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Volume 24 No. 132

Marketing and Sponsorship

Mattel at this week's Glamour Women of the Year LIVE Summit “unveiled a new ‘Barbie Shero’ inspired” by U.S. fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad’s achievements, according to Tammy Grubb of the Durham HERALD-SUN. Mattel VP and Head of Barbie Global & U.S. Marketing Sejal Shah Miller said, "Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out." Grubb notes the Barbie Shero line “reflects the company’s effort to offer more diverse dolls, while recognizing women who break boundaries.” Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas also is “represented by the Shero line,” which launched in '15. Muhammad’s doll “will be available for purchase” in ’18. At this week's event in Brooklyn, Muhammad said, “Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become. I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams.” Grubb notes Muhammad also has “launched her own modest clothing line Louella” (Durham HERALD-SUN, 11/14). In DC, Des Bieler notes in addition to the hijab, Muhammad’s doll “features her helmet, saber and Nike shoes” (, 11/14).

MORE TO BE DONE: AD AGE’s Nafisa Bakkar writes that while Nike announced it will launch its Sports Hijab next year, a “bigger win for Muslims -- and Nike -- would have been for the brand to use its influence to lobby for Muslim women to be able to compete in hijabs, or oppose the hijab ban” by FIBA (, 11/14).

Budweiser today released a tribute ad around retiring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will race in his final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event this weekend. The spot centers around Earnhardt’s famous No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo car that he used in the early part of his career. It alternates between a scene with the car zooming around an empty Daytona Int'l Speedway and old highlights of the saga that saw his father, NASCAR HOFer Dale Earnhardt Sr., pass away at Daytona in early '01 before Earnhardt Jr. won the next race there later that year. Budweiser joins other current or former partners of Earnhardt who have released tribute spots, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and NASCAR (Adam Stern, Staff Writer).

:'s Jerry Bonkowski noted STP yesterday announced that it "will return as a primary sponsor of the No. 43 Ford Fusion for two races" in '18 with Richard Petty Motorsports. The two races for which STP will serve as primary sponsor "have not been revealed," but driver Bubba Wallace "believes at least one of those races will be at Martinsville, while the other may potentially be the throwback race at Darlington." The renewal by STP is the "second sponsorship announcement by RPM in just over a week." At Texas, the company "announced a partnership with mortgage company 'Click N’ Close,' which is making its first foray into NASCAR" (, 11/13).

BURNING RUBBER:'s Lee Spencer reported Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is "close to announcing its new deal with NASCAR." The Akron-based manufacturer "has been involved in the sport" since '54 and for the last two decades has been the "exclusive tire supplier for NASCAR's top three series." Goodyear GM of Worldwide Racing Stu Grant said, "We are very close to being able to make an announcement." He added, "We anticipate being around next year." Goodyear Racing "last signed a five-year extension" in '11, and it is "set to expire at the end of this year" (, 11/13).