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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

Official World Series gear "is flying off the shelves" in the Boston area, with stores "receiving shipments, in some cases every hour, of freshly printed hats and shirts rushed in from across the country," according to Jasper Craven of the BOSTON GLOBE. Red Sox Team Store GM Scott Saklad said, "All the printers were working late last night, and now we are trying to get it transported here." The most popular items are "so-called 'locker room' gear, the apparel worn by the bearded brigade" during Wednesday night’s postgame celebration. Many stores, "anticipating a World Series win for the Sox, had ordered smaller shipments of World Series gear that were on the shelves by the time the series ended." That gear "quickly sold out." Olympia Sports manager Sarah Toro said that in addition to the gear "proclaiming the team world champions, one of the more anticipated items ... is a shirt featuring David Ortiz spraying champagne with the tagline 'Popping Bottles'" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/31). In Boston, Donna Goodison notes in terms of merchandise sales, new players "are now marquee names among many fans who didn’t know them two weeks ago." The Marketing Arm Exec VP/Sports Jordan Schlachter said, "Everybody across the country might not have known [P Koji Uehara, RF Shane Victorino or OF Jonny Gomes]. It gives an opportunity for other ‘sub-brands’ of the Red Sox to get more national attention." Modell's Sporting Goods CEO Mitch Modell said, "It’s bedlam. It’s bigger than 2007. They love the Red Sox, and the town is starving -- particularly since what it went through six months ago." Goodison notes a third World Series win since '04 is "a marketing bonanza that puts the Red Sox back on track for a new string of game-sellouts, including charging premium prices for hot series such as those against their arch rivals, the Yankees." The Red Sox "confirmed they're considering" a move to "variable and/or dynamic ticket pricing" for the '14 season (BOSTON HERALD, 11/1).

MOST VALUABLE PAPI: Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman in his annual post-World Series marketability report notes Ortiz is "perhaps the only one from this Big Show who could carry a national campaign." His current endorsement income "is in the neighborhood of $3-4M a year, and could see a $1M yearly bump following his remarkable Series performance." Meanwhile, Uehara will "make serious marketing yen in his native Japan" (THE DAILY). Data from online retailer Fanatics showed that sales of Ortiz gear in N.Y. have "jumped a whopping 100 percent since the Red Sox won the pennant" (BOSTON HERALD, 11/1).

MLB playoff teams distributed nearly 1.1 million rally items to fans over the past two weeks, according to data provided to THE DAILY. Seattle-based BDA, MLB's exclusive provider of premium gameday giveaway items, said the Cardinals handed out 363,000 rally towels to fans attending its home playoff games. The majority of the items included the logo of a corporate partner. The Cardinals towels seen frequently during the World Series Games 3-5 telecasts were sponsored, in order, by Chevy, MasterCard and Bank of America. The Reds and Rangers had conditionally pre-ordered items for potential home dates.

Red Sox

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said the company’s forthcoming golf game will focus heavily on legendary courses in the wake of its separation this week from Tiger Woods. Wilson declined to detail a projected release date for the game or its licensing plans in addition to an existing relationship with the PGA Tour. But he suggested that courses will be a more prominent element than licensing with any particular pro golfer. “We’re huge Tiger fans. For many people, he put golf on the map,” Wilson said, the Exec VP of EA Sports before his promotion to company CEO in September. “But for us, it’s all about playing great courses. At the core, we think there’s a lot of interest in being able to play amazing courses around the world, as yourself or some other golfer, in that gaming environment.” The new golf title is being designed specifically for the next-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming consoles slated for release later this month. “We’re essentially reworking our entire golf business,” said Wilson. EA, meanwhile, did not disclose in its quarterly earnings release earlier this week unit sales to date for its core “Madden” and “FIFA” franchises, as has been the custom in recent years. Wilson said that was due to the forthcoming console transition and the desire not to confuse the investor marketplace. “This is obviously a very different year given we’re essentially having a second set of game releases this month. So we’re trying to avoid creating the wrong conversation,” said Wilson. “What I can say, though, is that we’re very happy with the sales of ‘Madden’ and ‘FIFA’ so far. And looking ahead to the kind of installed base we see ahead with the PS4 and Xbox One, we think we’re going to do very well.”

