General Motors is "set to rejoin the ranks of Super Bowl advertisers after making a colorful exit from the big event in 2013," according to Brian Steinberg of VARIETY. Chevrolet will "launch 12 new cars and trucks in the U.S. between mid-2013 and the end of 2014, offering a good reason for an appearance" in Fox' broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII. GM Cross Brand Communications Manager Ryndee Carney "declined to specify how much ad time the automaker had purchased." Sources said that Fox has been "seeking around $4 million for a 30-second ad in the game." Former GM Global CMO Joel Ewanick in the months leading up to Super Bowl XLVII "publicly railed against the eye-popping cost of advertising in the game." GM is "likely to be just one of many car advertisers" in this year's Super Bowl. Car makers over the past three years have "emerged as perhaps the biggest supporters of the event" (VARIETY.com, 8/23). Carney said that the company "has not finalized its Super Bowl advertising plans." Ford and Chrysler, which both advertised during last year's Super Bowl, said on Friday that they "did not have any announcements regarding intentions" for this year's game (DETROIT NEWS, 8/24). CNBC.com's Paul Eisenstein reported GM also has "decided to test out new opportunities on Facebook, another marketing outlet that Ewanick rejected before he was himself ousted because of a controversy involving costly marketing ties to European soccer" (CNBC.com, 8/23).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Golfers Ricky Fowler and Jonas Blixt -- both Puma endorsers -- were paired together during the final round of The Barclays PGA Tour event yesterday and amusingly wore almost identical bright orange outfits. The duo even had matching pink golf bags. ESPN's Linda Cohn posited, "What are you going to wear? It’s usually the question posed by one person to another when they know they're going to be seen at the same place. Historically, it's been women who think ahead to ask that all important question. In the case of these two professional golfers, they knew exactly what they were going to wear Sunday in the final round of The Barclays. In fact, they planned it that way." Fowler told the media, "A lot of people didn’t understand that we're actually friends and this might have been planned. So a lot of them were saying, 'Did you call each other last night?' Of course this was planned. He didn't do it to piss me off or something." Blixt added of his orange outfit, "These are Ricky's clothes. That's why my pants are so tight." Cohn added, "Obviously those two wanted to make a fashion statement because their golf scores really didn’t make it on 'SportsCenter,' but that pumpkin-colored attire sure did" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/26). Blixt said that he "tried to get Puma to ship him the same outfit, only it wouldn't have arrived" by their 1:00pm ET tee time (PGATOUR.com, 8/25).
ORANGE YOU GLAD TO SEE ME? CBS' Jim Nantz during yesterday's final round said of Fowler and Blixt standing next to each other, "Can you believe this?" CBS' Nick Faldo replied, "I think it's great. I think they really added some real zest to the day" ("The Barclays," CBS, 8/25). Faldo said of Blixt and Fowler while hitting balls from the practice range, "Both freshly squeezed this morning. Is this going to cause a drama on the first tee?" Fowler told the Golf Channel that once he was fairly certain the two would be paired together, he spoke with Blixt about wearing matching outfits. Fowler: "We had talked about it before and it was just whether or not he was going to man-up and do it today. But we pulled it off and it was actually his idea so I can't take any credit for it." Blixt said, "I just think I look better in orange than him so I just want to prove it today." Golf Channel's Steve Burkowski said, "Jonas in orange, Ricky in orange, certainly a group that will stand out here on Sunday." After their drives on the first tee landed within inches of each other, Faldo said their tee shots went off "like clockwork orange." Golf Channel's Rich Lerner said, "This is like a commercial for Puma right here. You can't make this up" ("The Barclays," Golf Channel, 8/25). Golf Channel's Gary Williams said of Fowler and Blixt on-camera, "Take a good look at this, I mean a really good look. Not because it's attractive, because you will never, ever see it again if you ask Jonas Blixt, because he shot 81 dressing like Rickie Fowler." Williams: "I don't know if he threw (the outfit) in the Hudson, (but) whatever you did just get rid of them. I appreciate the effort, but not a good look" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 8/26).
TCU on Friday unveiled its "new specialty uniforms by Nike" for this Saturday's Cowboys Classic against LSU at AT&T Stadium, and the uniforms are "as black as night and have dozens of variations," according to Stefan Stevenson of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The uniforms are the "fifth iteration from Nike," which also designed specialty TCU uniforms from '09-11. Coach Gary Patterson said, “Nike brought it to us and from the first step it was a go. Perfect design. We wanted something a little bit different, but (that) still highlights purple.” Patterson had "no reservations about moving the iconic TCU logo to the back of the helmet." But he said that there is "still a chance that a Horned Frog logo could make it on the helmet" before Saturday's opener. Patterson: “Maybe a little one. We’re never going to forget the Frogs.” Stevenson noted the phrase "Fear The Frog" is embroidered on the back of the jersey's neckline, and both the "gloves and the Nike Alpha Pro TD chrome-plated cleats are accented with red." Patterson said, "Remember, it’s an audience of 16 to 22-year olds is what we’re looking for as far as recruiting and what catches kids’ eyes" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/24).
