Europe’s main club basketball competition is going to be renamed Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball after a ground-breaking sponsorship agreement signed by the airline and the league.
- Jockey announced the signing of Tim Tebow to a multi-year endorsement deal to endorse its line of products, including what it calls its new “Staycool” collection, which will hit stores in the spring of next year.
- It’s the brand’s biggest sports endorser since the company signed Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer to start posing in briefs exactly 30 years ago.
How far would you go for a job? Would you eat a bug or wash an elephant? Both those challenges were presented to two contenders for the title of social-media catalyst at golf juggernaut TaylorMade-Adidas. To test the social-media mettle of its two finalists, the company dispensed with round-robin interviews and luncheons and dispatched them on the ultimate job tryout: a 50-day, nine-country golfing trip chronicled on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. Along the way, the contenders must respond to interactive challenges that include everything from creating a viral commercial to participating in user-generated contests — such as eating a bug or washing an elephant on their most recent stop in Thailand.
And few people are more qualified to make sense of this turbulent and fascinating year than Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports since 2007. Mr. Levine leads a unit that not only represents more than 500 of the world’s most famous athletes, but is also active in the areas of corporate marketing, broadcast rights and sports-property sponsorship sales. Ad Age recently caught up with Mr. Levine for a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the sports world.
- Pricey sports sponsorships are often described as a casualty of the digital revolution. Why write a nine-figure check to be an official partner of the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics when a well-executed web video such as Nike’s “Write the Future” can score 20 million online views or associate a non-sponsor more strongly with an event than the companies that paid for the affiliation?
- Increasingly, mega-marketers are finding that the best way to make such sponsorships worth their considerable cost — and fend off well-executed ambush attempts — is to connect every activity related to the sponsorship to one big idea.
The chain is far from alone. Marketer interest in the NFL has been so strong that the league actually moved to reduce its number of sponsors to 21 for the upcoming season from 30 corporate partners in 2001 and 24 in 2008. The purpose was to avoid the sponsor-overload of, say, a Nascar, which has done a good job of delineating the categories for its partners so there are no conflicts but, nonetheless, still has 49 corporate sponsors.
The six official FIFA partners successfully fended off some good ambush-marketing tactics, and while most of the evidence is anecdotal in nature only 15 days after Spain’s victory over Holland, there is a cautious optimism that the sponsors — Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Sony, Hyundai/Kia and Emirates Airlines — got a big bang for their $125 million.
- The multi-season partnership extends LG’s current sponsorship of the F1, as a global partner and technology partner of the championship.
- Under the deal, LG will supply Red Bull Racing with its latest products at track and at the team’s headquarters.
Under the deal EA Sports branding will feature on all live on-screen broadcasts of Premier League matches – both domestically and internationally – and the company will work with the League’s broadcasters to enhance fan interaction elements of coverage through graphics, animations and other technology. EA’s video game license with the League has also been extended as part of the new deal.
- Hanes can’t get enough of Michael Jordan. The basketball pro is yet again the star of new ads in an ongoing campaign for men’s underwear, dubbed “Hanes Flight 23.”
- The TV spots, breaking this week, mark phase two of a Hanes campaign—via The Martin Agency—that kicked off in May. The ads highlight new underwear with Comfort Flex waistbands, which are more stretchable waistbands now included in all Hanes men’s briefs, boxers and boxer briefs.
- DirecTV Group Inc. is launching its biggest advertising campaign yet for its marquee property, NFL Sunday Ticket, as it faces mounting pressure from pay-television competitors increasingly offering rival NFL packages.
- The country’s largest satellite-TV operator will kick off next month an elaborate marketing campaign spanning television, magazines, radio and the Internet for its NFL package, which offers football fans every NFL game on Sunday afternoons for $300 a year.
- IMG Worldwide, a talent- and entertainment-management company that represents stars including Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, is buying ISP, a collegiate-sports marketing firm.
- The deal, said to be valued at between $80 million and $100 million, will make New York-based IMG by far the leading company that represents colleges and universities in their efforts to maximize revenue through media and marketing-rights deals.
- Thus far, college-sports marketing has proven to be a low-margin business. Even the biggest schools have profits that are a fraction of the top professional teams. But IMG is betting that buying ISP will give it a critical mass of high-profile collegiate properties it can package together, allowing college sports to compete with the major professional sports leagues for national marketing and sponsorship deals.
- Gatorade has signed a deal to be the title sponsor of the National Hockey League (NHL) Hockey Operations camp.
- The camp, which is scheduled to take place on the 18th and 19th August at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ practice facility, features over 30 prospects eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft, and will test a number of suggested rule changes and modifications to the NHL game or playing surface. Daily scrimmages will create live game-like situations with these variations.
- Freddie Couples didn’t win this year’s Masters. But what happened to the shoes he wore in Augusta through, and the subsequent demand for them, will be part of sports marketing lore.
- The fascinating story has its roots at a sales conference in January, when Ecco unveiled its spikeless Golf Street shoes