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Volume 24 No. 156

Marketing and Sponsorship

IMG yesterday announced that the ATP/WTA Sony Open in Key Biscayne will be renamed the Miami Open, and for "the next five years" the primary sponsor will be Brazil-based bank Itau, according to Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. Unlike previous sponsors, Itau decided to let the city’s name "lead the tournament branding." The logo for the Miami Open presented by Itau is a "rainbow-colored lower-case 'm' with a yellow circle, symbolizing a tennis ball, in the middle." It is "meant to look like a bouncing ball, and the colors symbolize Miami’s scenery and culture." Event organizers said that the tournament will make some "cosmetic changes to incorporate the new logo throughout the grounds." Itau Marketing Dir Andrea Piniotti Cordeiro said that the company will "advertise the Miami Open all over Latin America, offer ticket packages to its clients and invite top clients to its Stadium Court suites" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/20). Tournament Dir Adam Barrett said, "Our presenting sponsor has more of a South American influence which is so important to the culture of Miami." In Ft. Lauderdale, Harvey Fialkov notes Itau has been a "minority sponsor for the Key Biscayne tournament for the past six years," but after a meeting during the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil, the sides "decided to take the relationship up a notch." Cordeiro added that Itau will begin "designing a major advertising campaign to promote the tournament throughout Latin America and offer perks, such as the 4,000 seats they possess as well as their four suites on stadium court to its customers, possibly through their credit-card purchases" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/20).

EXPANSION PLANS ON HOLD? The AP’s Tim Reynolds noted organizers are “hoping to upgrade the tennis facility, with plans -- which have been met with some resistance and led to ongoing court battles -- calling for expansion of the main stadium and other improvements around the grounds.” Without those fixes, organizers “fear the event could lose some of its luster.” The sponsorship with Itau “is not contingent on any of the expansion and infrastructure plans being constructed” (AP, 8/19).

Joe Gibbs Racing yesterday announced that it would "add a fourth" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in '15 with driver Carl Edwards and a "significant investment from communications technology company Arris," according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Edwards, who joins JGR from Roush Fenway Racing, will drive the No. 19 Toyota. JGR has "fielded three full-time Cup teams" since '05 but has held off "expanding to the maximum of four entries, preferring to make the move when it could put together the best deal." Edwards' move from RFR was "not a surprise as it had been rumored for months." However, the size and scope of the "investment of JGR's new partner, Arris, make it one of the biggest sponsor additions in recent years in NASCAR." Not only will Arris "sponsor approximately half the Cup season with Edwards, it also will sponsor driver Daniel Suarez next season as he moves full time to JGR's No. 18 Nationwide Series team." Additionally, Arris will "sponsor a handful" of Camping World Truck Series races for Suarez, a "rising star in the Toyota Mexico Series, and partner in a diversity initiative with Escuderia Telmex to develop Mexican and Latin American drivers in NASCAR" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/20). SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass noted Arris is "entering NASCAR to introduce itself to consumers, a big win for NASCAR to have a major corporation to come into the sport" (, 8/19).

WELCOME ABOARD: NBCSN’s Kyle Petty said JGR bringing Arris into the sport is the "biggest news of the day," not Edwards' move to the team. Petty cited 3M's recent move from RFR and Greg Biffle's No. 16 car to Jeff Gordon's No. 24 and Hendrick Motorsports next year and said, "We see movement with sponsors inside the sport. But it's been rare over the last few years -- with the economy the way it's been -- to see an outside sponsor come in. Tip of the hat to Joe Gibbs Racing for bringing somebody outside of the sport” (“NASCAR America,” NBCSN, 8/19).

Notre Dame yesterday unveiled its Under Armour uniforms for the Sept. 13 Shamrock Series game against Purdue, a "celebration of the Golden Dome from head to toe," according to a front-page piece by Bob Wieneke of the SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE. The signature gold helmets "include a crosshatch designed to replicate the texture of the Dome," and the "unique tile mosaic on the floor of ND’s rotunda building inspired the pattern on the shoulders of the jersey, the base layer shirt and gloves." Embroidered on the hem of each jersey are the words “God, Country, Notre Dame.” The uniform includes "gold helmets with a blue interlocking ND and stripe," and blue jerseys with "gold numbers and sleeves." It also features blue pants with a "gold strip above the knee" and gold shoes "accentuated with blue socks." Wieneke: "Far from stodgy, but the Irish certainly aren’t turning into Oregon either." The adidas-made Shamrock Series uniforms two years ago "caused an Internet meltdown over the design." With UA "building a reputation as a company that will push the envelope in terms of uniforms, there was a fear that Halloween could come early for the Irish." Meanwhile, Notre Dame's regular home and road uniforms were made public late yesterday morning, but there "wasn't much change from what the Irish wore recently" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/20). In Baltimore, Sarah Meehan noted Notre Dame's standard home and away jerseys "pay subtle homage to iconic architecture" on the school's campus. The home and away jerseys "stick with the traditional navy and gold motif." The sleeves on the "base layer spandex shirts and the top of the socks include a stripe inspired by the striped roofline of the main building on campus" (, 8/19).

