rush -- which is one of the leading youth sports organizations in the U.S. with 39,000 members across 26 states -- is seeking a national sponsor. 11 Sports Media estimates that the sponsorship would yield more than 50 million impressions over the course of one year. Rush also operates 50 tournaments each year, attracting more than 200,000 players and spectators. 11 Sports Media Principal Eddie Salcedo and co-Founder Josh Keller will lead the sales efforts. The company provides consultation, sales and support to properties such as Red Bull North America, Boost Mobile and adidas.

BRAND REPUBLIC's John Reynolds noted Nike and adidas in the U.K. have both "run advertising activity around two of the most-talked about" soccer highlights of the past weekend -- the Manchester United-Manchester City match and La Liga club FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi's new goal-scoring record. Nike ran a "social media campaign, created by AKQA, promoting its Nike+FuelBand." It challenged ManU and Man City fans "to earn Nike Fuel points in the days leading to the derby match." Meanwhile, adidas ran a campaign highlighting Messi "beating Gerd Muller's long-standing goals record in a calendar year." The ad was "created by TBWA and an in-house team." It carried the headline "making history," and the strapline, "world record goals in a year" (, 12/10).

BEAR-ER OF BAD NEWS: In Chicago, Michael Sebastian writes "once again" the brand of Bears QB Jay Cutler "is in crisis." A poll by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research showed Cutler holds the "dubious distinction of being the second-most-disliked player in the NFL." This "negativity is hurting Brand Cutler, and several PR professionals said it could affect his earning potential." The absence of a "strong brand lets people shape their own opinions of him, fueled by images and stories in the media" (, 12/12).

SPRING CLEANING: The NHRA has signed a sponsorship deal with Nice-Pak Products Grime Boss hand wipes, giving the sport its first official heavy-duty hand cleaning wipe partner. Financial terms of the agreement were not available. The multiyear deal gives Grime Boss the chance to sample its product at NHRA races. It also will receive signage at races, PA announcements and display space at events. Grime Boss will continue to be a primary sponsor of Jim Dunn Racing's funny car driven by Todd Lesenko (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

DON'T HOLD THE MAYO: In Boston, Shanahan & Goldstein note Patriots LB Jerod Mayo was "out and about" yesterday with Subway endorser Jared Fogle as part of a promotion for the sandwich chain. Together, they "did a dozen random acts of kindness." Mayo said, "Paying for groceries, filling up people's gas tanks, handing out Subway sandwiches at Boston Medical Center" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/12).