Daily Buzz 12-21-10

Gilt Groupe Builds Relationship With Dwell Media

  • Gilt Groupe is branching out again from its origins as a flash-sale site for women’s fashions with a deal to sell modern home plans from shelter magazine Dwell.
  • Dwell will sell 20 packages of prefab homes and architectural services by Massachusetts design firm Turkel Design. The three-day sale on Gilt runs this week. The package will sell for $12,500, which Dwell said is half the amount such a package would retail for.
  • Dwell Media president Michela O’Connor Abrams said the deal grew out of a conversation she had with Gilt chairman Susan Lyne at a Mediabistro event, where both were scheduled speakers. “We talked about private sales, and it started to percolate from there,” she said. While Dwell will share the revenue from the sales with Turkel and Gilt, the primary benefit is exposure for the brand, she said. “We know we do really well selling Dwell things.” (www.adweek.com)

XS Energy Drinks, Exclusively By Amway, Sponsor Free Miami Concert

  • Amway announced today that its XS brand of energy drinks will sponsor a free upcoming concert featuring Puerto Rican recording artist Tito “El Bambino.” The concert will take place December 17 at Grand Central in downtown Miami at 8 p.m.
  • “By hosting a free event with Tito “El Bambino” we hope to get Miami excited about our newest flavor of XS, Naranja Blast,” says Jori Hartwig, Vice President of Marketing for Amway North America. “The crowd at the event will have the chance to sample Naranja Blast’s sparkling orange flavor and get energized to enjoy the music.”
  • XS Naranja Blast is rich with B-vitamins and key amino acids without the level of sugar and carbs of other energy drinks. XS Energy Drinks provide a sugar-free alternative in the popular energy drink market. (www.sponsorship.com)

Sugar Land Skeeters Announce StarTex Power As Naming Rights Partner

  • StarTex Power, a Houston-based retail electricity provider, was announced today as the naming rights partner for the new $30 million local baseball stadium by the City of Sugar Land and the Sugar Land Skeeters, the new minor league baseball team. The stadium will be named “StarTex Power Field.”
  • StarTex Power Field, owned by the City of Sugar Land and located at the northeast corner of State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 90A, will be a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility built to Triple-A standards. The facility will include 21 suites, upper level club seating, year-round entertainment space, a picnic deck, extensive playground facilities and much more. Groundbreaking on the new ballpark is scheduled for the Spring of 2011, with opening day scheduled for April 2012.
  • “A naming rights partnership is a big commitment,” said Matt O’Brien, President of the Skeeters. “There was great interest from a variety of businesses, but StarTex Power was the best choice. Their reputation for high ethical standards, award-winning customer service, and commitment to the community makes them an ideal partner.” (www.sponsorship.com)

Harlem Globetrotters’ 4-Point Shots Help Provide Better Sight To Kids In Need

  • The Harlem Globetrotters will now bring the gift of vision to thousands of children in need throughout the world via a special partnership with team sponsor America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses and the global non-profit VisionSpring.
  • The Globetrotters, who announced on Dec. 2 they will implement the first-ever 4-point shot in basketball history for their 2011 “4 Times the Fun” Tour, will team with America’s Best to donate funding for four pairs of eyeglasses to VisionSpring for each 4-point shot they make throughout the tour. VisionSpring is a non-profit charitable organization that reduces poverty and generates opportunity by selling affordable eyeglasses across the developing world.
  • The partnership is estimated to provide more than 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses for children in need by the end of the Globetrotters’ 274-game, 220-city North American tour in April.
  • “The Harlem Globetrotters have been bringing smiles to children throughout the world for more than eight decades,” said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “And just as every kid deserves to smile, it’s an even more basic right for kids to be able to see properly. We’re proud to have great partners like America’s Best who are committed to making that happen, and thrilled that each 4-point shot we make can have an impact across the world.” Throughout the 2011 North American tour, which will travel to 220 cities in 46 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces between December 26 and April 17, every Globetrotters game will now feature two designated 4-point shooting spots on each side of midcourt, each located 35 feet from the basket (the spots are 12 feet beyond the NBA’s official 3-point line). (www.sponsorship.com)

World Financial Group Extends Its Title Sponsorship Of The Continental Cup Of Curling Through 2012, With Option For Third Year In 2013

