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NEWS REAL

• The NBA 2K League today named Tencent Holdings Limited as the league’s first distribution partner in China.

• The English Premier League has signed a multi-year deal naming Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser as its official category partner. Carling had been the EPL category partner since 2016.

• Sports and live entertainment company AEG has signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renewal agreement with Toshiba America Business Solutions, extending their “comprehensive partnership across several of AEG’s flagship assets,” including Toshiba remaining a founding partner of Staples Center and the official digital signage and display provider of L.A. Live.

• As part of the NFL 100th season celebration, the NFL has teamed up with league partner EA to give one lucky fan the chance to become an EA Sports Madden NFL ratings adjustor for the day as well as be digitized to appear in the Madden NFL game. Details here.

• The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have signed a long-term deal naming  Fanatics, a  global leader for licensed sports merchandise, as the exclusive operator of all Warriors Shop locations throughout the Bay Area. Full story here.

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 12-14
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Friday
Feb192010

Marketing Partners Have Tiger's Back As Woods Goes Public

Woods, in an ad for Tag Heuer, is getting support from marketing partners.February 19, 2010: Marketing partners that have been loyal to Tiger Woods during the time he has spent dealing with his personal problems continued to stand by him, even as fans, analysts and fellow golfers reacted to his first public appearance in three months.

Woods, who spoke for about 14 minutes on Feb. 19, drew the support of EA Sports, Nike, PepsiCo's Gatorade, P&G's Gillette and even Accenture, a company that severed ties with Woods after his private liaisons became public.

Among his statements, which included apologies to his wife, kids, mother (who was in attendance) and the charitable foundations with which he works, Woods said he planned to return to golf but did not give a timetable except to say he would not rule out returning in 2010. (Full transcript is here.) Woods and his representatives imposed severe restrictions on media coverage, with only three invited members of the press in the room - AP, Reuters and Bloomberg. The Golf Writers Assn. of America was invited but declined to participate due to the restrictions imposed by the Woods camp. Two cameras offered pool coverage.

Despite that, Woods' appearance was carried live on numerous networks, including NBC, CBS, ABC and ESPN; and via such Internet destinations as Hulu and PGATour.com. The tremendous interest in Woods by media and fans will certainly be repeated when he does return to the PGA Tour. Although some analysts say Woods might not play until later in 2010 or not until 2011, others indicate that even with a return to a rehabilitation facility, his return could come at the Transitions Championship March 18-21 (on Golf Channel and NBC), which is being played in Woods' back yard of Palm Harbor, Fla.; and then continue at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard March 25-28 (also on Golf Channel and NBC) in Orlando. That would give him time to get his golf form in shape for The Masters, April 8-11 (ESPN, CBS) in Augusta.

Although Woods is not expected to pick up new endorsement deals in the near future, he won't lose any others, at least based on consumer sentiment. According to a recent report from marketing and research firm NPD Group, Port Washington, NY, 89% of the 44,000 people who responded to a survey taken between Dec. 16-Jan. 5 said they would not cut back on products endorsed by Woods.

Woods could be back on course at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as a prelude to The Masters, or he could miss the entire 2010 season.Golf ratings on TV have been down by about 50% without Woods, as they were in 2008 when he took time off to recover from knee surgery, according to TV analysts. When numbers for Woods' TV appearance are crunched, analysts expect they likely will be among the highest of the week. According to PGATour.com, about 300 people had registered as media at the Sawgrass Marriott conference center about a mile away to watch on TV and about 25 satellite trucks were parked outside.
 
“It was good to see Tiger address the public today, and we’re supportive of his focus toward family and rebuilding his life," Peter Moore, President of EA Sports, said in a statement following Woods' appearance at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., which also is home to PGA Tour headquarters. "He remains one of the greatest athletes in history, and as a long-standing partner, we look forward to seeing Tiger back on the golf course when the time is right for him and his family.”
 
EA Sports has been the only company to release a new Tiger Woods' product, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, since his accident on Thanksgiving Day led to Woods' fall from the personal and marketing pedestal he has been on since turning pro in 1996. Accenture and AT&T cut ties with Woods while Nike, Gillette and Tag Heuer were among the companies to remove him from marketing projects and to also hold off on new activations. Other marketing partners include NetJets and TLC Vision.

EA Sports continued to activate with Woods even after his private life became public.Woods earned about $100 million from endorsements in 2008, but that dropped to about $90 million in 2009 when General Motors ended its relationship with him, a move based on the auto manufacturer's economic challenges. In 2010, without Accenture and AT&T, Woods could still earn about more than $70 million from his endorsement deals.

"Many of you have inquired if our relationship with Tiger will change," said Moore. "Our official response: Our strong relationship with Tiger, for more than a decade, remains unchanged.”

Nike mirrored EA Sports in its own statement: "Our position [regarding Tiger Woods] remains the same," Beth Gast, global public relations manager for Nike, wrote in an e-mail to NYSportsJournalism. "Nike fully supports Tiger and his family through this difficult time. We respect his privacy. We look forward to him returning to golf."

According to a statement from Gatorade, "We wish Tiger well as he works through these private matters." And from Gillette, "Tiger spoke today and addressed the issues he felt were most important. His words stand on their own. We wish him and his family the best."

Tag Heuer issued this statement from Jean-Christophe Babin, president and CEO: "We are encouraged by Tiger's remarks and are looking forward to his returning to professional golf."

Even Accenture, which cut ties with Woods after his private liaisons became public, and whose WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at Mariana, Az., was engulfed by the Woods' event in Florida, defused allegations that the timing of Woods' public appearance was meant as a derogatory swipe at the company that dumped him.

Woods released statements on his Web site before going public three months after his accident."I don't think it has anything to do with the tournament. I think Tiger's got his reasons why he wants the announcement on Friday," Fred Hawrysh, head of corporate communications for Accenture, told reporters the day before Woods spoke. "If they really wanted to interfere with our tournament - which honestly I think is the last thing on their minds - then they would have run it during the tournament. They wouldn't have scheduled it for three hours before play. I think it's more coincidental. I don't think it's deliberate."

Hawrysh added that Woods' representatives had contacted Accenture when the appearance was being coordinated with the PGA Tour. "Tiger's agent [Mark Steinberg of IMG] contacted us [Wednesday] and explained that Tiger wanted to make an announcement and they were planning to do it Friday. They made it clear they were scheduling for 11 AM Eastern and it's live so it wouldn't conflict with what's happening out here. They took the extra step to make sure that it wasn't conflicting with the match going on, the television coverage."

Ultimately, the event, even under such controlled conditions, was seen as a step forward for Woods on a personal, if not professional, level. "Tiger will always have media pressure," said David Schwab, vp-managing director of First Call, the celebrity-marketing consultantcy division of Octagon, McLean, Va. "But a statement in a controlled environment [allowed] him to be contrite and begin to make the media circus slow down."

Tiger Woods Set To Speak, But Will His Voice Resonate With Marketers, Fans?

Full Transcript Of Tiger Woods' Statement

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