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Volume 25 No. 26

Marketing and Sponsorship

Overall sales of the Capitals championship merchandise are up 25% over last year
Photo: CAPITALS

It took the Capitals 44 years to win their first Stanley Cup, and the team's fans are showing that there is no demand like pent-up demand. Less than five full days after the Caps beat the Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup Final, online hot market sales are already being called the best ever, with the first few days after the clincher establishing NHL e-commerce records. Overall sales of championship products are up 25% over last year’s win by the Penguins, which was their second straight Cup. Championship merchandise online sales, which include NHL.com and the Caps team site, are up better than 130%. Both the Caps and Golden Knights hit record venue sales, with unprecedented increases in per cap merchandise spending of nearly 75%. Overall championship sales are on track to make it a top five Stanley Cup hot market, a category paced by championships for the Blackhawks in '10 and the Rangers in '94 ending long droughts. Other than long pent-up demand, NHL Exec VP/Marketing Brian Jennings attributed strong sales to a combination of factors. That includes LW Alex Ovechkin finally winning a championship, a beloved owner in Ted Leonsis and a balanced mix of Caps players from around the globe. “It’s a championship with all the right ingredients,’’ Jennings said. Top-selling items on NHL.com, Fanatics.com, and the Caps team site, all administered by Fanatics, are the company’s championship T-shirts and caps. Fanatics has its NASCAR “haulers” on the parade route today in DC selling merchandise.

Lexus is creating the Lexus Performance Experience with interactive experiences, prizes and photo ops
Photo: USGA

The USGA’s four sponsors -- Lexus, Deloitte, AmEx and Rolex -- are rolling out activations as the U.S. Open begins Thursday at Shinnecock Hills outside N.Y. One new activation this year includes Deloitte’s sponsorship of the U.S. Open Virtual Experience, which uses VR headsets that allows interactive views of the famed Shinnecock clubhouse Trophy Room as well as a 360-degree, first-person perspective of Corey Pavin’s famous 18th hole finish in the '95 event. Other elements include virtual views of the 7th hole, along with history and architecture elements of the clubhouse. Lexus is creating the Lexus Performance Experience that also includes interactive experiences, including a hole-in-one challenge for an opportunity to win a two-year lease of a '18 Lexus RX 350L, photo ops with the U.S. Open Trophy and autograph signings with Lexus Golf ambassadors Jason Day, Peter Jacobsen and Johnny Miller. Rolex is the sponsor of the USGA’s new “Celebration of Champions," a four-hole public exhibition to be held today at Shinnecock Hills. The exhibition will pair '17 USGA champions as two-player teams with FS1 to broadcast the foursomes of the exhibition. AmEx will have fan services at three locations throughout the course, where fans can charge their phones, get championship information and pick up a radio during championship rounds. AmEx cardmembers also will receive a variety of additional offers and experiences, including access to the AmEx Card Member Club that includes food and beverage for purchase.

KEEPING THINGS MANAGEABLE: Deloitte last month renewed its deal with the USGA, and USGA CEO Mike Davis said the organization is being very deliberate about adding any additional corporate partners. “We’ve talked about it for years,” he said. “We are not against adding another partner or two, but it has got to be something that works for us. We get approached quite often. When we look at it, we are very selective. We want a partner for many decades.” Davis also added that the USGA will limit attendance at Shinnecock Hills to about 30,000 fans per day of the event. Attendance last year at Erin Hills in Wisconsin was limited to 35,000 fans per day. “It starts with what will it take for a good experience for people,” he said. “We modify the number based on the venue.”

The NBCU Hispanic Group has met its advertising revenue goal of $225M for the ‘18 FIFA World Cup while virtually fulfilling all of its inventory. NBCU Exec VP/Lifestyle & Hispanic Advertising Sales Laura Molen said the net can still make some advertising positions available as the tournament progresses, but that all major advertising categories will be featured alongside its coverage. She noted specific interest from marketers in the studios and technology categories (Ian Thomas, Staff Writer).

Cantor said he hopes he will be able to attract people that did not like soccer before
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

SHOT CALLER: The AP's Ronald Blum noted Telemundo "wants to attract viewers with a different sound" during the World Cup by utilizing broadcaster Andrés Cantor's memorable calls. NBC aired a 10-second ad of Cantor "shouting 'Goal!' during the Super Bowl" and he called a goal by Wild C Eric Staal during an NHL telecast on NBC. Additionally, NBC's Arlo White "did a Cantor impersonation during the final weekend of NBC's Premier League coverage in May." Cantor said he hopes he attracts "people that didn't like soccer before, [who were not] that enthusiastic about soccer because they thought it was a boring, low-scoring game." Telemundo Deportes Senior VP/Brand & Content Development Bill Bergofin said that World Cup coverage will be "promoted on 'Today,' 'NBC Nightly News,' 'Late Night with Seth Meyers,' 'Morning Joe' and even Syfy -- outlets Univision never had available." Telemundo will "broadcast every match from Russia" (AP, 6/11).

LANGUAGE SPECIFIC: NBCU will air select World Cup games in Spanish on NBCSN, in addition to the previously announced coverage across its networks. NBCSN currently has Sunday’s Brazil-Switzerland match on its TV listings, and Molen said it may also feature the Mexico-Germany game, as well as other big matches throughout the tournament (Thomas).

Wimbledon's agency of record, McCann, London, has created some "beautiful new animated work" celebrating the Grand Slam event's history, and the trailer is an "amuse-bouche to a broader creative content play" that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the All England Club, according to Doug Zanger of ADWEEK. The timeline -- from "bedecked-in-long-pants-and-dresses through to the TV age and more contemporary winners like Billie Jean King, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and others -- is both anthemic and epic, befitting a tournament of such stature." The work is also a "continuation of Wimbledon’s 'In Pursuit of Greatness,' brand position, which is in its third year" (ADWEEK.com, 6/11). In London, Kyle O'Brien notes three versions of the trailer with "different player combinations have been produced for various broadcast and fan markets, and the trailer will be followed by a series of content films rolled out across social media that focus in greater depth on three key areas of Wimbledon: the gardens, the Ticket Resale Scheme and the famous Queue" (THEDRUM.com, 6/12).