Following Phil Mickelson's British Open on Sunday, Callaway Golf Marketing Dir Jason Finley had an "eight-person team working at the company's San Diego-area offices to prepare an ad campaign capitalizing on his win," according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. Callaway "used social media to congratulate" Mickelson and "spread the word" about a variety of the company's products. A post on the Callaway Twitter account read, "One for the thumb. Congratulations on your 5th major championship, Lefty." The tweet included a "picture of Mickelson holding the Claret Jug trophy." The Callaway team then "went to work preparing a full-page ad congratulating the San Diego native" in yesterday's San Diego Union-Tribune. The company this week will "roll out more ads in GolfWeek and other publications emphasizing its sponsorship of Mickelson." Callaway "works with local ad agency Taco Truck Creative," but "victory ads are typically produced in-house due to the need for speed." However, Callaway Senior Manager of Global Communications Scott Goryl said that Taco Truck was "on-site working with Callaway's marketing department this weekend" (ADAGE.com, 7/22). In DC, Tracee Hamilton writes, "I don't know if a marketing team got hold of Mickelson and molded him into the anti-Tiger or if it happened organically, but the contrast [with Woods] is remarkable." Mickelson is "open and engaging with the media -- like it or not, that's how an image is made -- and he signs autographs until the pens run dry" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/23). Barclays today is running full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and N.Y. Times congratulating Mickelson for winning the British Open. Mickelson also appears in congratulatory ads from KPMG in USA Today and Rolex in the N.Y. Times (THE DAILY).
TAXING SITUATION: CNBC's Larry Kudlow noted Mickelson earned $2.1M for winning the British Open, but it is "not a big financial windfall" after taxes are taken out. Scottish taxes take 44% "right off the top," though Michelson "does get a credit for that on his U.S. income tax form." However, the state of California, where he lives, "has no exemption so he owes another 13.3% and is left with about $842,000." Kudlow said the California tax rates and code was "part of the reason Mickelson talked earlier this year about leaving California to escape its ridiculously high income taxes" ("The Kudlow Report," CNBC, 7/22).
ING last week officially informed the N.Y. Road Runners that it is "exiting as title sponsor" of the N.Y. Marathon after a 10-year run, according to sources cited by Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The ING moniker will "remain on the event this year." Sources said that there are "a surprising number of potential sponsors kicking the tires of a new title deal," to which the NYRR has affixed an asking price of $10M annually "for a deal that would span a decade." One brand "being mentioned" is BMW. Meanwhile, NYRR is "looking to sell five, low-seven-figure 'Founding Partner' sponsorships, and its current roster of 40 to 50 sponsors will be winnowed to a more manageable number" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/22 issue). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sara Germano reported still "unfilled are about half of the 8,200 slots reserved in the marathon for so-called charity runners, who earn their bibs by raising thousands of dollars apiece for philanthropic causes." The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society sent out an e-mail which read in part, "We are looking at a recruitment deficit of over 250 participants, which equates to roughly $1 million in lost revenue." NYRR VP/Development & Philanthropy Michael Rodgers said, "Across the board, many of our large charity programs' allotment is filling slower than in years past." He added that most charities are "at about 50% capacity ... with close to 15 weeks left until the race." Charity runners who "raised large amounts to earn spots in last year's race received from NYRR the offer of guaranteed entry into this year's race, without having to raise any additional funds for charity." That is "likely one reason for the soft demand for charity spots this year." Rodgers said that some "64% of runners who had entered the 2012 race through a charity program have elected to run in 2013" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/19).
MLB's decision to suspend Brewers LF Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season "will impact not only the Milwaukee Brewers' franchise but also the star outfielder's career and marketability," according to Don Walker of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. The Brewers will "lose their best player and a face of the franchise that helped the team sell T-shirts, jerseys and other merchandise." Braun's jersey has been "a big seller since he signed" with the team. Braun also was "in the community representing the Brewers as a big star who made the commitment to Milwaukee instead of seeking fame and fortune in a larger market." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, "Braun lied about it with such determination and swagger. That is going to hurt the franchise, and he can't be the face of the franchise again for a while." Octagon First Call Managing Dir David Schwab said of Braun's admission, "It inevitably affects trust. ... When brands have choices, and when stories like this come up, it immediately rules people out." Walker notes because Braun "plays in a small market, his endorsements are relatively small: Nike, Wilson, Mikita Sports and the Sam Bat Co., are the most widely known." CytoSport, the maker of Muscle Milk, "dropped Braun last year as an endorser." Braun's suspension also "makes his collectibles and memorabilia much less valuable than they were in the days he was riding high as a one-time most valuable player" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/23).
