If you’re a sports fan, get ready to see a whole lot more of BMW and Mercedes on your television screen over the next 18 months. The companies are using big-time sports as an advertising platform, leveraging the gotta-see-it-live nature of sports-watching to their advantage.
Mercedes is already prominent in New Orleans, owning the naming rights to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints are owned by Tom Benson, a Mercedes dealer magnate in New Orleans and Austin. And while the team may not make the Super Bowl (the bounty penalties surely influenced this year’s 0-3 start), Mercedes will still be all over the broadcast, because the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is hosting the big game next year.
Mercedes is large in golf, too. The Ryder Cup will be sponsored by Mercedes next month, and the company is also the exclusive sponsor of the Masters and the PGA Championship.
BMW, sponsor of the recently completed Summer Olympics in London (it drew 219 million viewers), will again be the official automotive supporter of the February 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. BMW is sponsoring Team USA as well, making them the only car company allowed to use the Olympic rings and Olympic athletes in their wild and crazy marketing campaigns. But, due to the timing, budget constraints, and not wanting to crowd the airwaves with dueling luxury car commercials (the whole 99% thing), BMW will not advertise in next February’s Super Bowl.
At $4 million for a 30-second spot, Super Bowl commercials are wicked pricy. While the automakers might not realize a direct benefit from the ads, there is a certain group who does.
Washed-up players in the form of salaries and endorsement deals! (Maybe not directly in the following case, but everything in the financial world of professional sports is related.)
It’s not surprising that a high-percentage of ex-players (or current players) become bankrupt or end up in jail. Consider the tale of Chad Johnson (known as Ocho Cinco from 2008 to 2012). After a lackluster 2011 season with New England, Miami was generous enough to sign the wide receiver with an ongoing identity crisis during the preseason this year. But Johnson, perhaps feisty from lack of playing-time in the Fins’ first preseason game, (allegedly) head-butted his wife, Evelyn Lozada, in August. The Dolphins released him the same day. Last week, a month after the incident, the couple’s divorce was finalized.
Johnson, always a rational fellow, did what most rational unemployed, divorced fathers-of-four do; he bought a brand new Lamborghini Aventador with an MSRP of $376,000.
Plenty of room for his four kids in that.
Sometimes (actually, most of the time), it just doesn’t make sense out there.