Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera despite being a Triple Crown winner "doesn't have many endorsement deals," according to Bill Shea of CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. It is "unknown whether that is from a lack of interest on the part of marketers, or his wishes." Sources estimated that Cabrera, who is featured in a new Chrysler commercial called "Road To Greatness," has "earned $150,000 to $200,000 yearly from endorsements." That figure is "paltry compared to the tens of millions for some pro athletes." However, it is "increasing as more companies seek to use him to endorse their products." Cabrera has an endorsement deal with Maltin Polar, a "nonalcoholic malt beer brewed and sold in his native Venezuela." Cabrera's agency SFX Baseball Group said that he "also has deals to endorse Franklin batting gloves, Wilson fielding gloves, and New Balance baseball cleats." Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports in April "introduced 'Miggy's Salsa' in jars featuring Cabrera's face." Other deals include "a calendar cover" for '15 for Workman Publishing, Bozeman Watch Co., Oakley, Sony Playstation and T-Mobile. Cabrera also has done "advertising in Florida for Venezuela's state-owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. that operates Citgo gas stations" (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 10/15).
Marketing and Sponsorship
The endorsement market for Kansas F Andrew Wiggins when he joins the NBA "could be bigger than it was" for Heat F LeBron James as a rookie, according to Jared Zwerling of BLEACHER REPORT. Sole Collector magazine Editor-in-Chief Nick DePaula said that next year will "present a special class of sneaker free agents, as the Nike contracts" of Thunder F Kevin Durant, Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving and Pacers F Paul George are expiring. Wiggins, the projected top pick in the '14 NBA Draft, "could steal the thunder from everyone." Sources said that adidas has "pegged Wiggins as their prime target -- and they would be willing to open up the bank for him." A source said of a possible adidas offer, "I've heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That's a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years." Zwerling wrote there is "no question" Nike "will place a bid for Wiggins." What could stand in the way of Nike "shelling out big bucks for Wiggins are the hefty contracts" of James, Durant and Lakers G Kobe Bryant. adidas has the "upper hand" in pursuing Wiggins "because they sponsor Kansas, so the company's reps can be in direct contact with him and outfit him with customized game sneakers during the season." While adidas will face the "temptation to spend money on him is there, they already have" Bulls G Derrick Rose "locked into a 13-year deal worth at least $185 million, signed last year." The company also "has to factor in" its long-term marketing plan for Rockets C Dwight Howard, T'Wolves G Ricky Rubio and Wizards G John Wall." A source said that "'it's fair to say' that Under Armour would not be interested in Wiggins if the financial figures were in the 10-year, $140 million or higher range" (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 10/15).
Nike-owned Converse is "on track to double its sales over the next few years and it's looking for a media buying and planning agency to support that growth," according to Alexandra Bruell of AD AGE. Sources said that the Andover, Mass.-based brand is "in the midst of a media agency review." Contenders include Publicis Groupe's MediaVest, Omnicom's OMD and independent Horizon. Nike's "longtime creative shop Wieden & Kennedy has supported Converse media efforts." Anomaly is the creative agency for Converse. Sources said that the media budget -- $22M -- is "not huge." But agencies are "likely to perk up at the thought of working with a cool brand poised for major growth." It is "attractive too to be a part of the universe of Nike." That media budget, while small, is "a healthy boost" from the $5M that Converse spent on U.S. measured media in '12. The move to "boost media investment is on line with Converse's growth goals" (ADAGE.com, 10/15).
In Ireland, Colm Keena reported proceedings in Dublin's Commercial Court on Monday revealed that golfer Rory McIlroy "negotiated sponsorship contracts over the past two years" with a value of up to $129M. Horizon Sports Management, with which McIlroy signed agreements in '11 and '13, said that "as a result of its work," he had contract earnings of $50M in '13. Horizon said that a multiyear sponsorship deal with Nike, negotiated in late '12, was worth $20M a year to him and "other lucrative sponsorship deals were also negotiated" (IRISH TIMES, 10/15). REUTERS' Peter Rutherford writes with a high-profile relationship with tennis player Caroline Wozniacki "hogging the headlines and a bitter court case lurking in the background, McIlroy has no shortage of distractions to overcome before he can recapture the form that shot him to the top of the order of merit on both sides of the Atlantic last year" (REUTERS, 10/16).
