Branding the World of Sports

Archive for the ‘Sponsorship Deals’ Category

More beer commercials during NFL games this season

Posted by ZA on July 26, 2010

Expect to see a lot more Miller Light & Coors Light beer commercials during games in the upcoming NFL season.  MillerCoors is coming into their last year as the official beer sponsor of the NFL, they will be replaced as official sponsor by Anheuser-Busch in April 2011.  So I expect that Coors Light and Miller Light will both crank up production of their marketing to try for one last grab of market share from the NFL audience.  I also expect that Anheuser-Busch’s marketing folks are already working on how they plan to make a big splash in 2011.  So the next two NFL seasons should be historic in-terms of how much beer rhetoric we (as fans) are exposed to.

A-B is going to be paying $200 million dollars per year to be the exclusive beer category sponsor of the NFL, so Bud & Bud Light will be working overtime to grab back NFL fans who might be drinking Coors Light or Miller Light now.  I wouldn’t even be surprised to see A-B start to introduce more beers from the InBev line to NFL fans.  Becks, Michelob and Rolling Rock might be positioned as the beer of choice for the NFL fan with a more discerning taste.

So get ready to watch the beer wars spill over onto our TV sets in the coming years.  I expect this sponsorship transition to produce more beer tug of war than the old Miller Light “Tastes Great vs Less Filling” commercials.

Posted in NFL, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NFL legal battle could change sports sponsorships

Posted by ZA on May 26, 2010

The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling against the NFL that could open the door for a land grab among brands that want to sponsor the league.  The court ruled that the NFL is not a single business, which means they are not covered by antitrust laws.  This AdAge article explains that the ruling means that Reebok’s leaguewide sponsorship might be in jeopardy if American Needle wins their case in Federal Court in Chicago.

My take is that the change (should American Needle win their case) will usher in an era where corporations will compete to attach their brands to the marquee teams in the league.  No longer will league wide sponsorship deals rule the day; they will still exist but won’t be prohibitive to competitors like they are today.  It means Nike & Adidas will line up the top teams and throw a lot of money at them.  Whichever company misses out on top teams will then likely strike deals with the next rung down of teams.  Which will leave the least successful teams (the small market teams in some sports) with last pick among the sponsorship deals.

But this potential change will also mean that new companies can bring into the sponsorship game for major professional leagues (think Jones Soda at Qwest Field, instead of Coke or Pepsi).  That variety will be good for the teams and ultimately provide a more competitive, balanced marketplace for team sponsorship deals.  So the Supreme Court decision was a step in the right direction, now let’s hope the court in Illinois agrees so we can open up more sponsorship opportunities.

Posted in NFL, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands | Leave a Comment »

BrandDunk in Final Four sponsorship article

Posted by ZA on February 21, 2010

Media Life Magazine ran an interesting article, by Diego Vasquez, on the cost and value of sponsorships at the NCAA Final Four.  The article focuses on the value that can be derived by “out of home” sponsorships at events like the Final Four.  And if you read down to the bottom, you’ll see a quote I contributed to the article.

“Certainly you’re getting your brand in front of a strong target market. In addition to the fans, there are also a lot of corporate types — a lot of influential people will be there. So if you’re setting up something like a fan experience outside of the arena, you’ll get great traction locally and get exposure among corporations entertaining clients, as well as the fans.” Zach Anderson, a marketer who runs the blog BrandDunk

Posted in College Basketball, College Sports, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Turkish Airlines signs Man U & Barca

Posted by ZA on January 22, 2010

Someone at Turkish Airlines should be getting a pat on the back this week because they signed two huge sponsorship deals.  The airline from Turkey signed up soccer powerhouses Manchester United and Barcelona in the same week.  Man U is the most recognizable team in the English Premiere League; Turkish Airline will become Man U’s “official carrier” replacing Air Asia.  Barca is the Spanish Premiere League Champions and another of the sports brands on the globe.  Turkish Airlines should greatly increase exposure for their brand in continental Europe and around the globe with these two deals.

