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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

The NHL Kings have signed McDonald's as the club's presenting sponsor for the abbreviated ‘13 season and the ‘13-14 season. The deal, which will be announced today, is the Kings' first for a presenting sponsor of a season. McDonald's deal points include receiving logo placement on Kings' practice jerseys and press backdrops, presenting the club's Player of the Month fan voting platform, sponsoring an opening night banner giveaway, and participation in grass-roots events. A new logo, integrating McDonald's with the Kings shield, will be used in all club marketing and promotional efforts, in the arena and online. A partnership between the team and Ronald McDonald House Charities also will be introduced. Financial terms were not available. McDonald's has been associated with the Kings and Staples Center since the arena opened 14 years ago. According to the team, Southern California McDonald's Franchisees agreed to significantly increase its presence with the team. "Side by side, our brands look incredible and we have such admiration and respect for the McDonald's franchisees and their agency, DavisElen," said Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille.

Wizards G John Wall yesterday acknowledged that his sponsorship deal with Reebok “has come to an end” after serving as its "primary basketball spokesperson the past 2 1/2 years," according to Michael Lee of the WASHINGTON POST. The move “comes only a few months after Reebok released Wall’s third signature basketball shoe.” Wall has been wearing adidas sneakers “in practice this week as he prepares to make his season debut on Saturday after missing the first 33 games with a stress injury in his left knee.” Wall said he “may try a couple” different shoes as he is “on display again.” adidas has owned the Reebok brand since ‘05 but Wall “now joins a three stripe roster that currently includes” Bulls G Derrick Rose, Lakers C Dwight Howard and T’Wolves G Ricky Rubio. Reebok created a new marketing campaign “last November centered around Wall’s North Carolina roots and shot a commercial in his hometown of Raleigh.” The company “made clear that it was not abandoning its basketball division, despite reports to the contrary, but it is also moving on from Wall” (, 1/9).

THE PREMIERE: YAHOO SPORTS’ Jason Cole noted Broncos LB Von Miller for his game on Saturday against the Ravens is “going to put his personalized shoe by adidas on display for the first time.” The shoe is a “gleaming white, lightweight, Five-Star high-top that the sneaker company designed just for Miller,” who is “continuing to make his marketing pitch.” He even “took suggestions from reporters on possible names” (, 1/9).

New Balance and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts yesterday announced a multiyear deal that includes exclusive footwear, running-specific initiatives and co-branding opportunities. New Balance becomes the official shoe of Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The brand also becomes the official running shoe for runDisney race weekends and the official baseball shoe of amateur baseball events at the Sports Complex. New Balance will be the title sponsor of the track & field facility at the complex. Future initiatives include the creation of maps for the running trails of Walt Disney World Resort and fitness programs for Disney guests. New Balance created a men’s and women’s limited edition runDisney 860v3 running show that features Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse (New Balance). Disney Corporate Alliances Senior VP George Aguel said that the partnership “complements the company’s efforts to provide healthy options for families during their Disney vacations” (BOSTON HERALD, 1/10).

Looking to bolster its memorabilia offerings, Panini America has signed on as the Broncos' exclusive game-worn merchandise provider. It is the first time Panini has signed such a deal with an NFL team. With the Broncos hosting a divisional playoff game this weekend, will have game-worn Broncos jerseys from QB Peyton Manning and others as soon as today, said Panini VP/Marketing Jason Howarth. Game-used footballs and other on-field equipment also will be offered. Under the multiyear deal, NFL trading-card licensee Panini will sponsor the Broncos Bunch, the team's kids club, and stage an annual trading-card giveaway at a Broncos home game.

Kraft yesterday announced that its water-enhancer brand MiO will debut a 30-second commercial during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII (Kraft). AD AGE's E.J. Schultz noted MiO was launched in '11 as the "first nationally marketed 'liquid water enhancer' and has found immediate success." Sales are on pace to "at least double this year" to more than $200M. Kraft last year "shifted Mio creative duties to WPP's Taxi from Dentsu's McGarryBowen." Kraft did not "immediately confirm which agency has been assigned the Super Bowl spot" (, 1/9). Meanwhile, BUSINESS INSIDER's Laura Stampler noted not "much" is known about a debut Super Bowl debut ad for AMC's "The Walking Dead" TV show. But actor Norman Reedus has been "tweeting out costumes and scenes from the set while the cast has been shooting ... complete with dead zombies with arrows coming out of their heads." Stampler wrote the Super Bowl is a "family friendly game and ads can get axed for being too sexual or violent, so it will be interesting to see how 'The Walking Dead' toes the line" (, 1/8).

Time Warner Cable has partnered with golfer Ian Poulter in support of its “Enjoy Sports Better” initiative. The partnership will feature Poulter in a national ad campaign as well as appearances at tournaments and opportunities with customers in TWC markets. Along with the ad campaign, Poulter will connect with TWC customers via online media including the company’s YouTube channel, Twitter account and Facebook page, where fans will have access to Facebook chats during PGA Tour events and regular status updates (TWC).

FLY GUY: AD WEEK’s Tim Nudd reported Clippers F Blake Griffin is starring in “new ads for GameFly, the video-game rental service,” created by Gifted Youth, which is comedy website Funny or Die’s commercial production company. GameFly is the “dominant player in the space, so Gifted Youth -- working directly with the client, with no agency involved -- was able to create broadly comic spots (two :30s and two :60s) without a hard sell.” In the ads, Griffin “hosts mock educational videos on ‘How To Be Amazing,’ introducing examples of activities that are and aren’t just that.” At the end of each ad, Griffin “gets more amazing by slowly taking off in a nitrogen-propelled jetpack" (, 1/8).

COVER BOY:’s Jon Robinson reported Arnold Palmer “finds himself on the cover” of EA Sports' upcoming “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14” video game alongside Woods. Palmer said of the video game’s potential to bring new fans to golf, “All of the things that are happening, from the First Tee program to what Tiger has done in the game and the potential for what is to come in the video game, will really help promote the game of golf to where we even think it might be” (, 1/8).

NOTES: Callaway signed golfer Ryo Ishikawa to a multiyear head-to-toe sponsorship deal. Ishikawa will wear Callaway-branded apparel, caps, gloves and footwear. Terms of the contract were not disclosed (Callaway)....Unifi announced yesterday that its fiber brand Repreve will be a first-time sponsor this year of the Winter X Games in Aspen, which take place Jan. 24-27. Snowboarder Elena Hight is working with Repreve to help promote a greener lifestyle, including recycling (Unifi).

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