NO BULL: In Tampa, Joey Knight noted the Univ. of South Florida originally planned to replace player names on jerseys with the phrase "The Team," but yesterday "ditched the idea." The jerseys will "simply remain blank," after the school found out that "The Team" moniker was "a violation of NCAA Rule 1-4-5 governing the design of football jerseys." Rule 1-4-5 "indicates that other than the player's number, the jersey may only contain the player's name, school name, NCAA logo, sleeve stripes, the American and/or state flag and a logo for the school, conference, mascot, postseason game, memorial or the military" (, 8/19).

FUEL GIMME FIRE: In Phoenix, Andrew Joseph noted Arizona State "hit it out of the park" with its new "Desert Fuel" uniforms. ASU will "wear a white and copper helmet with an all-anthracite uniform against an opponent to be determined -- possibly against Notre Dame on Nov. 8." ASU unveiled the look Monday through a video, "showing the team get its first glimpse of the new uniforms" (, 8/18).

Merchandise for Taney Youth Baseball Association, which features P Mo'ne Davis, "is so hot that after Sunday night’s come-from-behind win" over Pearland, Texas, Philadelphia-based Triple Play Sporting Goods Owner Dewey LaRosa had to instruct the baseball organization "to stop taking online orders," according to Scott Soshnick of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The Taney website said that merchandise "is sold out due to unprecedented demand." LaRosa said that he has "already received 400 online orders for all things Taney." If Taney wins today, LaRosa said that he would "hire part-time workers to focus on that merchandise as he rushes to fulfill previously placed school uniform orders." The gift shop in South Williamsport, Penn., where Taney last played, "sold out of Taney merchandise before the game ended." Modell’s Sporting Goods Marketing & PR Manager Jason Karlowski said that the company, which sponsors the team, has "sold more than 1,500 items." He added that another 1,000 shirts "will reach Philadelphia-area stores today," and more "will be available on the website" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/19). In Philadelphia, Robert Moran noted a local Modell's yesterday had a "display counter loaded with blue Taney Dragons T-shirts." The store "received a fresh shipment of 360 T-shirts" around 3:30pm ET, and store GM Paul Usher said that he expected to "be sold out before closing." Moran notes demand has "surged for merchandise featuring Philadelphia's hometown heroes," but Taney gear "has not been easy to get." The Triple Play store has "sold about 1,200 shirts and hats so far" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/20).

AD AGE's Jeanine Poggi wrote when FS1 debuted in August '13, advertisers "hoped it would be an alternative to sports behemoth ESPN." But one year in, that "dream has yet to materialize and media buyers say expectations have become much more reserved." FS1 GM & COO David Nathanson said that the net has been able to "retain more than 90% of its initial advertisers and has brought in new advertisers during the year." He said, "Our advertisers have taken a long-term view." Media strategy firm Initiative Client Dir Daniel Cohn said that advertisers are "still interested in the channel as it fits into brand needs." He also acknowledged that FS1 is "more flexible when it came to pricing than last year now that they have real ratings on which to base guarantees" (, 8/18).

GOT MY EYES ON YOU: S.F.-based CrowdOptic VP/Business Development Jim Kovach discussed his company's wearable device technology and its use at a recent Manchester City-Liverpool match at Yankee Stadium. He said, "No camera can get everywhere so we actually lever with different personnel, whether it's cheerleaders or athletes shooting around before the game or mascots, the kind of perspectives you get behind-the-scenes." CNBC's Josh Lipton noted the company yesterday announced a new partnership with Int'l Speedway Corp. to "broadcast live racing action seen through Google Glass," and the Eagles are "also giving Google Glass a try" ("Street Signs," CNBC, 8/19).

FANTASY ISLAND: The Magic yesterday announced a deal making FanDuel a "Champions of the Community" sponsor. FanDuel's assets will include outreach initiatives, on-court exposure and sponsorship of Amway Center's North Club Bar. The deal comes less than 24 hours after the NBA announced it would begin to allow sponsorships with fantasy game operators (THE DAILY).