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Volume 24 No. 115

Marketing and Sponsorship

Andy Murray yesterday won his first Wimbledon title and the victory could “open up” his “earning potential,” according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Branding consultant Jonathan Gabay said that the victory, the first by a Brit in 77 years, could “triple Murray’s earnings" of around $12M (all figures U.S.) annually from endorsements and prize money. Gabay said, “A British man winning Wimbledon hasn’t happened for such a long time. The sky really is the limit for him.” brandRapport Sports Marketing Dir Nigel Currie said that Murray “may be able to pull in as much as” $74M a year (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/7). In London, Sam Marsden notes Murray’s win “will enable him to make" as much as $30M a year from sponsorship deals. The boost could put him “behind only David Beckham and Lennox Lewis as the top-earning British sports stars in history.” Murray already has sponsorship deals with adidas, racquet manufacturer Head, Royal Bank of Scotland and Swiss watchmaker Rado (London TELEGRAPH, 7/8). MARKETING magazine’s Simon Nias writes Murray's Wimbledon win is “hugely significant from a UK perspective.” However, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment CEO Steve Martin “stressed that when it comes to endorsements, it is Murray's worldwide profile that matters.” Martin: “I don't think that the fact he has won Wimbledon will mean brands are suddenly beating a path to his door. You have to crack the American and Asian markets before you start getting those global deals that put you on a new level.” He added, "Yesterday's win will enhance his appeal massively and I certainly believe he will win more titles over the next four to five years, but he's still some way off [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal who transcend all boundaries and are really streets ahead in terms of their global appeal” (, 7/8).

ALREADY REAPING THE BENEFITS? In London, Simon Hart wrote there are “already signs of a step-change in earning potential.” A source said that negotiations “have begun" with adidas about renewing his five-year, $22.4M deal, which expires at the end of '14. His new contract is “likely to make him a global brand ambassador, joining an elite band" that includes Beckham, FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi and Bulls G Derrick Rose. Murray recently hired Globosport Founder Mahesh Bhupathi to work alongside XIX' Simon Fuller "in exploring commercial opportunities to capitalise on his on-court success.” A source said, “That’s Mahesh’s sole focus within the team so hopefully after Wimbledon, we’ll be able to start talking about new partners and new deals” (London TELEGRAPH, 7/7).

MEET THE PRESS: Murray is making the media rounds this morning, as he appeared on all three network morning shows and ESPN's live "SportsCenter." Murray wore adidas apparel for all three appearances, telling NBC's "Today" co-hosts that winning the championship was "amazing" and he "didn't want to let go" of the trophy. Murray: "It's been a lot of years since any Brits have won there, and I've been reminded of that most days of my life for the last five or six years. So to finally get to do it was great, and I just hope it's not that long again" ("Today," NBC, 7/8). ABC's Robin Roberts asked Murray, "How does it feel to be your country's hero?" Murray replied, "I don't really know, to be honest. I think that part of it hasn't quite sunk in. I realize I won Wimbledon yesterday but I think the magnitude of the win that hasn't really sunk in yet. ... I'm sure in the next couple of days when I get to see all of it and turn the TVs back on and watch the news I'll start to understand how big a deal it was" ("GMA," ABC, 7/8). More Murray: "There's just so much stress and nerves, so I'm glad it's over with" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 7/8).

New Balance for years "did not endorse athletes in major professional sports," but starting in '10, the company "chose to dive into baseball endorsements instead of those from other sports because its baseball cleats were some of the company’s strongest products," according to Gail Waterhouse of the BOSTON GLOBE. The company now "has 300 active players under endorsement" -- approximately 40% of all MLB players. New Balance got into baseball when management "decided it could take on industry giants" like Nike and Reebok "in that specific market." New Balance GM of Sports Marketing Mark Cavanaugh "came to the company in 2008 from Nike and has helped form the endorsement program." Cavanaugh said, "We had a product line we felt was big enough to compete with the bigger brands, with baseball being one of the biggest participation sports in the world. We set out to literally jump on the field and get our product on another level.” The company has signed Cardinals C Yadier Molina, Dodgers P Josh Beckett, Angels P C.J. Wilson and Yankees LF Curtis Granderson, "who switched from Nike when his contract was up." Every contract has "a charity component." Each athlete "spends a certain amount of time and money serving underprivileged communities; in return, New Balance provides them with a separate fund of money and merchandise for the charity of their choice." Cavanaugh said that the company "helps younger players choose programs to partner with, usually school sports programs or those serving at-risk youth." Prior to its foray into baseball, New Balance "did sign contracts with runners, but wouldn’t use those athletes in advertisements" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/5).

