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Sponsorships Gear Up for New NFL Season

We have teamed up with Ben Sturner and his extraordinary crew at Leverage Agency to bring you the top five movers and shakers each week in the world of sports sponsorships and marketing.

Visa Kicks Off Another Season With NFL Sponsorship

Visa is going into  its 15th year of sponsorship with the NFL and has new marketing plans including greater emphasis on local teams.

Visa has become the exclusive payment services sponsor of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans — adding to its roster that already includes the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers.

Visa is the preferred card for ticket sales, concessions and merchandise and will have point-of-sale branding online and at all team payment terminals within the stadiums, including concession areas and team shops of 13 NFL teams.

Guinness Challenges Fans to Go ‘Head to Head’ With Jerome Bettis

Guinness® launched the Guinness Pro Challenge, a national contest to find consumers bold enough to go head-to-head with professional football legend Jerome “The Bus” Bettis. Consumers can share their most memorable athletic moment of character and courage at for the chance to win a trip to Dallas the week of pro football’s post-season finale and take on Bettis in a head-to-head Guinness pint pouring competition.

Between now and October 31 U.S. residents, who are at least 21 years of age at the time of entry, can visit the website and detail in 100 words or less a moment where they boldly stepped up to face an athletic challenge and persevered. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity and adherence to the theme; and one grand prize winner will be chosen.

JPMorgan Chase’s MSG blockbuster

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a massive sponsorship deal with Madison Square Garden worth at least $30 million a year, which stands as the most lucrative annual building/team sponsorship agreement to date.

Multiple sources confirmed the top-level deal valued at $300 million over 10 years or more in securing rights to almost every asset in the Garden, which is undergoing an $800 million phased renovation with final completion expected by 2013. The precise timing of when the deal starts and the nature of Chase’s broad financial services rights could not be learned, but they are expected to include naming rights to areas inside the Garden, as well as a significant media component.

EA Enlists Wayne Gretzky To Sell ‘NHL Slapshot’

To advertise its first hockey game for the Wii gaming system, NHL Slapshot, EA Sports envisions what it’s like for Wayne Gretzky to be out of the action but wanting to be in it at the same time. A television spot, breaking this week, shows Gretzky watching an NHL game, stick in hand. As plays are made, Gretzky swings, destroying multiple items in his living room.

A housekeeper, obviously disgusted by the repeated destruction, plugs in the Wii game and gives him the game’s hockey-stick game controller (which is much smaller than a real stick). Gretzky and a young opponent (also supplied by the housekeeper) play the game with little further household destruction. The tagline is: “Authentic Hockey Action. Wii Hockey Stick.”

Canadian Solar And San Francisco Giants Announce Partnership

Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “we” or “Canadian Solar”), one of the world’s largest solar companies, announced today that it has become a sponsor of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. As part of the partnership, Canadian Solar and the Giants will launch the “Score with Canadian Solar” sweepstakes. Baseball and solar fans can go online at to enter to win Giants tickets, authentic Major League baseballs autographed by a current Giants player and free solar installation quotes.

The San Francisco Giants are leaders in green business practices, making AT&T Park the first Major League ballpark to receive U.S Green Building Council certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (EBO&M). The Giants have also led endeavors in water and energy efficiency and recycling and compost practices, including use of solar electricity, a stringent waste recycling system and a smart water system.


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