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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

MLB Giants C Buster Posey "recently signed an endorsement deal" with BodyArmor SuperDrink, according to Nate Stuhlbarg of The deal is Posey's first endorsement of a product he will "actually use in his day-to-day preparations." Posey: "I like it better than Gatorade." Stuhlbarg noted Posey has "no further endorsement obligations on the calendar" (, 5/17). Posey "decided to invest in this venture as well as serve as its pitchman." In S.F., Al Saracevic wondered how big Posey wants "to get in the advertising world." With Broncos QB Peyton Manning "getting old and other squeaky-cleaners" like Yankees SS Derek Jeter "close to retirement, America needs a new clean-cut hero." Posey "fits the bill, but he's not sure he has the time." He said, "The main point I try to get across to my agency, which helps me make these decisions, is that first and foremost, my responsibility is to the Giants. I don't want to spread myself too thin." Saracevic notes besides BodyArmor, Posey has endorsement deals with Toyota, Pro Camps, PlayStation, DirecTV, Under Armour, Safeway, Louisville Slugger, Rawlings, Topps and LoJo Sports (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/19).

USA Today is "expanding its Super Bowl ad-rating platform to other categories of sports media," according to Lucia Moses of ADWEEK. Ad Meter: The Year in Sports will "invite sports fans to vote in categories like Best Sports Marketing Campaign and Best Athlete Endorsement Ad." Online voting will "take place on Ad Meter’s digital hub in November, with the winners to be announced Dec. 9 at an event" in N.Y. USA Today is "trying to carve out a stronger identity among the other national newspapers, and one way it's seeking to do that is to amplify social engagement." USA Today Sports Media Group President Tom Beusse: "We've tapped into that popularity of sports, that phenomenon that people want to weigh in. The Ad Meter has been the gold standard. It's just been underleveraged." Moses reports a mobile app for the Tony Awards "was launched in April," and USA Today Publisher & President Larry Kramer is looking at extending Ad Meter "to other events like the Oscars, as well as other sports franchises like the World Series and the Final Four" (ADWEEK, 5/20 issue).

In L.A., Kevin Baxter reported David Beckham following his retirement from soccer will be seen "in many other places -- billboards, magazines, TV -- for years to come." There are "still Beckham-backed shoes, cologne, cell phones and watches to sell," as well as "sports drinks, vitamins, books and clothing lines." Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said, "Commercially, David Beckham is the most successful footballer ever produced in England." Yet Brand Beckham "remains a creation, a Frankenstein's monster built by his management team with parts provided by focus groups, advertising agencies and pop-culture sensibilities." Beckham "as a pitchman" was "guarded, careful and protective" (L.A. TIMES, 5/19). ABC's Jeffrey Kofman noted Beckham is a "celebrity with appeal well beyond the soccer field." Kofman: "Don’t expect him to disappear. There's already talk of him buying a Major League Soccer club" ("GMA," ABC, 5/19).

RED CARPET TREATMENT: In S.F., Eric Branch reports 40 rookies attended the 19th annual NFLPA Rookie Premiere hosted by NFL Players Inc. in L.A. last week, which included a "business seminar and meetings with representatives from league sponsors" including Nike, Pepsi, FedEx, Topps and Panini. The invitation list is "determined primarily by the trading-card companies, and in the football-card industry, rookie cards of players at glamour positions are the most valuable." That explains why Dolphins LB Dion Jordan and Chargers LB Manti Te'o were to the "only two defensive players" on hand, while "no offensive linemen were in attendance" despite making up three of the first four picks in the draft. It is possible the 49ers' Marcus Lattimore "might be the most marketable" of 12 running backs at the seminar despite the fact he might not play until '14. He has "signed a deal with EAS Sports Nutrition, whose products, he says, have been beneficial during his rehab." Lattimore: "I've been approached by a lot of different companies. A lot of different marketing opportunities have come up" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/20).

WIN AND CASH IN:'s Kristi Dosh noted Panthers QB Cam Newton is "in a good position to capitalize this season if the Panthers can post some wins." He is "fairly well-known among sports fans and the general public, despite playing in a smaller market." Marketing Evaluations Exec VP Henry Schafer, whose company creates Q Scores, said that 64% of sports fans are "familiar with Newton, above the average of 59 percent for athletes." The latest Q Scores poll released in March shows that 34% of people "know Newton," which is "above average for an athlete." But Newton’s positive Q Score has "fluctuated over the past couple of years" (, 5/17).

BRINGING HIS "A" GAME:'s Gregg Doyel wrote Nike and Tiger Woods were "right," as "winning really does take care of everything." Woods is "back -- and so are you." Doyel: "Remember when people were put out by that Nike slogan .... showing a picture of Tiger lining up a putt underneath the words 'winning takes care of everything'? Yeah, that was cute. That was correct, too" (, 5/17).