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Volume 24 No. 112

Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike is "pushing all of its marketing and retail buttons" to celebrate Yankees SS Derek Jeter's final season, according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The company is "selling Jeter cleats for $99.99, a T-shirt and a cap for $35 each." A special-edition shoe also is due out in September. Nike VP & Global Jordan Brand Marketing Dir Brian O'Connor said that the "drumbeat will continue" through the rest of the season "on the Twitter hashtag #RE2PECT." The brand also will "market around Jeter's last home game at Yankee Stadium and his final regular season game" against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. 21 Sports Marketing President Rob Prazmark said, "Nike will probably promote the Jeter brand as long as it can" (USA TODAY, 7/15). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Erik Matuszewski notes Jeter will cap his career "as the sport's most marketable athlete." Aside from Jordan Brand, Jeter has "forged deals with Gatorade, Ford and Gillette over the years, earning him annual endorsement revenue that Forbes magazine estimates" at $9M. Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said, "In a sport that is very regional in nature and has been racked by performance-enhancing drug controversy, Jeter has managed to rise above it all, enjoy national acclaim, remain scandal-free, appeal to every demographic and epitomize grace and class." He added, "No baseball player ever has been, or maybe ever will be, as successful at moving product and enhancing brands as Jeter." IEG Senior VP/Content Strategy Jim Andrews said that while baseball "isn't a major source of Nike revenue, Jeter's upstanding reputation has been an asset to the company." He added, "He stands apart from some of Nike's other endorsers ... in being universally admired and respected, without any taint of scandal or controversy" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/15).

A TIP OF THE CAP TO YOU: In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote the new Jeter ad that broke online yesterday is "unmistakably a Jordan Brand video," but the marketing impact "for the Nike subsidiary is completely subdued compared to the emotional whump of the content ... at least for the sports obsessed." Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, created the ad, and Creative Dirs Gary Van Dzura & Jimmy Lasser through a spokesperson said of the concept, "We started with the thinking that everyone respects Jeter as a player, and as a gentleman. ... Then we noticed he has a tick when he steps into the batters box where he appears to sort of tip his helmet. We started thinking it would be a beautiful tribute if everyone tipped back" (, 7/14). ABC's Lara Spencer notes there are "so many stars in the world of sports" appearing in the spot and "everybody wanting to give No. 2 the respect that he so deserves." ABC's Michael Strahan said the spot made him "teary." Strahan: "I was like, 'Where was my ad when I was retiring, Nike?' I only had 15 years with you. But it's okay" ("GMA," ABC, 7/15). CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin said it was an "awesome" spot ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 7/15). But SNY's Chris Carlin said the ad was "sickening." Carlin: "Do I need to see Billy Crystal tipping his hat? We get it, Jeter's retiring. And by the way, for somebody that never wanted the attention and won't call it a farewell tour, he certainly is soaking in every last freaking minute of it, isn't he?" ("Loud Mouths, SNY, 7/14). Meanwhile, the ad continues to draw praise on Twitter, with ESPN Radio's Ryan Ruocco writing, "I keep watching the Jeter RE2PECT ad. Jordan Brand nailed that." FS1's Mike Hill: "That new Derek Jeter Air Jordan commercial is EVERYTHING!!!" USA Today's Steve DiMeglio: "Heck of a commercial with Jeter."