Posted in Soccer, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands | 1 Comment »

Top sponsors for Summer & Winter Olympics

Posted by ZA on January 19, 2010

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a group of “Top” sponsors that commit to support the Olympics for 4 years (one Summer Olympics & one Winter Olympics).  Below are the top IOC sponsors for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2012 London Summer Olympics:

Current Olympics Top Sponsors (Vancouver 2010 & London 2012):
Atos Origin
General Electric

Each of these companies pay close to $100 million, in cash or in-kind services, to be a Top sponsor for the Olympic Games.  The IOC will pull in close to $1 billion dollars from these sponsors in Vancouver and London.  Many of these companies sponsored the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2008 Beijing Summer Games as well.  Adidas, Manulife Financial and Volkswagen were 2008 sponsors who dropped, while Acer and Atos Origin are new for the 2010 Games.

Here is the list of Top sponsors from the official Olympic site.

Posted in Olympics, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lance Armstrong rides alone in 2010

Posted by ZA on July 22, 2009

Lance Armstrong is going to ride for a new, Amercian-based sponsor when he suits up for the Tour de France in 2010.  Armstrong is heading to the new team, along with his long-time team manager, Johan Bruyneel.  Together the duo is sure to form one of the top cycling teams in the World.

The move is most likely a result of Lance not wanting to share the spotlight with his current teammate, Alberto Contador. The two star rides are on the same team (Astana) this year, which has caused a minor controversy about who should be the lead dog on the team.  Ultimately it seems that Armstrong conceded that power struggle to Contador and is helping his teammate to win the 2009 Tour de France.

I think when Lance returned this year, he might have initially thought playing a role in helping someone else win would be a good thing.  But I think Lance’s performance in the Tour has shown him that he’s still got what it takes to win the toughest race in the World…thus proving wrong some of the idiot writers that said he should race again (i.e.- me).

So even though the 2009 race is not yet complete, I am already looking forward to the huge rivalry that will take place next year.  I expect Armstrong and Contador to emerge as bitter rivals in 2010, both trying to defeat the other and win the race.  This year they both played nice and showed respect for each other because they are on the same team.  Next year, as opponents, I think the gloves will come off.

Lance knows he can win another Tour de France.  And now he knows that Alberto Contador might be the biggest thing standing in the way of that goal.  I’m hoping for a ride for the ages in 2010.  This year has been fantastic to watch, but the I just escape the feeling that Lance is conceding to Contador because they are teammates.  I want to see the two of them compete and hopefully watch Lance win.

Posted in Athletes, Sponsorship Deals | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Samsung renews sponsorship of Chelsea

Posted by ZA on July 16, 2009

One of the highest visibility team sponsorships in the World was renewed for another 3 years when Samsung extended their deal with Chelsea Football Club.  Chelsea is the English Premiere League juggernaut owned by Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich.  The team has a huge following throughout the world and has a roster full of some of the most famous names in the sport, including; Michael Ballack, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien.  Chelsea won the FA Cup in 2009 and is playing a series of exhibition matches (aka: friendlies) in the United States this Summer.  Including a huge, sold out, match with Italian team, AC Milan, in Baltimore on July 24th.  These traveling tours are a great opportunity for Samsung to stretch even more value out of their sponsorship of the football club.  Chelsea has worn kits sponsored by Samsung since 2005.

Posted in Soccer, Sponsorship Deals | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Citi Field is gorgeous, but has too many advertisements

Posted by ZA on July 1, 2009

I was in New York City last week for work and took the opportunity to visit the new home of the New York Mets, Citi Field.  I was a guest of our work partners, NBC Sports, so I was treated to fantastic seats in row 1 behind the visitor dugout.  The seats not only afforded a great view of the action on the field, they also provided access to the array of clubs in the stadium.  So I feel like I got a complete look at what Citi Field has to offer, and I came away extremely impressed.

I had heard from friends who have been to both new baseball stadiums in New York, that the aesthetics of Citi Field blow away those of new Yankee Stadium.  And after visiting the new stadium in Queens, I can see why people have been impressed with the Mets new home field.  The architecture is impressive, the views from the seats are all great and the amentities are all first-class.  But there was one thing I didn’t like; Citi Field has too much signage on the outfield walls.