CBS' Nick Faldo thinks golfer Rory McIlroy's "slump can be pinned to an equipment change" after he left Acushnet for a deal with Nike, according to Randy King of the ROANOKE TIMES. Faldo said, "Rory very simply messed with a winning formula. He went from rookie of the year to world No. 1 and been through a lot and thought he could start again." He added, "As I said from Day One, I tweeted right away when it was announced that this was a dangerous move. I won't get into all the -- people said, 'Oh, he's so talented, he can adapt.' Well, why should the world No. 1 be adapting to something new? As we discovered six months later, he's busy still trying putters, still trying drivers. It's not as easy" (ROANOKE TIMES, 7/4). Meanwhile, Golf HOFer Jack Nicklaus said that McIlroy's "various off-course pursuits are affecting his on-course performance." Nicklaus cited both the "demands on McIlroy's time as a result of winning two major championships as well as the reported nine-figure endorsement contract he signed with Nike earlier this year." Nicklaus: "He's been sort of doing other things, and now he's back wanting to play golf again, and he's struggling" (, 7/3).

IRISH EYES NOT SMILING: In Ireland, Gary Murphy wrote McIlroy is a "pale shadow of himself." His game is "completely out of synch and it's hard to see where his next win is coming from." Murphy: "I strongly believe McIlroy has taken his eye off the ball, not just slightly, but massively, on and off the course. I struggle to understand the rationale behind his proposed split with Horizon Sports Management." It also is "clear he has struggled with his clubs since signing" with Nike (, 7/4).

A WALL STREET JOURNAL editorial stated the White House’s attempt to use the NFL to promote the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act is “especially brazen given that unlike hospitals and drug makers, the NFL had nothing to do with the law's enactment and little stake in its success.” The NFL’s “reluctance is wise, not least because Obamacare is bad for the players and owners, who are the high-income earners soaked" by the plan's multiple new taxes. Supporting one of the “most politically divisive laws in history, and one that is still unpopular, can't be good for a business's brand.” While the White House reportedly also reached out to the NBA, and the editorial stated, “We doubt it's in the NBA's best marketing, or reputational, interests to have its superstar millionaires telling young fans to overpay for health insurance to please a pack of unpopular politicians” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/6). The N.Y. TIMES editorial board last week penned a column under the header, "A Chance For Pro Sports To Help On Health Care" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/3).

TAP THE ROCKIES: AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz reported BBDO winning the Bud Light account in the U.S. "has cost the agency the Coors Light account in Canada.” Molson Coors, which markets Coors Light in Canada, "began considering its options almost immediately and has decided to move the brand to another agency soon.” BBDO's Toronto office “picked up the Coors Light account in March without a review when Molson Coors severed ties with DraftFCB, Canada.” BBDO also had been “working on other brands that Molson Coors markets in Canada, including Keystone, Heineken, Strongbow and Miller Chill” (, 7/3).

SUPER SONIC: In K.C., Alicia Stice noted local resident Debbie Hassed, after Royals CF Lorenzo Cain hit a grand slam in the sixth inning on Thursday, is “$25,000 richer, thanks to a contest sponsored" by Oklahoma-based QSR Sonic Drive-In. The Royals “held a check presentation ceremony for Hassed before Friday night’s game,” and the actual money “should come in a few weeks.” Sonic also partners with the Astros and Rangers “for its promotion,” in which fans are randomly chosen, and wins if a player hits a sixth-inning grand slam (K.C. STAR, 7/6).

GETTING THE PERKS: In Charlotte, Mark Washburn noted North Carolina is “among the most generous states in offering incentives” for film and TV spending. NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. starred in a commercial “filmed in Mooresville for his sponsor, Diet Mountain Dew, which debuted during the Daytona 500." Total spending for the project was $1.3M, including $1.1M in wages. Producers said that they “hired 109 people for the commercial and got $330,938 in incentives” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/5).