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Volume 25 No. 29

Marketing and Sponsorship

Much of Fox' ad inventory for the FIFA World Cup in Russia is "already spoken for, as the 48 matches that comprise the initial Group Stage of the tournament are sold out, while only a handful of spots in the eight Knockout Round matches remain up for grabs," according to Anthony Crupi of AD AGE. The World Cup has been a "must-buy for usual suspects" like official FIFA partners A-B InBev, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Adidas. Financial services, tech and movie money is "also pouring in." Additionally, media buyers said that a "good deal of studio investment that originally had been earmarked for an extended NBA Finals run was diverted" to the World Cup. ESPN/ABC pulled in $187M in ad sales for the '14 World Cup in Brazil due to a schedule that "placed 10 matches on ABC," while Fox will "air no fewer than 38 matches on its flagship broadcast net." Network TV's more expansive reach allows Fox Sports Senior VP/Ad Sales Mike Petruzzi and his team to "command a higher rate for inventory in the matches that will air on Fox." Meanwhile, Petruzzi said that while Microsoft, a "key spender" in '14, "decided to sit out this World Cup, Amazon and Google 'have come up big in supporting roles.'" Petruzzi also said first-time World Cup advertiser Slack, repping the tech category, has "a significant buy in place." Financial services brands buying time in Fox' coverage of the World Cup "include E-Trade, Quicken Loans, SoFi and Wells Fargo." Among the studio partnerships Fox has lined up are a "Group Stage deal with Universal Pictures' 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' and an upcoming execution with Amazon Studios' espionage thriller 'Jack Ryan.'" Verizon has "signed on to sponsor the halftime show," while Volkswagen is "backing the postgame coverage" (ADAGE.com, 6/13).

J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth predicted the FIFA World Cup, which starts tomorrow, will benefit Twitter's ad sales "as a result of its 'real-time highlights' video partnership with Fox Sports," according to Tae Kim of CNBC.com. This comes as J.P. Morgan "raised its price target" for the social media platform's shares, "citing improving conversations with advertisers." Anmuth: "Twitter is uniquely positioned as the real-time broadcast and communications network, making it complementary to all other forms of media, including TV. Twitter is also well positioned to benefit from the large shift in dollars toward mobile and native" (CNBC.com, 6/12). MARKETWATCH's Emily Bary notes under its deal with Fox Sports, Twitter will "upload video footage of all goals scored 'within seconds' and produce both pre-game shows and clips with player interviews." MKM Partners analyst Rob Sanderson last week noted the '14 World Cup in Brazil "likely" brought in about $24M in incremental Q2 revenue for Twitter, and this year's tourney "could be an 'even bigger deal' this year, as consensus estimates seem to be calling for an incremental" $30M boost. Sanderson also pointed out that Twitter is "now generating nearly half its revenue from international markets, compared with just a third" in '14 (MARKETWATCH.com, 6/13).

WHOLE NEW WORLD: FAST COMPANY's Jeff Beer noted Twitter Head of Brand Strategy Alex Josephson "warns against any marketer waiting for their own perfect World Cup moment." Josephson: "Some brands can serendipitously react to a moment in real-time and get a bunch of earned media, but the reality is you can't allow that to be your strategy. You need to know why you're investing money and time into the World Cup as a brand. What are you trying to achieve? What we're trying to work with brands on is figuring out what their consumers are expecting." Twitter noted the number of soccer videos shared on its site is "up 140%" year over year. Twitter during the '14 World Cup from Brazil only had a "native video platform for about six months, and brands weren't very active yet." Now there are "more than a billion video views of content published by brands on Twitter every day." One thing Josephson "anticipates is more brands playing amid fan behavior of using Twitter as their second screen and getting creative with synchronization." Josephson: "Look at Tide's work during the Super Bowl as a prime example of that, and what we're likely to see more of during the World Cup" (FASTCOMPANY.com, 6/12).

FOOD FIGHT: ADWEEK's Lindsay Rittenhouse noted Twitter last week, "armed with a food truck, games and a spin-to-win prize wheel," visited various media agencies in N.Y. to "garner support for its live video specifically around sports, as tweets about the NBA Finals and FIFA World Cup were trending" (ADWEEK.com, 6/12).

Nike will pay Boise Stae $12.16M over the course of the deal, a 54% increase over the current contract
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Boise State athletics will "remain a Nike-affiliated program" through '25, as the school "will extend its current deal" for six years, according to Dave Southorn of the IDAHO STATESMAN. Nike will pay BSU $12.16M over the course of the deal, which is a 54% "increase over the current six-year contract and includes cash compensation and products for each of Boise State's 20 varsity programs." BSU and Nike previously agreed to a six-year extension in '13 that paid $7.9M in product "over the course of the deal." The new extension is the Mountain West Conference's "most lucrative." Three of the football-playing MWC schools "have deals with Adidas (Nevada, San Jose State and Wyoming), two are Under Armour (Colorado State and Hawaii), and the other seven have Nike contracts." BSU football "has been affiliated with Nike" since '03 (IDAHO STATESMAN, 6/13).

A hand clutching a trophy has a scroll that reads "MMII" or '02, the year Undefeated was established

Nike and Undefeated, an L.A.-based sneaker boutique, "released the logo for their new collaborative soccer apparel," and it "looks an awful lot like the Naval Academy coat of arms," according to Danielle Ohl of the BALTIMORE SUN. The Undefeated "tweeted out a picture of the new logo for 'The Fives' apparel line Monday -- it features a shield with five tally marks flanked by columns." The shield is "surrounded be a scroll reading 'Respect All,' 'Fear None,' 'The Fives,' and 'Los Angeles.'" A hand "extends above the tallies to clutch a trophy adorned with a Nike logo and another scroll reading 'MMII'" or '02, the year Undefeated was established. The Naval Academy coat of arms, adopted in 1899, features a shield "flanked by columns, surrounded by a scroll, with a hand extending from the top and clutching a trident." A spokesperson for Under Armour, the apparel provider for Navy, said that their "legal team is reviewing the use, but deferred to the academy, as the seal is not an Under Armour trademark" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 6/12).

Michelob Ultra has partnered with the USGA for this year's U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island. The partnership includes promotion of the event in the greater N.Y. area and integration in Top of the Hill, an on-site fan hospitality space. Michelob Ultra has also partnered with defending champion Brooks Koepka (Michelob Ultra).

SILLY GOOSE: In Detroit, Kurt Nagl noted the Tigers introduced a "new line of apparel inspired by Rally Goose, the team's newly-adopted secondary mascot" whose attempt to leave Comerica Park went viral recently. Sold at Comerica Park's D Shop, different styles of T-shirts for men and women "start at $35 and Rally Goose patches are $15." Caps, kids' clothes, novelty items and collectibles are "in the works" (CRAINSDETROIT.com, 6/12).

SPREADING THE WORD: In K.C., Aaron Randle noted Chiefs TE Travis Kelce has decided to "partner with healthcare provider Cigna to help amplify the public conversation around opioid awareness and talk about preventive solutions." The Cigna program "offers resources and tools aimed at educating people on the dangers of opioids and introducing those at risk to preventive methods" (K.C. STAR, 6/12).

FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: In Philadelphia, John George noted the NLL Philadelphia Wings have "entered their first founding partner deal." The Wings "formed a corporate partnership" with New Jersey-based Inspira Health Network that will include the health system having its "name appear" on the team’s home uniforms. Financial terms of the five-year deal are "confidential" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/12).