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Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

Saints QB Drew Brees on Sunday will be featured in the latest TV ad supporting NFL corporate sponsor Visa’s season-long “My Football Fantasy’’ promotion, in which fans submit NFL dream scenarios with hopes they will be fulfilled. Along with the spot from BBDO, which has a fan struggling to catch a Brees TD pass, there is a unique digital tie-in from BBDO and digital shop Atmosphere Proximity. Starting Nov. 14, a “rich media" campaign on and allows consumers to turn smartphones' accelerometer into remotes, and play virtual catch with Brees. The technology allows responses from Brees, based on your “catch” and your virtual “throw” back to the virtual Brees. Earlier spots supporting “My Football Football" have featured 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Falcons WR Julio Jones.

Verizon's Precision Market Insights division aims to offer a look into sponsorship ROI for sports clubs and venues, with the idea being to help franchises and facilities "learn more about event attendees, connecting the dots between sponsor messages at the game and visits to sponsor locations afterwards," according to Kate Kaye of AD AGE. The Suns tested the service last season, and the Trail Blazers are "considering a partnership with the telecom's insights business," which was created last year. Verizon Precision Market Insights VP Colson Hillier said that the company "sought to attract sports teams and venues as early clients of the service ... because it's difficult to measure accountability of sponsorship messages -- just think of the signs seen along the perimeter of a baseball field or high atop a basketball court." Suns VP/Sales & Activation Dan Costello said that the franchise is "continuing a close relationship with Verizon, getting Precision Market Insights data in real time." Verizon uses location-based data to "keep track of which Verizon Wireless-enabled devices were in a sports arena, or near it, or at a particular fast food restaurant or car dealership." Clients like the Suns then "end up with aggregated data on the types of people who visited a venue and later visited a sponsor's place of business." For example, it "can report which percentage of an audience segment who attended a game then visited a sponsor's burger joint at a particular time on a given day afterwards." Suns VP/Business Planning & Basketball Analytics Zaheer Benjamin said that the franchise "worked with Verizon to measure the effect of sponsorships from advertisers including Jack in the Box during the team's trial last year" (, 11/8).

The Home Depot is apologizing for a tweet it posted for promoting ESPN's "College GameDay" program that "featured a person in a monkey suit sitting between two black drummers, with the caption: 'Which drummer is not like the others?,'" according to Carla Caldwell of the ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE. The tweet was "blasted Thursday on Twitter as 'racist' and 'offensive' and later removed by the company." The Home Depot later tweeted, "We have zero tolerance for anything so stupid and offensive. Deeply sorry. We terminated agency and individual who posted it." The company did not disclose the identity of the agency in question (, 11/8). In Chicago, Marcus Gilmer wrote the tweet "was an attempt to be clever (I guess?) but, instead, it just played on an old, horrendous racial caricature." The Home Depot is now "in damage control overdrive on social media," while "College GameDay" has "kept their tweets focused to solely football" (, 11/7). NBC's Willie Geist said, "We're talking this morning about something that seems to be happening more and more often, and that's a big American company apologizing for a tweet that goes out on its account." Geist: "There's not much of a filter between what goes on in somebody's head and what goes out to the world over Twitter, and this morning it's Home Depot." NBC's Matt Lauer said, "Just because you have two thumbs doesn't mean you should hit the send button." NBC's Savannah Guthrue: "It's hard to believe that actually made it into the public domain" ("Today," NBC, 11/8).

Nike on Thursday released images of "camouflage-print uniforms" that the Oregon and Georgetown men's basketball teams will wear in Friday night's Armed Forces Classic in South Korea, according to Darren Rovell of The fronts of the jerseys "have American flags on the shoulders, while the backs replace the players' names with 'USA' on the Oregon jerseys and 'RESPECT' on the Georgetown jerseys." Oregon players "will have the option of wearing camo-printed Hyperdunk shoes in school colors or a version of Kevin Durant's latest Nike shoe." Georgetown "will wear a customized version of the Air Jordan XX8" (, 11/7).

BULLSEYE: Target has changed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 42 Chevy driven by Juan Pablo Montoya to sport a special paint scheme for the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway on Sunday. In order to honor the troops, the signature Target red paint scheme will go camo (THE DAILY).

IF THE SHOE FITS: In Portland, Matthew Kish noted Redskins QB Robert Griffin III now "has a signature football cleat" from adidas, and in honor of "his military family it's a camouflage version" he wore Thursday night against the Vikings in observance of Veteran's Day. adidas will sell "a limited number of the cleats online for $1,111 in a gift set that includes a matching flat brim hat, graphic T-shirt and socks." Proceeds will benefit the Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, a "support group for veterans" (, 11/7).

AD AGE's Michael McCarthy reported Jaguar's ad campaign for its new F-Type Coupe, which will lead up to an ad running during the third quarter of Fox' Super Bowl XLVIII broadcast, begins on Sunday "with a 30-second teaser" from in-house ad agency Spark 44 called "Disruption." The spot "will air on NFL games" and BBC America. The Super Bowl involvement "ties in with the company's hiring" this year of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick as brand ambassador (, 11/7).

:'s Paul Lukas wrote under the header, "An Open Letter To Under Armour," noting the company's flag-design uniforms for Northwestern Univ. in support of the Wounded Warrior project are "turning out to be more controversial than you probably expected." Lukas raised four points in regard to the uniforms, writing, "Patriotism and wounded veterans don't lend themselves to comic-book treatments. You can't treat this stuff like a video game and then try to claim the moral high ground regarding something like the Wounded Warrior Project, and you can't deal with adult issues by employing design and marketing techniques geared to appeal to teenagers" (, 11/7).

HIT THE GYM: Exercise equipment company Cirrus Fitness will sell products featuring officially licensed marks from collegiate rights holders CLC, Licensing Resource Group and Strategic Marketing Affiliates. The company beta-launched its goods at Wisconsin, Syracuse and Georgia in '12, and now has secured approval from more than 100 schools including Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan and Kentucky (Cirrus Fitness).

SHAMELESS PLUG: In Syracuse, Hank Domin wrote Giants OT Justin Pugh "shows off" his dance moves "for about 10 seconds in a commercial for" NRG Energy. Pugh in the ad "loses energy and plugs himself into an electric car charging station." The ad is narrated by ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (, 11/7).