I should start by saying that I’m an advocate of teams & stadiums doing sponsorship deals.  I believe they are an essential ingredient for teams/venues to make money today.  But I also think there is a fine line between effective stadium sponsorship deals and overkill.  The Mets and Citi Field have sold too many sponsor positions on their outfield wall.  It doesn’t detract from the game, but I don’t feel that having that many brands listed is doing their sponsors any favors.  Corporations buy these ad placements to promote their their brand, but few probably enjoy being squeezed in between dozens of other sponsor logos.  The clutter kills a lot of the effectiveness that could have been garnered from the sponsorship deals.  Overselling the space also puts name brand sponsors like Budweiser and Pepsi next to off-beat ads for, Buy US Gold, and the NYC union represented the construction workers who built Citi Field.  I’m sure execs from Anaheiser-Busch and Pepsico are not thrilled with their placements.

Below are photos of the abundant stadium signage at Citi Field in New York.  During a quick count of the sponsors on the outfield wall I counted over 30 different brands, including; Budweiser, Chevrolet, Dunkin Donuts, FoxBusiness, Geico, Pepsi, Planters, Subway & Verizon.

Citi Field has over 30 sponsors on outfield walls

Citi Field has over 30 sponsors on outfield walls

Too many ads are one of the only drawbacks of Citi Field

Too many ads are one of the only drawbacks of Citi Field

It was a great experience at Citi Field, but Mets executives should consider thinning out the number of sponsors they display so prominently on the outfield walls.

Posted in MLB, Sponsorship Deals, Stadium Signage, Venue Information | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Does anyone have more sponsors than Real Salt Lake?

Posted by ZA on June 12, 2009

Sponsorship deals are a way for professional sports teams to collect additional revenue, beyond ticket sales and concessions.  Large professional teams can bring in millions of dollars per year from these type of sponsorships.  But not every sponsorship deal is a revenue generator, many today are in-kind deals where a team trades sponsorship rights for services.  For example, a team might receive free, or reduced rate, airline travel by providing a sponsorship package to an airline.

These in-kind sponsorship deals are valuable for teams and the sponsors who receive them, but they are probably not going to get the same level of exposure that cash paying sponsors will receive.  But teams have plenty of sponsorship opportunities to sell, from naming rights deals on their stadium all the way down to logo inclusion in a game program.  With this plethora of opportunities to wheel and deal on trading services for sponsorships, many teams are cutting down on expenses by lining up a multitude of in-kind sponsors to cover many of their team needs (i.e.- expenses).

One professional team that is having success signing these in-kind sponsorships is Real Salt Lake.  Real is an MLS team that has deals with over 20 sponsors, with more than half of those being new for 2009.  Real Salt Lake has divided their sponsors into three categories based on dollars contributed (or traded) for their deal.  Real has landed a few sponsor partnerships which are offsetting costs associated with running a team or stadium.  Waste Management, Xinsurance, Cricket Wireless, Allied Sign and JetBlue are all sponsors of Real Salt Lake who can also provide a valuable service (in-kind) to the club.  By signing sponsors who can do that, the team can reduce their expenses.

These type of exchange of services sponsorship deals are nothing new.  In-fact I’ve traded tickets for sponsorships at events for well over a decade.  But with budgets tight in the current economy it makes a lot of sense for both teams and vendors to look into arrangements like this.

Real Salt Lake sponsorships:
Allied Sign
American First Credit Union
Burger King
Colonial Flag
Cricket Wireless
Fiji Water
Hoopes Vision
Les Olson Co
Mountain American Credit Union
Rocky Mountain Voice
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center
SCA paper
Siegfried & Jensen
Waste Management Inc
Workers Compensation Fund
Zions Bank
[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in Soccer, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Marketing, Stadium Pouring Rights, Stadium Signage, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fans immune to commercialization in sports?

Posted by ZA on April 22, 2009

Very nice piece by AdAge about the pros & cons of the branding that NBA and their partners have brought into the sport.  Are the sponsorships overkill in some cases?  Sure, they are sometimes pretty blatant but it does not interfere with the action on the court.  And it helps fund the teams, player contracts, fancy arenas and high quality television broadcasts that we all enjoy.  So in my opinion the sponsorships the NBA is doing are a necessary evil.


Do I prefer a game of “G-E-I-C-O” instead of the proper name “H-O-R-S-E”? No, but Geico stepped up to the plate to sponsor the event so they deserve the brand exposure.  I’m sure my casual opinion will not sit well with sports purists, but their indignation doesn’t pay the bills for the NBA, their teams or partners.  I’d rather embrace the quality of the sport (minus the lack of shooting ability in the NBA) than to focus on the brands helping fund it.

Posted in NBA, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »