Business & Pleasure of Sports: Enhancing understanding and enjoyment of the games, teams and athletes | Sun Sentinel blogs

The Business & Pleasure of Sports

previous September 2007 | Main | November 2007 previous

October 30, 2007

Measuring corporate sponsorship in London

Bridgestone definitely got exposure for title sponsoring the first regular season NFL game outside North America as the "Bridgestone International Series."

But other companies cashed in, too, at Sunday’s Dolphins-New York Giants game at London’s Wembley Stadium, according to Joyce Julius & Associates, the Michigan firm that measures the impact of corporate sponsorship.

In keeping with European tradition, company names appeared on rotational signage on the sidelines at Wembley – something that isn’t allowed at NFL stadiums in the U.S.

According to the Joyce Julius research, the six sponsoring companies – Bridgestone, Canon, Chevrolet, Coors Light, Reebok and Visa -- combined for a total of nearly 8 minutes (7:54) exposure time or the equivalent of $3.55 million. The company measured the TV exposure time against the cost of a 30-second commercial during Fox’s broadcast of the game.

Bridgestone beat the other companies handily with 3:35 minutes of screen time or $1.6 million of exposure, the report said.


Discuss this entry

October 26, 2007

Letter inspires new Dwyane Wade Converse campaign

A love letter to basketball that Heat guard Dwyane Wade penned last summer inspired this year’s Converse ad campaign, called “From Robbins, Illinois.”

Wade wrote the little note as he was recovering from surgery, which reminded him of the last time he wasn’t playing basketball: 2000-01, his first year at Marquette when he had to sit out.

“I did everything in my power to take you with me, but you didn’t wanna go,” Wade’s note says. “You said I needed to become a man and that I counted on you way too much … so you left me – feeling unsure, unloved and confused.”

The ad for Wade’s newest shoe, the Wade 3, was shot last month at AmericanAirlines Arena and will begin airing Sunday, including during the Dolphins-New York Giants game from London. It shows Wade alone at the arena pretending to play basketball, walking up the arena steps to a broadcast booth, flipping on the microphone and announcing a line from his letter: “From Robbins, Illinois, 6 foot 4 Guard … Dwyane Wade.”

The shoe, which costs $100, goes on sale Nov. 3, natch. It’s signature Wade with 33 triangles, including the spine of triangles on the shoe’s heel and along its sole.

Here's the text of Wade's letter:

In the summer of 2000-2001, high school had ended and it was time for college. I did everything in my power to take you with me, but you didn't wanna go. You said I needed to become a man and that I counted on you way too you left me - feeling unsure, unloved and confused. How could you not love me anymore?

You’ve had my heart since I first laid eyes on you. I woke up to the thought of you and went to sleep with my heart with you. You completed me and now you was leaving me. How? How could you? You left me with nothing to one to turn to...You help mold me into the man that I am today. You were the one that understood me - but I knew deep down inside you were gonna come back to me.

So I practiced on ways that I could love you more, and for you to never leave me again. And then 2001-2002 said the words that I've always dreamed of hearing...

“From Robbins, Illinois, 6 foot 4 Guard … Dwyane Wade.”

And we fell in love all over again...To my first love...The Game of Basketball....I love you...


Discuss this entry

Marlins Stadium: The public’s view results

A Marlins ballpark should be built in downtown Miami, rather than at the Orange Bowl, according to the results of a survey conducted by long-time Miami public relations firm Everett Clay Associates.

But it wasn’t exactly a landslide. In September, the company sent out a four-question survey that included the question of where a stadium should be built and of 2,268 sent out, only 231 were returned.

Of those, 39 percent voted for downtown Miami; 36 percent for the Orange Bowl. And 25 percent said a stadium should not be built and many of them said no public funds or tax dollars should be used.


Discuss this entry

Marlins Stadium Update No. 9,023

Guess what? Miami City Commissioners are wondering if a Marlins ballpark deal will ever come to fruition. They’re making plans to demolish the Orange Bowl after the last scheduled event at the old stadium – a high school sporting event on Jan. 4 – regardless of whether a ballpark will ever be built there.

The commission set a deadline of its Dec. 13 meeting for an update on ballpark negotiations, but wants to hear from the Marlins sooner whether they want to build a ballpark at the OB site.

With no other sites under consideration at the moment – Major League Baseball President Bob DuPuy said Wednesday the OB site is the only one being considered at this time – the message should be that the Marlins are willing to accept the OB site.

That doesn’t mean they think it’s a good idea financially. Both the team and MLB have concerns that a ballpark at the OB won’t be as successful as one downtown that would be easier to access from roadways and public transportation and closer to more parking spots. They know fans have voiced their frustration with the site, saying it’s hard to get to, there’s limited parking or they won’t go at all. Remember, this is 81 games, on both weeknights and weekends, not six University of Miami Hurricanes games on Saturdays.

