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Volume 24 No. 112

Marketing and Sponsorship

Yankees SS Didi Gregorius was a "hit with marketers this year," as his strong showing and "infectious personality" landed him new deals with Wix.com, Delta, Banana Republic, Stance and Planters, according to Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES. Gregorius' new pacts are in addition to his endemic sponsors Nike, Mizuno and Louisville Slugger, and the new deals "should push his estimated annual off-field income north of $500,000." Gregorius "offers sponsors a unique package." He "speaks four languages and has a growing social media presence where he celebrates Yankees wins on Twitter with emojis representing different Yankees stars." Gregorius has also been a "man of the people this summer" in N.Y. He "handed out tickets to fans at a midtown street corner in a promotion" with Planters and Boxed Wholesale. He was "featured in a socks and selfies event at Stance’s SoHo location" where he "posed with Yankees fans." He also "handed out free swipes on the subway and made burritos in a digital campaign to secure an All-Star spot" (FORBES.com, 10/11). The Yankees defeated the Indians 5-2 last night to advance to the ALCS, and in N.Y., John Harper writes ALDS Game 5 was a "showcase" for Gregorius, who hit two home runs "in a Derek Jeter-worthy October performance" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/12).

Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin has "officially signed an endorsement deal" with CCM Hockey after "spending the previous six years with Bauer," according to Tarik El-Bashir of NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON. Ovechkin has been "using CCM skates, sticks and equipment since training camp." Ovechkin's contract with Bauer, which he signed in '11, "expired prior to this season." A source said that the new deal with CCM and its Russian distributor, SportConcept, is a "long-term agreement similar in length to the one with Bauer." CCM now counts Ovechkin, Penguins C Sidney Crosby, Oilers C Connor McDavid, Sharks D Brent Burns, Canadiens G Carey Price and Islanders C John Tavares, "among other big name players, on its endorsement roster" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/11).

LiftMaster will not renew its three-race sponsorship deal with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Hendrick Motorsports that expires after '17. LiftMaster sponsored HMS’ No. 5 Chevy driven by Kasey Kahne for three races a year from ’15-17. Financial terms of the brand’s deal were not known, but fellow No. 5 sponsor Farmers Insurance was paying the team around $660,000 per race, according to information revealed in a recently filed lawsuit cited by ESPN. LiftMaster Senior Manager of Sponsorships & Events Lori Zinaich wrote, “It has been a thrill to sponsor Hendrick Motorsports and Kasey Kahne these past few years. Our partnership has brought so much to our customers and the LiftMaster family, and we are thankful to have had the opportunity to support the team.” Sources said that other teams in the garage have chased LiftMaster, but the results of those efforts were unknown as of presstime. Zinaich wrote of future deals, “We are still evaluating and will make an announcement once decisions have been finalized.” LiftMaster, which has worked with CSM Sport & Entertainment on its motorsports marketing, also has several track deals with SMI’s Charlotte Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. The status of those deals moving forward were unclear as of presstime. Kahne is departing HMS after this season and his HMS Chevy, which is changing numbers from the No. 5 to the No. 24, will be filled by highly touted Xfinity Series driver William Byron. The main sponsors on that car next season known as of now are Axalta and Liberty Univ., along with smaller backer UniFirst. Longtime HMS sponsor Pepsi also makes occasional appearances on the car.

Adidas North America President Mark King said that charges filed last week against two Adidas execs in a youth basketball bribery scandal are "'serious allegations' and that Adidas is fully cooperating with federal investigators." In Portland, Jeff Manning notes King has insisted that the inquiry will have "no effect on the resurgence that allowed Adidas to overtake Nike's Jordan division in the U.S. sneaker market last month" (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/12).

THEY GROW UP SO FAST: In Dallas, Kate Hairopoulos notes Cowboys QB Dak Prescott yesterday "served as a celebrity coach as part of a promotion for NFL's Play Football and Campbell's Chunky Soup." On his progression as an actor in commercials, Prescott said, "I'm getting used to it. I like for them to give me an idea and just let me fly." Prescott on how he handles being a spokesperson: "It's important just to be me, just continue to be myself, to be as genuine as I can be, no matter what the situation, environment or subject that is being talked on, and just knowing and making sure I'm educated in these events and everything going on as well" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/12).

SIGN ME UP: The MLB Rangers and Sacramento-based tech company DialSource "signed an agreement for an undisclosed amount earlier this year to use the company’s Denali for Salesforce Lightning software to better reach customers." In Sacramento, Victor Patton noted DialSource "offers sales automation software to help businesses more efficiently make outbound sales calls and receive inbound customer service calls." The tech company has been "actively pursuing sports teams as customers," particularly since signing the NBA Kings as a client years ago. DialSource also signed agreements with the Dynamo, and in August signed the Staples Center (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/10).