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Volume 24 No. 157

Marketing and Sponsorship

Browns QB Johnny Manziel stars in a new Snickers commercial that “shows him as an aerobics instructor” who goes by the name Johnny JamBoogie, according to Darren Rovell of Clad in spandex and a headband, Manziel “is teaching a class of women all of his moves until a confused man in a Browns uniform walks in and hands him the candy bar.” After Manziel “takes a bite, he is immediately transformed into himself again” (, 8/28). In Cleveland, Chris Fedor noted this is Manziel’s “first ad for Snickers,” which signed the former Heisman Trophy winner in July.  Fedor asked, “Who doesn’t want to do some arm circle things after watching this?” (, 8/28). USA TODAY’s Chris Chase wrote there are many “missed opportunities” in the ad. Chase: “Where was the Money Manziel sign or references to falling in the draft? Where is anything that could differentiate Manziel at all?” (, 8/28). TIME’s Laura Stampler: “While the entire point of the commercial is that a bite of a candy bar has the power to get his football helmet-wearing head straight and turn his back on florescent leotard-wearing older women, we must ask -- does Manziel have to choose? Dance can be an important part of any pre-game or post-touchdown routine” (, 8/28). See the full sponsorship portfolio for Snickers at Resource Guide LIVE.

The Univ. of Toledo on Thursday unveiled a two-year agreement with the Cavaliers to become the NBA team's "first university sponsor," according to Karen Farkas of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. UT "will spend about $100,000 a year in exchange for signs and in-game digital messages at Cavs games, and potential educational opportunities." The Cavaliers also "will participate in UT's 'Tie One On' bow tie program to support prostate cancer awareness." The deal "is part of about $500,000 the university expects to spend annually in Northeast Ohio on marketing, which includes more than $100,000 a year to be a partner" with the Indians. UT VP/External Affairs Lawrence Burns said that the school "is in the first of a three-year agreement with the Indians and it is in talks" with the Browns. He added that UT "sought out sport team deals to increase its 'brand awareness' instead of buying ads or billboards." Farkas notes UT has been a Red Wings sponsor for "several years and is also now affiliated with the Tigers." It also "signed an agreement with the Lions" in May. Burns said that it "took about a year to finalize the deal with the Cavs, which occurred before LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 8/29).

The 49ers have extended their sponsorship deal with U.S. Bank with a multiyear agreement that will see it remain the team's official consumer banking partner. U.S. Bank will have a presence at Levi’s Stadium, including providing all on-site ATMs. The bank also will feature 49ers-branded products and promotions at its branches. Other activation includes bank customers having pre-sale access for stadium events (49ers). In California, Lauren Hepler noted financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is "no stretch to say that U.S. Bank ... has resources to work with." U.S. Bank will "get its name on a booth for fans to generate animated videos 'customized with their photo on the body of a football player or cheerleader, to share with friends and family on social media.'" Other sponsors at the stadium, including Yahoo, Brocade Communications, BNY Mellon and Levi's, have "also gotten access to one of 10 swanky private lounges" (, 8/27).

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: In Atlanta, Ellie Hensley reported the Falcons have made Northside Hospital their "new preferred health-care partner," replacing Piedmont Healthcare. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is "mainly a promotional move for Northside, who will now have signage visible in the Georgia Dome and will be able to use the team's logo in its marketing materials" (, 8/27).

Aflac is rolling out a series of college football activations, including a new TV commercial, an online sweepstakes and a partnership with ESPN's Desmond Howard. The new spot, titled "The Paymaker," debuted during Thursday's Texas A&M-South Carolina game on SEC Network. It depicts the Aflac Duck taking control of practice film and confusing players and coaches with his own versions of football plays. Howard will appear in marketing materials such as digital ads and social activations on the Aflac Duck's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channels (Aflac). Meanwhile, Hyundai's college football campaign will feature TV, print, radio and online ads. In a new national spot titled "Hands," the automaker focuses on the many hand gestures fans use to show off their team pride, i.e., Florida's "Gator Chomp" or Texas' "Hook 'em Horns." The new ad will air during each of the 18 SEC on CBS national games this season. Hyundai also developed 17 regional ads with each of its partner schools where a dealership is available to sell the deal by leveraging collector's items. Hyundai will use the hashtag #ThisIsLoyalty to promote the campaign on social media (Hyundai).

COFFEE CLUB: Dunkin' Donuts of Central and Northeastern Pennsylvania has signed a partnership with Penn State and will be the preferred coffee of the school's football team for the '14 season. Dunkin' Donuts locations around the school will feature the "Ultimate Tailgate Package," which includes PSU-themed beverage cups, donut boxes, a themed Box O' Joe, an official "Penn State Pride Donut" and PSU-themed gift cards. In addition to the co-branded items in stores, Dunkin' Donuts is launching a game-related program for fans. The company will also offer free coffee samples at three home Penn State football games this season (PSU).

CAR AND DRIVER: The Denver Toyota Dealers Association has signed a marketing deal with the Univ. of Colorado that begins with the football season and runs through the '17 athletic year. CU recently debuted a Toyota-branded press backdrop, and the automaker will have a large on-site presence at Balch Fieldhouse, a family-friendly area inside Folsom Field (CU).

STATE OF THE UNION: Richmond-based Union First Market Bank and Virginia Tech have entered into a multiyear partnership that includes a sponsorship of VT athletics along with a university gift and a faculty endowment. It is the bank's first athletic sponsorship. The athletics sponsorship, brokered by IMG, positions Union as the first partner to secure a presenting sponsorship of a gate and concourse plaza at Lane Stadium. Additionally, the bank will serve as presenting sponsor of the Union Halftime Show during all VT football & men’s basketball radio broadcasts on the IMG Sports Network (VT).