With the Hurricanes announcing in August their move to Dolphin Stadium next year, some mistakenly believed a Marlins ballpark deal would easily come together at the city-owned OB site with the $50 million in bond money and another $38 million in city money for the Orange Bowl upgrade shifted to the project. But this is a deal that has never been easy to put together.

Make no mistake, negotiations are ongoing among the city, Miami-Dade County, the Marlins and MLB and the hope is to have a deal together by December. But no one is saying publicly precisely how much a stadium at the OB will cost and what each side is now willing to contribute, particularly since the Marlins are reducing the amount they said they would pledge to a downtown stadium since the focus is now on the OB.

Miami City Manager Pete Hernandez told commissioners Thursday night that costs have grown in part because a construction schedule might need to be expedited to meet the team's goal of opening a new ballpark in 2011, since its lease at Dolphin Stadium expires after the 2010 baseball season.

“Their contribution will be somewhat less,” Hernandez said of the Marlins, without elaborating. “Because of the increase in the costs and the Marlins contributing less, the gap is somewhat larger.”

The more time passes, the more costs grow and the Marlins and MLB want to stick to the idea of a 2011 opening, meaning a deal needs to get struck by year’s end.


Discuss this entry

October 22, 2007

Tacos, finally?

Taco Bell keeps putting together World Series promotions aimed at giving away free tacos for baseball feats.

Last year it was any player hitting a home run to left or left center field during Game 3 of the series. In 2002, it was hitting a floating target outside San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

This time, the quick service restaurant chain might just have found the formula to give “everyone in the U.S.” a free taco: if any player steals a base during any game of the 2007 World Series, U.S. consumers can pick up a free crunchy seasoned beef taco (retail value approximately 77 cents). The company says there's been a stolen base in every Fall Classic since 1990.

Redemption is limited to specific times. If the first base is stolen during Games 1 or 2, consumers can pick up a taco between 2 and 5 p.m. local time on Oct. 30 at participating Taco Bell locations; if it occurs during Games 3 through 7, the redemption time is 2-5 p.m. local time on Nov. 6. For more details visit:

CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell breaks down the odds of our winning and estimates how many will cash in.


Discuss this entry

Jason Taylor -- Much Larger than Life, Part 2

Spt-Dolphins-London-02.jpgThe giant 26-foot animatronic Jason Taylor statue was unveiled in London's Trafalgar Square this morning.

It took nearly 10 weeks and 40 people to create. It can travel 4-5 mph and has a camera in its helmet to record the places it will visit this week to drum up excitement for Sunday's Dolphins-New York Giants game at Wembley Stadium -- the first regular season NFL game to be held outside North America.


Discuss this entry

October 21, 2007

Advertising at the Dolphins game in London


The Dolphins-New York Giants game at Wembley Stadium in London next Sunday, not only has a corporate title – the Bridgestone International Series – but it also will have an international feel: ads on the field.

Corporate sponsors’ names are not allowed on the field in NFL stadiums, but when the first regular season game to be held outside North America kicks off, company names will be visible. Bridgestone, Canon, Reebok, Chevrolet and Coors will appear on rotating signs on the field’s sidelines and in the endzones.

“Signage of this kind is commonplace throughout Europe,” said Mark Waller, NFL senior vice president of marketing and sales. “This will be one of the unique elements of staging the international games.”


Discuss this entry

October 20, 2007

Panthers sign Ticketmaster for ticket resales

The Panthers have made it easier for fans to unload tickets they can’t use.

The team and its parent company, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, announced this week that Ticketmaster will continue to handle the team’s ticketing and will also be its exclusive resale provider. Ticketmaster is handling the Panthers TicketExchange, which allows fans to post tickets they can’t use on the team’s Web site.

“We want to ensure that our fans have the best event experience possible and this includes providing them with an authorized site to buy and resell tickets and avoid potentially fraudulent online resellers,” Chad Johnson, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment senior vice president, sales & marketing, said in a statement.

Ticketmaster also handles the Heat’s and Dolphins' TicketExchange. Teams have been embracing ticket re-selling on their Web sites in part because they hope it will encourage more fans to become season ticket holders if they know they have a method to recoup costs for games they cannot attend.


Discuss this entry

October 16, 2007

Jason Taylor -- Much Larger Than Life

jt.jpgDolphins defensive end Jason Taylor has been known to make giant plays on the field. On Monday, a giant version of Taylor will be unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square to promote the Oct. 28 matchup between the Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley Stadium, which marks the first regular season NFL game to be held outside North America.

The 26-foot tall Taylor figure, which took 10 weeks and a team of 40 people to create, is animatronic – its feet and arms move and it can travel 4 to 5 miles per hour, according to an NFL release. Its boots alone are 6 feet tall. A camera has been fitted into its helmet with images being projected on a giant LED screen that moves along behind it.