TOUGH TIMES: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Jason Sobel reported Tiger Woods yesterday in a conference call to promote his World Challenge event "allowed that getting corporate partnerships is more difficult than it used to be." Woods said, "It's been one of those times, unfortunately, for a lot of charities where it's a tough economic climate right now for anyone to try and raise money. Luckily our (Tiger Woods) Foundation really got going with this event, some of our other events that we run. We were in that boom. I think we've got a lot of awareness and equity built in through all those years. I think that's why we're still able to raise the money that we're able to raise, just because people are aware of it and they understand what we're trying to do and the message is already out there" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 10/15).
STAYING PUT: Cleveland Golf/Srixon last Thursday announced a multiyear contract extension with golfer Michael Putnam to remain a member of their PGA Tour staff. Putnam finished the regular season as the earnings leader on the Web.com Tour. He will continue to play with Cleveland and Srixon equipment, will wear a Cleveland hat, Srixon glove and will carry a Cleveland bag (Cleveland Golf/Srixon).
AIR SUPPORT: In Wichita, Scott Paske reports the Web.com Tour Air Capital Classic after a three-year contract extension "will be played for the 25th time in June and at least two additional years with the financial backing of a new presenting sponsor and 22 community business leaders who have joined the event’s recently formed Ambassadors program." Aetna will sponsor the event through '16, and the '14 tournament will be called the Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna. No financial details were disclosed, but Aetna’s support "will be significant for an event that had been facing an uncertain future for most of the year" (WICHITA EAGLE, 10/16).
In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes every Dodgers ticket holder is "given a MLB-certified and licensed towel" as they enter Dodger Stadium for one of the team's '13 playoff games. The towel on Monday was white, "emblazoned with a blue 'LA' interlocking logo and a patch commemorating the postseason," and yesterday it was a "solid blue motif." Dodgers radio announcer Vin Scully thought the switch to blue was a mistake, saying, "It doesn’t have the same effect (as the white towels). It’s like playing golf with a green ball. You just lose it." The team for Game 5 of the NLCS today is "going back to white," but considering the Dodgers lost last night, it was "perhaps too late" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/16).
THIRSTY THURSDAYS: AD AGE's Natalie Zmuda noted Sprite is "introducing a new campaign from agency Translation this week, which carries the tagline 'For The Thirsty.'" The effort is a "nod to 'Obey Your Thirst,' the long running Sprite campaign" that was discontinued in '10. The spot shows Heat F LeBron James, "as well as a marching band member, a biker, a mime and other characters screaming before cracking open a Sprite, while a voiceover says, 'Sprite, For The Thirsty'" (ADAGE.com, 10/14).
WHITE GOING DOWN UNDER: USA TODAY's Rachel Axon noted U.S. snowboarder Shaun White "will work on tricks in Australia after GoPro, one of his sponsors, worked with SnowPark Technologies to build him a custom halfpipe and slopestyle features." White trained for the '10 Vancouver Games "on a halfpipe in Colorado built by Red Bull, a former sponsor" (USATODAY.com, 10/15).
GATORADE'S NEW BOTTLES: BEVNET.com's Jeffrey Klineman reported Gatorade is "rolling out its first major packaging change to its big bottle since it moved from glass into plastic." The new "grippable" 28 oz. size is "curved inward, and the wrap is much tighter." Gatorade Senior Manager of Sales Planning Bob Maguire said that the company's labels were a "big win for the brand." He said that the new bottles are "rolling out in the entire southern half of the U.S. after the first of the year." The move comes amid the sports drink industry's "major revamp of packaging formats in place designed to appeal to the 13-35 year-old kids, athletes, and physical workers who head to convenience for their electrolyte fix" (BEVNET.com, 10/15).