Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 132

Marketing and Sponsorship

Kyrie Irving's trade to the Celtics has left "NBA 2K18" with a cover athlete "pictured in a jersey of a team he no longer plays for ... less than a month away from hitting stores," according to Troy Smith of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. 2K Sports has yet to comment "on what it might do with its cover," which had been slated to feature Irving in his Cavaliers No. 2 jersey. It is "possible the game is too far into production to change things" (, 8/22).'s Colin Ward-Henninger noted 2K Sports until now "never had a cover athlete traded before the season even starts." EA Sports in '08 "scrambled to change the cover art" of that year's version of "Madden" after the Packers traded Brett Favre to the Jets. The NBA2K Twitter account last night "was quick to acknowledge the messy situation." It tweeted a link to the cover with a one-word comment: "Whoops" (, 8/22). 

Corona will be the "main sponsor" for Saturday's Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor fight, as the beer brand will receive "center-of-the-mat placement, ring girls and inclusion in the broadcast," according to Darren Rovell of It is not known what Corona paid, but the "original asking price for the sponsorship, along with a suite of branded areas," was $10M. BodyArmor also will have "prime placement," as all fights on the entire card will feature "towels and stools in the fighters' corners" with the sports drink's logo. Fighters will "drink out of BodyArmor-provided bottles" as well. Hublot yesterday announced its logo "would appear on Mayweather's waistband for the fight, as it had been" for his '15 against Manny Pacquiao. McGregor has signed deals with Monster Energy and online gambling site BetSafe for the fight (, 8/22). Mayweather also has signed a deal with high-end tequila brand Avion. The deal will see an etched likeness of Mayweather appear on a limited number of Avion Reserva 44 Extra Anejo Tequila bottles. The 150 bottles will be autographed by Mayweather and will retail for $1,500 each (THE DAILY).

ATP World Tour Finals
Club America (Liga MX)
Golden Boy Promotions
Sporting KC
StubHub Center
Jets (NFL)
Trail Blazers
Kings (NBA)
Univ. of Texas
World Surf League

: Topps has unveiled a limited-edition trading card set in the buildup to Mayweather-McGregor that are exclusively available on Each set contains 20 cards showcasing press conferences, training sessions and other moments leading up to Saturday's bout. At $24.99 each, the sets are available for one week, and Topps will print only the number of sets purchased. Topps also will separately issue match preview cards later this week, showcasing weigh-in images (Topps). The company on Monday "will wrap things up by issuing a card featuring the winner of the fight" (, 8/22).

PACKING A PUNCH: Varsity Brands division BSN Sports this weekend will debut its "Conor McGregor Punch & Crunch Experience," a vending machine featuring McGregor's voice challenging consumers to test the power of their punch to yield a full-size Syntha Crisp bar. The machines will be outside Las Vegas' Tropicana Casino (THE DAILY).

Georgia Tech has "repaired its long-time perceived branding issues" with its new apparel deal with Adidas, although there "remains some disagreement how greatly this will impact recruiting," according to Jeff Schultz of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. GT football coach Paul Johnson said, “It’s a factor. I don’t know if it’s a deciding factor. The kind of kids that that will be a deciding factor for probably aren’t getting into school here" (, 8/22). In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura notes one priority for Johnson was the "actual amount of gear that his players receive," as the quantity provided by Russell Athletic was "found lacking." Adidas Dir of Global Sports Marketing Chris Rivers also noted that Atlanta is a "major basketball hotbed" and just "one of those places you’ve just got to be” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/23). Also in Atlanta, Mark Bradley wrote the deal "seems fitting and proper." GT is "not, as Tech folks will gladly attest, like most big-time athletic programs." It is "not the flagship school in its state, but darned if it doesn’t up and sink those flagships now and then." GT "isn’t the center, but sometimes it’s the bleeding edge," which is a "good thing." Adidas is "just different enough to catch the eye" and is "no come-lately." The brand has "made a 70-year-old a paragon of coolness," and it should "do right by a big-city corporate client in a Power 5 collegiate conference" (, 8/22).

In N.Y., Bee Shapiro in a fashion & style section feature wrote aside from Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, UFC "lacks bankable stars with mainstream appeal." WME-IMG recently "sponsored a two-day retreat at the UFC corporate campus in Las Vegas to school the fighters in personal brand building, social media and financial management." WME-IMG also has "put its press and agent corps to work securing opportunities." But Demetrious Johnson said of UFC sponsor Reebok, "I’ve asked Reebok straight to their face: ‘I’m the 10-time defending UFC champion -- why aren’t you sponsoring me?’ They said, ‘You don’t fit the description of what we’re looking for'" (, 8/22).

HERE COMES THE SUN:'s Dustin Long reported SunnyD has "extended its contract with Roush Fenway Racing" to sponsor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series through '19. SunnyD will "add races as primary sponsor each season, although how many was not announced." The drink brand has "been the primary sponsor of Stenhouse’s car in three races this season" (, 8/22).

RETURN SERVE: The GLOBE & MAIL's Rachel Brady noted Denis Shapovalov, following a strong showing at the ATP Rogers Cup, is "fired up" about a rise in Instagram and Twitter followers. There has been "steady corporate sponsor interest in him since his Junior Wimbledon title, and he already has a handful of partnerships, including Nike, National Bank, BioSteel and Yonex." His manager, Andrzej Kepinski, said that he has "received lots more interest in the wunderkind recently but his team hasn’t strayed from their plan to take it slow and not overburden him" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/22).