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Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

The 49ers have signed PepsiCo as a founding partner for Levi’s Stadium, effectively replacing Coca-Cola as the team’s soda sponsor. The number of years and financial terms were not disclosed but founding partner deals at the major league level are valued at seven figures annually. As the official and exclusive non-alcoholic and snack provider for the 49ers and their new facility, PepsiCo will brand the North fan deck in the upper level spanning the length of the end zone. PepsiCo also receives exclusive marketing rights for the 49ers, including mobile, television and digital assets and local media and retail opportunities. The deal covers all PepsiCo brands, including Pepsi, Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana. PepsiCo gets all the marketing rights with the 49ers beginning this season, the team's last at Candlestick Park. The pouring and selling rights begin next season. The 49ers to date have signed eight founding partners and expect to sign two more deals at that level, said team Dir of PR Bob Lange. The other seven founding partners are Dignity Healthcare, Violin Memory, Brocade, SAP, Anheuser-Busch, NRG and Yahoo. The new stadium, with a total project cost of $1.2B, opens in August ’14. 49ers RB Frank Gore and LB NaVorro Bowman also recently signed deals to promote Pepsi. In addition, PepsiCo is an official partner of the NFL. The new deal builds on previous relationships the 49ers had with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and Gatorade brands. As part of the commemoration of the 49ers’ final season at Candlestick Park, PepsiCo will run retail promotions tied to the placement of 49 gold cans placed in specially marked Pepsi and Diet Pepsi packs in Northern California. Prices for buying those gold cans include VIP tailgates, stadium tours and opportunities to meet current and former 49ers players (Don Muret, Staff Writer).

WE'VE GOT AN APP FOR THAT: The 49ers reportedly will offer an app that shows fans the shortest lines for bathrooms and concession stands at Levi's Stadium in real time. CBS Sports Network’s Doug Gottlieb said, “If you're in Northern California, you have to have the next level stuff. Silicon Valley is right there, that’s who’s coming to this game. People who work for Apple are coming to your games, you got to have next level apps.” Gottlieb said of Levi’s Stadium, “I’m going to be impressed, kind of, with the next level ingenuity to it and especially considering how long they’ve wanted to replace Candlestick” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 7/29).

The Wisconsin Lottery and the Packers have "teamed up for the fourth year to offer Packers-themed scratch-off games," according to the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. Packers President Mark Murphy and Wisconsin Lottery Dir Mike Edmonds announced yesterday that three different tickets -- $1, $3 and $5 -- are "available through retailers across the state." Edmonds said that the Packers and the Wisconsin Lottery last year offered "one $10 ticket, but wanted to offer more variety to consumers." This year, the top prize for "all three scratch-offs are two Club Seat tickets to every Packers home game for five years, with the option to purchase those tickets thereafter" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/30). In Milwaukee, Andrew Phillips noted players who "don't win cash prizes for any of the tickets can enter a special bonus drawing for Packers tickets and merchandise by mailing in $5 worth of non-winning tickets." The drawing, to be held in March '14, "offers 100 Packers Pro Shop gift cards and 48 Suite Experience prizes, as well as the grand prize of two club seat tickets" (, 7/29).

SAY CHEESE: In Green Bay, Kendra Meinert notes Packers WR Jordy Nelson will appear in an upcoming spot for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Commercial Dir Jerry Zucker said that the spot "shows Nelson -- in and out of his football uniform -- enjoying Wisconsin's fall foliage." It will be "shown for the first time Thursday at the Meyer Theater in Green Bay, where both Zucker and Nelson will be in attendance for a Q&A as part of a premiere party." Zucker said that he "enjoyed talking football with Nelson during the shoot and had a lot of questions." He gave "high marks for Nelson’s work in front of the camera." The ad will "start running" Sept. 8 in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Chicago (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/30).

MetLife has formally announced that it has become an official marketing partner of the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. The four-year pact, which runs through '16, gives MetLife the designations of official life insurance company of the two tours and official aerial coverage provider of the PGA Tour (MetLife). In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports this is the first time MetLife has had an official partnership with the PGA Tour, despite the company's blimps "hovering over PGA Tour events" since '87 through deals with broadcast rights holders. MetLife VP/Global Brand & Marketing Richard Hong said that the "international marketing rights granted under the deal were paramount." Hong: "Extending those rights globally is the reason we did this deal." Lefton notes the insurance company also has an LPGA affiliation, "through which it conducts golf clinics for women" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 7/29 issue).

Michelin’s "interest in returning to F1 is genuine," according to sources cited by Adam Cooper of While it has "long been assumed that Pirelli will remain as sole supplier in 2014, and has made commercial arrangements with both teams and [F1 CEO] Bernie Ecclestone, the bottom line is that it has not yet signed a deal with the FIA." It is believed that Michelin’s "formal interest would trigger a tender, and that the FIA will go through the motions of asking all possible suppliers if they are interested before considering the offers from those who are." It remains to be seen "whether Michelin could really be ready in time" for '14, and the other key issue is that Ecclestone is "close to Pirelli and is more than happy with the lucrative ongoing commercial deal that he has with the Italian company." Meanwhile, it is "no secret" that FIA President Jean Todt "is close to Michelin" (, 7/29).

PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited a source as saying that Lions RB Reggie Bush’s "deal with adidas has ended," and he will "start the new phase of his career wearing Nike shoes and apparel." recently "spotted Bush wearing Nike shoes" at a practice. When Bush entered the league in '06, his marketing team "pushed the limits of NFL rules, with Bush initially wearing adidas shoes even though adidas had no shoe deal with the league." Bush was fined $10,000 (, 7/29).

DOUBLE DOWN: Esurance has launched a multimedia ad campaign around tennis players Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan that features a 30-second TV commercial titled, "Tennis for the Modern World." The ad shows the Bryans wearing iconic tennis fashion from the last century and highlights the game's advancement over the past 100 years. The spot will air during U.S. Open and U.S. Open Series programming. The campaign also includes print, online, search, display, social media and on-site activation at the U.S. Open (Esurance).

TRAINING DAY: Everlast has agreed to an exclusive equipment and apparel contract with Bellator MMA fighter Michael Chandler. Chandler under the agreement will fight in Everlast competition apparel and train exclusively with Everlast equipment. Additionally, he will play a prominent role in direct-to-consumer and retail marketing initiatives internationally (Everlast).

RINGING ENDORSEMENT: Rhode Island-based jewelry maker Alex & Ani has agreed to a three-year partnership to become the official title sponsor of the Patriots cheerleaders. The partnership includes fixed in-stadium signage, team-related social media, online media, branding and charitable efforts throughout Gillette Stadium. An Alex & Ani retail store will open later this year at Patriot Place in Foxborough (Alex & Ani).