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Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

FIFA and adidas today formally announced an extension of their long-term sponsorship deal that gives the apparel maker official partner, supplier and licensee rights for the World Cup and all FIFA events through '30. adidas also will continue to supply the official match ball of the FIFA World Cup and provide uniforms for event volunteers. The agreement includes similar rights at the Women's World Cup and U-20 World Cup. The two entities have had a partnership since '70 (adidas). In Portland, Allan Brettman notes adidas is "the world's second largest sporting goods brand to number one Nike by a wide margin." However, the two "closely compete for supremacy" in soccer. While Nike "does not have official sponsor status at FIFA world events," the company "makes its presence known through sponsorship of numerous federations that compete in FIFA events, individual players and whatever marketing opportunities that are detected along the way" (, 11/21).

The NBA yesterday formally announced a multiyear sponsorship deal with Diageo, which gains category exclusivity as the league's official spirits brand. Diageo's Ciroc and Crown Royal brands will be integrated into NBA and D-League marketing initiatives, and the Baileys brand will be used in conjunction with the WNBA. Crown Royal will integrate the NBA into its "Reign On" campaign. It also will launch a lifestyle-themed video series titled "On Point" on TNT featuring TV personality Terrence J (NBA). AD AGE's Michael McCarthy noted the Ciroc brand will be designated as "The Toast of the NBA." Diageo succeeds Bacardi, which "became the league's first official spirits sponsor" in '10. NBA Exec VP/Global Marketing Partnerships Mark Tatum said that the league is "impressed with Diageo's prowess in advertising brands, including Captain Morgan, Guinness, Ketel One and Johnnie Walker." Tatum said, "Diageo has a strong track record for successfully engaging consumers and, in this case, our fans. They do it in a unique and exciting way. That storytelling that Diageo is so good at, and the storytelling about our game and our players, is critical to broadening our reach." Diageo under the deal will "beef up its TV-ad buys during national NBA game telecasts on ESPN, TNT, ABC and NBA TV." Diageo VP/PR & Entertainment Marketing Dan Sanborn said that the brand's ad agencies "are already working on new ads playing up the official NBA connection" (, 11/20).

Promoters of the IndyCar race in St. Petersburg yesterday said that they had "a new backer" in Firestone, with the race to be renamed the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, according to Drew Harwell of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The move comes one month after longtime sponsor Honda "suddenly dropped out." Race President Tim Ramsberger said, "Firestone has been with us since the beginning. They're familiar with our event, and they see the value in the event." Firestone also title sponsors the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway and "has for years held naming rights to the St. Petersburg circuit's first turn." Ramsberger said that the amount Firestone "paid to expand its branding rights, or even how many years the company will sponsor the St. Petersburg event, were kept confidential as part of the deal." Also "uncertain is why Honda dropped its backing after nine years as the lead sponsor." Honda will continue to sponsor IndyCar races next year in Alabama, Ohio and Toronto. Ramsberger said that while attendance for the St. Petersburg event "cooled during the recession, more than 125,000 people showed up for the three-day event earlier this year, up from 65,000" in '05 (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/21). In Tampa, Margaret Cashill noted Firestone at previous St. Petersburg races "hosted hundreds of guests." When word "got out that Honda declined to renew its title sponsorship, Firestone officials were in touch with race promoter Green Savoree St. Petersburg within a week." Bridgestone Americas Motorsports Exec Dir Lisa Boggs said the company, after evaluating the opportunity, determined a multiyear deal was "a good fit for our effort and for the brand as a whole" (, 11/20).

ROCK CITY: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix organizers yesterday said that the IndyCar event has "teamed with Kid Rock's Made In Detroit to be the official merchandise provider." In Detroit, George Sipple reports Grand Prix Made In Detroit T-shirts and hats will "go on sale later this year." The first 250 fans to order race tickets "will receive a free shirt" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/21).

Taco Bell yesterday announced that it was "retaining the giveaway" in which it distributes free tacos to Michigan State basketball fans "with a ticket stub from games in which the Spartans scored at least 70 points," according to the AP. The giveaway will apply at "10 locations near the campus." MSU Associate AD Paul Schager on Tuesday had said that a sponsorship agreement with the QSR "ran out and the fast food chain didn't renew" (AP, 11/20). Schager said the promotion had been "a fan-favorite and something very positive and very popular." He added that it "had been in place" since '04, and that it was a "good partnership for both parties, but Taco Bell's corporate officials made the call to end the deal." Schager: "The store managers in the area were very supportive of it because it drew good business for them, but it was a corporate decision." In Michigan, Brandon Howell noted traditionally, when MSU "surpassed the 70-point total, Breslin Center public address announcer Terry Braverman would inform the thousands in attendance, 'You have tacos!'" The arena's scoreboard and video panel ring in recent years also would "display those same words" (, 11/20).

