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Volume 24 No. 117

Marketing and Sponsorship

Subway today will announce that it is "back in the Super Bowl after years away,” according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The QSR's TV ad “will highlight an anniversary of some significance" in Jared Fogle's 15th year as Subway spokesman. In the spot, 14 Subway athletes -- including Redskins QB Robert Griffin III -- will “congratulate Jared for keeping off the weight he lost eating low-cal offerings at Subway.” Subway CMO Tony Pace said companies advertising during CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII "can't get 110 million people" anywhere else. Pace: "That's an audience we can't ignore." Horovitz writes Subway's ad “could be a way to deflect consumer attention from recent reports about some of its foot-long subs only measuring 11 inches in some stores.” The campaign will continue throughout the year with "other Subway celebrities, including Michael Phelps, offering high-fives to Jared” (USA TODAY, 1/30).

IN GOOD HANDS? AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz reported Allstate has “purchased the first ad slot after the gun sounds and before the trophy ceremony.” The 30-second spot “costs less than an in-game spot," and the insurance company believes that it is “getting good value, considering the unique storylines that it predicts will increase post-game viewership.” Allstate Senior VP/Marketing Lisa Cochrane said of the ad, "We take a trip through time -- and see Mayhem in action from the Garden of Eden through some of the most significant, 'mayhemic' events ever." Schultz noted the ad is by "longtime Allstate agency Leo Burnett.” Unless there is a "last-minute surprise, no major car-insurance company will run an ad during the game.” The last time a “big car-insurance marketer bought a Super Bowl ad" was in '07, with a buy from Nationwide. Allstate declined to say what it is paying for the position, but some media buyers said that post-game “in general goes for about $800,000 a 30-second spot." The pod immediately after the game is "likely to be priced higher than that” (, 1/29).

ROCK & ROLL, COLA WARS: SodaStream President Yonah Lloyd discussed the company's Super Bowl spot that was rejected, and he said was because it "took potshots at Coke and Pepsi," which also are advertising in the game. Lloyd said, "If you take a look at it, it’s really a play on prior ads that Coke and Pepsi have done with the delivery guys that play off each other. So we were pretty surprised that happened.” CNBC's Melissa Lee wondered if the rejection was "the best thing you could have asked for, because there’s so much more chatter about SodaStream now.” Lloyd: “It’s good to have buzz out there, but it wasn’t what we wanted to do.” The company plans to stay in the game, airing an older ad during the fourth quarter (“Fast Money,” CNBC, 1/29). Meanwhile, AD AGE’s Natalie Zmuda noted Pepsi will use its 30-second Super Bowl ad for Pepsi Next to promote "a massive product giveaway.” TBWA/Chiat/Day is “handling the ad,” which includes the tagline, "Drink It to Believe It." The brand will give away “one million two-liter bottles of Pepsi Next to the first million consumers that sign up at once the ad airs during the first half of the game.” The ad shows "a wild house party where Pepsi Next is the beverage of choice that gets interrupted by a young man's parents” (, 1/29).

NINER LEGENDS: Skechers announced that Pro Football HOFers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott will be featured in the company’s second Super Bowl ad, set to run in the second quarter of the game. The shoe company also will debut a spot during the second quarter of the game for its new performance running shoes, Skechers GOrun 2 (Skechers).

NORTH OF THE BORDER: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Etan Vlessing reported CTV is “near to selling out commercial time for its all-day Super Bowl XLVII broadcast.” A CTV spokesperson said the network is on track "to meet all of its advertising objectives.” The net plans to run “seven hours of pre-game programming” in addition to the game Sunday (, 1/29). Meanwhile, the GLOBE & MAIL's Susan Krashinsky reports one of Go Daddy’s Super Bowl ads “has been held up because of a half-empty glass of champagne.” Go Daddy said that the Television Bureau of Canada (TVB) “has rejected the commercial in its current version,” because TVB guidelines stipulate that ads cannot show people drinking alcohol, or imply consumption with a part-empty wine glass or beer bottle. Go Daddy is "working to make changes so that the ad will be able to run on Sunday” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/30).

