NBA Draft prospect Trae Young and his team of advisors will "listen to sneaker endorsement pitches from companies beginning next week" in L.A., as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Puma are "all expected to present, with Young already having developed a level of familiarity with each brand," according to Nick DePaula of ESPN.com. Young "hosted an Under Armour exec for a private workout last month before grabbing dinner with his family and the exec later that evening." The next day, Young "worked out in front of Adidas reps." Nike's sports marketing group "checked out a workout as well." The sessions "not only served as an opportunity to get familiar with potential partners but also allowed him to test each company's latest sneakers." Puma "plans to present Young with a prototype of its upcoming fall basketball sneaker this week in advance of its official pitch." Then the Puma team "will showcase its marketing plans, future product concepts, growth strategy and an overview of how the brand plans to re-engage in basketball." Puma has "largely been removed from the NBA in this millennium." Octagon's Omar Wilkes, one of the agents representing Young, noted this is Puma's "first real foray back into basketball" since '98 with Vince Carter. Sources said that Puma "would look to supplement the signing of Young with a batch of established NBA players headed toward sneaker free agency later this fall." But at Under Armour, Young "would have the chance to join a brand that features his longtime idol Stephen Curry" (ESPN.com, 5/15).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Fox is ramping up its "The World Becomes the FIFA World Cup" ad campaign 30 days out from the start of the tournament in Russia. A new ad, "This Summer," rolls out today across multiple Fox-owned TV networks. The spot stars David Beckham, USWNT F Alex Morgan, Evander Holyfield, 76ers C Joel Embiid and actor Ryan Reynolds, who appears as the title character from his new film "Deadpool 2." In a nod to the famous incident of Mike Tyson biting his ear, Holyfield watches Uruguay F Luis Suarez, who is known for biting players, and critiques his past controversial tactics (Fox Sports). CREATIVITY-ONLINE's I-Hsien Sherwood noted the 90-second "star-studded spot ... plays up the amazing things to come" in the event. Argentina F Lionel Messi "becomes an anime' god' with blue hair," while EPL club Manchester United teammates Marcus Rashford (England) and Anthony Martial (France) "become rivals as avatars" in the EA Sports "FIFA" video game. Other spots in the campaign "touch on Mexico's 'curse,'" the rivalry between Messi and Portugal F Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo's scoring ability. The main ad will run tonight during TNT's coverage of Warriors-Rockets Western Conference Finals Game 2 (CREATIVITY-ONLINE.com, 5/15).
Wisconsin-based convenience store chain Kwik Trip in a new deal with the Packers has "replaced Verizon as a gate sponsor" at Lambeau Field, and its Cafe Karuba coffee and hot chocolate "will be sold throughout the stadium," according to a front-page piece by Ryman & Bollier of the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. The Kwik Rewards program "will include" Packers-related deals, and the chain also will "sponsor the Instant Win Tower at the Lambeau Field Live traveling exhibit that is part of the Packers' 100 Seasons celebration." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said that gate sponsorships "do not open up often and are a key revenue generator for the team." Ryman & Bollier note the Packers and Kwik Trip, which has "expanded aggressively" throughout Wisconsin recently, "worked together on a marketing deal last year." Murphy: "We won’t sell naming rights for the stadium as long as I’m here, so this is a way to build up partnerships" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 5/16).
Biotech firm Amgen is "renewing its title sponsorship of the Tour of California in a multiyear deal with North America's highest-profile cycling event." Amgen has been a "prominent supporter" of the AEG-owned race since its inaugural edition in '06. The extension includes "collaboration on a program teaching elementary school students about healthy lifestyles and bike safety." The seven-stage Amgen Tour of California is currently underway and concludes Saturday (AP, 5/16).
NAME GAME: Mitchell & Ness has "collaborated with designer Don C on some vintage NBA jerseys" as part of the “No-Name Collection." There are six NBA teams "represented in the part of the collection," with the T'Wolves’ "'tree' era jerseys ... among them." All that is on the jerseys "aside from labels are the small green border trees and an NBA logo." There are neither team names nor players names (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/16).
FAMILY FUN: Philadelphia-based deli brand Dietz & Watson's marketing team tapped Tennis HOFer Andy Roddick and wife Brooklyn Decker as the "faces of the 'It’s a family thing' campaign." In their first national push for the brand, the creative team "created TV spots, print, digital and out-of-home built around charming, fun and ultimately real family moments." The centerpiece is a spot called “Game Night” featuring Roddick and Decker’s "attempt to salvage a night of friendly competition after friends cancel" (ADWEEK.com, 5/15).