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Volume 23 No. 18
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Bank of America renews its big sponsorship with Yankees

B ank of America has quietly renewed one of its largest sports sponsorships, a deal with the New York Yankees that has some interesting history. The renewal adds six years to a longtime Yankees-BofA sponsorship and, as is the case across the industry these days, adjustments have been made in the new deal to add more talent, digital and social media inventory.

BofA’s baseball inventory includes league rights and more than a dozen MLB and minor league baseball team deals, aside from the Yanks, whom the bank has sponsored since 1994.

Just before the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, BofA was close to pulling the trigger on a “Premier Partnership” package that would have made the financial institution by far the largest sponsor of the new ballpark. However, with the recession, BofA receiving bailout money from the federal government (since repaid with interest), and Citi becoming the whipping boy for its naming-rights deal at the Mets’ new park, BofA changed course and did a more traditional deal.

> EIGHT-SIDED VICTORY: Octagon has won the business for implementation of Harman’s new four-year NBA rights deal, which includes the headphone and speaker categories and makes Harman the league’s official audio partner. The league deal, which also includes USA Basketball, WNBA and D-League rights, is expected to be supplemented by team sponsorships.

Creative Converting takes over the NFL licensed paper and party goods category from Hallmark..
Harman is promising to have NBA-licensed portable audio product to market by early next year.

> PAPERING A NEW DEAL: Creative Converting is in as the new NFL licensee in the paper and party goods categories, in which Hallmark was the longtime incumbent. With domestic manufacturing capabilities, Creative Converting can work with short lead times, which will enable it to supply hot market goods, and produce team-specific Super Bowl party goods for the first time, and have those products to retail eight or nine days before the game.

Andy Romjue, vice president of marketing, said his company is the No. 1 or No. 2 supplier in every channel distribution it serves, which includes mass, club, grocery and e-commerce.

Riding the wave of the mushrooming tailgating/homegating product category, the Clintonville, Wis., company has been producing some 60 collegiate-licensed paper party products since 2011 through licenses with Collegiate Licensing Co., Licensing Resource Group and others. Creative Converting is hoping to have its first NFL products to retail by mid-December.

Product categories include paper plates and platters, bowls, paper banners, plastic cups, napkins and table covers. Amscan remains the licensee for paper products through its chain of Party City stores; otherwise, Creative Converting has a de facto NFL exclusive.

> STILL MARCHING: Mark Messier, Michelle Wie, Howard Katz and Kevin Plank will be honored at the March of Dimes 31st annual Sports Luncheon on Dec. 3 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, an industry must. Katz, the NFL’s senior vice president of broadcast and media operations, and Under Armour founder Plank will be honored with the Sports Leadership and Corporate Leadership awards, respectively. Corporate patrons include luncheon sponsor Anheuser-Busch, along with the Brooklyn Nets, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, HBO Sports, Lagardère, MLB, MLS, NFL, NBA, NHL, NBC Sports, the PGA Tour, New York Mets/SportsNet NY, Taylor, Turner Sports, USTA, YES Network and WWE.

Terry Lefton can be reached at