DUCK TALES: In Portland, Allan Brettman reported a "delayed process" to select new Univ. of Oregon licensee apparel partners "has no target date for completion." UO Dir of Marketing & Brand Management Matt Dyste said that a committee is "considering about 20 applications to secure either a five- or 10-year partnership with the university to produce Oregon Ducks-branded T-shirts, hoodies and other apparel as well as headwear." He added that more proposals were submitted "than the university anticipated when it issued a request for proposal earlier this year." Among the "biggest changes was the requirement that prospective licensees guarantee the university at least $500,000 a year in royalties." The apparel deal under consideration is "separate from the exclusive off- and on-field apparel deal Nike has with the Ducks athletic department" (OREGONLIVE.com, 8/23).
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch today said that he signed a "multi-year deal" to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning next season, according to Lee Spencer of FOXSPORTS.com. Busch currently drives for Furniture Row Racing (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/26). ESPN's David Newton reported that Busch "will be sponsored by Haas Automation" for the '14 season. SHR co-Owner Gene Haas on Saturday said that he wants Busch "in one of his cars because he wants to take his non-racing company's name to Victory Lane." Haas said, "I'd really be happy for my company Haas to be in the winner's circle. I've never been there. I want to be there with that name. I know Kurt has had a lot of sponsorship issues, but to me, I just want to win. I'm not too much worried about that stuff." Haas and Busch "began talking about the possibility of him coming to SHR last month during a General Motors dinner in Indianapolis." SHR not long after "offered Busch a contract to expand the organization to four teams" with drivers Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick and SHR co-Owner and driver Tony Stewart. That offer came "about a month after Stewart announced Ryan Newman would not return to SHR in 2014 because the organization didn't have sponsorship or funding to expand to four teams." Haas: "Tony was looking at it from a business standpoint ... you've got to have sponsors, you've got to have this, you've got to have that. Tony is a smart business man. He was concerned can we afford to do this." Haas added, "The deal with Kurt Busch ... it's all on me" (ESPN.com, 8/24).
The AP's Arnie Stapleton noted Broncos QB Peyton Manning has teamed with Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations John Elway, Fox' John Lynch and Pistons G Chauncey Billups "in a humorous ad campaign" that launches today "promoting the 2014 BMW Championship golf tournament at Cherry Hills Country Club." The campaign, which "coincides with the launch of public ticket sales, features print and video ads showing the four Denver sports greats attending 'husher school' at Cherry Hills so they can serve as marshals at next year's event." They do "some training to learn how to properly hold up the 'QUIET' signs, with Lynch serving as a helpful tutor to Manning." The print portion of the campaign "features the foursome around a red golf cart holding their 'QUIET' signs." The group also recorded 30-second radio spots (AP, 8/25).
PACKING A PUNCH: In Green Bay, Nathan Phelps noted sponsors and suppliers "find myriad ways to connect" with the Packers, from "gate names to the use of 'official (fill in the blank) of the Green Bay Packers.'" Paper-product maker SCA earlier this month said that it had "reached an agreement with the Packers to supply Tork-brand bath tissue, paper towels, multifold towels and wipes in restrooms and concession areas in the stadium." While "no one talks about the specific terms of the sponsorship contracts or the money involved, pairing up with a high-profile brand like the Packers is seen as a prestigious partnership that brings value" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 8/25).
RUNNING LOW: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow reported Under Armour has "ended its long-standing title sponsorship of the Baltimore Running Festival." Event organizer Lee Corrigan said that UA Founder, Chair & CEO Kevin Plank "told him the company plans to use the resources to help other areas of Baltimore City, such as building youth athletic fields." UA "had been the title sponsor of the event" since '03. Corrigan said that the "title sponsorship costs $500,000 annually." UA "will continue to provide runners with their signature moisture-wicking T-shirts" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/24).
GOT YOUR BACK: adidas said that Broncos LB Von Miller's suspension "won't hurt its relationship" with him. In Denver, Steve Raabe reported other sponsors of Miller, "including Gatorade and Schomp BMW, aren't talking" (DENVER POST, 8/25).