Bucks still looking for Deer District sponsor
Ever since Rudy Gobert’s infamous canceled NBA game in Oklahoma City two years ago, after which there were no more sports seasons, we’ve had trouble reading the sports schedule. Confusion is always king. We thought it was time for March Madness, until Tom Brady’s phoenix act preempted any parenthesis talk on Sunday night. Add the condensed scramble of MLB free agents now unnaturally vying with the NFL for fan attention. At least we can state without contradiction that the first day of spring is Sunday. Your local budding crocuses will affirm it. Or at least mine are.
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” — Cicero.
The images most associated with the Bucks’ NBA championship last season were less about the on-court heroism of the NBA Finals and regular season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and more about the massive crowds the Bucks drew for viewing parties in Deer District outdoor entertainment. area adjacent to Forum Fiserv.
Those postseason crowds started in the tens of thousands, then exploded into an estimated rally of more than 65,000 when the Bucks won the NBA Finals in Milwaukee on July 20.
As the NBA playoffs approach, there’s also talk of monetizing those expected crowds, beyond overflowing into neighborhood bars and restaurants. The Bucks have been looking to put a company name on Milwaukee’s version of LA Live on the outside for a while, but so far no takers. Bucks president Peter Feigin said he has an asking price of $3-4 million. There is a hotel under construction and further office and residential constructions are also planned. The Bucks are looking for a minimum 10-year contract, Feigin said.
“It’s almost a game of content, plus signage and awareness,” he said. “We are considering ticketless events there with our partners Live Nation, so the value only increases when we tackle everything from music to food festivals to start and end road races to holiday markets. … Of course, there is some urgency to do this before the playoffs. It is a platform to promote the revival of downtown year-round. So ideally, we would want someone involved in everything from hitting NFTs to building the rest of the area.”
While Milwaukee is the fourth-smallest market in the NBA, Feigin calls it an advantage. “Our value proposition is that a company could own this real estate during major global events, like the NBA Finals or the Republican National Convention, if we are able to secure them,” he said.
With March Madness on everyone’s minds, we thought it was a good time to assess which brands have supported the most college sponsorship inventory over the past year.
SponsorUnited’s Bob Lynch reports that three-year-old online marketplace TicketSmarter, acquired by DigitalAlly last September, has closed more than 100 new college deals in the past 12 months. TicketSmarter’s global collegiate roots run even deeper; it claims to have secondary ticketing at 35 conferences and 250 individual universities.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has made over 100 new college deals, but this is more than likely a rebrand. Colleges were by no means exempt from the new crypto activity, as crypto exchange Voyager acquired 25 new college offerings — the same number bought by Stanley Black & Decker’s DeWalt brand. Samsung rounds out the top five with 21 new college sponsorships.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is another college big spender, one that has eluded us so far – since most of its locations are in the South and Southwest. The QSR with over 600 locations has 139 sponsorships – including 57 agreements with schools, tournaments or boules – as well as 29 NIL endorsements this year (that’s a lot of fingers).
Justin Buck joins Wes Engram’s Integrity 9 Sports & Entertainment agency as vice president and head of business development, which will include MLBPA and Netspend. Buck had been senior director of business development at Richard Childress Racing since 2019.
Kip Koslow joins the crypto community as Director of Sports Marketing at Grayscale Investments, the official digital currency asset management sponsor of the NFL Giants. Koslow was most recently Senior VP/brand & property consulting at Aggregate Sports.
- As the UFC continues to battle criticism over how much it pays fighters, the outfit says it helps fighters get endorsements, citing nearly two dozen fighters who are lined up with Monster Energy, three aligned with Modelo, two with guaranteed rate and one each with Crypto.com and Dapper Labs.
- From AmEx to Guitar Hero, Mike Krzyzewski built his brand on endorsements. Coach K has improved his approval game in the years after hiring agent David Falk in 1997 to bolster his off-pitch portfolio.
- Werner Ladders is using the NCAA tournament platform this year to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary. For the past 14 years, Werner has had NCAA rights as the “Official March Madness Scale”, and as a result, it is the only scale brand known to many consumers.
- The nominees for the 15th edition of the Sports Business Awards were announced on Monday morning. Sports sponsors of the year are Caesars Sportsbook, Constellation Brands, DoorDash, Duke’s Mayo, PepsiCo and Verizon. Nominees for Best in Agency Creativity and Innovation: 160over90; CAA Sports; Genesco Sports Enterprises; Jack Morton worldwide; MKTG Sports & Entertainment; Octagon; Optimum Sports; and Wasserman. For Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services: AEG Global Partnerships; CAA Sports; Elevate Sports Ventures; Excel sports management; Innovative Partnerships Group; Legends; OVG Global Partnerships; and Wasserman.