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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

The NBA and adidas on Thursday unveiled the jerseys for the league's All-Star Game, which will be held Feb. 16 at New Orleans Arena, and adidas Head of Global Basketball Sports Marketing Chris Grancio said the sleeved component of the uniform is just "one element that's new this year," according to Dan Devine of YAHOO SPORTS. Grancio said adidas has "updated the embellishment system for the front word-mark and for the numbers, so it’s a different manufacturing process that makes it a little lighter-weight than we’ve had in the past." He added, "You’ll also notice the very strong 'BIG Logo' concept for the East and West word-marks." Grancio said the game's location served as inspiration for the uniforms. He said of New Orleans, "It’s got great culture. It’s very vibrant. You see big colors, you (hear) big sounds. We wanted to try to marry that with a really sleek and sophisticated silhouette." He added, "One of the things that’s also very different about these from previous All-Stars is the integration of color. Historically, All-Star uniforms have been shades of red with incorporations of the conference colors of silver and gold. This year, because of New Orleans and wanting to celebrate the city -- and also in wanting to acknowledge the new Pelicans identity, as well, in some respects -- we brought some new colors in." When asked whether the sleeved design inhibits players, Grancio said, "We really do believe that it doesn’t inhibit performance in any way. At all. The way that the shoulder gusset is constructed with four-way mesh really does prevent any pulling or dragging" (, 1/16).

HEARTS ON THEIR SLEEVES: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser noted there has been a "big push for sleeved jerseys lately" and asked, "Is the traditional NBA tank top doomed?" ESPN's Michael Wilbon replied, " It depends how long adidas is in charge of those uniforms. ... adidas doesn't have any sort of footprint in terms of American team sports. adidas is about futbol, about soccer, and those are soccer jerseys." The apparel company wants to "sell these to people like you and me, who they know are not coming in tank tops." Wilbon: "This is about adidas and their ability to make money. And players hate these." He also rhetorically asked "where can you put advertising" on jerseys without sleeves. Kornheiser acknowledged ads "could be placed on the sleeves" before adding many soccer teams "just put advertising patches right in the middle" of their jerseys. Kornheiser: "I don't think the NBA is going to go for that." He added while NBA players "don't like" the sleeved jerseys, they "will accept it" if it results in more money coming in. Kornheiser: "If pros accept it and then colleges accept it, then you're wearing them all the way up" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/16). CBS Sports Network's Doug Gottlieb said adidas and the NBA would not be making the sleeved jerseys unless kids "like them and they were going to buy them." He added most of the media members commenting on the jerseys are not in the demo "they're supposed to be appealing to." Gottlieb: "Eighteen to 25 is who they're trying to appeal to. Apparently, it must work, otherwise they wouldn’t be making them for the NBA's biggest event" ("Lead Off," CBS Sports Network, 1/16).

YouTube is "ready for the Super Bowl early this year, having added a teaser section to its Ad Blitz program," according to Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. The gallery of teaser videos went live Friday, but some teaser videos were "already online, collecting hundreds of thousands of views, most notably a making-of spot for SodaStream featuring actress Scarlett Johansson." YouTube Brand Solutions Managing Dir Suzie Reider said that other brands airing teaser spots "include Axe, Butterfinger, Jaguar, Intuit and Squarespace." Reider added that many of the teaser ads "are longer than [a] common 30-second spot." Lafayette noted YouTube "declined to say how much it charges advertisers to participate in the Ad Blitz program." Reider admitted that it "does cost less than a spot on the Fox Super Bowl broadcast" (, 1/16). Google VP/Sales & Marketing Lucas Watson said of the Super Bowl, "What used to be a one-day event, with some postgame water-cooler chat, is now an eight- to 13-week experience." He said that as a result, "'major advertisers are trying to win the conversation' before the game, as well as during and after." Watson added that ads for last year's Super Bowl were "watched on YouTube more than 80 million times before the game was played -- nearly a third of the total of more than 265 million views for Super Bowl spots on the site that year." He also said that ads uploaded to YouTube before the game "generated about 3.4 times more views on average, than commercials that were released on the day of the game." In N.Y., Stuart Elliott notes although YouTube is "adding the pregame teaser commercials to the Ad Blitz channel, YouTube will not ask viewers to vote for their favorites the same way it conducts a vote each year for favorites among the actual Super Bowl commercials" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/17).

