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Volume 25 No. 155

Marketing and Sponsorship

The ATP is launching a rebrand and new marketing campaign designed to pull in younger fans through social media and video content. The tour, which will now be known as just the ATP Tour and not the ATP World Tour, plans to produce over 3,000 videos for social media channels next year. “Our audience is getting older. When you go to the tournaments you can see particularly on site it does tend to be a bit older,” said ATP Senior VP/Marketing & Business Development George Ciz. “We are not worried about the next generation of players. ... We are thinking of this next generation of fans. The youngers one are a real key focus for us.” Ciz did not have audience age figures. SBJ in '17 reported that the ATP had the second oldest TV audience age, at 61, behind only the PGA Tour among major sports. The ATP will distribute a new video, featuring music from the band Slydigs, which jumps around feverishly from player to player in action. That video will be offered to the tour’s 63 tournaments and run on tour programming channels. Individualized player videos are also planned. The new logo features a player within the lettering of ATP, the first time the player has not been outside the lettering in an ATP logo. The last time the logo was changed was '09. The logo and content were created by Matta, London. The campaign will go live Jan. 1. Ciz emphasized the campaign is proactive. He said the business of the ATP has never been better, with revenues up 60% in the last five years.

Repole (r) said BodyArmor's goal is to become the No. 1 sports drink in the U.S. by 2025
Photo: BODYARMOR

For Coca-Cola, it "doesn’t much matter whether BodyArmor overtakes Powerade or ends up as a niche product," because the beverage giant is "happy to have a [Kobe Bryant] jockeying for space in the cooler with the same sharp elbows he once brought to the court," according to Ira Boudway of BLOOMBERG NEWS. It was Bryant who "came up with the concept" for BodyArmor’s recent ad campaign with the "cheeky tagline: 'Thanks Gatorade, we’ll take it from here.'" Bryant invested about $6M into BodyArmor and "owns roughly" 10% of the brand, which is a "distant but fast-rising third in the U.S. sports-drink market dominated by PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade." Coke acquired a "path to full ownership" of BodyArmor with its deal in August to buy a minority stake that also gives BodyArmor access to its bottling and distribution network." That Coke deal "made Bryant the brand’s fourth-largest shareholder," behind BodyArmor co-Founder & Chair Mike Repole, Coke and Keurig Dr Pepper. Repole said that the BodyArmor is "on pace" for $400M in sales this year. He said that the goal is to reach $1B in sales in the "next three years and become the No. 1 sports drink" by '25. Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins said that the idea is for BodyArmor to be a "premium offering while Powerade occupies the mainstream." This vision "varies from Bryant and Repole’s plan to topple the market leaders" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/12).

Shaquille O’Neal has signed a deal with Carnival Cruise Line to "open one of his Big Chicken eateries on the Carnival Radiance" in '20, according to Gene Sloan of USA TODAY. O'Neal already is the "face of Carnival in new advertising where he's billed as the cruise giant's chief fun officer." Carnival President Christine Duffy said of bringing O'Neal's restaurant on board, "He told me that he was doing this Big Chicken restaurant concept that he always had wanted to do, and that he had all these great fried chicken recipes. We said, 'we don't have a fried chicken place on our ships. We think this is something fun that our guests would really like.'" O'Neal's first Big Chicken restaurant "just opened in Las Vegas in late October and he plans more locations" in L.A. and Atlanta. Duffy said that Carnival brass and O'Neal "saw humor in the idea of a chicken-focused eatery on a cruise ship." Duffy said that they all had "lots of laughs" talking about canned seafood brand Chicken of the Sea. She said, "This is going to be our Chicken of the Sea, (but) no it is not tuna fish" (USATODAY.com, 11/12).