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Volume 24 No. 117

Marketing and Sponsorship

A Nike Facebook and Twitter post featuring Tiger Woods and the caption "Winning takes care of everything" has drawn "criticism for perceived insensitivity about Woods' divorce," according to Todd Wasserman of Woods became the No. 1 player in the world with his win yesterday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and taking his "domestic situation into account, some fans found that Nike Golf's exultant message celebrating the feat was off-pitch." While the comments on Nike's Facebook page "appeared to be mostly positive, some fans also took issue" (, 3/25). Woods' win was discussed on the "Today's Professionals" segment of NBC's "Today," and Willie Geist noted the “question now is, are golf fans -- men and women -- ready to give him a second chance?” Geist: “One measure of the response: The backlash to a new Nike ad on Facebook that says, ‘Winning takes care of everything.’ One commenter asking, ‘Does winning erase all the bad things this guy did?’” NBC’s Carson Daly said, “We love two things in this country. We like to knock people down. The only thing we like more than that is to pick them up. That’s exactly what’s happened with Tiger.” Star Jones said America “likes winners, and when Tiger Woods is out in the hunt you are cheering for him. You’re not thinking about any of those personal issues.” Daly noted that “if the public believes he served some time and some penance and he worked his way back up” then it is a “good story” (“Today,” NBC, 3/26). ABC's Jimmy Kimmel noted Nike posted the ad on its Facebook page and recited the caption. Kimmel: "Except for that ridiculous goatee and mustache but, you know, I’m pretty sure lawyers take care of everything in Tiger’s case” (“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC, 3/25).

MEET THE NEW BOSS...: CBS' Jeff Glor said, "A game that’s been desperately looking for a new star for three years has suddenly found the old one is back” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 3/26). USA Today's Christine Brennan noted, “Nike will always stick with Tiger Woods, but other mainstream companies, they haven’t come back to Tiger. So the key question is, will they?” (“GMA,” ABC, 3/26). Meanwhile, in Toronto, Cathal Kelly writes Woods' game "has returned, but the swagger that once accompanied it is gone." Public interest "never ran dry," but it was a "distant admiration, a combination of schadenfreude and genuine pity." Part of what made Woods' decline "so compelling was that the dip in his professional form ran parallel with his personal implosion" as he fell to world No. 58 at one point. Kelly: "Over decades, we’re all several different people, shaped and reshaped by victories and setbacks. We rarely get to see that process at work. It’s happened here." This "new Tiger Woods may be the golfer we’re all familiar with, but in the course of clawing his way back, he has emerged an entirely new person" (TORONTO STAR, 3/26).

RANKINGS CRASH: In Abu Dhabi, Steve Elling reports the website for the Official World Golf Ranking "crashed ... just as the tournament was finishing" yesterday. Ian Barker, who runs the website, was asked if the "Monday finish and the popularity of Woods had anything to do with the crash." He said, "We suspect there may be a link" (THE NATIONAL, 3/27).

The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State Univ. has cost the school an estimated $46M since November '11, but "some sponsor dollars look to be trickling back" as advertisers are "coming around," according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. "returned to Penn State football telecasts" last year, and "will do so again" in '13. Chevy "passed on sponsoring Penn State football" last season. But company spokesperson Ryndee Carney said "no decisions have been made" for '13-14. State Farm spokesperson Mia Jazo-Harris said that the company "may also return to radio after sitting out" last football season. Sherwin-Williams' logo is "still missing from the banner." But Corportate Communications Dir Mike Conway said the company "never dropped" its sponsorship of Penn State. Data from The Marketing Arm indicates that the school in June '11 "ranked as one of the top five most-trusted NCAA properties." But by January '12 Penn State had "plummeted to dead last among 104 schools measured nationally." It then "rebounded" in '12, and is now No. 63. The rise "wasn't due to marketing." But Penn State Interim VP/University Relations Cynthia Hall said that the school has "hired PulsePoint Group in Austin, Texas, to help formulate its 'vision' for the future" (AD AGE, 3/25 issue).

Apparel brand Sportiqe has partnered with Grateful Dead Productions to launch a T-shirt line featuring artwork inspired by the Rock & Roll HOF band merged with NBA team logos. The Grateful Dead by Sportiqe collection will debut with T-shirts featuring the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Nets, Celtics, Bulls, Heat and Warriors. The shirts will retail for $35-45 (Sportiqe). WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY's Karyn Monget noted the T-shirts will debut "in mid-April" on Sportiqe's website. The line for men and women has distribution aimed at “major department stores and better specialty retailers.” Sportiqe co-Founder & co-Owner Jason Franklin said that the collaboration was “inspired by his love of basketball and music.” Franklin at age 13 “watched the Lithuanian national basketball team wear Grateful Dead-inspired jerseys and warm-up apparel” during the '92 Barcelona Games. Franklin said, “This relationship with Grateful Dead Productions brings Sportiqe full circle” (, 3/22).’s Ben Golliver noted the collaboration is “the first for the Grateful Dead with a pro sports league.” The group is “well-known for its support of the 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team.” The band stepped in to sponsor the former Soviet Republic “by providing money and tie-dyed t-shirts.” The designs on the men’s Sportiqe shirts “feature a modified version of the Grateful Dead’s signature skull logo, which appeared on the 'Steal Your Face' album cover in 1976.” A basketball design “replaces the lightning bolt in the center of the skull.” The women’s shirts “star one of the group’s ‘dancing bear’ figures that was included on 'History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One' in 1973.” Both designs include “team names and logos in 1970s era lettering" (, 3/22).

Angels LF Mike Trout and Nationals CF Bryce Harper were each named Rookie of the Year in MLB last season, and "never in modern history have there been two winners in a single year as marketable," according to Darren Rovell of Trout has been "more willing to do deals, signing sizable national contracts with Subway, Nike and beverage BodyArmor, while Harper -- aside from an expansive deal with Under Armour -- has played somewhat hard-to-get." Trout has "started to build a healthy endorsement portfolio." BodyArmor Nutrition co-Owner Mike Repole said that the companies Trout signed with "legitimized his product." BodyArmor is running a promotion "for a fan to meet Trout, and the contest is being touted in thousands of convenience stores throughout the country." Trout figures to "make at least three times his $510,000 salary in endorsements alone this season." Meanwhile, Harper has "one major deal: Under Armour." UA Senior VP/Global Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said of Harper, "He transformed baseball for us." The company has used Harper in "several national spots," and now is "looking to sell a 60-minute piece on Harper, featuring his rapid rise to Major League Baseball, to a major network." Mirchin said that the brand "will invest in Harper more" (, 3/25).

PLAY 162: In DC, Sarah Kogod noted Harper is among the players featured in MLB's new "I Play" campaign. Harper in addition to appearing in the Opening Day spot, is featured in a spot of his own. He says in the ad, "I play for the ‘W’ on my hat. And 95 more in the win column. I play for the pennants waiting to be hung, and the Nationals red pumping through my veins. I play for the warrior inside and out. I play for October" (, 3/25).