SUPER BOWL SHUFFLES: USA TODAY's Laura Petrecca writes Pepsi, Bud Light and other major Super Bowl XLVIII advertisers "hope to strike a chord with consumers by playing up musical tie-ins." This year's promotions "will include some familiar marketing techniques such as companies sponsoring concerts and using catchy songs in Super Sunday ads." There also will be "some unexpected notes, such as Pepsi hosting a mock halftime performance at the Jan. 26 Grammy Awards." Pepsi "will run a two-and-a-half-minute ad ... midway through the Grammy telecast" featuring Pro Football HOFers Shannon Sharpe, Mike Ditka, Terry Bradshaw and Deion Sanders "singing and dancing." Pepsi on Sunday will run an ad during the NFC and AFC Championship games "promoting the Grammy video." That teaser "shows Ditka with his tongue out Miley Cyrus-style." The ad says, "What if the Grammys had a halftime show?" Meanwhile, Bud Light this week indicated that one of its Super Bowl ads "will feature the world debut of a new song from a well-known artist" (USA TODAY, 1/17).

HE'S BACK: In N.Y., Emily Smith reports actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has landed a $3M deal "to star in a Super Bowl commercial for Bud Light." Schwarzenegger "joins a long list of celebrities earning big money for Super Bowl spots," including Johannson, Laurence Fishburn, Ben Kingsley, David Beckham and Danica Patrick (N.Y. POST, 1/17). Also in N.Y., Sage Lazzaro reported Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Larry David were "caught filming inside Tom's Restaurant," the setting for Monk's Cafe from "Seinfeld," on Monday afternoon. While one member of the camera crew told TMZ the actors were there to shoot an episode of Seinfeld's "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" web series, another crew member indicated that they "were there to film a Super Bowl commercial" (, 1/14).

Both Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines to "celebrate the Seahawks’ playoff status" are "sponsoring contests tied to the playoff games," according to Roberts & Gillie of the Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE. Alaska Airlines during the postseason is sponsoring the "12th Fan Rescue," which invites Seahawks fans "who don’t live in the Puget Sound area to submit videos, stories and pictures that demonstrate Seahawks pride in their locale." The three best entrants "and their companions won free airfare, game tickets and hotel accommodations" to the Seahawks-Saints game last Saturday. The contest "continues this week for the NFC Championship Game." The airline also is giving passengers wearing QB Russell Wilson’s No. 3 jersey in Seattle "priority boarding privileges." Meanwhile, Delta, the Seahawks' official airline sponsor, "secured the privilege of renaming the club level at CenturyLink Field as the Delta Sky360 Club in a deal with both the Seahawks and the Sounders." Delta also has "created a scavenger hunt-style game in which the locations of kiosks to sign up to enter the contest are posted on Delta’s Twitter page." Delta GM of Corporate Communications Anthony Black said that the grand prize in that contest is "a pair of tickets anywhere Delta flies as well as a $500 certificate for Seahawks merchandise and two tickets to next year’s opening game." Both airlines said that they "will roll out even more attractive prizes" for their contests should the Seahawks make the Super Bowl (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 1/16).

MAKING NOISE: In Seattle, Bob Condotta writes Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman has "become a sudden Internet and television-commercial sensation from an advertisement for Duracell batteries that tells his story of overcoming partial deafness to make it to the NFL." The ad was "published on YouTube last Friday, and as of Thursday afternoon had been viewed more than 5 million times." Coleman said of the response to the ad, "I knew I was going to be able to touch some people, and that the hearing-impaired and deaf community -- that it would get to them" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/17). Coleman is scheduled to be profiled on NBC's "Nightly News" Friday night (THE DAILY).

The Blue Jays this week announced a three-year deal with Ontario-based Pizza Nova, making the chain an official partner of the team and Rogers Centre beginning with the '14 season. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Blue Jays VP/Corporate Partnerships Mark Ditmars said it was a “significant commitment." Pizza Nova will become the exclusive pizza served at all Rogers Centre events, and the concession stands at the ballpark where pizza is sold will be re-branded under the Pizza Nova name. The Blue Jays for the past two decades had served Pizza Pizza products. Ditmars said the team was drawn to Pizza Nova because it is a family-run business and is “synonymous with quality.” He added, “We were looking for a premium product inside the stadium and to upgrade the fan experience and the food experience here in the stadium.” Ditmars cited an online poll that showed over 70% of fans surveyed believe Pizza Nova is a “superior or better tasting product.” The deal took approximately six weeks to finalize from start to finish. Pizza Nova will receive a full season of signage behind home plate and on the bullpen wall, as well as a significant presence on The chain also has the rights to use the Blue Jays logos in its stores and on its advertising. Ditmars said the two sides are “hopeful some players will be used” in promotions, but they are “still finalizing that portion of the agreement.”

Maple Leafs D Dion Phaneuf during on-camera media interviews occasionally wears "a cap bearing the logo of his team," but the majority of the time he "opts for one emblazoned with that of a longtime sponsor, Red Bull," according to Dave Feschuk of the TORONTO STAR. While other prominent beverage brands "spend millions advertising at the Air Canada Centre, Phaneuf's sponsor forgoes that expense yet still gets high-profile exposure for a relative pittance." Phaneuf, who has been sponsored by Red Bull for eight years, "declined to share financial details, but an industry source said deals of this nature typically pay the athlete about $100,000 a year." While some pro sports leagues, including the NFL, have a "post-game ban on players wearing logos of non-league-approved sponsors," the NHL "has no such restrictions." The Maple Leafs said that they have "no intention of asking Phaneuf to cease and desist wearing his sponsor's logo during interviews." Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis: "Dion has a relationship with Red Bull and he’s obviously had that for quite some time. He’s free to wear what he would like." Meanwhile, Feschuk reports Maple Leafs LW Joffrey Lupul this past offseason "struck an agreement with, the shopping website, to wear a white golf cap bearing its logo." Former NHLer Eric Lindros helped "put together" Lupul's deal with Lindros, an investor in the company, said that he "took his inspiration from Phaneuf." He said, "I looked at what was going on with Dion’s hat and I thought it was an opportunity" (TORONTO STAR, 1/17).

In Buffalo, John Vogl reports the partnership between Sabres C Steve Ott and the Buffalo Zoo, which "brought stuffed otters to Sabres fans, went swimmingly." All of the stuffed animals, "dubbed 'Ott's Otters,' disappeared quickly." The team "introduced the furry creatures Wednesday and had tremendous immediate response." The Sabres "put the limited number of remaining otters on the shelves in the Sabres Store at 10 a.m. Thursday, and they were gone in a matter of minutes." The otters, "wearing Ott’s jersey and accompanied by his autograph, sold for $25." All proceeds "are set to go to the Buffalo Zoo" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/17).

A PREMIER DEAL: Dunkin' Brands Group on Thursday announced a multiyear sponsorship with EPL club Liverpool, making it the official coffee, tea and bakery partner for the team, with Baskin-Robbins becoming its official ice cream partner. Assets in the deal include Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins match-day LED board signage at Liverpool home matches, as well as mentions of both brands on Liverpool digital media, TV spots and print ads in programs and the monthly magazine (Liverpool). See Friday's issue of SportsBusiness Daily Global for more on the Dunkin'/Liverpool partnership.

YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE DANCING: In Baltimore, Lorraine Mirabella notes ballerina Misty Copeland "will be the face of Under Armour in a marketing campaign this year to attract more women to the sports brand." UA said that the marketing campaign is its "biggest ... ever this year for its women's brand as it tries to expand sales in the category" Copeland in '07 "became the American Ballet Theatre's first African-American soloist in two decades" (Baltimore SUN, 1/17).

LET'S GET WEIR: Canadian juice and smoothie bar chain Boost Juice has partnered with golfer Mike Weir to launch a nation-wide initiative aimed at energizing Canadians in the pursuit of living a healthy and active lifestyle (Booster Juice).