HOT SHOT: In Orlando, Roger Simmons noted the Magic yesterday announced their new "Chick-fil-A Hot Shot Promotion." Under the program, whenever the Magic "hit five or more 3-pointers during a home game, fans in attendance earn a free spicy chicken sandwich from local Chick-fil-A restaurants" (, 11/20).

The Padres in ‘00 “wore a camouflage jersey for one game, as a salute to San Diego's strong military culture” and as a result “deserve credit -- or, if you prefer, blame -- for an innovation that has reshaped the look of modern sports,” according to Paul Lukas of Thirteen years later, the Padres' camouflage jersey is “now a standard part of the team's wardrobe, worn for every Sunday home game.” Camouflage unis “have spread throughout every nook and cranny of the sports world, all the way down to Pop Warner and Little League teams.” Lukas: “Aside from the ubiquitous use of black jerseys, the increasing use of camouflage is probably the biggest uniform trend of the past decade.” A single camouflage uniform is a “laudable gesture,” but collectively “they've begun to constitute a de facto campaign of political messaging that raises troubling questions about the role of the military in the sports world” (, 11/20).

IN SHORT ORDER: Sports apparel manufacturer Crons President & CEO Pat Cavanaugh said of short-sleeve NBA jerseys, “This is something, with the third jersey and all these alternative jerseys, the players like because from a fashion perspective, it’s something different.” NBA VP/Apparel, Sporting Goods & Basketball Partnerships Christopher Arena said that the league will “evaluate how the jerseys function before expanding their use.” He said that retail sales “will not factor much into the NBA's plan.” However, SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that if the jerseys “sell well enough, they could become the norm” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/21).

USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside notes U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn is sponsored by Under Armour, Red Bull and Rolex, among others, and has "been cast as the American face" of the '14 Sochi Games. Vonn on Tuesday suffered a partial tear to the ACL in her right knee, and the "question now looms: Will she be healthy enough to compete in her fourth Olympics?" 21 Marketing Founder & CEO Rob Prazmark said, "The fact that no one knows yet whether she'll be back will keep her front and center in the news media. That's good for sponsors and for NBC." Whiteside notes Vonn's "tricky marketing situation isn't unique." At the '06 Torino Games, U.S. figure skater Michelle Kwan "withdrew just before the competition." Prazmark said that it "didn't affect her brand" (USA TODAY, 11/21).

PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD: Gillette Canada yesterday announced a partnership with Islanders C John Tavares in support of Hockey Canada stars as they prep for Sochi. Gillette will bring to life Tavares' "game face" in an Olympic campaign that includes print, TV and digital elements. The campaign will debut in early December. Tavares also is among 12 Canadian Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls that Procter & Gamble, in cooperation with the Canadian Olympic Committee, is sponsoring (Gillette).

AN UPHILL BATTLE: The CALGARY HERALD noted Canadian bobsled hopefuls Jesse Lumsden and Justin Kripps have "taken to YouTube in a Sochi Olympic fundraising campaign." The pair appear in "a series of short comedic skits under the title 'We Push Stuff,'" where they "attempt to land jobs in various aspects of society using their bobsleigh skills." Lumsden said, "If I was going to launch a fundraising campaign, I wanted to do it right, and prove to potential partners that I'm willing to put myself out there, be different, be creative, and get people's attention -- all in a very positive way" (, 11/20).

In Hawaii, Duane Shimogawa reported that Sony has "renewed its title sponsorship" of the PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii for another four years through '18, which "happens to be the 20th anniversary of its sponsorship." Sony is "among the five longest-running tournament sponsors on the PGA Tour" (, 11/20). Meanwhile, Champions Tour Allianz Championship Dir Ryan Dillon said that the event has "renewed its sponsorship" with Allianz (MIAMI HERALD, 11/21).

SLOW PROGRESS:'s Chris Bianchi reported Rapids President Tim Hinchey has "made securing a shirt sponsor for next season a 'top priority.'" Hinchey admitted that when he first joined the Rapids in '10, he "thought it would be significantly easier to secure a shirt sponsor than it has proven to be." But he "remains confident that he’ll be able to get the job done." Hinchey said, "It’s complicated. You’re asking about a significant, seven-figure investment at a minimum of three years; average over the league is $2.6 million per year. That’s not a small ask" (, 11/20).

: AUTOMOTIVE NEWS' Ryan Beene reported Kia Motors "plans to return to the Super Bowl next year with new advertising to help launch its new K900 rear-wheel drive flagship sedan" in the U.S. The car was introduced yesterday at the L.A. Auto Show (, 11/20).

STAYING BUSY: In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell writes signage around Time Warner Cable Arena makes it “apparent the Bobcats’ business side has made progress this year in selling sponsorships” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/21).