Volkswagen insists it "will broadcast" during Super Bowl XLVII a controversial ad that some critics say "is racist," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The automaker's ad features a "white Midwesterner who feigns a Jamaican accent.” VW Chief Product & Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney said, “There is no thought to pulling it.” Several critics, including's Barbara Lippert, have been outspoken against the ad since it began showing online Monday. However, Horovitz reports the "social-media buzz" has shown "most folks liking it.” A USA Today online poll found that 93% of viewers "like the ad.” Jamaican Tourism & Entertainment Minister Wykeham McNeill said, “We view it as a compliment” (USA TODAY, 1/30). TV personality Star Jones said she was “not offended in the least tiny bit.” Jones: “Jamaica is known as what? A happy place and people who work really hard, and so if that’s the way you’re going to convey Jamaica, I’m all for it.” NBC contributor Dr. Nancy Snyderman said as soon as the office worker began speaking like a Jamaican, “I just found myself smiling. I don’t think it’s racist.” Jones added, “I would have liked to see another person of color within that office” ("Today," NBC, 1/30). In DC, Paul Farhi writes, "The mini-brushfire over the commercial is both a potential bane and a boon for VW.” It is a bane because “who wants an $8 million ad buy to turn into a debate about racism?” But it could be a boon because “a little controversy isn’t necessarily a bad thing for something whose entire purpose is to draw attention” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/30). Founder Nicole Lapin: "This is huge business, of course, and they love the fact we’re talking about this. It’s just adding to their free marketing” (“Showbiz Tonight,” HLN, 1/29).

COMEDY FODDER: Comedian D.L. Hughley said of the ad, “I can’t understand what I’m supposed to be mad about. I don’t get it. Is Spike Lee behind this again? If Jamaicans can make a movie where they’re bobsledding, then Minnesotans can speak with a Jamaican accent” ("GMA," ABC, 1/30). Comedian Jeff Ross said, "If they want him to stop talking like that in the ad, they should just have the cops pull him over. He’ll start talking white again immediately" ("Showbiz Tonight," HLN, 1/29).

Flacco also endorses Nike and Marine Midland Bank
Ravens QB Joe Flacco on Monday agreed to take a photo "holding a package of Haribo Gold Bears," which will be used "in various marketing materials for the brand," according to Darren Rovell of The candy manufacturer paid Flacco "an undisclosed amount and obviously will give him the gummy product he demands." Haribo's HQs have been in Baltimore since '82 and its advertising is "done by a Baltimore firm called TBC." Also, TBC Chair & Creative Dir Allan Charles is the father of actor Josh Charles, a "die-hard Ravens fan." Haribo of America President Christian Jegen said, "We don't do typical sponsorships. We'll only do something with an athlete if we hear he really enjoys our products." He added that the only other athlete the company "ever did a deal with" was former NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace. Rovell noted Flacco also "has endorsement deals with Nike and Marine Midland Bank" (, 1/29).

FISHING FOR DEALS: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited a source as saying that reps of former Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o were "attempting aggressively to nail down marketing deals before the story broke" about his fictitious girlfriend. Te'o's associates were pursuing deals with "among other things major shoe and apparel companies." There was "reluctance to proceed, given Te’o's struggles in the BCS national title game and the uncertainty as to whether he’ll be playing for a high-profile team or a franchise that is an NFL afterthought" (, 1/29).

Retired U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps has reached an agreement with Ping to play a full set of the brand's custom-fit golf clubs. His official debut representing Ping will be today at the Annexus Pro-Am as part of the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open. Phelps will be paired with Bubba Watson, last year's winner of The Masters. Phelps also will appear on Golf Channel reality show "The Haney Project" this spring. Phelps' Ping clubs are painted with gold and red, white and blue accents (Ping). Phelps said, "They look cool too. My driver is painted was a little bit of gold. I have 'Phelps 22' on [the clubs]." He added, "I want to be my own individual, so I threw some ideas at them and Ping went above and beyond anything I could've ever imagined to make the set that I have now. It's something that is pretty special and unique. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that nobody else has red, white and blue on their clubs like I do, so it does feel pretty amazing" (, 1/29). Phelps: "Other sponsors I have had have felt like a family away from home and I like that. When I walked into the headquarters here in Phoenix you could feel it the moment you walked in. Plus they have the putter vault with all those gold putters from champions using Ping putters in their wins. There's a lot of gold here so it seemed like a perfect fit" (, 1/30).

