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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is "close to completing a deal that would make it the exclusive soft drink sponsor of the Rams," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the deal "was still in its final stages last week, but some Dr Pepper mentions and branding were already on the team’s website, and Dr Pepper was expected to have massive signage and be sold at the Rams’ training camp when it opened last week." Dr Pepper Ten is "presenting sponsor of the Rams’ training camp." Sources "pegged the deal, under which Dr Pepper Snapple Group is installing new beverage lines at the Edward Jones Dome," at around $5M over five years. Pepsi was the Rams’ soft-drink sponsor "for the past eight years." This is the "third NFL team sponsorship for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which also has an exclusive deal" with the Bears and shares Cowboys' rights with Pepsi. Dr Pepper Snapple Group will "activate with Rams branding on more than 5 million bottles and cans of beverages in the St. Louis market" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/29 issue).

The Jaguars on Saturday announced that Publix is the team's new "official supermarket," filling the sponsorship role formerly held by Winn-Dixie, according to Michael Clinton of the JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The five-year deal makes Publix part of the Jaguars' "Jamboree," which is "the most significant corporate of the partners." The "centerpiece of the partnership includes a tailgating platform in which Jaguars fans will have the opportunity to participate in tailgating experiences at Jaguars games and in-store promotions at Publix." The Jaguars' pregame radio show "will be renamed the 'Publix Tailgate Show.'" Other sponsorship elements "include weekly tailgating recipes on, signage inside and outside of EverBank Field, and player and cheerleader appearances during the season at various Publix locations" (, 7/27). In Jacksonville, Hays Carlyon noted the Jaguars and Publix "held a ceremony prior to practice to celebrate" the deal. Coach Gus Bradley and Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell "attended the ceremony" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/28).

Ad agencies Omnicom and Publicis yesterday announced that they had "agreed to merge" in a $35.1B "cross-border linkup that shows how Big Data is making Madison Avenue look more like Wall Street," according to Vranica & Bender of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The merger is "aimed at restoring the balance of power" between ad agencies and Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Facebook. Data from measurement firm eMarketer shows that about "22% of global ad spending now is digital." Omnicom and Publicis "hope that by joining forces, they will be better equipped for an industry increasingly dominated by data-driven analysis and automated trading of ad space." Omnicom President & CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Lévy are "to be co-CEOs for 30 months, after which Mr. Lévy ... is slated to become nonexecutive chairman and Mr. Wren to continue as CEO." The company will "be called Publicis Omnicom Group." The "hope is to close the deal" in Q4 this year or in Q1 of '14 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/29). In N.Y., Tanzina Vega notes the merger signals that advertising is "now firmly in the business of Big Data: collecting and selling the personal information of millions of consumers" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/29). In Chicago, Robert Channick notes the merger sets the stage for "cooperation, consolidation or another story line yet to unfold." The companies said that the transaction "would generate the necessary scale to deal with technology changes that have challenged the advertising business in recent years." Other deals "might follow." Experts said that current ad industry leader WPP "could make a move for U.S.-based Interpublic Group, France's Havas Group or Japan's Dentsu" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/29).

Select divisions with sports work The Marketing Arm, GMR, OMD, Colangelo, Integer, Steiner Sports Marketing, BBDO, DDB, TBWA, Element 79, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, GSD&M, Davie Brown Entertainment, Fleishman Hillard
Select sports clients NBA, PGA Tour, A-B InBev, P&G, Prince tennis, Top Flite, Gillette, Reebok, Volkswagen, McDonald's Sony PlayStation, Visa, EA Sports, AT&T, Discover, LPGA, U.S. Soccer, Unilever
Select divisions with sports work Relay Worldwide, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Fallon, Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia, Razorfish
Select sports clients NCAA, T-Mobile, Bridgestone, Charmin, Puffs, Citi, Head & Shoulders, Miller Lite, Virgin Media, Mercedes-Benz, Jim Beam

TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN': Lévy today said the deal is an "excellent combination for our clients," and the merger is "something which will help them cope with all the changes which are happening in this world, particularly with the Internet giants." Wren said the marketplace "has moved and it changes every day now." Wren added, "Up until ten years ago, it didn’t change very rapidly, you had time to absorb the changes. (Now) changes are instantaneous." Lévy noted there is "certainly a path to go through" in getting the deal approved by regulators, especially in France, but "we do not anticipate any major hurdles." Wren said it is "possible" the newly combined firms could lose "key clients." Wren: "Most clients are pretty comfortable and long ago have they gotten past the conflict issue because as an industry, everyone of us, including our competitors, has learned to build firewalls to solve some of those issues." Lévy said he and Wren have called many of their clients informing them of the deal and the reaction has been "overwhelming and extremely positive because they see … the benefit for them" ("Squawk on the Street," CNBC, 7/29).

BALANCING ACT: VARIETY's Brian Steinberg noted whether all the "clients of both concerns remain with the new entity remains to be seen." Advertisers have "long been known to be loath to dock their ad business with agencies that also work with their competitors" (, 7/28). In Chicago, Sandra Guy notes rivals such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola, as well as McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, "will see their ad agencies fall under single ownership." Experts said that they "expect the companies to continue to operate as their own independent businesses; that cost-cutting will first hit corporate jobs such as legal, accounting and IT at the headquarters level, and that the public relations companies might be most ripe for downsizing." Omnicom will "benefit from Publicis’ strategic shift in the last few years toward digital operations" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/29). WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said, "Time will tell if the cultures will click and clients and talent benefit." Execs said that "layoffs are likely to be minimal" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/29).