Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales Jon Diament said that commercials during the NBA All-Star Game on TNT are "completely sold out," according to Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. The entire three-day All-Star weekend, "filled with fan and sponsor activities, is sold out as well." Ad revenue for last season’s All-Star programming "rose 30%" to $36.9M. TNT NBA halftime sponsor American Express "expanded its deal with Turner to also become the sponsor of the American Express Road Show," a four-day festival at L.A. Live near Staples Center. JBL is "sponsoring a basketball court where fans can show off their skills, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is hosting a mobile music studio and Tissot has put its brand on the 24-Second Challenge quiz contest." Turner has also "formed a partnership with Intel to provide a virtual reality version of the All-Star Game, the dunk contest and other activities." Meanwhile, viewers can "expect to see some of the ad format innovations popping up in sports programming, including picture-in-picture ads that don’t interrupt fans’ view of the arena, and six-second ads that also aim to be less disruptive." Many ad packages also "include Bleacher Report," which will "have a major presence" at the ASG (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 2/12 issue).
Marketing and Sponsorship
At least two organizations, including Comcast, have "suspended advertising" on Boston-based WEEI-FM following "racially insensitive comments" from host Christian Fauria over the weekend, according to Shirley Leung of the BOSTON GLOBE. Comcast and the City of Boston Credit Union have "pulled their campaigns, effectively immediately." Credit Union President Dan Waltz said this incident, as well as others recently involving station hosts, have "made it clear that the culture of the station is not reflective of our values of inclusion, acceptance and mutual respect." The credit union has been advertising with WEEI since '13. WEEI, whose hosts are "known for their shock-jock style, has over the years ticked off advertisers" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/13).
The LPGA has aligned with social media marketing platform Opendorse to aid more than 200 tour players with social media activations and create new revenue opportunities. The deal adds to an extension Opendorse signed last month with the NFLPA and represents the first major women’s sports property on the company’s roster. “The opportunity for our athletes to be more actively engaged in social and brand conversations is something that will enhance not just their storytelling but the LPGA overall,” LPGA Senior Dir of Social Media & Marketing Tina Barnes-Budd said.
Go Bowling has struck a one-off sponsorship deal with Stewart-Haas Racing that has yet to be announced, according to sources. NASCAR cars were on track and viewable to the public for the first time in ‘18 this past weekend for Daytona 500 practice and qualifying, and SHR’s No. 10 driven by Aric Almirola had a Go Bowling decal on its B-post. Sources confirmed that this is because SHR and Go Bowling have struck a partnership that includes one primary sponsorship. The B-post is the area on the car extending from the roofline to the base of the window behind the driver’s head that has several sponsor decals on it. Go Bowling recently announced it will title sponsor Watkins Glen Int'l’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in August, so Go Bowling’s deal with SHR is presumably for that race. Go Bowling is also title sponsoring an Xfinity Series race at Richmond in September that will come a few days after a PWBA Tour event is held on the track’s grounds.