FALLEN IDOL: In Milwaukee, Michael Hunt writes, "To the question of how Braun's image will be affected in a town that has embraced and stood with him for seven seasons, a lot of it will be up to him." He has a "head start in that Milwaukee always has been quite protective of the legitimate star who has planted his professional and entrepreneurial flag in this city." It "might hurt the restaurant business he shares" with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, but "so be it." It "might hurt his endorsements and cause people who saw him as something more than a rich professional athlete with human qualities to look at him in a different light, which is a very healthy thing indeed" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 7/23).
The Univ. of Tennessee football team "will add outlines of the Volunteer State to the backs of its jerseys, both home and away, for the upcoming football season," according to Brice & Hubbs of VOLQUEST.com. The state outline "will sit atop players' names" on jerseys. There also will be "some other changes to at least two of the Vols' uniforms, including what sources have said would be a faint, subtle checkerboard effect on the numbers of the road jerseys." Sources said that UT also will "add their state name to the fronts of their road jerseys, again reinforcing Tennessee's status as the state's public university" (VOLQUEST.com, 7/22).
GUNS UP: In Dallas, Mike Graham reports Lubbock-based retailer Red Raiders Outfitter is "about to receive" its '13 inventory of Texas Tech replica football jerseys from Under Armour, and "has posted drawings of black, white and gray jerseys for fans to preorder." The drawings indicate that a "never before seen gray jersey does exist." A clause in first-year Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury’s contract "gives him the ability to oversee uniform design," and UA "could indeed make changes in time for the 2013 season." The new jerseys "look fairly different from the last major overhaul" in '06, the first of UA's deal with the school (DALLASNEWS.com, 7/20).
PLUCKY DUCKS: ESPN's Max Kellerman said Oregon's new neon yellow football uniforms make the players look like "human glowsticks." He added the uniforms are a "big topic -- period -- on social media," and people "are into the uniforms." ESPN's Marcellus Wiley said uniforms in college football have "become part of the aesthetic, and the old aesthetic was you talk about the practice facilities, you talk about the weight room, you talk about the stadium." Wiley: "These guys are really impressed with what they're wearing and then the swag that comes from that" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 7/19).
REBEL YELL: SPORTING NEWS' Troy Machir noted Ole Miss DT Herbert Moore last week "posted an Instagram picture of chrome Ole Miss helmets." It is "still unclear if this is just a recruiting tactic or if Ole Miss will actually use the helmets this season." But if they do, the Egg Bowl rivalry game against Mississippi State "would be a perfect time to use them" because MSU "could be donning metallic gold helmets" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/21).
Chargers LB Manti Te’o leads all rookies in jersey sales since April 1, and SportsBusiness Journal’s Daniel Kaplan said the controversy surrounding Te’o’s fake girlfriend could be a contributing factor. Kaplan said, “Sometimes any news is good news, at least when it comes in this case to jersey sales.” People are buying the No. 50 jersey "because they're Charger fans, but also, he was in the news, he's maybe one of the most recognizable rookies out there.” The catfishing scandal is “all anybody talked about for two, three months" ("NFL AM," NFL Network, 7/22). ESPN’s Max Kellerman said, “There is a certain forgiveness, there's a certain sense that he was victimized, that he's not the perpetrator of anything bad. He’s now a famous guy who a lot of people have some sympathy for." ESPN's Marcellus Wiley added, "Let him go out there and win some games next year (and) see how many jerseys he sells" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 7/22).
QUARTERBACK CLUB: 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick leads all players in jersey sales on the heels of leading his team to Super Bowl XLVII, and Kaplan said now that Kaepernick "has had his success, people are buying the jerseys for the first time.” Kaplan noted Kaepernick also “plays for one of the all-time great brands in NFL history.” NFL Net’s Mark Kriegel said, "I understand Kaepernick being No. 1. He's charismatic, he has the look, there's the biceps kiss and all that stuff." But with Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill ranking sixth, Kriegel asked, “Is there some sort of Ryan Tannehill cult I don't know about?" Kaplan noted Dolphins fans have been “looking for a replacement for Dan Marino for decades,” and Tannehill had a "pretty darn good rookie season.” Kaplan: “If he is seen as the heir apparent to Marino … the South Florida fans are going to gobble up his jersey" (“NFL AM,” NFLN, 7/22). Meanwhile, Colts QB Andrew Luck comes in at only No. 19 despite a record-setting rookie season. Kellerman said Luck's "style of quarterbacking -- although he's capable of spectacular plays -- is more slow and steady" and could have resulted in his poor jersey sales. Wiley said Luck is a player that is "not advertised as a sexy football player stylistically speaking, but he's much better than given credit for" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 7/22).