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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

Hyundai’s marketing campaign for the '14 FIFA World Cup “centers around a Tumblr-powered microsite and includes a set of 120 pieces of original art that will be rolled out by the car brand during the course of the month-long tournament," according to Lauren Johnson of ADWEEK. Tumblr yesterday made a “big splash" in Times Square, taking over Hyundai’s "massive billboard” as part of its World Cup campaign. The goal is to “target avid sports fans who are digitally inclined but may not be Tumblr users." Roughly three-fifths of the content will be “created by six Tumblr influencers -- or artists -- and the remaining portion of creative will come from Innocean team members (Hyundai’s agency and brainchild behind the Tumblr initiative) and design studio ilovedust.” Hyundai yesterday also added “two new features” to the microsite, including a "where to watch" feature to find nearby places in 12 cities to watch World Cup matches. Memes also are a “big push with a new tool that lets users remix an existent piece of artwork or create their own that can then be shared across social media.” The content itself is “tailored towards specific countries (the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Brazil and England are all top priorities) and the effort includes real-time and planned posts.” While Tumblr is at the “heart of the campaign, Hyundai’s global sponsorship of the games also includes retail, social, point-of-sale and television activations” (, 6/9).

WHEN ALIENS ATTACK: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jonathan Cheng notes Samsung has “unveiled a seven-minute, computer-animated video that blurs the lines between online short and out-and-out commercial." The video, which "captures the first half of a fantasy soccer match between an all-star roster of Samsung’s 11 celebrity endorsers, and an alien team called the Hurakan, overseen by a hooded figure reminiscent of Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine, is the culmination of a months-long campaign." While the package is “slick, Samsung will have to scrap for the World Cup limelight: after all, there are a lot of big brands out there on the world’s biggest stage, with plenty of marketing clout to boot.” An example is Nike's “Risk Everything” campaign, which “features a five-and-a-half-minute computer-animated video featuring the world’s best soccer players, playing a winner-takes-all final match against a faceless team of super-athletes ‘to make a stand -- to save football.’” Both Nike and Samsung feature Portugal MF Cristiano Ronaldo and England F Wayne Rooney in their ads (, 6/10). In Portland, Allan Brettman noted Portland-based Wieden+Kennedy and London-based Passion ad agencies “collaborated with Nike" to produced their animated spot (, 6/9). Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Univision launched a social media campaign called "El Gran Pase." Users can submit a video of themselves kicking a soccer ball with the hashtag #GranPase, with a chance to be included in the campaign alongside singer Shakira and other famous soccer fans (T-Mobile).

The Mexico men's national soccer team’s popularity in the U.S. has "helped make it one of the most lucrative brands in the world’s most popular sport," and the team "has two sets of national sponsors: at least 14 for advertising campaigns in Mexico and another 16 American companies for U.S. sponsorship," according to Scott Reid of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The two sets of sponsors "require Mexico matches to be shot in what is called a 'reverse broadcast,' where one set of cameras shoots from one side of the stadium facing field-level signage for El Tri’s Mexican sponsors, another set films from the other side to capture signs for U.S. corporate partners." The roster of corporate sponsors for Mexico’s U.S. pre-World Cup tour included "the likes of Allstate, AT&T, Visa, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Castrol, NAPA, Home Depot, Kingsford, Bud Light and Orange County-based Behr paints." U.S. soccer "powerbrokers have also caught on," as the Mexican team is marketed in the U.S. by MLS subsidiary Soccer United Marketing. Neither the Mexican Football Federation nor its U.S. corporate partners have disclosed the value of their sponsorships, but sources said that they "are likely double" the $25.4M the U.S. Soccer Federation reported in sponsorship revenues last year. adidas during the '10 World Cup "sold 1.2 million Mexico jerseys," making it "the best selling jersey" for the company. Nielsen Media data shows that Mexico games "had 30 million unique television viewers in the U.S." last year (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/8).

Michigan-based SuperStroke, a maker of oversized rubber grips for putters, has seen "several high-profile PGA Tour victories and strong finishes" by players using their product, and the success has company Owner Dean Dingman "planning to move into grips for other clubs," according to Bill Shea of CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. Dingman purchased the brand in '09 for $750,000, and has turned it "into a business forecast to post revenue" of $30M this year. SuperStroke in '09 "sold 5,000 grips for $700,000," and last year "sold 1.5 million grips" for $15M. Dingman has "made the right choices in which pro golfers he paid to endorse his grips," including 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and '13 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner. Dufner lost the '11 PGA Championship in a playoff, and the "attention on him and his equipment was heightened" because it was a major tournament. SuperStroke also "got a boost last year when Phil Mickelson won the British Open while using the company's grips," although he is "not a paid endorser." One quarter of PGA Tour players in a given week's tournament "are using SuperStroke putter grips, and the company is airing commercials on the Golf Channel featuring Dufner and Spieth touting the product." SuperStroke also "has industry interest," as Callaway Golf "has a deal with Dingman to put the 15-inch SuperStroke as the standard grip on its Tank Cruiser counterbalanced putters in its ultra-popular Odyssey line." The "colorful grips -- they feature a prominent logo easily seen on TV -- come in a variety of styles and sizes." Like "much golf equipment, the grips are manufactured in China, and SuperStroke this year opened a Beijing office." Thirty percent of the firm's sales "come from golf-mad Asia." Dingman said that half of its sales "are in the U.S.," and 20% are in Europe (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 6/9 issue).