FS1 launches Saturday with advertising from "blue-chip marketers in the auto, electronics, food & beverage and insurance categories," according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. Fox Sports Senior VP/Sports Sales Mark Evans said that GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Microsoft, Samsung, Pepsi, State Farm, Geico, Taco Bell, AT&T and Verizon "are among the advertisers signing ad deals" with the net. The rates they paid are unknown, but Evans said that FS1 "has booked 'hundreds of millions' in advance ad sales." He noted automotive companies are "far and away" outspending other marketers. Nissan, Hyundai and Kia "have come aboard" in addition to the four aforementioned brands. Evans said that he is "still in negotiations with auto clients," though he declined to name them. McCarthy reported in looking for advertisers, Fox "first turned to marketers that have long supported" the broadcast network. Evans said that in addition to serving as the exclusive auto sponsor for the "Fox NFL Sunday" and "Fox College Football" pregame shows on Fox, Ford has "agreed to title sponsor the pregame show for FS1's Big East college basketball coverage" beginning this fall. Meanwhile, Fox will broadcast Super Bowl XLVIII from MetLife Stadium in February, and Evans said that he and Fox Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales Neil Mulcahy are "strongly suggesting that advertisers who purchase time in the Super Bowl should buy time on FS1 too" (ADAGE.com, 8/15).
Marketing and Sponsorship
The Univ. of Tennessee unveiled an alternate uniform Thursday, a "shadowy gray jersey and pants ... complemented by the traditional orange numbers and lettering," according to Evan Woodbery of the KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL. The gray uniform, the color of which is officially called "smokey," is an alternate look that "likely will be used in only one home game in 2013." There also were some "other less dramatic changes among the five uniforms" the school unveiled for the upcoming season, though they "probably won't be as alarming to traditionalists." The primary home uniform still will "include an orange jersey and white pants and the road jersey will have a white jersey with orange pants." The white jerseys now have a "checkerboard pattern on the numbers, a Power T logo on the back and 'TENNESSEE' written above the numbers on the front." The orange jersey will have the "outline of the state of Tennessee above the player names on the back of the jersey." UT coach Butch Jones said of the gray uniform, "It's all about recruiting. ... My phone has blown up with recruits across the country who are very, very excited." But Jones said fans should not "expect the uniform fashion show to be an annual event." Jones: "We're not going to be a program that's all over the place with our uniforms" (KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL, 8/16).
COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE: In Knoxville, Dan Fleser writes under the header, "Reaction To New UT Uniforms Likely Generational" (KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL, 8/16). In Nashville, David Climer writes the "best thing you can say" about UT’s alternate uniform is that it "could’ve been worse." Compared to "some of the competition (read: Oregon), UT kept it fairly tame." However, UT "will not make Mr. Blackwell’s list." Jones said, "Make no mistake about it, we don't want to be a program that has wholesale changes. It's a tradition-rich program. There's only one Tennessee." Jones added one of the "top three questions we are asked in recruiting is about our uniforms, our jersey colors" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/16).
Watchmaker Hublot said that Alex Ferguson’s retirement as EPL club Manchester United manager "contributed to its decision to end five years sponsoring" the club, according to Paul Jarvis of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Hublot Chair Jean-Claude Biver said, "We had a certain disappointment when I heard that Sir Alex was going to retire. That fact that Sir Alex was going to put a certain distance between him and Manchester, and still be involved but not anymore at the same level of command, was an element that helped us to make a change." Biver said that the "arrival of several new sponsors at ManU was another reason behind Hublot’s decision not to renew its association." Pepsi last month "joined a list of more than 30 sponsors of the club, following last year's addition of Chevrolet." Biver: "When a new partner is coming in, sometimes they might not have the same coherence." He noted that Hublot has "no regrets over the partnership with Manchester United, which more than paid for itself in advertising and sales." Biver: "Manchester United was a golden contract for us. It was really one of the best contracts I ever did." Jarvis noted ManU has signed a three-year partnership with Bulova to replace Hublot as its official timekeeper (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/15).
THE COLOUR AND THE SHAPE: In London, Tom Dutton reported EPL club Tottenham Hotspur fans have taken to social media to "criticise the colour of AIA’s logo, after the club announced the insurance firm will sponsor this season’s cup shirts." The deal "will see the company's red insignia stand in for" EPL jersey sponsor HP during Europa League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup matches. Early responses suggest that the shirt has "gone down badly with supporters." AIA's partnership with Tottenham "represents the end of a three-year relationship with Investec," which has sponsored the cup shirt since '10 (London EVENING STANDARD, 8/15).
U.S. Solheim Cup team captian Meg Mallon is responsible for "picking out the uniforms the dozen team members will wear during six days of official appearances" at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., and LPGA Dir of Licensing & Merchandising Anne McCarthy indicated that Mallon began collaborating with apparel brand Antigua on the uniforms "more than a year ago," according to Suzanne Brown of the DENVER POST. The golfers will wear "eight separate red, white and blue uniforms" during the three days of practice and three days of play, including "changing clothes between rounds" Friday and Saturday. Antigua Senior Designer Danielle Dellios said that Mallon "wanted a look that was traditional, classic and maybe a little preppy." Friday morning's opening round featured "clean polo tops in blue and white worn with stretch jersey shorts or skirts with faux pleats." The afternoon round will include "sleeveless tops," though some players will wear a red dress. Players will wear "shirts that are solid navy blue in front and striped on the back" Saturday morning, as well as "shorts or a skirt with a slight ruffle effect on the bottom." Saturday afternoon will include "solid tops and white shorts or a skirt." All tops "have one unifying feature: a logo featuring a horseshoe." Dellios said that it is a "nod to the Western location of the tournament as well as a symbol to bring the team luck." She added that Antigua "provides the apparel to the LPGA in exchange for promotional rights." The European team's uniforms will be provided by Sweden-based Abacus (DENVER POST, 8/15).