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Volume 24 No. 160

Marketing and Sponsorship

The new 1,000-square-foot Oakley retail store at Angel Stadium was "jammed with fans" during the team's first home stand of the season last week, according to Marcia Smith of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Shoppers went through a "wide selection of custom eyewear and Angels- and baseball-themed apparel created with the 'Oakley DNA.'" The main attraction of the "industrial-looking but baseball-themed space" is Oakley's "custom eyewear bar." Customers can use "two touchscreens to select frames, lenses, even laser-etching of text or the Angels logo on eyewear that can be built in 15 minutes." Eyewear is the primary product in the store, but it also offers fans an "alternative to the traditional jerseys and player T-shirts sold by the nearby Team Store." There were T-shirts featuring a "sleeker, modern presentation of the Angels' haloed-A logo," while the logo also was seen on "camouflaged sweatshirts, flat-billed ballcaps and rugged backpacks." Angels LF Mark Trumbo and 2B Howie Kendrick, who are both Oakley endorsers, "have life-sized murals on the back wall" of the store. Oakley has two smaller locations at Yankee Stadium, but the Angel Stadium store is its "largest and the first to feature Angels/Oakley co-branded product lines under a licensing agreement signed in March" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/19).

UConn on Thursday "officially unveiled its new logo, and addressed the largely negative reaction" since the news became public earlier this month, according to a front-page piece by Don Amore of the HARTFORD COURANT. AD Warde Manuel asserted that the change was "not motivated by money, but to give the school's athletic teams a consistency in identity." Manuel: "This is not about merchandising. This is not about our trying to change to make more money. This is to make sure our identity is clear. ... The majority of the public probably couldn't care less that one number is this way and another number is that way. But we do. We want that consistency that identifies a mark for us." UConn's athletes, who were "surveyed during the yearlong logo process, offered the opinion that the old logo was too 'friendly,' too 'puppy-ish' or 'cartoonish' or 'looked tired' because the tongue was hanging out." Manuel said that the old logo was "not a husky but a malamute or Samoyed." The new logo is "based on a Siberian husky." UConn teams over the years had "gone off in their own directions on uniforms and logos." There were "several versions, from an interlocking U-C, to a C with a basketball inside it, and numerous fonts." The school is "rebranding itself as UCONN, all capital letters, and its uniforms will reflect that." The word "UCONN," in bold letters outlined in red, will "be on all of the school's athletic unforms." The baseball team will "retain the 'C' on its caps." The new football helmets "feature the new Husky dog on top, its eyes peering from the front of the helmet." UConn "retains the rights to all of its old logos, which will be used on licensed 'throw-back' items" (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/19).

The Cubs and AEP Energy on Thursday announced a three-year deal to make AEP the official energy partner of the team and Wrigley Field, as well as the official energy supplier at the ballpark. AEP has signage displayed on the left field wall and is sponsoring electronic signage and announcements during each Cubs pitching change (Cubs).

PARTY LIKE A CHAMPION: MARKETING magazine's Gemma Charles noted Bacardi has "unveiled a Facebook competition to promote responsible drinking, offering entrants the chance to attend a luxury party in Mallorca hosted by" tennis player Rafael Nadal. "The Champions' Party" will be hosted by Nadal as part of his role as the brand's global "social responsibility ambassador." Prior to the competition ending Thursday, fans could "enter the 'Mix with Rafa' competition via the 'Champions Drink Responsibly' Facebook page by answering three questions relating to responsible drinking behaviour" (, 4/15).

THE CAR THAT CARES In North Carolina, Paul Fogleman noted thanks to an "increase in its sponsorship support, Kia Motors no longer will be listed as the Greater Hickory Classic's presenting sponsor" at this year's Champions Tour event in Hickory, N.C. Instead, Kia will be "included in the title of the event." The tournament's future has been "in doubt in recent years, with the economic downturn making the search for a coveted title sponsor a difficult one." Kia's commitment "does not rise to the level of title sponsor." But tournament Exec Dir Jim Correll said that the "path has been cleared for the company to take the next step" (, 4/16).