Scotland-based firm Standard Life Investments has “agreed to be the Ryder Cup’s initial worldwide partner, making it the first company to acquire rights to Ryder Cups on both sides of the Atlantic,” according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Standard Life’s four-year deal “commences this year" in advance of the '14 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland, and includes rights to the '16 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn. Terms of the deal were “not available.” However, sources said that such a global sponsorship was “being shopped for high seven figures annually.” The PGA of America and European Tour “hope to have as many as four worldwide partners" for the '14 Ryder Cup. Standard Life’s partnership will be “rolled into two separate contracts, one with the European Tour and another with the PGA of America." The company “emerged with many of the same hospitality, promotional and on-course rights as Team Europe sponsors in 2014, except that Standard Life will be the only one to call itself a worldwide partner with unique marks in its advertising.” Standard Life will “have category exclusivity" in '14 and '16. Neither the PGA of America nor the European Tour "had this category filled” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/25 issue).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Danica Patrick may have finished 8th in yesterday's Daytona 500, but her pole win dominated the week leading up to the race and Stewart-Haas Racing execs could not have been happier. The team still has three primary races to sell on Patrick’s No. 10 Sprint Cup Series car, and it is hoping the news coverage Patrick received last week bolsters its sales effort. During the course of the week, she did 12 hours of interviews with 40 different outlets ranging from NBC's "Nightly News" and ABC's "World News" to Parade magazine and the London Telegraph. "SportsCenter" also showed six minutes of live coverage of her pole-winning press conference. SHR execs are targeting brands in the health & beauty and health & fitness categories. SHR Exec VP Brett Frood said, “We want to find a brand with authenticity that relates to her.” The co-primary sponsor would get appearances, marketing rights, the primary paint schemes and firesuit for three races. Go Daddy sponsors 33 races, and Frood said the company is willing to be flexible with the three races a co-primary sponsor receives. Frood: “We can do spring, summer, fall, or summer, fall, fall.” In addition to selling the races on Patrick’s car, SHR is selling six races on Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car and eight races on Ryan Newman’s No. 39. SHR on Friday announced it had signed commercial truck dealer Rush Enterprises as a primary sponsor for three races on Stewart’s ride. Financial terms were not available, but primary sponsorship for top drivers like Stewart typically sells for more than $500,000 a race. Rush Enterprises will feature its Rush Truck Centers brand on the hood of Stewart’s car during races at Auto Club Speedway (March 24), Martinsville (April 7) and Richmond (April 27). It expands on an associate sponsorship Rush Enterprises has had since '10 with SHR. The company services and provides the team with its haulers and rigs.
In Baltimore, Chris Korman noted Under Armour last Thursday filed a lawsuit against Nike over use of its trademark phrase “I Will.” While Nike has “deep pockets to defend itself, observers say Under Armour has a chance to make its case and force Nike to pull the offending ads.” Whatever happens in court, it “represents a confident right hook aimed at Nike.” IP attorney Jim Astrachan said, "There's no way in the world a company like Nike, which is actually a branding company, didn't know that a competitor had the slogan 'I Will.’ Nike knew what it was doing. This is not an accident” (Baltimore SUN, 2/23).
NOT SO FAST: In Texas, Michelle Keahey noted Texas A&M QB and ’12 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has “filed a lawsuit claiming an individual is infringing on his trademark ‘Johnny Football’ nickname in order to sell shirts.” JMAN2 Enterprises LLC “filed suit against Eric Vaughan on Feb. 15 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.” Manziel in November “discovered that the defendant was using his trademark to sell shirts,” which stated “Keep Calm and Johnny Football” (SETEXASRECORD.com, 2/22).
ROUNDUP: DAILY VARIETY’s Cynthia Littleton noted Dish Network's Hopper DVR service was “emblazoned on Leavine Family Racing's No. 95 Dish Ford Fusion, piloted by Scott Speed” during yesterday's Daytona 500. NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC have “sued Dish in an effort to halt aspects of the Hopper, including a function that allows viewers to remove commercial breaks from recorded programming and the option of recording large blocks of primetime programming en masse” (VARIETY.com, 2/23)….MARKETING magazine’s Ben Bold reported Santander bank has signed a deal with Gold Medal-winning British heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who will "become the first female face of the U.K. brand in its upcoming TV advertising campaign" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 2/22).