  • World Financial Group (WFG), a financial organization dedicated to helping individuals and families identify their dreams and achieve financial independence, recently announced it has extended its contract as the title sponsor of the Continental Cup through 2012. WFG also has the option to extend the contract for a third year in 2013.
  • Now re-branded as the World Financial Group Continental Cup, this sponsorship allows the exciting curling event, staged annually by the World Curling Federation (WCF) and Canadian Curling Association (CCA), to continue and grow, as well as provide a competitive showcase for athletes, who dream of achieving greatness on the ice.
  • The 2011 World Financial Group Continental Cup takes place Jan. 13 – 16 in St. Albert, Edmonton. Often compared to golf’s Ryder Cup, the Continental Cup brings together the finest players in the world, competing in a unique challenge format — Team North America faces Team World in four different disciplines. (www.sponsorship.com)

Veterans Moving Forward Receives Corporate Sponsorship

  • Veterans Moving Forward, Inc. announces the receipt of its first major corporate sponsorship from DynCorp International. Veterans Moving Forward (VMF) is the only veteran-centric, non-profit foundation providing trained service dogs to veterans with physical and mental health challenges across the full spectrum of needs from comfort dogs to therapy dogs to assistance dogs.
  • “We are extremely thankful for DynCorp’s recognition of our vision to be the most effective and trusted resource for providing canine therapy for veterans”
  • “We are extremely thankful for DynCorp’s recognition of our vision to be the most effective and trusted resource for providing canine therapy for veterans,” said Karen Jeffries, Executive Director of Veterans Moving Forward. “We are very pleased to announce that our first assistance dog in training, Josh, is being sponsored by DynCorp, and we look forward to a mutually rewarding partnership with DynCorp over the next 18 months of Josh’s training.” (www.sponsorship.com)

‘Thanks & Giving’: Trump Hotel Collection Partners With St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital To Support Its Holiday Fundraising Campaign

  • Mindful of the true spirit of the season, Trump Hotel Collection today proudly announced its partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, giving its guests the opportunity to support the organization’s pioneering work. Through the charity’s Thanks & Giving program, from Nov. 26 through Dec. 25, 2010, guests staying at any Trump Hotel Collection property in New York (Central Park or SoHo), Chicago, Las Vegas or Waikiki will have the opportunity to make a donation of $5 or more at check-in.
  • Inspired by the success of the Eric Trump Foundation, which has raised nearly $2 million to date for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Thanks & Giving program is designed to build awareness and raise funds for the lifesaving research and treatment being done at St. Jude to help children fighting cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Trump Hotel Collection joins a growing movement of leading national brands from every business sector to support the cause.
  • In addition, throughout the year, guests who book online may automatically add a $5 donation to their reservation by clicking on the $5 Donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital box under the ENHANCE YOUR STAY option on all Trump Hotel Collection booking pages. (www.sponsorship.com)

Nivea Brushes Off AVP Setback, Seeks To Clean Up With Basketball

Its Nivea brand’s aborted title of the defunct AVP professional beach volleyball circuit hasn’t soured Beiersdorf, Inc. on sponsorship. The personal products marketer has signed a new partnership with the NBA New Jersey Nets on behalf of the Nivea for Men line and may expand the program to other teams if the tie is deemed a success. (www.sponsorship.com)

Hulu Puts IPO Idea on Back Burner, Focuses on Pay Video

  • Online video site Hulu LLC has taken off the table the idea of going public, at least for now, and may consider other financing options, people familiar with the matter said.
  • Hulu also is mulling new subscription plans that could broaden its pay-video offerings beyond the recently introduced Hulu Plus.
  • Hulu’s management had been looking at an IPO as a way to raise cash, in part to license additional to content from a wider array of media companies. The company has decided not to proceed with the idea right now and may pursue other options for capital instead, the people familiar with the matter said. Those could include Hulu’s existing owners putting in more money, one of these people said. (www.wsj.com)

NBA nets American Express partnership

  • The contract with the North American basketball league will also ensure the credit card company supports USA Basketball, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. USA Basketball is the national governing body for men’s and women’s basketball.
  • Financial terms and the length of the deal have not been disclosed, but the New York-based company and the NBA did previously have a marketing partnership from 1995 to 2005.
  • As the league’s official credit card partner, American Express will offer card members special deals and access to games and other events. (www.sportsbusiness.com)

Ganassi expands with new drivers and sponsors

  • One of Indycar’s most successful teams, Chip Ganassi Racing, is to expand, with new sponsorship, following confirmation that Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimbell have signed for the team for the 2011 season.
  • Rahal, son of former Indycar champion Bobby Rahal, will drive for a newly created team under the Chip Ganassi banner. It will be called Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing, after one of the brands in the TBC Retail Group which signed a multi-year deal to sponsor Rahal in October. Service Central is an automotive service provicer.
  • Orland Wolford, chief executive of Service Central, said: “It’s an excellent opportunity for us to start a new team and showcase our brands; Service Central, Tire Kingdom, NTB, Big O Tires and Merchants Tire. (www.sportspromedia.com)

