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Volume 24 No. 155

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Pacers have "brokered a deal with an unusual sponsor" in the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and have become the first NBA team to "sell courtside ads emblazoned on the hardwood," according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The IEDC "will be the first corporate entity with a presence on an NBA court," with the exception of naming-rights sponsors. Sources said that the IEDC, which "previously had no in-venue signage deals" at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will "pay a low-seven-figure sum over two years." The floor signage, "along with other fieldhouse advertising IEDC bought," will debut during tomorrow's preseason game against the Mavericks. The NBA is "allowing only one floor sponsorship, with the company's name placed in two locations -- one in front of the home bench and one in front of the visiting bench" -- and "reserves the right to remove the ad during nationally broadcast games on TNT and ESPN." As part of the deal, the Pacers "brokered an agreement with league officials for IEDC to put a slogan on the floor, something owners have forbidden with most commercial sponsors." Instead of "advertising its own name, IEDC will market its efforts to draw business to the state with the slogan, 'A State that Works.'" Pacers Senior VP and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Todd Taylor said, "The IEDC and this deal are tied to the community. So the NBA agreed to modify its regulations for us." Schoettle reports the Pacers "packaged the deal with advertising time on the digital sideboard between the two benches, the digital ribbon board that encircles the middle level of the fieldhouse, goal post pads, and logos on the backdrop" for in-arena interviews (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/14 issue).

NBA Senior VP/Global Marketing Partnerships Emilio Collins said that Taco Bell is "reupping its status as the official quick-serve restaurant sponsor of the NBA" starting with the '13-14 season, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. Taco Bell has held the NBA's official QSR status since '09, and will "expand their four-year partnership with the launch of a digital and social-media platform called 'Buzzer Beaters' that will highlight last-second, game-winning shots." Fans will be able to "view clips of buzzer-beaters at a Taco Bell-branded section on" While details on the Buzzer Beater program "are still being worked out, there will also be integration within Taco Bell's nearly 6,000 U.S. restaurants." Taco Bell "will advertise during national game telecasts on ESPN and TNT and buy ads across the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League's media platforms." It also will "continue as title sponsor" of the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during the NBA All-Star weekend. Collins said that the QSR "wanted to align itself with the most exciting aspects of the NBA." Taco Bell CMO Chris Brandt thinks that Buzzer Beaters will "work with the chain's 'Live Mas' brand positioning" (, 10/15).

Chrysler has signed Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera "to star in its newest television commercial," according to Michael Wayland of The ad, called "Road to Greatness," is set to air during the ALCS and NLCS as well as the World Series, and showcases Cabrera "along with numerous high school and Little League baseball games." Chrysler said that the ad "illustrates the journey youth baseball players must take if they aspire to greatness on the field, by 'paralleling Cabrera’s hard work and dedication as he hones his craft.'" The commercial is for the Chrysler 300 sedan and Town & Country minivan, but the vehicles "are not blatantly part" of the ad. Cabrera is the "newest Detroit icon to take the plate for Chrysler," as previous ads have featured musicians Eminem and Iggy Pop, Lions DE Ndamukong Suh and fashion designer John Varvatos. The new spot in 30- and 60-second versions is "part of an ad blitz" for Chrysler during the MLB playoffs (, 10/14).

DIS ad campaign is intended to be national
in its scope
Daytona Int'l Speedway to coincide with its $400M "Daytona Rising" expansion is "launching a new marketing campaign via St. Louis-based Jump Company to tout the venue and build steam for the upcoming Daytona 500," according to Karl Greenberg of MARKETING DAILY. DIS VP/Marketing Sean Belgrade said that the "new campaign -- featuring the likes of Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jeff Gordon -- diverges in tone from past efforts." He added, "We typically used more stock footage for the campaign. The difference this year is we decided to film seven (Daytona 500) champions." Belgrade said that the effort "comprises one 30-second spot, five 15-second cut-downs, a 10-second cut-down, as well as a pair of radio ads, print pieces including newspaper, digital and out-of-home." He added that the TV buy is "on Fox Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 and regional buys on sports broadcasts on Fox -- much of it made easier by a recent landmark deal with Fox and NBC." The campaign is "intended to be national in scope." A DIS spokesperson added that the Speedway "expects to work with Visit Florida to help promote the venue project" (, 10/14).

GETTING CONNECTED: The "Daytona Rising" project was examined on Bloomberg TV's "Sportfolio" this weekend, with host Rick Horrow noting "comfort and luxury are not words we traditionally associate with the fan experience of NASCAR," but this project "will give the facility many of the amenities that fans and sponsors have come to expect at contemporary stadiums." DIS President Joie Chitwood said the "key is going to be making sure everything is connected (because) we know that is an expectation nowadays." Chitwood said the plan is "to run the venue at the same time we're constructing." He added, "We've had some friends from Disney show up and say, 'How are you doing this? Does this really work?' So not just from our innovation, our renovation, the cool things that we're doing to make the experience great, but just the technology of actually doing it" ("Sportfolio," Bloomberg TV, 10/12).

Walmart plans to step up its NFL advertising this Thanksgiving "to support its Black Friday sales," according to Neff & Schultz of AD AGE. Walmart U.S. Exec VP & CMO Stephen Quinn said, "We're doing more with the NFL around Black Friday than we've ever done." Asked why the retailer decided to use the NFL on Thanksgiving this year, Quinn said, "I don't know why we didn't figure it out sooner." Neff & Schultz noted the NFL after all is the "primary TV event on the day before the Black Friday holiday-shopping frenzy." Quinn: "What we've found is that (NFL advertising) also works with our associates, so it has a magnifying effect." NFL CMO Mark Waller noted that Walmart "isn't an NFL official sponsor, and the league didn't have any direct influence on the company increasing its NFL involvement this year" (AD AGE, 10/14 issue).

PIGSKIN POWER: ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi examined how much shows on the fall TV schedule charge for 30-second ads, and reported Fox' roster of eight late-window national NFL games "fetches a jaw-dropping $595,000" per spot. NBC's "SNF" is second with a cost of "around $570,000 a throw," while the net's "Football Night In America" draws $135,780 per ad. The cost of ads on Fox' "The OT" and its Saturday primetime sports window, as well as ABC's Saturday night college football game, were not disclosed. CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" is the highest-charging non-sports program, as it "commands a staggering $326,260 per 30-second spot" (, 10/13).

Under Armour yesterday launched the Armour39 Challenge, a three-phase competition with a $25,000 grand prize in which applicants submit "ideas to improve the brand's Armour39 performance monitoring system," according to Lorraine Mirabella of the Baltimore SUN. Applicants are "encouraged to submit a three- to five-minute video explaining" their proposed enhancements to the device, which was unveiled in March. UA "wants to find engineering and software development experts who can enhance the product's function in competitive analysis, exercise identification, cardiac assessment or other areas." Fifty applicants "will be chosen to move on to the second, three-month idea development phase," and 15 finalists will move on to the third phase and "present concepts to the executive team in April at the Under Armour Future Show: Digital." The company said that a runner-up "will be awarded $10,000" (, 10/14).