Visa's new "Everywhere you want to be" campaign was introduced on Saturday with an ad featuring Olympian Sarah Hendrickson discussing the introduction of women's ski jumping at the upcoming Sochi Games, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The spot, created by BBDO, N.Y., features Hendrickson saying, "This year, women's ski jumping is an Olympic event. Now, women get a chance to fly. I'm Sarah Hendrickson, and this is my everywhere." The commercial "will arrive in other countries in coming months." Visa's new campaign is a shortened version of its earlier theme, "It’s everywhere you want to be," that was featured in campaigns from '85-'06. Meanwhile, while Visa has been an Olympic sponsor since '86, "problems related to issues like security and discrimination threaten to diminish the value of the Winter Games as a marketing tool." Visa Chief Brand Officer Antonio Lucio said, "Every Olympic Games brings with it its own set of challenges. It’s still a great global platform." He added, "We expect the Olympic Games to be another opportunity to associate ourselves with the highest values of human achievement." But he added that "'we will be ready' for contingencies like demonstrations against Russia’s ban on gay 'propaganda.'" Lucio: "We support the highest ideals of the Olympic movement, which include inclusion. We have a strong anti-discrimination policy, and we will make sure we will have all sorts of guarantees our guests and employees are well taken care of" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/13).
INVESTMENT STRATEGY: TD Ameritrade has pledged to support seven Olympic athletes competing in Sochi and has paired them with seven young athletes aspiring to compete in the '18 Pyeongchang Games. Every mention of the hashtag #ItAddsUp on social media will help fund the athletes' trips to Sochi as well as add to a TD Ameritrade investment account to cover future training expenses. TD Ameritrade's official Twitter account also will host weekly sweepstakes featuring prizes like a snowboard signed by U.S. snowbaorder Louie Vito. Fans also can win a trip to the '16 Rio Olympics or a visit to the U.S. Olympic Training Center (THE DAILY).
NBC "has stopped taking ad sales orders" for the Sochi Olympics, as the net "is reserving an undetermined number of ad units for advertisers in case it does not hit ratings guarantees," according to John Ourand in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Olympic networks "typically hold ad spots back in this manner, but in recent years NBC has not had to halt ad sales so far before the Games start." NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus last week said that the net "has brought in" more than $800M in ad sales revenue around the Olympics. Lazarus: "And we're going north." NBC "expects to make a profit from the Sochi Games," for which it spent $775M in rights fees. It is "not known how much inventory NBC is holding back." The net’s ratings guarantee also "has not been made public." But sources said that the guaranteed number generally is around 10% "below what they had been getting in past Olympics" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/13 issue).
SUPER-SIZED CHALLENGE: USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz notes the Sochi Games and Fox' Super Bowl XLVIII telecast "are competing for the same prize that the two big-time events jostle for every four years: advertisers." However, this is "not a winner-take-all contest," as both events "are prospering in a world of sports-hungry viewers." Just "four days of separation would appear to be working against the two mega-events," but this notion is "wrong." NBC Sports VP/Communications Chris McCloskey said, "We're exceptionally well sold and have set a Winter Games record." Kantar Media Chief Research Officer Jon Swallen said, "There's a large enough pool of advertisers and ad budgets for both events to draw from." Still, a few advertisers every four years "tend to step away from the Super Bowl -- often, just for that year -- and sign on to the Olympics." This year "is no exception," as companies including Century 21, Subway and Best Buy are doing so (USA TODAY, 1/13).
Actress Scarlett Johansson provides the voice of an operating system in the movie "Her" and in a Super Bowl ad "will try something similar by providing a demonstration of a SodaStream home soda-making system," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The ad, which is scheduled to run in the fourth quarter, is "the beginning of a multiyear, worldwide endorsement deal" between Johansson and SodaStream. The commercial is being created by Chattanooga-based Humanaut, along with Crispin Porter + Bogusky Founder Alex Bogusky, who worked on SodaStream's Super Bowl spot last year. SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said that for this year's ad, the company decided to "'focus on the benefits of SodaStream,' rather than the environmental or other deficiencies of commercially made soft drinks." However, the script for the new ad includes what Birnbaum described as "a subtle acknowledgment of the competition of the beverage industry." He and Bogusky said that they are "hopeful that Fox will approve it as written" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/11). Johansson at an announcement on Friday said, "We shot a kind of big commercial spot, a big Super Bowl spot, which I am excited for competing with those big soda brands" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/13).
THE BRITISH ARE COMING: In London, Alexandra Frean notes Jaguar is the first British car brand to buy an ad during the Super Bowl, and the automaker's spot will star actor Ben Kingsley "playing an archetypal Hollywood villain." Jaguar Land Rover North America VP Jeff Curry said that the decision to air an ad during the Super Bowl was "part of a determined effort to raise the profile of the brand in the US." Jaguar "felt that now was the right time to make the move to the advertising super league" following the success of its F-type model launch last year. Curry "sees the brand as 'the new British bad boy.'" Kingsley is "one of three well-known British actors to star in the Super Bowl ad." The company "will not reveal the others." The company also "has launched a microsite called BritishVillains.com to tease the ad and a villain-themed blog called Good to be Bad" (LONDON TIMES, 1/13).
