Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 134

Marketing and Sponsorship

The PGA Tour, Farmers Insurance and the Century Club of San Diego today announced that Farmers has extended its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines Golf Course through '19. The five-year extension begins following the January '14 event (Farmers). In San Diego, Tod Leonard notes the renewal will "continue what has been a highly successful bonding since the Southern California-based insurance company signed up as sponsor only one week before the 2010 event." Tournament Dir Peter Ripa said that in the four years of Farmers’ presence, the event has generated more than $6M in "charity for local organizations" and $100M in "economic impact to San Diego." Farmers has had a "high corporate profile during the event week and thousands of its agents have attended the tournament." Ripa said that the Century Club, with the support of Farmers, has spent more than $1M "in tournament upgrades in the past two years." Farmers’ relationships in other sports and entertainment areas "also have made an impact." As an example, the company "sponsors the country band Rascal Flatts, which held a private benefit concert at the Del Mar race track last year that raised $150,000 for the Monarch School and Pro Kids Golf Academy." Ripa said, “They have resources the Century Club might not have. Some partners might write a check and not be quite as involved. They have a sense of ownership in the success" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/5).

YOUR NAME HERE: reported the Canadian Women's Open "has secured a new title sponsor" for '14 in railway company Canadian Pacific. The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) had "sponsored the event the last eight years" (, 11/4). Meanwhile,'s Randall Mell reported the LPGA Founders Cup "will return to Phoenix next year but with a new title sponsor." RR Donnelley, title sponsor for the first three Founders Cups, "is stepping aside." LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan in a statement yesterday said that a new title sponsor "has been secured and will be revealed later this year" (, 11/4).

LAST CALL? In Pennsylvania, Joe Tuscano reported Mylan Inc. has "decided to no longer sponsor" the Tour Mylan Classic outside of Pittsburgh. The event "will probably be discontinued" if a sponsor cannot be found. Tournament Dir Chase McClain said that there were "two sponsorships under consideration, but a decision is still a couple weeks away" (, 11/4).

Northwestern Univ. yesterday "apologized for any misconceptions" about the new uniforms it plans to wear in its Nov. 16 football game against Michigan, as the Under Armour-designed outfits "show what to some look like blood stains on a flag," according to Darren Rovell of NU Assistant AD/Communications Paul Kennedy said the red, white and blue design is a "distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time." He apologized "for any misinterpretation." Rovell notes NU "gave up its purple color, but the school's 'N"' is on the back of the helmets and the pants" (, 11/5). In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein wrote the unis "will have a tangible benefit," as they will be "auctioned off online after the game, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors." NU players instead of having names on their jersey backs "will have one of the following core values: Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country and Service." The words were "randomly assigned to players" (, 11/4).

EA Sports yesterday announced that UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will be one of two cover athletes for the promotion's first video game under its EA Sports licensing deal. The other cover athlete will be selected via an online fan vote that begins today and runs through Dec. 1. The vote, sponsored by Metro PCS, will be conducted as a weekly, round-by-round, head-to-head elimination tournament (EA Sports). UFC officials said that the official retail cover of the game "featuring both fighters will be revealed during UFC 168" on Dec. 28 (, 11/4). Jones said that he "hopes" the other cover fighter is Ronda Rousey, but added that he "expects the fans" are going to vote for Alexander Gustafsson. YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted Jones "narrowly defended his belt" against Gustafsson, winning "one of the year's great fights" with a unanimous decision at UFC 165 in September. Jones said, "I would love to share the cover with Ronda Rousey because I'm a huge fan of hers. It would be so huge for women's MMA to have her on there and just women's sports in general and really the whole sport of MMA" (, 11/4). The CP's Neil Davidson noted UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez "has been left off a fan vote list of 16 fighters to see who joins" Jones on the game cover "after failing to come to terms" with EA. EA Sports PR Manager Shirley Chu said, "In order to participate in the cover vote, all participating athletes had to enter into a commercial agreement with EA Sports." Davidson noted previous versions of the UFC video game "were made by THQ," with fighters Forrest Griffin, Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre on the covers (CP, 11/4).

SHOW WORTHY: Sony Computer Entertainment America last night said Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera will be the cover athlete for the forthcoming "MLB: The Show 14" video game. The title will be available in the spring for the PlayStation 4, and at present, is the only licensed simulation baseball game planned for next year. MLB has not signed a license with anyone for a title on Microsoft's Xbox One. As a result, initial Sony advertising for "MLB: The Show 14" includes a tagline that the title is "the first and only Major League Baseball simulation for next-generation consoles." Sony said the Cabrera cover choice was made by fellow MLB players (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

The second round of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' "public affairs commercials sponsored by Gruber Law Offices during the current NFL season has hit the airwaves," this time supporting Milwaukee-based nonprofit charity IndependenceFirst, according to Rich Kirchen of the MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The video, which debuted last night, shows Rodgers visiting "with a 13-year-old girl named Kelly who has spina bifida and has used the services of IndependenceFirst." The TV spots, digital billboards and other media "promote a link to longer-format videos." Like previous commercials in the campaign, Rodgers "surprises a young person and then visits with him or her and learns more about how the young person has been helped by a nonprofit" (, 11/4). Rodgers' new ad for State Farm debuted last night during ESPN's Bears-Packers "MNF" telecast. In Milwaukee, Don Walker noted the ad, "called 'State of Turbulence II,' gets a little strange as Rodgers becomes a 'Super Fan'" (, 11/4).

ROCK AND A 'HARB' PLACE: In S.F., Eric Branch notes 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who "plays the role of an unhinged pee-wee football coach" in a Visa commercial airing this season, last week was "part of a Visa promotion to bring the ad to life" at Townsend Field in Santa Clara, Calif. Harbaugh "led a 45-minute clinic for about 50 youth football players from Santa Clara at the team’s facility" during the 49ers' bye week on Wednesday. Harbaugh as part of his deal with Visa "had to perform what, for him, was a rather odious task before the clinic: two hours of interviews with local and national media." Part of the clinic itself also "was open to the media." Harbaugh during the clinic "was engaged, but was the antithesis of the slightly crazed coach in the commercial" (, 11/4).