Branded videos related to the FIFA World Cup "reached a staggering 671.6 million views, exceeding that of this year's Super Bowl spots by 30%," according to a Visible Measures study cited by Grace Chung of AD AGE. That is "partly to be expected, considering the World Cup's month of play and global fascination," but there is "still a considerable run-up to the Super Bowl, when marketers release web videos ahead of time seeking views." The World Cup video campaigns "outperformed a variety of prior campaigns on many fronts." World Cup sponsor adidas "unquestionably beat non-sponsor Nike for TV time and exposure, but Nike reigned as the most-viewed brand of the tournament in terms of online video, with eight campaigns garnering a total 240.6 million views." The length of the top 10 "most-viewed videos averaged 3:15, a minute and a half longer than the top Super Bowl campaigns this year." Nike's "The Last Game," for example, was five and a half minutes long. Argentina F Lionel Messi, who "starred in 11 campaigns, was the most frequent endorser" (, 7/14). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott writes the World Cup "has finally become a 'big event'” for U.S. consumers and a "premier ad platform like the Olympics or, yes, the Super Bowl." Visa Senior VP/Global Sponsorship Marketing Ricardo Fort said although the brand has "been involved with soccer in the United States for a long time, we were not expecting to have the interest, engagement, in the United States that we did." He said it was "unbelievable," and as a result Visa "changed the plan and invested more in the U.S., gave more content to the U.S." Meanwhile, social video technology company Unruly Media reported that a "video from Activia yogurt featuring Shakira was the most shared of the World Cup, at 4.7 million, followed by Nike, 2.6 million, and Samsung, 1.3 million" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/15).

TIM'S TIME: ADWEEK's David Gianatasio in a cover story writes U.S. G Tim Howard following his World Cup performance is "preparing for a big score," and is "looking to cash in on his newfound celebrity and break into the elite endorsement leagues." Howard "currently has six-figure deals with Nike and McDonald’s, making him a small fry in the rarified world of big-time sponsorships." Howard said, “People’s perception of me may have changed in the past two weeks, but I haven’t changed a bit." He added that he is "seeking the same kinds of deals as always." He said those include “blue-chip opportunities (with) really good companies with good reputations.” Howard's agent, Dan Segal of WMG, said that his client has "received dozens of offers in the past two weeks, and that he’s close -- perhaps just days away -- from inking deals with at least three national advertisers." Segal: "We don’t feel in any way, shape or form a desperation to try and grab everything that comes along.” CAA Sports Head of Global Sales Paul Danforth said Howard should "make deals as soon as possible" (ADWEEK, 7/14 issue).

CONFIDENCE IS KEY: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Harriet Torry noted Germany was "so confident it would win the World Cup that it pre-printed a run of five million stamps commemorating its soccer victory" before Sunday's final against Argentina took place. The German Finance Ministry "declined to comment on the cost of the print run," but said that "no public money was spent on the ceremonial stamps" (, 7/14).

Thunder F Kevin Durant yesterday signed a deal to endorse Washington-based Sparkling Ice, a "zero calorie carbonated water drink that is one of the fastest growing beverage brands in the U.S.," according to Darren Rovell of Durant said, "I've always challenged myself on the basketball court, but this offseason is really the first year I'm challenging myself off of it -- on the business side." Roc Nation Sports President & Chief Strategy Officer Michael Yormark, whose agency reps Durant, said that Sparkling Ice "came up in an initial meeting" with Durant and his agent Rich Kleiman. Yormark added Durant "told us that this brand was already a part of him and he wanted to have an official relationship." Sparkling Ice parent company Talking Rain CEO Kevin Klock said that the plan is to use Durant as the company "begins international expansion outside of the U.S., Canada and Mexico." He also said that the company will use Durant to "get into other segments of the beverage marketplace" (, 7/14).

ESPN is "promoting the slick new presentation for 'SportsCenter'" with an ad in which the show's old set "gets 'picked' by the antique hunters on History Channel's 'American Pickers,'" according to Max Willens of AD AGE. The spot, which was created by ESPN's in-house creative agency CreativeWorks, "opens with ESPN host Scott Van Pelt helping 'American Pickers' hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz lift and shove the old 'SportsCenter' desk into the American Pickers van." The campaign began airing yesterday, "with 15- and 30-second versions running on ESPN and History, and a longer version running online." CreativeWorks "first worked with History Channel in February, when the network was promoting the second season of its series 'Vikings.'" After the campaign, showing ESPN host Kenny Mayne hanging out with a "Vikings" character known as the Seer, the companies "began talking about a deeper partnership." Though "American Pickers" was "not scheduled as a topic of conversation, a member of the ESPN team suggested it might be funny to have the 'Pickers' hosts come and get the old 'SportsCenter' desk as a collectible" (, 7/14).

