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Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

With President Trump "taking aim at the NFL and its players who protest during the national anthem, the league has broadcasted a message of unity" by airing a "one-minute ad that it produced for the Super Bowl earlier this year," according to Brian Stelter of CNN.com. The league said it was originally made to "demonstrate the power of football to bring people together." The NFL last night "ran the ad again on NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' telecast." The decision to run it was "finalized" yesterday morning. An NFL spokesperson said, "We think this is the single best response to demonstrate what we are about. It stands in stark contrast to some who practice the politics of division." The idea is to "take the high road -- avoiding any direct reference to Trump -- by airing an inspirational message" (CNN.com, 9/25).

GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE: ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert cited a source as saying that a political action committee which supports Trump began an "advertising campaign on social media" yesterday that "encourages NFL fans to turn off games and watch a patriotic movie instead." America First Policies, formed by former Trump campaign operatives earlier this year, is "seeking to boost Trump's criticism of the NFL and its players this weekend." In its initial social media graphic, it "used the hashtag #TakeAStandNotAKnee." The words "Turn off the NFL" are next to a photograph of Trump with his "hand over his heart, an American flag in the background." The ads will be "targeted at NFL fans who expressed interest in voting for Trump in the campaign" (ESPN.com, 9/24).

The CFP Foundation "wants to spread the word about the crucial value of teachers," and recently recruited former NFLers Troy Aikman, Tim Brown, Russell Maryland and Darren Woodson to be "featured in public service announcements" regarding the cause, according to Cheryl Hall of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Beginning at the end of this month, the foursome will be "sharing their stories of teachers who changed their lives along with giving lessons on typing, English and discipline." The 30-second spots will kickoff the "fourth season of Extra Yard for Teachers." The foundation was "founded three years ago with the advent" of the CFP. Foundation Exec Dir Britton Banowsky said, "We have a 12-year commitment from the networks (to broadcast the tournament) so we felt we had a lot of opportunity to do some good. We felt we could leverage the College Football Playoff platform along with all of college football to support teachers” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/23).

Steelers WR Antonio Brown's publicist said that his celebration after scoring a touchdown yesterday was "part of an endorsement deal with the video game 'Destiny 2.'" Brown soon after scoring "broke out into a quick dance that included two pelvic thrusts." The celebration is dubbed "Dancehall." Brown "wouldn't confirm he had an endorsement deal associated with the dance" (TRIBLIVE.com, 9/24).

ENERGY BOOST: ESPN.com's Nate Saunders reports U.K.-based F1 team Red Bull Racing has "confirmed Aston Martin will become its title sponsor" for the '18 season. Red Bull in '16 "joined into an innovation partnership with the British car manufacturer" and the pair "worked together to develop the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar." That partnership "will become a full-fledged title sponsorship next year, meaning the former world champions will operate under the official title Aston Martin Red Bull" (ESPN.com, 9/25).

PATCH WORK: Heat President Pat Riley said of jersey patches for NBA teams, "I would imagine that probably 5 or 10 years from now somebody is going to be buying the right (buttocks) of (Heat C) Hassan Whiteside. You ever watch European teams, you see patches all over the place. But I think it’s time. It’s been time for this kind of thing with social media. The kind of presence we have, I think, it can help Ultimate Software. I hope their sales goes up as much as our attendance revenue goes up. We have a business together and we want to help it. So the patches will help both of us" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 9/21).