By Terry Lefton & John Ourand
- The AVP is close to finalizing a deal with ESPN, ending an association with NBC that dates to 1990.
- As part of the time-buy agreement, ABC would carry four events, while ESPN2 will carry the rest of the AVP’s schedule, which has yet to be released.
By Jessica Collins
- U.S. short-track speedskater JR Celski may have won a Bronze Medal in Saturday’s 1500m event, but his Olympic dreams almost came to a crashing halt after he suffered a serious leg injury at the U.S. Championships in September.
- The 19-year-old, though, bounced back quickly, and the road to recovery presented a unique opportunity for some of his sponsors to activate around his comeback. “A lot of his sponsors are natural sponsors, like 24 Hour Fitness, that help him train and get back to where he is,” said Celski’s agent, The Agency Sports Management’s Brandon Swibel.
- 24 Hour Fitness CMO Tony Wells noted Celski’s story “represents our brand — the idea that something happens in your life that requires you to recommit yourself to an athletic or fitness-related goal.” Wells said Celski’s commitment, approachability and inspiring attitude is what attracted the company to want to sponsor him.
By Karlene Lukovitz
- Kraft Foods expects to realize annual pre-tax cost savings of at least $675 million by the end of 2012, some of which will be used to further increase advertising and consumer spending as a percentage of revenue, chairman/CEO Irene Rosenfeld reported during the company’s Q4/year-end fiscal 2009 earnings call on Tuesday.
- The global food giant increased advertising and consumer spending to 7.2% of net revenues in 2009, versus 6.7% in 2008, she pointed out. The increased advertising support for key brands, including the Philadelphia Cream Cheese “Spread a Little Love” and Miracle Whip “We Will Not Tone It Down” television campaigns, have been “extremely well received” and effective at building the brands’ franchises, Rosenfeld said.
- In addition, significant investments in improving the quality/taste of Kraft’s products since 2007 have enabled “improved alignment of price levels,” as consumers now prefer about two-thirds of Kraft’s products over the competition, versus the 44% that were preferred in 2006, she said.
By David Goetzl
- Multiple marketers, including Kraft, have recently spoken about lower pricing helping ad dollars go further in 2009. Now, Kellogg appears to be the first to signify that the more bang-for-buck trend will continue into 2010.
- That decision could be the result of pricing rollbacks in last summer’s upfront. Long-term deals made back then could benefit advertisers for the bulk of 2010.
- Kellogg COO John Bryant told analysts Wednesday that “media deflation” was mostly a boon in Europe in 2009. But in 2010, it will be titled toward the U.S. “due to the timing of the upfront buy.”
By Aaron Baar
- A few sponsors of the ongoing Winter Olympics are getting a boost (at least in terms of goodwill) out of their sponsorship … and so are their competitors. According to a survey from market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey in Boston, followers of the Winter Olympics correctly identified Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Visa as official sponsors of the Games. But many believed that companies such as Pepsi, Subway and American Express were also sponsors.
- “These are guys who have a big media presence, and it’s hard to get away from them,” Josh Mendelsohn, a vice president at Chadwick Martin Bailey, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s a good thing to sponsor, but you’re probably helping your chief competitor a bit.”
- Among the top sponsors, there is a wide discrepancy among official sponsors and mistaken sponsors. For instance, 60% of those surveyed named Coca-Cola as an official sponsor, while 51% named Visa and 46% cited McDonald’s. Beyond those three, however, the numbers drop off dramatically. Only 20% cited AT&T as an official sponsor; 12% named General Electric; 10% said Samsung and 7% named Panasonic.