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Volume 24 No. 160

Marketing and Sponsorship

Telemundo's marketing strategy for the '18 FIFA World Cup in Russia is "beginning to take shape with the hiring" of Anomaly, N.Y., to take the "lead role on strategy and creative duties," according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. The hype began on March 8 when Telemundo "began its 100-day countdown to the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia that runs this year from June 17-July 2." Telemundo "considered multiple agencies for the World Cup marketing assignment, including traditional Hispanic shops." The NBC-owned net picked Anomaly "in part" because of what Telemundo Deportes Senior VP/Brand & Content Development Bill Bergofin "described as the agency's 'cross-cultural' approach." With other clients, Anomaly has "used unorthodox methods as it seeks affinity from bicultural consumers." Bergofin confirmed that "ads for Telemundo's Cup coverage will run on some of NBC's English-language properties." While Bergofin did not detail specifics, Telemundo "will have two other huge sporting events at its disposal as it hypes the World Cup" -- NBC's broadcast of Super Bowl LII and the '18 PyeongChang Games. Those two events fall "just four days apart from each other." That does not mean Telemundo has "made it a priority to lure English-only speakers." Bergofin: "Are we directly targeting non-Hispanics? No, not necessarily. We want all Hispanics to watch. So we want to build that audience as big as it can be" (, 4/18).

NASCAR driver Joey Logano's appearance in a new Verizon digital spot marks the "first time that Logano could do work for Verizon because Cup [Series] drivers were barred from doing commercials for the company after Nextel entered the sport" in '04, according to Bob Pockrass of A "longtime Team Penske sponsor, Verizon is using Logano to encourage students to aspire to be engineers or do other tech jobs." Now that Monster Energy has replaced Sprint, drivers and teams "once again can align themselves with other mobile carriers and phone manufacturers." The "last time Verizon had any connection to the Cup was seven years ago." After Verizon bought Alltel, it sponsored Penske drivers in the Cup Series in '09 and '10, but "could not have its logos on the car because the grandfather clause in the NASCAR agreement with Nextel prohibited any new cellular sponsorships." Verizon then "moved all its support to IndyCar" following '10 and now is title sponsor of that series. There are "no additional plans by Verizon to use Logano at the moment, as the new spot is a "baby step into seeing more mobile device companies getting back into NASCAR." Logano appears alongside Cavaliers F LeBron James and Saints QB Drew Brees in the spot. The "shorter version of the Verizon ad that appeared" during the NCAA Tournament "doesn't include Logano and some of the other athletes." The longer version online "does, and Logano believes it will help his brand" (, 4/19).

Joe Gibbs Racing has signed a new six-race multiyear partnership with convenience-store chain Circle K. Financial terms were not disclosed. Circle K has been involved in the sport for years, but this deal marks its first as a primary team sponsor. Team Owner Joe Gibbs said the team lured Circle K to a deal with the potential of lucrative B2B deals for JGR's other sponsors, largely in the form of reduced fuel prices for those companies' traveling fleets. JGR's stable of sponsors include FedEx, Arris, Comcast and Mars (Adam Stern, Staff Writer). Circle K will appear on Matt Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota Cup ride, and he said, "These days, I feel like there's so much negativity in the press in general, and it’s great to bring a positive story. I think it’s great for the industry, it’s great for Joe Gibbs Racing and all our partners. It’s a great brand and I’m proud to have them on the car” (“NASCAR Race Hub,” FS1, 4/19).

In Jonesboro, Miya Garrett in Arkansas State's student newspaper reports the school has signed a seven-year, $11M "partnership extension with Adidas" that will keep it with the brand through the '22-23 academic season. The athletic department "initially held an agreement with an annual value of $345,000 and provided a promised value of $215,000" (Arkansas State University HERALD, 4/19 issue).

SAVE SOME FOR THE FISH: Michael Phelps is joining Colgate-Palmolive's water conservation awareness effort as a global ambassador. Phelps made the media rounds earlier this week to promote an effort that will help raise awareness for the "Save Water" program (Colgate-Palmolive).

: MEDIAPOST's Wayne Friedman noted RSNs "maintain their popularity with advertisers -- and viewers." Barclays media analyst Kannan Venkateshwar said that ad sellout levels on RSNs "were at 80%" prior to MLB Opening Day. Across 29 RSNs, Venkateshwar said that there have been "six new advertisers with advertising deals worth more than" $1M. He added that some clients are "shifting budgets out of entertainment prime-time programming to sports" -- in part "due to concerns over brand safety" (, 4/17).

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