After the unveiling Monday, the giant Taylor will visit Canary Wharf, Victoria Station and other spots before attending a tailgate party at Wembley.

“The game on October 28 is a world first,” Alastair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK said in a statement. “It will be the first time that a competitive NFL game is being played outside of North America. So it seems only fitting that we create something that reflects the scale of this event – and it doesn’t come much bigger than a 26ft tall American football player.”


Discuss this entry

October 15, 2007

Marlins Stadium Update No. 12,247

Not exactly earth-shattering news today, but since I know some Marlins fans are looking for any stadium nuggets: Miami-Dade County's Citizens Advisory Committee recommended the $50 million in general obligation bond funding approved by county voters in 2004 for renovating the Orange Bowl be put toward a Marlins stadium as long as its built at the OB site.

The committee, which as its name says is purely advisory, voted 12-2 in support of changing the designation of the dollars from an OB renovation to a new baseball stadium, now that the University of Miami Hurricanes will be abandoning their old home for Dolphin Stadium next year.

The recommendation still needs to be the subject of a public hearing and the approval of the county commission, but it does mean there's sentiment toward helping fill the funding gap in the proposed $500 million, retractable roof ballpark. "Right now, they're simply allowing for it to be part of a funding package," County Manager George Burgess said.

The sides -- the county, city of Miami, Marlins and Major League Baseball - have been talking and trying to hammer out a deal, but they're not there yet.

"We’re still having discussions with Major League Baseball," Burgess said. "We talk all the time, we've had meetings with Major League Baseball and hopefully we’ll have something take shape over the next couple of weeks. We certainly need to have something by the end of the calendar year."


Discuss this entry

October 12, 2007

Consumers’ creativity will be back in Super Bowl ads

Drawing on its successful “Crash the Super Bowl” consumer-created Super Bowl ads this year, Doritos is asking the public for its help again for Super Bowl XLII.

This time, Doritos’ parent, Frito-Lay, is asking consumers to submit original music into a competition for a chance to have it turned into a music video to air during the first quarter of the game being played in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 3. The company is promising to devote 60 seconds of the year’s most expensive ad time specifically for the consumer song, which, according to USA Today, does not have to be about a Frito-Lay product.

Consumers can begin submitting their entries on Oct. 25 at

Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of sites with user generated content, such as YouTube, several companies and the NFL asked consumers to submit ideas – and in the case of Doritos, their own video which was aired as is – for advertising to run during Super Bowl XLI.


Discuss this entry

October 9, 2007

Collecting OB memories

With the University of Miami playing its last season at the Orange Bowl, before heading to Dolphin Stadium next year, BankUnited is collecting OB memories.

The bank is holding a contest, inviting fans to upload photos of moments at the OB and essays about the 70-year-old stadium to its Web site, for a chance to win $1,937, in honor of 1937, the year the stadium opened. Fans have until Oct. 20 to enter.

On Oct. 26, five photos and five essays chosen by bank management will be posted on the bank’s Web site for the public to select its favorites in each category. The public voting will take place through Nov. 25, with winners announced on Nov. 26.

“The Orange Bowl is a Miami landmark and a legendary stadium for football fans across the country,” BankUnited’s Chairman and CEO Alfred R. Camner said in a statement. “Its departure from the Hurricanes game schedule and the city’s skyline does not mean it will leave the hearts of local fans. The BankUnited Orange Bowl Memories Contest will honor the stadium and enable local residents to share their sentiments.”

UM plays its last home game at the OB against Virginia on Nov. 10.


Discuss this entry

October 4, 2007

Dwyane Wade’s top is tops in Europe

Heat guard Dwyane Wade is popular in Europe, too.

He has the best-selling jersey based on sales at stores across Europe during the 2006-07 season, according to the NBA. The top 10 includes four European players – Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs; Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns; Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies; and Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors.

The NBA continues to expand its presence in Europe, holding training camps and competitions there again this year. The Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Grizzlies, and Raptors will hold training camp and play games against each other and international teams during 2007 NBA Europe Live -- a six city, 11-day trip that includes stops in London, Rome, Madrid and Istanbul.

The NBA says sales of merchandise in Europe were up 40 percent from last season. And international visitors accounted for 10 percent of the more than 1 million visitors to the NBA Store in Manhattan last season.

The top 10 best-selling NBA jerseys in Europe are:

1. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
2. Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
3. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
4. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
5. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Boris Diaw, Phoenix Suns
7. Pau Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
8. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
9. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
10. Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets


Discuss this entry

About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
Connect with me

Search this blog
E-mail newsletters
Get the news that matters to you delivered to your inbox. Breaking news, hurricane alerts, news from your neighborhood, and more. Click here to sign up for our newsletters. It is fast, easy and free!