While overall NBA players costs "are down, the stars are still raking it in," according to Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES. The top 10 NBAers will "collectively earn around $340 million this year alone through salary and endorsements, with big market players dominant." Seven of the top 10 play in N.Y, L.A. or Chicago, "with two others hailing from sunny, no-income-tax Miami." Lakers G Kobe Bryant topped the list with a salary $7M higher than "any other player's." Nike sells "twice as many Bryant sneakers in China as in the U.S." The NBA's popularity is "soaring in China, helping players land lucrative deals with Nike, adidas and Coke as the brands fight to expand their reach in Asia." Below is the list of top 10 NBA earners (FORBES, 2/11 issue).

Lakers G Kobe Bryant
Heat F LeBron James
Bulls G Derrick Rose
Heat G Dwyane Wade
Thunder F Kevin Durant
Knicks F Carmelo Anthony
Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire
Lakers C Dwight Howard
Clippers G Chris Paul
Lakers F Pau Gasol


Any consumer of broadcast sports has seen a dramatic increase over the last year or two in advertising for the latest male enhancement products, OTC supplements and medicines which promise to raise the amount of testosterone in males, something which occurs naturally in men as they age. Years after prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction used league sponsorship deals, (Cialis with the NFL, Viagra with MLB and NASCAR) OTC testosterone supplements with brand names like Ageless Male, Testo-Factor and T-Bomb are entering the market. Now comes the latest sign that the various remedies for low testosterone may be turning into a viable category for those selling sports marketing, along with media: a Super Bowl media tour tomorrow by former NFLer Mike Alstott. The six-time Pro Bowler will carry the flag here for Complete Nutrition’s Mancore line of testosterone-boosting and weight-loss supplements. “Mike Alstott is a guy the Mancore demographic can relate to," said Complete Nutrition VP/Marketing Amy Bailey, “and he’s a great inspiration for men across the country to get in shape.” CAA Sports Consulting represents Complete Nutrition and brokered the deal with Alstott who, not coincidentally, also is a CAA client. Along with pushing Alstott through radio row here, the 39-year-old former Buccaneer will be employed in digital and radio campaigns for Complete Nutrition, which has 171 stores across America. Count on more marketing dollars, even as the claims of increased testosterone are debated. "This is a category still in launch phase, so I think you will see more money in the market, because athletes make a lot of sense as spokesmen for this," said Marc Ippolito, the President and General Counsel of Illinois-based Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing. "Naturally, viability of the category depends on the success of the product. So there's still some wait and see on this."

Athletics Ireland and New Balance yesterday announced a new multiyear partnership for the company to outfit the Irish track & field team. The team's first collection will be green and white with a gold trim (New Balance). The IRISH EXAMINER's Feidhlim Kelly notes Irish distance runner Fionnuala Britton was the “headline athlete at the announcement.” Britton’s contract is “set to run for four years" with New Balance, while Athletics Ireland’s preliminary contract is “set for three years and should be worth close to six figures” (IRISH EXAMINER, 1/30).

TEST YOUR MEDAL: In London, Jonathan Russell noted British companies that “played a key role in creating the London Olympics will be allowed to use their involvement in the Games to promote themselves under a new licensing agreement.” The “unsung businesses that helped design, build and run the venues, including the Olympic Park in Stratford, will be able to apply to be recognised as participants in creating the 2012 Games.” The deal between the U.K. government, the British Olympic Association and the IOC is the “first of its kind after an Olympic Games” (London TELEGRAPH, 1/29).

OUT OF THIS WORLD: In L.A., Eric Pincus noted Lakers C Dwight Howard at the Feb. 17 NBA All-Star Game in Houston “will debut a special NBA All-Star edition” of the adidas "D Howard Light." adidas said that the signature shoe “features a design based on speed, style and Houston's ‘history of aviation'" (, 1/29).

FAMILY FIRST: In Tulsa, Kevin Henry notes former NBAer Desmond Mason and his family will be featured in a new ad campaign from Procter & Gamble entitled "The Everyday Effect." Mason's family was “suggested to P&G for the campaign after a friend shot videos and photos with the family on Mother's Day" (TULSA WORLD, 1/30).