Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 132

Marketing and Sponsorship

A new GoDaddy ad scheduled to debut this week shows NASCAR drivers Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart "trying to out-prank each other," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The ad marks the first time the pair has "appeared together in a GoDaddy spot." Patrick in the ad, which was written "but not produced by GoDaddy's new agency, BFG9000," is shown in Stewart's garage, trying to "explain to viewers that they can get a free domain name when they purchase the Website Builder from GoDaddy." Each time she tries to talk, Stewart "purposely starts using his noisy air wrench, and cuts her off." After several attempts, a "clearly annoyed Patrick finally manages to explain the deal." However, the ad "ends with Stewart's car up on blocks -- with all four tires missing." A "guilty-looking Patrick smirks, while holding the air wrench in her hands." Patrick, who is under contract with the company through '15, said that she "prefers GoDaddy's new brand direction" of toning down racy material. She added she would be "surprised" if the company goes back to some of the sexually themed ads. However, Patrick said, "I'm on board for anything they do" (, 7/15).

76ers C Joel Embiid and Celtics F Marcus Smart "have signed contracts" with adidas, according to sources cited by Rodger Bohn of Exact terms were "not disclosed, but it was confirmed that both contracts will be multi-year deals." adidas has "quietly established the best group of rookies" of the '14 NBA Draft class with Cavaliers F Andrew Wiggins and Jazz G Dante Exum also in the fold (, 7/15). In Toronto, Morgan Campbell noted Wiggins' $2M annual salary with adidas is a "fraction of the figure that rippled through the internet." Companies now "prefer to sign rookies to smaller deals, wait a few years, then lavish larger contracts on the ones who become famous enough to single-handedly drive sales." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said, “The brands have said (they) just can’t justify these giant contracts for rookies. It took LeBron James years before he was really able to justify his contract (through sales).” adidas Head of Global Basketball Sports Marketing Chris Grancio in an e-mail wrote that the company "plans to use Wiggins to help sell a line of sneakers slated for a fall release," but added that a Wiggins signature shoe "isn't forthcoming." Grancio wrote, "A signature collection could certainly happen in the future but there are no plans in place at this time. As we get to know Andrew, we’ll begin to further define that strategy together" (TORONTO STAR, 7/15).

SUMMER BREEZE: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel wrote engaging players is "just one way" adidas activates its "official NBA apparel and outfitter sponsorship deal" during the Samsung NBA Summer League. The Royal Crown bar, called, “The Club,” is a "popular attraction" for Thomas & Mack Center guests, but this week, it is "off-limits to NBA fans, as workers erected walls a week ago to enclose a swanky hospitality, meet-and-greet zone for adidas." adidas Global Sports Marketing Dir Jim Gatto said that the company suite is "being used to meet player agents, cut shoe endorsement deals, showcase future products and conduct 3-D symmetrical foot scanning to fit athletes with proper shoe sizes." Summer League VP/Business Operations Albert Hall said that there is a "growing trend of NBA sponsors such as adidas and teams using the summer league to more aggressively work with clients and fans" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/15).

U.S. G Tim Howard and F Clint Dempsey's value as advertising spokespersons "soared with their stellar World Cup performances," according to data from The Marketing Arm cited by Cheryl Hall of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Howard is now "recognized by more than a third of Americans" and when it comes to "endorsement value, Howard ranks No. 17 in a field of about 3,500 celebrities in the agency’s database." Dempsey is known by nearly 30% of American consumers and ranks No. 33 when it comes to "being a pitchman" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/16). Howard's agent recently said he is closing in on several new deals for his client, and Howard said it is important to him to be seen as a role model to kids. When looking for corporate partners, he said they need to "feel the same way about their own images." Those are the company he would "like to be associated with." He said he does not believe he has "just jumped at any opportunity because a company wanted me." Howard: "Just because there was money on the table doesn’t mean that I took it." Howard noted most endorsement deals are "oftentimes pretty short-lived," as companies are "often not looking to do tremendously long contracts." Howard: "They’re always trying to catch the next big thing. I do believe that relationships are important. I always feel that if it works for me and it works for them, if there’s a good rapport, then longer-term relationships -- one year, two years, five years, whatever that means -- help to grow my brand and the company’s brand. Consistency’s important" (, 7/14).

Atlanta-based marketing firm CSE notes the Twitter account for @Brazuca, the adidas-made official ball of the World Cup, has 3 million-plus followers, which more than doubles @adidasfootball's total. The content was identical and the posts were similar, both using David Beckham and changing the Brazuca's colors to green and white for the World Cup Final. There were subtle differences in the messages but @adidasfootball had 65% better engagement. Even though the two accounts worked together, it was interesting to see an account with half the followers more than double the engagement. Regardless, @brazuca used clever content time and again to engage followers leading into the Final (CSE).

PIZZA, PIZZA: Houston Pizza Venture, which is owned by Papa John's, yesterday announced a partnership with Texans DE J.J. Watt for this season. Starting this August and going through the Super Bowl, 10% of sales every Tuesday at all Papa John's locations in the greater Houston area will be donated to the J.J. Watt Foundation (PSP).

GOLDEN YEARS:'s Paul Lukas noted images from an adidas retail catalog circulating on the Internet yesterday revealed all NBA teams that have won a championship will "wear a small gold tab on their back jersey collars" starting with the '14-15 season. The gold championship tab would be the "first league-wide championship badge ever used by one of the 'Big Four' North American professional sports leagues" (, 7/15).