Retailers, consumers and prices
Capital One Financial Corp will recognize the top U.S. men’s and women’s college athletics programs in a move to generate fan interest and draw attention to the credit card issuer and bank.
The company, which became a top-tier NCAA athletics sponsor in March, announced the launch of the Capital One Cup, a new program rewarding NCAA Division I athletics programs for their cumulative performance across multiple men’s and women’s sports.
Starting with the 2010-2011 academic year, Capital One, the third-largest U.S. issuer of Visa-branded credit cards and the fifth-largest issuer of MasterCard-branded credit cards, will recognize the top men’s and women’s athletics programs at the largest colleges with $200,000 each to fund graduate-level scholarships for student-athletes.
“We looked at this and felt that the overall best athletic program in the country was actually written about in magazines, but there really wasn’t a great, celebrated, heavily marketed award,” Capital One Chief Marketing Officer Bill McDonald told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Check out where Scotts is staking out new turf.
ScottsMiracle-Gro, the No. 1 U.S. lawn-care company, is taking a swing at winning over baseball fans with its latest sponsorship deal, which allows customers to buy the same grass seed and fertilizer used to grow the lush, green fields at the ballparks of such teams as the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox.
Scotts has signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal with Major League Baseball that includes licensed products, baseball-themed advertising and partnerships with eight of the teams. A source close to the deal who asked not to be identified said Scotts’ annual commitments are in the high seven figures, with overall spending on baseball in the eight figures.
(Corrects to show Kenny Wallace, not Rusty Wallace did a similar program)
A company launched by a NASCAR fan to allow fellow race lovers to collectively sponsor a car has signed up a former NASCAR champion driver as its first recipient.
FanCar said it will sponsor two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte and Carter/Simo racing at the Ford 400 race on Nov. 22 in Miami, the last race of the season. The company was launched by Texan and NASCAR fan Matt Ferguson last week.
Who needs the runway when Goldfinger’s got your back?
Fashion industry watchers wonder whether more designers will use Times Square’s neon signs as a virtual runway in the future, like Carmen Marc Valvo did with his spring/summer 2010 show during New York Fashion Week. More to the point, will more designers follow his lead next time by asking the World Gold Council and the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. – or other financial markets players — to help foot the bill?
A Valvo spokesman says the cost was “about half” that of a runway show in the Bryant Park Tents. The tab usually starts at $100,000 and can run $250,000 or more, depending on how many models and special effects are involved. This was perhaps the flashiest example of how designers, hit hard by the recession, are seeking more sponsorships to finance their New York shows than in the past. Check out this video of the Times Square show, which ran on the neon signs of Nasdaq, Thomson Reuters and Fox:
Even with gold trading above $1,000 an ounce, that’s still less than what some of Valvo’s gowns go for at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The World Gold Council’s Duvall O’Steen said the group paid 10 models and other show expenses — the first time it’s taken such a high-profile role at Fashion Week. Check out this video as O’Steen talks about fashion and gold jewelry:
In fact, the World Gold Council is getting more requests now for corporate event sponsorships than it can accommodate, O’Steen said. And it’s happening after a year when a drop in world gold mining production curbed its budget for such affairs.
Bruce Aust, Nasdaq’s executive vice president of the corporate client group, also explains why the made its first foray into fashion:
Michael Quintanilla, who covers fashion for the San Antonio Express-News and two other Hearst newspapers, told Reuters: “Times Square was the perfect place for a fashion show. With all that neon, it’s very ‘Blade Runner.’ I loved the format. You could drop in when you wanted, have a cocktail, talk to Carmen, see the clothes and leave, without being herded into a space like cattle and being forced to wait.”