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Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch InBev for the second consecutive year “will serve up a new brew to Super Bowl viewers,” as the company will “tout its just-out Budweiser Black Crown brand" during CBS' Feb. 3 Super Bowl XLVII telecast, according to Laura Petrecca of USA TODAY. The new beer will be "on sale nationwide by Jan. 21.” A-B last year during the Super Bowl “introduced another brand," Bud Light Platinum. Budweiser VP Rob McCarthy said, "The Super Bowl really is the ideal venue to launch something new." A-B hopes to “cater to variety-seeking Millennials with the new beer.” In one of the Black Crown spots, a brewmaster “salutes a group of American beer drinkers seated at a table and also toasts the Black Crown brand.” The new brand may get “more than one game ad," as A-B shot "two 30-second commercials with the same theme, but executives still are deciding whether to air one or two Black Crown ads in the game.” The company “still is determining the total ad time it will have in the game and the final lineup of other brands that it will promote” (USA TODAY, 1/8).

DRIVER EDUCATION: USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz notes in the Lincoln brand's “first-ever Super Bowl spot, the five crowd-sourced tweets -- garnered by social media-savvy comedian Jimmy Fallon -- will showcase ultra-wacky road-trip experiences.” For the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Co., it is a “high-stakes effort to redo its image and appeal to a new generation of buyers.” Experts have “mixed opinions on the concept for the spot, which will be filmed later this week on the West Coast.” The five tweets were “selected from among some 6,117 solicited by Fallon.” Lincoln Global Marketing Dir Matt VanDyke said, "Our approach was, if we're going to be social, we need creativity.” Ad agency Hudson Rouge Chief Creative Officer Jon Pearce said the theme is "an unexpected story from an unexpected automobile." Horovitz notes the ad will “highlight the redesigned 2013 Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan.” VanDyke said that the hope is to “lower the brand's average buyer age from the current 65 to 55 years” (USA TODAY, 1/8).

THE JOY OF COLA: AD AGE’s Natalie Zmuda reported Pepsi “plans to use half of the 60 seconds it's bought in the game to introduce the halftime show,” headlined by its global brand ambassador, Beyoncé. In a “twist, the creative will incorporate photos of consumers that Pepsi will solicit via ads before the Super Bowl.” The remaining ad time “will be used to promote Pepsi Next.” The initiative for the brand will “ask consumers to send photos of themselves doing specific movements, such as shouting, head bopping and feet tapping.” PepsiCo VP/Consumer Engagement Adam Harter said that the requests “will roll out through mid-January, giving consumers a reason to stay engaged.” Pepsi U.S. Portfolio VP/Marketing Angelique Krembs “believes the unique approach to Super Bowl ad time -- the brand worked closely with the NFL and CBS -- creates a dialogue and helps the brand's multimillion-dollar outlay work harder.” Pepsi in the days leading up to the game “will notify the consumers whose photos will appear in the spot.” Krembs said, "That will create a lot of talk value and pass-along" (, 1/6).

GOING OUT WITH A BANG: Toyota will feature CBS' “The Big Bang Theory” actress Kaley Cuoco in its Super Bowl XLVII commercial, touting a chance to “Get In The Big Game.” Fans until Saturday can submit photos of themselves to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #wishgranted. One photo will be selected and placed in the reveal of the commercial during the first quarter of CBS’ broadcast (Toyota).

Dubai-based hotel chain Jumeirah "is not renewing its five-year sponsorship deal” with Rory McIlroy “amid expectations that the Northern Ireland golf star will sign with Nike next week,” according to the AP. The Jumeirah Group “signed a five-year deal with McIlroy when he was 18 and was one of his first corporate sponsors” (AP, 1/8). The GUARDIAN reports McIlroy “will be introduced” by Nike in Abu Dhabi next Monday. He is “understood to have earned” around US$7.1M from his five-year deal with Jumeirah. The news comes after Titleist and Oakley “also ended relationships" with McIlroy late in '12 (GUARDIAN, 1/8). Jumeirah President & Group CEO Gerald Lawless said McIlroy was a “tremendous ambassador for our brand, both as a consummate golfing professional and as a young man with a great future ahead of him” (London DAILY MAIL, 1/8).

Sprint has signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the NASCAR Sprint Cup season-opening race at Daytona Int'l Speedway, which was formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout and will now "become the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona," according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources valued the deal “in the mid-six figures annually.” DIS President Joie Chitwood III “approached Sprint with the opportunity last year.” The sponsorship became available after Gatorade “opted to discontinue its sponsorship of the annual Duels race that serves as the qualifier for the Daytona 500.” Budweiser signed on to sponsor the Duels, but Chitwood said that he “never met with any other potential sponsors” besides Sprint. Chitwood said of Sprint, “The relationship they have with NASCAR and the drivers means they can do some things promotionally other partners couldn’t” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/7 issue). In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly noted the newly named Sprint Unlimited “started as the Busch Clash in 1979 and has gone through numerous makeovers through the years.” The Busch-Budweiser brands “were previous sponsors of the race.” Budweiser last season announced that it “would be the title sponsor for all of Speedweeks," starting this year. Chitwood yesterday said Sprint would “be a really good fit long term.” Sprint said that it plans to make the Sprint Unlimited "a fan-friendly event.” Fans will be “picked to serve as grand marshal, honorary starter and trophy presenter.” Sprint VP/Marketing Steve Gaffney said, “From the outset, we promised unprecedented access for race fans and each year, we challenge ourselves to honor that commitment in innovative ways.” DIS said that Sprint “hasn't finalized its plans for all of the pre-race activities” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 1/8).

The IOC signed a four-year agreement with Audi that makes its Volkswagen brand the organization's official vehicle supplier. Audi replaces Mercedes, which had been providing vehicles to the IOC since '91. The Volkswagen brand will provide more than 40 vehicles to the IOC for use in and around the organization's HQs in Lausanne, Switzerland. It also will provide vehicles during IOC meetings around the world. The deal runs through '16. Audi also sponsors the Int'l Ski Federation (FIS), the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association and national Olympic committees in Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Finland.

Some Notre Dame and Alabama fans “woke up to a strange message Monday morning,” after they received an e-mail from “congratulating their team on winning the Discover BCS National Championship that hadn't yet been played,” according to Darren Rovell of The e-mail read in part, "Dear Customer, Congratulations to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA National Football Champions. Customers who have shown an interest in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish might like to see NCAA championship merchandise and additional team fan gear." A similar note was “sent to those whom the website had identified as Crimson Tide fans.” Amazon later yesterday sent out an apology that read, "Well, this is really embarrassing....we completely fumbled our congratulation email for tonight's game" (, 1/7).

RISING TIDE: In Birmingham, Frank Couch reports Alabama fans last night “rushed to Academy Sports & Outdoors on Highway 150 in Hoover,” and store employees “opened their doors immediately after" Alabama's victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship (, 1/8). Also in Birmingham, John Sharp notes other stores in the area “also kept late night hours to satisfy the happy fans.” The stores were set to open this morning "with plenty of gear." Bama Fever stores were scheduled to “open at 10 a.m.," and Hibbett Sports in Tillman's Corner "at 8 a.m.” (, 1/8).

LOSE THE GAME, WIN THE MARKETING BATTLE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Michael Smith cites data as showing that Notre Dame was the “top-selling school during the college football season,” while Alabama ranked second. Fanatics VP/Communications & Corporate Branding Meier Raivich said that Alabama “ranked first in merchandise sold for much of the season, but Notre Dame’s unexpected rise to prominence and eventually an undefeated regular season lifted the Fighting Irish’s sales to first around mid-October.” Both schools use Atlanta-based Collegiate Licensing Co. as their licensing agency (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/7 issue).