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Volume 21 No. 2

Marketing and Sponsorship

David Palmer, Procter & Gamble director of global sports marketing, left the company at the end of October, and P&G hasn’t named a replacement.

Palmer, a 13-year marketer at the consumer packaged goods company, was one of 5,700 employees who took a company buyout offer.

David Palmer, who worked for the company for 13 years, took a buyout offer.
“I had a great time at P&G, learned a lot and worked with some really good people,” Palmer said. “Any time you make a decision like this, it’s something you think through. From a personal perspective and what I want to do in the future to grow and for my family, this is what’s right for me.”

Palmer joined P&G’s sports marketing group in 2008 after working for two years as a brand manager on Gillette’s personal care business. He assisted in negotiations on the company’s NFL and U.S. Olympic agreements.

After Jason Dial left P&G in 2010, Palmer was promoted to head of North America sports marketing. He led negotiations on P&G’s deal in 2010 to become a worldwide Olympics sponsor and a member of The Olympic Partner program. He went on to oversee the company’s Olympic marketing efforts, working with 22 brands across more than 180 countries worldwide. The effort was credited with helping deliver a $500 million increase in sales.

Palmer said he plans to take some time off and spend the holidays with his family.

He is based in Cincinnati. Three of his four children are in elementary school. He will begin looking for his next career opportunity next year.

“I’m going to look at the options and see what’s out there,” Palmer said. “It may be in sports. It may be in regular marketing. I have the ability to do both, and I just need to see what’s out there.”

Terry Lefton
Thanks to a lockout that has claimed more than a quarter of the NHL season and the Winter Classic, you won’t see any NHL hockey on NBC or NBC Sports Network any time soon.

However, the Peacock Network is airing The National Dog Show twice over this holiday weekend, including in a new prime-time slot on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

For the past 10 years, America’s most-watched dog show has held down a spot on NBC from noon to 2 p.m. ET on Turkey Day. Helped by a lead-in of NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Dog Show has performed like a champion, averaging a 5.3 rating and 19 million viewers. By way of comparison, the NHL regular season averaged a 1.0 rating and 1.58 million viewers on NBC last year. The Winter Classic was tops in the regular season, earning a 2.1 rating and 3.733 million viewers.

The National Dog Show has become a Thanksgiving afternoon tradition on NBC.
With NBC’s mystical series “Grimm” ending its fall season last Friday because of an early start right after NBC’s Olympic coverage, the network was looking for some programming on the Friday after Thanksgiving — so a doggie encore for the 177 breeds on display at this year’s show was set for prime time. Advertisers include presenting sponsor Purina, which gets vignettes and enhancements, along with retailers that are locked out of the Macy’s broadcast — including JCPenney, Kohl’s and Petco. Additional advertisers include Microsoft and Smucker’s.

“It has kind of become the little engine that could,’’ said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network, recalling colleagues’ barking in meetings and kidding about the “Doggie Olympics” when he first proposed the idea after watching the cult movie hit “Best in Show” in 2002. “We’re happy to help out our entertainment division.”

Miller was reluctant to predict a rating for the dog show’s move to prime time. And while the show hasn’t quite become the holiday staple that the

Macy’s parade is, Miller said, “It’s reached the point where I have 30-somethings telling me they’ve watched the dog show on Thanksgiving since they were a little kid. That can’t be true, but I’m not correcting them.”

> INDUSTRY MARCH: We have long said that the annual March of Dimes sports luncheon has more top-level sports marketers per square foot than any industry gathering. So anyone looking to influence the industry may never find a better room than the Waldorf-Astoria, which will host the 29th annual March of Dimes event on Nov. 28. As such, Allstate, looking to keep mayhem to a minimum, is back as presenting sponsor, while Anheuser-Busch is the luncheon sponsor.

No, we can’t figure out the difference either.

Also sponsoring the event at a top level is pretty much every sports league you can name, along with American Airlines, HBO Sports, the New York Mets and SportsNet NY, NBC Sports, YES Network, Turner Sports, and commercial real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

This year’s luncheon will honor New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg with a Sports Leadership Award, which comes amid the controversy surrounding the cancellation of this year’s NYC Marathon. MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti will receive an award for corporate leadership. On the athlete side, beach volleyballers Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, each of whom has three Olympic gold medals, will share Sportswoman of the Year. Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin will be honored as Sportsman of the Year.

> COMINGS & GOINGS: Molly Mullady Arbogast rejoins the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president, corporate partnership development. Since working for the team from 2000 to 2006 as director of new business development, Arbogast has been vice president of business development at the WNBA and, most recently, senior director of business development at Learfield Sports. … Stu Crystal, MLS vice president of marketing and consumer products, has quietly departed the league after 12 years. The handwriting on the wall presaging that move has been evident since February, when MLS hired Maribeth Towers to the new position of senior vice president of consumer products. Crystal, a former Starter and Adidas marketer, is consulting and looking at new opportunities.

Terry Lefton can be reached at