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Volume 24 No. 112

Marketing and Sponsorship

Beats by Dre yesterday debuted a new ad featuring Seahawks CB Richard Sherman that shows him "barraged by a fictional scrum of postgame media," according to Chris Strauss of Each reporter in the ad makes "more and more disrespectful generalizations" until Sherman "has to block them all out" with the Beats noise-cancelling headphones. The ad is "clearly exaggerated to prey on assumptions that the Stanford-educated athlete's on-field demeanor and frequent trash talk off of it somehow makes him a dirty player, a criminal or even worse, a 'thug'" (, 1/20). The Sherman ad is the latest in a campaign that has included Nets F Kevin Garnett and 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, whose team played Sherman's Seahawks in yesterday's NFC Championship game, and's Sid Saraf wrote Beats execs "know how to include every possible market" (, 1/19).

: ESPN this morning aired the Sherman ad for Beats during a commercial block in the 9:00am ET edition of "SportsCenter". Given the awkward interview between Sherman and Fox' Erin Andrews following yesterday's NFC Championship, the next ad to run ironically featured Andrews promoting Probiotics (THE DAILY).

Octagon's Doug Hendrickson, the agent for Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, said that his client "earned in the mid-six figures" from licensing the phrase "Beast Mode" in '13.'s Darren Rovell noted Lynch has "two registered trademarks, to use the term on clothing and hats, and has two trademarks pending to be able to use 'Beast Mode' on sunglasses, headphones, bracelets and cleats." For the companies Lynch chooses to work with there is "a typical" 20% sales royalty fee, and Lynch "has to approve every design." Lynch thus far "has given a stiff-arm to Nike, which pays him to endorse its products." Hendrickson said that things "could change on the Nike front" with the Seahawks advancing to the Super Bowl, and if his client is "presented with the right side deal." Lynch has an "exclusive autograph deal with Washington-based Mill Creek Sports." But Hendrickson said that the two sides "haven't come to terms on a deal that would allow the company to have Lynch sign 'Beast Mode' along with his autograph" (, 1/17).

: AD AGE's Alex Kantrowitz cites Kantar Media data as showing that with Lynch heading to the Super Bowl, the "free exposure for Skittles could be worth" up to $5M. That figure was reached by "building a model based off camera time and mentions of Skittles by broadcasters" during the Seahawks-Saints playoff game. It also "included the assumption of a short segment" about Lynch's "relationship with the candy." Kantar Media found that the total advertising value "could be upwards of" $7M, but the $5M number was "drawn from a slightly tempered 'sponsorship value' calculation which accounts for the fact that being talked about by others is worth less than using screen time to air your own tailored message" (, 1/17).

BATTERY LIFE: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote Duracell's ad featuring Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman is an "excellent, moving piece," by Saatchi & Saatchi, N.Y., and "could be the leader in the clubhouse for 'best in show' these next couple of weeks when TV is saturated with talk about Super Bowl commercials and the running and rerunning of the commercials themselves." There is "a lot to like about both the Coleman commercial and his story." His Q score is "never going to reach those of the big boys," but "so what?" His story is "real, compelling, relatable" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/19). Coleman was profiled on NBC's "Nightly News" Friday in a segment called "Breaking the Sound Barrier." NBC's Brian Williams said Coleman has become a "role model" for other hearing-challenged people" ("Nightly News," NBC, 1/17).

GOOD CALL: In Omaha, Michael Kelly notes Broncos QB Peyton Manning "audibled 'Omaha!' 31 times at the line of scrimmage" in yesterday's AFC Championship Game against the Patriots. Because eight Omaha companies "said they would donate $100 for every time he shouted 'Omaha!' that means $24,800 for Manning's charity, the Peyback Foundation for at-risk kids" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 1/20).

Fox Hispanic Media Exec VP/Advertising Sales Tom Maney said that Fox Deportes "has sold out 80% of its inventory in what will be the first Spanish-language telecast of a Super Bowl in the U.S.," according to Mike Reynolds of MULTICHANNEL NEWS. Maney said that Fox Deportes, which "counts some 21 million subscribers and 6.6 million Hispanic households, had 19 Super Bowl advertisers on its roster," including Anheuser-Busch, Ford, GM, AT&T, Toyota, Viagra, Mars, Allstate and Reynolds noted that "only one NFL official sponsor -- A-B -- is in the game, as many sponsors had already made commitments to the upcoming Winter Olympics and World Cup." Maney said of whether Fox Deportes will sell out the Super Bowl, "We'll certainly come pretty close." Meanwhile, Fox Deportes "hasn’t sold any inventory for its NFL slate next season, comprising Fox’s national preseason games" as well as postseason games (, 1/17).

WILD NIGHT IS CALLING: BUSINESS INSIDER's Aaron Taube noted Bud Light over the weekend released six teasers for its Super Bowl ads, "revealing that two of the brand's ads will feature" actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle and Reggie Watts. A-B last week announced two of the three Bud Light ads "would form a cohesive story called 'Epic Night' and include surprise celebrity cameos." The teasers indicate the ads will "tell several interweaving stories featuring wild nighttime escapades in the vein of the popular 'The Hangover' movies." Schwarzenegger in one teaser is shown "gearing up for an intense game of ping-pong," while another shows Cheadle "in an apartment building hallway with a llama that appears to be his pet" (, 1/18).

IN THE DRIVERS SEAT: BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK's Eric Chemi offers three reasons why the Super Bowl can "consistently command ever-increasing prices from advertisers." Viewers "don’t change the channel when a commercial break comes on, compared to any other type of programming," and the audience levels for the ads "are actually higher than for the on-field play itself." Super Bowl ads also "have staying power from all the pre-game and post-game discussions about them." Finally, the cost-per-viewer is "still competitive and in-line with normal TV programming" (, 1/20). The MOTLEY FOOL's Katie Spence wrote because of the "sheer number of people that tune in ... Super Bowl ads, if done correctly, increase brand recognition and drive purchase interest" (, 1/19).

HSBC is a longtime sponsor of the British Open, but company Head of Sponsorship & Events Giles Morgan on Saturday said that his company is "uncomfortable being associated" with the tournament "being held at male-only clubs," according to Alistair Tait of GOLFWEEK. The R&A "stages the Open at nine venues, three of which do not admit women members." Morgan said, "The R&A are clear that it's a very uneasy position for the bank." Morgan added that he has "no problem with the R&A’s association with its member club, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews." Morgan: “We are only involved in the tournament. We have no connection to the R&A as a club, and nor should we because it’s a private members club. But to the outside world, it looks like the same thing.” He said that HSBC has "held talks with the R&A about the issue, after the governing body started a consultation process following last year’s Open Championship at Muirfield" (, 1/18). Morgan said, "I don't want to be in a situation where we are potentially having to justify our sponsorship." Morgan said that he would "not be using the company's position as leverage or to 'put a gun'' to anyone's head, he simply feels the issue needs to be resolved -- even though he acknowledged his company has received few customer complaints" (, 1/18).

In Toronto, Curtis Rush noted Canadiens D P.K. Subban on Friday "weighed in on criticism leveled" at Maple Leafs D Dion Phaneuf, "who often dons a Red Bull cap when before the cameras," by former MLSE President & CEO Richard Peddie." Peddie last week said, "I would expect better from a captain." Subban responded, "There’s nothing wrong with (wearing branded logos). This is [the] new NHL. It’s not like it was 20 or 25 years ago." Subban, who was named to the Canadian Olympic team, "has several personal sponsors including Nike." He said, "It’s not that guys don't respect the team's logo. Guys have endorsement deals now and they're paid to wear certain stuff." Canadiens G Carey Price said, "We're branded as an NHL club, but at the same time we're all professionals and we all have our own deals. It's all player preference." Price is "sponsored by Under Armour and feels an obligation to support their gear when he can." Price: "I feel if I wear a T-shirt (for a sponsor) that's enough" (TORONTO STAR 1/18).

LIGHTNING ROD: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir wrote suspended Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez now "has almost nothing to pitch" in terms of marketability. Although Rodriguez "has not lost his endorsements rapidly," several of his deals "eventually ended." Some campaigns "simply ran their course," but some companies "chose not to renew their ties" to Rodriguez. A Nike spokesperson said that the brand "did not re-enlist with Rodriguez after his deal ended" in '09, but still "occasionally gives him apparel." Spokespeople for Rodriguez "declined to say what endorsements he still has, if any." Rodriguez's Q score among sports fans last September "had fallen to a 12," while teammate SS Derek Jeter "led all baseball players with a 27." The negative Q Score serves as "an even broader measure of how Rodriguez is viewed." Rodriguez' negative Q from '03-13 "soared to a 49 from a 24" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/19).

A HOT COMMODITY: Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori lost his fourth-round match in the Australian Open to Rafael Nadal today, but ESPN's Darren Cahill noted Nishikori is "one of the wealthiest young men in tennis." He has 11 "key sponsorships, ranging from Uniqlo, the company that he is wearing with his clothes, to Adidas shoes, to Wilson tennis rackets, to Delta Airlines." Cahill: "He’s No. 3 or 4 behind Nadal, Djokovic and Federer in money earned off the court in tennis.” ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale: “Third largest economy in the world, Japan, and he is a huge celebrity there" ("Australian Open," ESPN2, 1/20).

: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch said that he "expects to have 'a pretty good indication' by the end of January if he will make what he expects will be his last attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500." Busch said that he "has a 'couple of strong leads for advertising partners' but is concerned over a lack of testing time and that the Indianapolis 500 is the first oval event" on the '14 IndyCar schedule (, 1/17).