The Team USA Store at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., on Wednesday "rolled out a brand-new line of limited-edition merchandise for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics," according to Katherine Poythress of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The new line features "an array of T-shirts, caps, can coolers and other merchandise from designers like Nike and Oakley." But Team USA Shop manager Nicole Thompson said that the "stars this year are 'Go USA' mittens designed to generate interest in the Winter Games, which typically are less popular than their summer counterparts." Thompson added, "The store did very well for the London Games, so hopefully we draw a lot of people this year again." USOC retail store operations manager Nicci Perri said that the shop, which has "only been open for a year and a half, does well in light of the relatively light tourism traffic at the Chula Vista training center." She declined to share revenue and traffic numbers, but said that the local store is "holding its own." It is "one of only two nationwide" operated by the USOC. The other is at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Perri said that the Colorado Springs shop "is the busier of the two ... largely because it is located right in the middle of the city." She added that both shops are "driven by tourism ... so their busiest months are the ones leading up to the Olympic Games" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/31).

S.F.-based sports technology startup Fantex CEO Buck French said Thursday that the company "will now have the rights to 10%" of 49ers TE Vernon Davis' future earnings "including his playing contract, endorsements and post career interests" as it plans to sell shares of the player, according to Darren Rovell of Fantex paid Davis $4M upfront for the deal, which is in place for "as long as they can finance the deal." The company said that it will "create a tracking stock that will enable fans to buy a piece of Fantex but specifically trade Davis' stock depending on how his brand is performing." Davis earlier this month "lost an endorsement deal he had just signed" with coconut water brand Vita Coco "after he tweeted about rival drink BodyArmor." Davis "has other endorsements with Force Factor sports supplements and beef jerky brand Krave." Davis is the second NFLer to sign on with Fantex, after Texans RB Arian Foster earlier this month became a client (, 10/31).

POUND FOOLISH? In N.Y., Peter Lattman wrote since it was announced two weeks ago, Fantex' "innovation has caused a stir on Wall Street and in the sports world." Market commentators have "raised questions about the soundness of the deal for investors, citing its complex structure and many risks, including the chance that an injury could cut short a player’s career and earnings potential" (, 10/31).

In Minneapolis, Nick Halter reported Hamburger Helper has inked Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph to a one-year endorsement deal that "will include events, media relations and social and digital media." Rudolph, who "wears white gloves on the football field, got the nickname 'Hamburger Helper Hands'" from teammates. Rudolph's mother, Jamie Rudolph, as part of the deal "helped develop some Hamburger Helper gameday recipes" (, 10/31).

RED RIVER REFRESHMENT: In DC, Sarak Kogod reported Redskins LB Brian Orakpo and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson appear on limited-edition bottles of Texas Tea, "facing off to commemorate this year's Texas-Oklahoma game." Orakpo said of Texas Tea, "I own a percentage of it." The company "went after athletes with Texas ties," and Orakpo, Peterson and Bills LB Jerry Hughes "all have financial interest." Redskins QB Robert Griffin III "is also involved" (, 10/30).

FULL-PLATE NELSON: Lammi Sports Management announced Packers WR Jordy Nelson has signed a multiyear, exclusive marketing extension with the firm. Nelson since signing with Lammi has inked deals with Verizon, Milk DMI, Yamaha, Nike, Kohl's, Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Bergstrom Automotive, Bellin Health Care Systems, WTMJ Radio, Inside the Huddle TV and the Kansas Department of Agriculture (Lammi).

TOUGH GUYS: In Jacksonville, Drew Dixon reported the Jaguars and Southern Ford Dealers "have agreed to a four-year sponsorship deal." Financial details were not disclosed. The deal calls for Southern Ford Dealers car dealerships to "have signs in EverBank Field, a game day pickup window featuring 'Built Ford Tough' monikers, along with pre-game videos to be played in the stadium that will also be featured when the Jaguars make a first down" (, 10/31).