HIP TO BE SQUARE: Website design and management service Squarespace confirmed on Friday that it "will be a national advertiser in this year's Super Bowl." ADWEEK's David Griner reported the ad was "created by a team" led by Squarespace Chief Creative Officer David Lee. No details about the ad's creative have been released (ADWEEK.com, 1/10).
IDOL HANDS: ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi reported as the "stakes become higher" for Fox' "American Idol," the show "will ramp up its pigskin presence." Fox Exec VP/Marketing Laurel Bernard said, "Football always plays a big role in presenting the Idol campaign. We plan to continue to have a substantial presence for Idol through the postseason and the Super Bowl." While Fox "did not disclose the frequency with which Idol will appear in and around" its Super Bowl coverage, the net is "expected to place more emphasis on the show than it did" in '11. That was the "last time Fox broadcast the Super Bowl," and the reality program was "still TV’s top-rated show" (ADWEEK.com, 1/12).
The Heat and Nets on Friday debuted the teams' customized jerseys featuring "popular nicknames, initials (and) name abbreviations,” according to ESPN's Mike Breen. Most of the nicknames are "pretty self-evident, we can guess what each player is.” ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy said, “The nicknames they should’ve used and only could use are the ones their mothers called them when they were little like 'Little Boo Boo.' Because no one calls Norris Cole ‘Cole Train.’” ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported Heat G Ray Allen "requested the name 'Jesus' when they asked him what his nickname was," a reference to the character he played in the '98 film "He Got Game." Broussard: "They just gave him the uniform J. Shuttlesworth. We assume that was for religious reasons.” After a commercial break, Breen and Van Gundy displayed specially made jerseys, with Van Gundy holding up a Heat jersey with "Notorious JVG" and Breen with a Nets jersey with "The Grey Mamba" on the nameplate (“Heat-Nets,” ESPN, 1/10). ESPN’s Sage Steele noted the nickname jerseys were selling for up to $110. ESPN’s Bill Simmons said, “The big winner of tonight -- it is ‘King James’ because that’s a jersey I think actually people would buy.” He added Nets F Joe Johnson’s nickname "should say ‘2016 Expiring Contract’ on the back.” Simmons later brought up Nets F Mason Plumlee's jersey and asked co-host Jalen Rose, "Are you okay with calling a grown man ‘Plums?’" Rose: “Don’t get fired” (“NBA Countdown,” ESPN, 1/10).
A LAME GIMMICK? ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the idea of putting nicknames on jerseys is "annoying to me personally, because we now have to look at all these stupid nicknames." Kornheiser: "This is a bad gimmick. This is minor league baseball. ... Do I care what (Heat C) Joel Anthony's nickname is?" ESPN's Michael Wilbon called the jerseys "lame" and added nicknames are interesting "on players that matter, on big stars, not on every single guy" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/10).
Etihad Airways yesterday announced that it has signed golfer Martin Kaymer "as the latest addition to its Guest Ambassador programme." ARABIANBUSINESS.com's Andy Sambidge reported Kaymer "will work on a series of initiatives to raise Etihad's brand in Germany and other key markets around the world." The airline in a statement said that he "is filming a promotional video in Abu Dhabi this week to showcase Etihad." The shoot schedule coincides with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship (ARABIANBUSINESS.com, 1/12). This is the second new sponsorship for Kaymer in recent days, as he signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz last week that will see his wear a logo for the automaker on his shirt (THE DAILY).
BET ON IT: 76ers, Devils and Prudential Center CEO Scott O'Neil said the organizations teamed up with Bwin.Party subsidiary PartyPoker because Bwin.Party execs "understand sports, the passion of sports and how to translate that, and ... they're really smart guys." O'Neil: "We like to do business with smart people, who take seriously the business of people and fans and making sure that we have a wonderful experience for the best fans in the world." Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment CEO Norbert Teufelberger said the deal is "huge for us -- to be associated with brands like the Devils and the 76ers and be able to build our brand and bring our brand back to the United States after having been gone now for so many years." He added PartyPoker "will be integrated into TV spots, radio spots" and have in-stadium ads to "engage the fans and actually bring them some value entertainment" ("Markets Now," Fox Business, 1/10).
WAIT YOUR TIME: N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman discussed the profile of Colts QB Andrew Luck and said, "He has one tremendous comeback performance against the Kansas City Chiefs … and all of a sudden he's the next face of the NFL. Is he going to have more commercials than Peyton Manning? That's not happening" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 1/10). Meanwhile, Fox’ Troy Aikman made reference to one of Manning’s endorsement deals while previewing yesterday’s Broncos-Chargers playoff game. Aikman said, “We'll probably get to see a few Papa John's commercials during that game too" ("49ers-Panthers," Fox, 1/12).