Humana sponsors Armed Forces Bowl

  • Health insurance company Humana Military Healthcare Services has announced its sponsorship of the 2010 Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
  • “Humana Military is honoured to be one of this year’s sponsors of the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl,” said Dave Baker, president and chief executive officer of Humana Military. “I am especially delighted to host recovering and wounded service members stationed in Texas. All of us at Humana Military saluted these American heroes. We hope this year’s game provides them with some holiday fun and helps with their recovery.” (ww.mediapost.com)

Suzuki Motorcycles Pitches Urban Kids With Busa Beats

  • The company has been rethinking that notion when it comes to its sport bike lineup by pitching directly to the multicultural, urban market melting pot with an integrated marketing program around music and street culture that is more like the kind of marketing automakers have been doing for brands like Scion and Honda Civic than anything motorcycle makers have ever done.
  • The effort, Busa Beats (BusaBeats.com), via AOR San Francisco-based digital agency Questus, centers on a social media hub and virtual recording studio for would-be rappers to choose from an array of beats to use as backing tracks for their own rhymes. The point of it all is that the best rhyme-smith wins a Suzuki Hayabusa sport bike. The catch is that the rhymes have to be about the Hayabusa (thus “BusaBeats”).
  • The competition, which is heading into its third year, culminates in a virtual “MC Battle” with winners chosen by popular vote and a panel of MC (not “motorcycle club”) judges. The winner also appears at Suzuki events across the country, and in one case went on to sign a record deal.
  • Questus founding partner Jeff Rosenblum says the ultimate goal is to reach a discrete audience, “and communicate with them in way that’s more emotionally driven than any way spoken before by bike manufacturers. This is different in a lot of ways from how motorcycle manufacturers tend to treat audiences — namely in a monolithic way, by market segment,” he says. (www.mediapost.com)

 Everlast Moves Beyond Fighting, Signs With Sears

  • Everlast, a 100-year-old brand best known for its boxing prowess, has signed a long-term licensing deal with Sears Holdings for apparel, footwear and accessories for men, women and kids. The Everlast line will be available in Sears, while Everlast Sport will be sold in the company’s Kmart stores. (The brands will also be available online.) The lines are scheduled to go on sale next year, and be supported with national advertising, as well as social media and sports marketing efforts.
  • The deal comes at a time when Everlast is expanding its reach in the U.S., Neil Morton, CEO, tells Marketing Daily. The brand’s growth has been driven in part by the explosion of mixed martial arts fighting, and leagues like UFC. “Everlast’s heritage is a fight sports brand, and we produce the best equipment you can train with. We have worked very hard not to be just a boxing brand.”
  • Crossing over into other areas has been fairly easy because of that authenticity, he says. “Now, around the world, the brand is better known as an apparel brand. We’ve got around $500 million in global sales, and 80% of that is in apparel and footwear. But in the U.S., it’s been just the opposite.” Partnering with Sears, he says, will allow it to reach out to a broader group of consumers.
  • “The main audience will continue to be the fitness enthusiast,” Adam Geisler, president, tells Marketing Daily. The first of the new products will be in stores in the spring as a soft launch, he says, “and the major push will be the second half of 2011, beginning in the fall.” (www.mediapost.com)

Gorton’s, Ortega Team On Fish Taco Promo

  • Two brands owned by separate companies, Gorton’s Seafood and B&G Foods, Inc.’s Ortega Mexican Food Products, have partnered to leverage the current popularity of fish tacos.
  • The brands have created a co-branded Web site and an online food contest.
  • The site, we lovefishtacos.com, includes fish taco recipes that combine Gorton’s and Ortega products, as well as the contest.
  • The “Fish Taco Fiesta Challenge” asked consumers to compete by entering recipes for their favorite taco toppings or a tip on creating an at-home “fish taco fiesta,” plus a photo. (www.mediapost.com)

Lipton Partners with Stickybits and Urban Artists to Promote Lipton Brisk Tea

  • Lipton Brisk has been launched in new 24 oz cans across US. Just in time for that event, Lipton partnered with Stickybits, a NY-based provider of innovative digital solutions to present a creative promotional campaign  for the newly-unveiled package.
  • StickyBits commisioned a team of urban artists in NY and Los Angeles who painted 2 murals in each city. The graphics are heavily inspired by Lipton Brisk graphical design, yet each of 4 mural paintings contains a huge barcode. By scanning it with a handheld device, the user will be shown a video of the mural being painted. Afterwards, a customer will be prompted to scan a can of Lipton (of course, they need to buy it before!:)) in order to win an Xbox 360 gaming console. (www.popsop.com)
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