MASTER OF PUPPETS: ROLLING STONE's Kory Grow noted Metallica is featured in a spot for "SportsCenter" that aired during last night's MLB Home Run Derby. The commercial "plays off the idea" that since former MLBer Mariano Rivera retired at the end of last season the band does not "know what to do with themselves" now that he no longer comes into games to their song, "Enter Sandman." As a result, they have "started coming up with their own ideas." Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said, "ESPN's commercials have a tendency to be hilarious. We were like, 'That sounds like a good time.'" The band "filmed a variety of situations for the 30-second spot, all of which the drummer says were funny but he won't divulge the setups in case they're used for future commercials." Ulrich: "All these anchors and sports personalities are just so incredibly good at the deadpan element. It's just really fun to be around that environment, because there's a high degree of impulsivity and they don't take themselves very seriously" (, 7/14).

Dream G Shoni Schimmel has the WNBA's best-selling jersey at since the start of the '14 season. Schimmel, who will start in Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, is one of seven All-Stars among the 10 top sellers. The rookie also has helped the Dream claim the top spot on the best-selling team merchandise list for the first time in franchise history (WNBA).

Dream G Shoni Schimmel
Mercury C Brittney Griner
Shock G Skylar Diggins
Mercury G Diana Taurasi
Sky F Elena Delle Donne
Mystics C Stefanie Dolson
Lynx G Maya Moore
Stars G Kayla McBride
Sparks F Candace Parker
Mystics G Bria Hartley

Cleveland-based Fresh Brewed Tees Owner Tony Madalone, whose company has been selling "FOR6IVEN" t-shirts around the return of Cavaliers F LeBron James, said, "We had the first batch printed Thursday to give to some media folks and had roughly 140 printed Friday morning BEFORE the decision was made in anticipation. ... We had to get the second batch of shirts couriered from Columbus on Friday night (roughly 2,500 pieces) and Cleveland Printwear worked through the night and the rest of the weekend getting them all printed for us." Madalone said of sales over the weekend, "I don't want to give exact numbers, but it's easily our most popular shirt of all time -- surpassing the Johnny 'Money Manziel' shirt. We've sold thousands" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 7/15).

ALL NATURAL: In San Diego, Tod Leonard reports Callaway after 13 years will "end its sponsorship" of the Junior World Golf Championships after this week’s tournament, with IMG Academy "becoming the title sponsor beginning next year." The company has been a "presenting sponsor for Junior World for several years." San Diego Junior Golf Exec Dir Megan Mahoney said that the transition is a "natural one." She added that IMG was "willing to put in more sponsorship dollars" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/15).

BANG FOR THE BUCK: In Portland, Allan Brettman notes adidas yesterday announced it will pay about $1.28B over 10 years for the "right to design" EPL club Manchester United jerseys. Chicago-based Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand in an e-mail assessment of the deal wrote, "I think (Adidas) did pay too much. But time will tell; if ManU performs like in the last season, [adidas] would have been better off finding 'the next big team.' Adidas is thinking of the prestige for their soccer business, but it's a big price tag. ... Man U isn't what it used to be, and I don't just mean because they had a bad season" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/15).

NEW RIDE: In Grand Rapids, Peter Wallner reported the NBA D-League Grand Rapids Drive will “hold an open house” on Thursday at the DeltaPlex Arena and “move into its downtown offices.” The franchise also expects to receive $40,000 of adidas merchandise “that will be available.” The apparel “includes T-shirts, hats, polo shirts, pants, golf-related items.” The "free open house" will give fans a “chance to see the arena setup for basketball as well as scout out and purchase seats for the season” (, 7/14).