While Dow Chemical and General Mills “couldn’t be two more different companies,” the publicity generated with the No. 3 car “was attractive to the sponsors, who didn’t appear worried about any backlash” over returning the late Dale Earnhardt’s number to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, according to Bob Pockrass of SPORTING NEWS. Dow last week inked a multiyear deal with Richard Childress Racing to be the primary sponsor of the No. 3 driven by Austin Dillon in the Cup Series, while General Mills inked a partial-season primary sponsorship deal for its Cheerios brand. Dow “hopes to use NASCAR to cultivate more business from companies involved in NASCAR.” But Pockrass asks, “What if Dillon was driving the 33 instead of the 3?” General Mills Manager of Shopper Marketing & Motorsports Gregg Dorazio said, “Austin’s a great guy and obviously I don’t know (what we’d do) on a decision like that -- we’re just thrilled to be on the 3 with Austin.” Pockrass noted the Cheerios car “will be yellow with a good deal of black as part of the paint scheme.” The Dow scheme “is white and black.” Earnhardt “made the No. 3 famous in an all-black RCR car.” RCR Owner Richard Childress said, “(The schemes) were more sponsor driven. We wanted it to be built around this (deal) instead of being solid black.” Pockrass noted “in addition to business to business, it is expected that the companies will earn a significant amount in merchandise sales, which often are split equally between the team, sponsor and driver.” While the deal was announced “too late for diecasts to be ready for Christmas, they will be" by the start of the '14 season. Dow “also hopes that its partnership with RCR will increase relationships with other automotive companies that can use Dow products” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/15).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Audi is "gearing up for its seventh straight Super Bowl appearance, signing on for 60 seconds of airtime" in the "commercial pod that airs immediately after the halftime show," according to Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. While Audi of America Marketing Dir Loren Angelo is "keeping details about the creative under wraps, he did say that the long-form spot will showcase the 2015 Audi A3 sedan." Audi will "make the A3 ad available shortly before the Super Bowl kicks off." Crupi noted as has "been the case with Audi’s last six Super Bowl ads, this year’s spot is being produced" by Venables Bell & Partners, S.F. (ADWEEK.com, 12/13).
FATHER KNOWS BEST: AD AGE's Michael McCarthy noted Hyundai during the "first of its two in-game commercials," will "portray its Genesis luxury sedan as the next best thing to the Dad whose preternatural sixth sense saved you from stitches when you were growing up." Airing in the second quarter, the 30-second spot, created by Innocean, Huntington Beach, Calif., "opens with vignettes of a father saving his young son from otherwise painful accidents on playgrounds and ballfields." The ad then cuts to the "now 16-year old son driving the all-new Genesis with Dad in the passenger seat." The son is "not paying attention when a truck stops in front of him," but Genesis' "radar-based automatic emergency braking system saves the day by bringing the vehicle to a complete stop." Hyundai VP/Marketing Steve Shannon said that the automaker's "30-second spot for the Elantra airing in the second half, meanwhile, will rely on 'wackier and zanier' humor." The spot, also from Innocean, "shows a young Hollywood celebrity flirting with a female Hollywood celebrity" (ADAGE.com, 12/14).
Jet Chevrolet, a car dealership located between Seattle and Tacoma, is having to deal with paying off a promotion "that promised $35,000 each" to 12 people chosen by raffle -- $420,000 total -- if the Seahawks shut out the Giants yesterday, according to Alexis Krell of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE. People who bought a car last week received 100 entries into the drawing, while about "12 others had single walk-in entries -- anyone was allowed to give it a try." Jet Chevrolet co-Owner Jim Johnson said that the dealership "had insurance for the promotion." He added that he "still had to figure out the details with the company but expected the drawing to happen" today. Johnson: "We wanted this to happen. Everybody's pretty excited about it. We didn't really expect it to happen, but it did" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 12/16). Johnson said that the insurance "cost about $7,000." He added that the dealership "originally wanted to do the shutout promotion last week" when the Seahawks played the 49ers, but said that "working out the rules to make sure the giveaway was legal and in accordance with state regulations pushed it back a week." ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted one thing Jet Chevrolet "had to do was open the contest ... to anyone -- even those who didn't buy a car." Johnson said that he "still doesn't know how the dealership will actually work the drawing and was waiting on guidance from the insurance company" (ESPN.com, 12/15). ABC's Josh Elliott notes the Seahawks have arguably the "best defense in the league," while the Giants have an offense "that had seen better days." ABC's Robin Roberts asked, "What were they thinking?" ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "You have to have a lot of foresight to get the right insurance policy" ("GMA," ABC, 12/16).
The NBA today announced that it has signed a multiyear deal with Foot Locker that elevates the company to a full league marketing partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Foot Locker will continue as the title partner of the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest held during All-Star Weekend. Foot Locker has sponsored the event since '04. The new deal also includes a new promotion called “Kicks of All-Star,” which includes a branded section on NBA.com that spotlights the different sneakers worn by NBA players throughout All-Star Weekend. The deal calls for Foot Locker to have a significant presence on NBA TV and NBA.com (John Lombardo, Staff Writer).
A PRAIRIE STATE COMPANION: In Portland, Allan Brettman noted the Univ. of Illinois is “working with Nike to create its own distinct brand.” UI Dir of Basketball Operations Mark Morris said that the school and Nike “have been collaborating for about a year on the rebranding.” Morris added that the rebrand “will affect all aspects of Illinois athletics, not just football and basketball.” Brettman notes the rebrand “has cast a wide net, with interviews involving coaches, players, students and alumni.” UI Assistant AD/Communications Derrick Burson noted that Senior Associate AD Warren Hood and Assistant AD Marty Kauffman “are working most closely with Nike on the rebranding” (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/15).
INTEL-LIGENT THINKING: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said Intel's new sponsorship with La Liga club FC Barcelona on the inside of the jerseys is "brilliant because when a soccer player celebrates goals, what do they do? They pull their shirts up so we’ll see the advertisement and it will be associated with triumph.” But ESPN’s Bomani Jones said the “only person brilliant is the hustler that tricked these people into buying an advertisement that nobody can see” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 12/13).
MOTOR CITY CONNECTION: Palace Sports & Entertainment and the IndyCar Series Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Friday announced a “new promotional partnership.” In Detroit, Mike Brudenell noted the groups “will offer special ticket packages to Pistons games and the races on Belle Isle, May 30-June 1.” The groups also “will co-host a ‘Grand Prix Night’” at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 5 during a Bulls-Pistons game (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/14).