Wendy’s has signed ESPN’s Dick Vitale to be featured in a new campaign the QSR is running around its “Baconator” and “Son of Baconator” hamburgers. Financial details were not disclosed, but the deal will feature a television and radio campaign to air in seven northeastern cities including N.Y., Boston and Philadelphia. It also will have an online component with social media and digital tie-ins, as well as an enter-to-win competition running through late March in which the winner will receive a lunch for two with Vitale at a Wendy’s location near their home and a $5,000 gift certificate. Fans can sign up in stores or through the specially-created website ItsTheBaconBaby.com, which will debut on Feb. 25, the same day the campaign as a whole officially kicks off. The effort will feature in-store marketing, with posters promoting the program. The TV spot, which was shot last week in Tampa, features Vitale at a Wendy’s, schmoozing with two people over a “Baconator” sandwich meal. The idea to utilize Vitale came in conjunction with the company’s desire to engineer an uptick in the visibility of its hamburger lineup, specifically the “Baconator” and the hamburger’s newer family member, the “Son of Baconator.” Wendy’s Field Marketing Manager Ray Arruda said, “There’s no one that I know of that does a better job announcing college basketball than Dick Vitale, and certainly as we looked at establishing a relationship to use some promotion behind our ‘Baconator,’ we decided his personality and his talent would be perfect for our brand.”
ATTRACTING THE DIAPER DANDIES: Arruda said that the company is seeking to appeal to all ages within the 18-49 age bracket with the campaign. However, if there is a specific target, it is to raise its resonance with younger males. Arruda said, “Those younger consumers who most likely are male are probably most inclined to respond to the advertising, but certainly we target all of our general market consumers.” He added, “We do believe that the market will have a little bit of a male skew to it just given Dick Vitale’s personality and what he’s doing in the college basketball community.” Vitale for his part noted that he was excited to be publicly backing the company, saying, “Wendy’s just is a great product that I have no problem being involved with." The deal currently is planned to run through March 31st, and Arruda said the determinant in whether the company extends its relationship with Vitale will be dependent on results from the campaign and how much buzz it generates. Vitale said that thus far he was pleased with the way things were going with Wendy’s, and if the QSR wants to lengthen the deal, it is certainly something he would consider. Vitale said, “Whatever they want me to do, man, I’m there. I’m a trooper.” Vitale is repped by IMG for commercial work.
The Sabres have partnered with sponsor Kaleida Health on the Buffalo Sabres Newborn Program. Beginning on Jan. 1, all babies born at two Buffalo area hospitals will receive a Sabres blanket and a certificate inscribed, “Future 1st Round Draft Pick” featuring the Sabres logo and the signature of team Owner Terry Pegula. “We feel that for everyone born in Western New York, being a Sabres fan is a part of your DNA,” said Sabres President Ted Black. “This program welcomes them, right at the cradle.” The two participating hospitals, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, are part of the Kaleida Health system. Kaleida is the largest healthcare provider in Western New York, serving eight counties in the region. Black described Kaleida Health as “one of our top sponsors,” but declined to share details of the partnership. Pegula is not an investor in Kaleida. The Newborn program runs through '13, then the team and the sponsor will evaluate it. Black said it could extend to more hospitals, including some in Southern Ontario, where the Sabres battle for fans with the Maple Leafs. Kaleida Health made suggestions on safe material for the blanket, which is 85% cotton and 15% polyester, and yellow with the Sabres logo on the front. The back of the blanket features the Sabres logo, the team’s “We Live Hockey” word mark, the number ’13 (signifying the year) and the Kaleida Health "Buffalo Baby" logo. The “Future 1st Round Draft Pick” baby certificate features the Sabres logo, a Kaleida Health “Buffalo Baby” logo and the child’s name, date of birth, time, height, weight and birthplace, along with Pegula’s signature.
Tennis player Roger Federer’s exhibition tour in South America, which ended last week, was met with "mania" from fans in attendance, as it was his "first visit to South America as a professional and his first visit of any sort to the three nations on his itinerary: Brazil, Argentina and Colombia," according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. Federer said, “I’ve had more fans break down here in South America than anywhere else in the world." The tour was “a long way from Wimbledon in both distance and spirit.” Federer played six matches on the tour, “including two in the temporary 20,000-seat stadium constructed in the northern Buenos Aires suburb of Tigre.” He reportedly was paid $2M for each of his six matches, which “surely made this the most lucrative exhibition tour on a per-night basis in tennis history.” But Federer “insisted that money was not his primary motivator.” Federer: “With the season shorter, you can actually do a trip to South America like this." He added, "Of course, you can always do a one-day trip, but ... I don’t think it’s worth it. I felt I needed to organize something that was really going to have an impact: for me personally, and also then for the people.” Federer on the tour also “extended his reach beyond tennis," as he met with Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and soccer legend Pelé. Former ATPer José Luis Clerc, an Argentina native, said, “The reaction of the people, everybody was crazy” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/20).
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III “created his own company, Thr3escompany, LLC and submitted applications to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a total of four trademarks -- RGIII, RG3, Robert Griffin III, and Unbelievably Believable,” according to Dan Steinberg of the WASHINGTON POST. The RGIII “catchphrase train has rolled on,” and now Thr3escompany “submitted applications for more trademarks.” Those submissions include “Go Catch Your Dream,” “Light You Up,” “Work Hard Stay Humble,” “No Pressure No Diamonds,” and “Dream Big Live Bigger.” The trademarks cover use of the phrases on “clothing, namely, shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, jerseys, athletic uniforms, socks; hats, caps; footwear” and also “promoting the goods and services of others, promotional sponsorship of sports and athletic events and activities” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/19). Meanwhile, Griffin was fined $10,000 by the NFL for "wearing Adidas apparel to a postgame news conference" on Dec. 9 following a win over the Ravens (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/19).
In Boston, Marie Szaniszlo reports iRobot signed Patriots DT Vince Wilfork and his family “to do a series of mini-sitcoms for the Web, pairing the family up with the Bedford company’s robotic vacuum cleaner.” The first installment of “At Home with the Wilforks” at www.youtube.com/irobot is “cleaning up, with thousands of views so far.” Four more episodes “will debut over the coming weeks featuring the family with other robots” (BOSTON HERALD, 12/20).
CURB APPEAL: Mercedes-Benz USA President & CEO Steve Cannon said that “you can't just play a normal ad of a car in the Super Bowl.” ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell wrote: “You have to spice it up a bit.” Thus in the “spirit of connecting breakthrough celebrities with the type of young buyer they are looking for, they hired supermodel Kate Upton and Usher.” Cannon said, "If you want to get the younger generation, you are going to have to make a pop culture play. You can't bring out Clint Eastwood from the Republican convention" (ESPN.com, 12/19).
UP TO BAT: In Baltimore, Chris Kaltenbach reported the Orioles are sponsoring the city’s Inner Harbor New Year’s celebration and it “should surprise no one that the musical accompaniment to the fireworks will include the Orioles' unofficial anthem, ‘Orioles Magic,’ and The Wanted's ‘Glad You Came,’ a song played repeatedly during the team's playoff drive” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/19).
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