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" (BRANDREPUBLIC.com, 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" (CHICAGOSIDESPORTS.com, 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).