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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

Lakers C Dwight Howard's Q Score has fallen by seven points in the past year, and the numbers "aren't pretty," according to data from Marketing Evaluations Inc. cited by Sean Deveney of SPORTING NEWS. Q Score data shows that Howard in January '12 was recognized by 28% of those polled, and his Q Score, "which measures the familiarity and appeal of celebrities in the country," was 20. The "average for athletes is about 16." Last September, during Howard's "strange and miserable season" with the Magic, his score was "down to 15." By January of this year, his Q Score "came in at a 13." Marketing Evaluations VP Henry Schafer, whose company created Q Score, said, "That's a very big drop. Considering there was no social indiscretion, you don't usually see a drop like that. It looks like the last year and everything that has happened has taken its toll." Deveney wrote, "All the more surprising is that Howard went from Orlando to Los Angeles, and generally, that sort of move to a bigger market would be expected to boost a Q Score." Another surprise is that Heat F LeBron James, "whose image has undergone a revamp, saw his Q Score hold steady, despite winning a gold medal in the London Olympics and being the subject of an oft-aired Sprint commercial that shows him as a friend and father." Last September, James' Q Score was a 17, and he "registered a 17 again in January" (, 2/8).

Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain “expect to cash in” on signing MF David Beckham “by selling 150,000 replica kits bearing the former England captain's name before the end of the season,” according to Alex Miller of the London DAILY MAIL. Beckham has "raised a staggering” $1.6B (all figures U.S.) in shirt and shoe sales in his career, with $23.5M worth “expected from his five-month stint in the French capital alone.” Despite retailing for $149, sales of Beckham's No. 32 jersey "have reached 'thousands' in the week” since Beckham announced he was signing with the club on Jan. 31. A “large number of sales are expected to come from the UK, France, the US and Qatar, while the midfielder will earn a percentage of sales in image rights payments.” adidas officials “estimate a staggering 10 million replica Beckham shirts have been sold during his 20-year playing career,” worth $1.5B at today's prices. About five million of those shirts “were sold by” EPL club Manchester United and La Liga club Real Madrid. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said that Beckham “sold 300,000 shirts a year during his five-and-a-half years” with the Galaxy (London DAILY MAIL, 2/10).

Callaway and TaylorMade were the two “heavyweight contenders among golf-club makers” five years ago, but today, TaylorMade “hasn’t just blown away Callaway, it now positively dominates the business,” according to John Paul Newport of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.TaylorMade “surged with aggressive marketing,” and data from market research firm Golf Datatech found that the company last year “captured 47% of every dollar spent" on drivers. That figure is up from 26% in '07 and 11% of the driver-only market in '02. The company last year also “hauled in 25% of all sales” of irons, up from 16% in '07. No other company “comes close.” Callaway, while “still No. 2 in clubs overall, has slouched back closer to the pack.” TaylorMade achieved its rise “primarily by a relentlessly aggressive management style” that President & CEO Mark King calls “pushing the envelope on every front.” The first “key to TaylorMade’s success was getting as many clubs as possible into the hands of PGA Tour pros.” When King took over in ’00, he “made that a top priority.” Data from golf equipment research firm Darrell Survey shows that TaylorMade in ’01 “wrested the title of No. 1 driver on Tour away from Titleist.” It has “creatively exploited that advantage ever since.” The name of the company’s RocketBalz irons is “another example of TaylorMade’s aggressive style.” It is “a bit daring,” but it is “fun and the brand has killed in the marketplace.” Besides “Tour support and bold marketing,” the company’s third key is “ceaseless introduction of new products.” The “constant deluge of new clubs is a boon to TaylorMade’s marketing -- there’s always something fresh to hype -- and a challenge for poorer competitors to compete against” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/9).