Exclusive: Kevin Harvick on Busch’s 500 for 500 (Daytona) Promotion, Danica’s Last NASCAR Race

Daytona500_Logo

The 60th annual edition of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s Super Bowl, will be run on February 18th. JohnWallStreet got a chance to speak with Kevin Harvick, who finished 3rd in 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, about his relationship with the Busch brand, the details of a promotion that is sending 500 lucky fans to the Daytona 500 and his thoughts on Danica Patrick’s last NASCAR race (editor note: they’re honest).

JWS: Busch has been the title sponsor of your car since the ’16 season. What is it about the brand that made you want to align with them.

Kevin: The unique thing about Busch is they’ve been involved with NASCAR racing since the late 70’s. It’s also a brand that is specific to the age group that I fit in to; they’re not complaining that I’m too old or too young or about the things that I do, it’s just kind of a natural fit. Busch is not a brand with a bunch of athletes all over the place. They’re very focused on racing, hunting and fishing, so our brands are very similar. When you find a great fit like that it’s easy to support the things that they do.

JWS: Busch is running an amazing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style promotion (you can enter, here), sending 500 fans to the Daytona. Pull a golden checkered Daytona 500 can from an 18, 24 or 32 pack of Busch or Busch Lite and you’ll attend the 60th annual Daytona 500. What exactly does the promotion include?

Kevin: For those of us who know what Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is, right (laughing). It’s not just a ticket to the race, it’s a VIP trip to the race. You get your airfare, your hotel room and an amazing experience at the race track. I know I’ll be at the hotel on Saturday night to spend a couple hours with them (the winners). It’s an over-the-top experience. Busch is all-in.

JWS: NASCAR teams and drivers have struggled to fill sponsorships of late, but Busch is increasing their commitment to the sport. In 2017, BUD grew its value brand portfolio share of category 3.02% within the Daytona Beach market. Why is NASCAR working as a marketing platform for Busch, but not some of their competitors?

Kevin: Busch has made the commitment to not only sponsor the car, but to spend money on the activation side of things; to make sure people know their involvement in the sport, know who they’re involved with. It’s a natural fit with the NASCAR fan because they’ve been involved with the sport for so long and their target market is right in the demographic of who NASCAR fans are. So, there’s several things that make it work, from activation to the race car being on the track; but, a key is wholesalers buying into the program and helping to promote in those local markets. You’ll see that in Daytona, the Bowler family (runs Daytona beverages) does a great job activating and helping Busch in that market. Another piece is the appearances at Kroger’s, Walmart & Sam’s Club; the in-store activations go hand-in-hand with the wholesalers to increase your buys.

Howie Long-Short: AB InBev (BUD) had a strong start to 2017 (or at least one that beat analyst estimates), but “soft sales in the U.S.” resulted in a 1.2% volume decline in Q3. Sales to wholesalers dropped 3.4%, with sales to retailers declining 6.4%. The good news? BUD grew global revenue 3.6% (to $14.7 billion) despite 2 September storms that negatively impacted shipments to Florida & Texas.

Fan Marino: The 2018 Daytona 500 will be Danica Patrick’s last NASCAR race (yawn). Does she get too much promotion?

Kevin: Look, Danica survived off publicity, that’s how she got here. She was very popular and had the opportunity to come to NASCAR with sponsorships and made a lot of money; but, in the end, performance trumps the marketing tool. I think you now see that with the quality and the team she’s going to come back and run the Daytona 500 with. The opportunities are a lot less than what she had. I don’t think she gets too much publicity, she’s done things inside of a race car that no female has ever done; but when you are in sports, you must perform. Black, white, girl, boy, it doesn’t matter, at some point that performance is going to matter; in the end, I think that’s the road it went down with Danica.

UFC Heavyweight Champ on His Day Job and a Fight with Joshua/Wilder

Modelo Stipe_19937+39

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic became the most decorated heavyweight champion (record 3 straight title defenses) in UFC history on Saturday night, defeating Francis Ngannou by decision at UFC 220. Following the fight Dana White expressed interest in a fight between Miocic and Daniel Cormier. Miocic may have other ideas. Just days before the fight, JohnWallStreet got the chance to talk with the champ about the title of “baddest man on the planet” and a potential fight with Anthony Joshua.

JWS: You work during the day as a part-time fire fighter. Is that a paying job?  Do you ever wonder if your time would be better spent training?

Stipe: It is a paying job, but I do it because I love helping people out and giving back to my community. I love Cleveland. That was a big reason why I partnered with Modelo; we share a strong sense of community and both value the fighting spirit in and outside of the Octagon. 

JWS: New UFC Sponsor Modelo highlights you in a new ad campaign. The campaign focuses on “blue-collar minded” individuals. Does that mean you aren’t in to all the cars, jewels, furs etc. that we see guys like McGregor or Tyson with?

Stipe: You could say that. Being able to partner with a brand that shares the same values in terms of hard work and giving back to the community was one of the big things that attracted me to working with Modelo. I get to tell my story as a firefighter, and more than just an athlete, and that’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often. 

JWS: You were an accomplished boxer growing up a part of the Golden Gloves program. I saw you challenged Anthony Joshua for title of “baddest man on planet.” Are you serious about pursuing a fight in the boxing ring with him or was that simply a fun idea trying to capitalize on the money Mayweather/McGregor got for their fight?

Stipe: Boxing was a big part of my upbringing. I would love to fight the winner of Joshua and Wilder, but all that matters to me right now is fighting this Saturday; after that, let’s talk. 

Howie Long-Short: Constellation Brands (STZ) acquired Grupo Modelo’s U.S. business from Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), back in 2013. Earlier this month, STZ reported Q3 ’17 profits increased 21% YOY (to $491.1 million), despite revenue falling .6% (to $1.8 billion). It wasn’t Modelo’s fault though, beer sales increased during the quarter; wine & spirits experienced revenue decline. Something to watch, the company recently acquired 9.9% of the marijuana company Canopy Growth (TSE: WEED).

Fan Marino: LeBron gets all the credit for bringing the Cleveland its first title since 1964, but Stipe beat him to it winning the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 198. I asked him if that bothered him (it would bother me, I’m petty).

Stipe: Not at all. The Cavs had me at a few of their playoff games and even at their victory parade back in 2016. I also met up with a bunch of those guys to cheer on the Indians in the World Series together. What Lebron has done for Cleveland, on and off the court, has been awesome to see and we’re both just trying to represent for our city. We share a mutual vision – for those to see the work we do in our community and inspire them to do better.

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UFC Heavyweight Champ on His Day Job, New Ad Campaign and a Fight with Joshua/Wilder

Modelo Stipe_19937+39.JPG

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will defend his title tomorrow night (Jan. 20) against Francis Ngannou at UFC 220 (PPV). With a win, Miocic would break the UFC’s record for most successful heavyweight title defenses; becoming the most successful heavyweight of all time. Official UFC sponsor Modelo Especial recently announced a partnership with Miocic (the brand’s first with a UFC fighter) that will include a TV commercial airing later this year. JohnWallStreet got the opportunity to ask the champ a few questions about his day job, the new ad campaign and the title of “baddest man on the planet”, just days before the fight.

JWS: You work during the day as a part-time fire fighter. Is that a paying job?  Do you ever wonder if your time would be better spent training?

Stipe: It is a paying job, but I do it because I love helping people out and giving back to my community. I love Cleveland. That was a big reason why I partnered with Modelo; we share a strong sense of community and both value the fighting spirit in and outside of the Octagon. 

JWS: New UFC Sponsor Modelo highlights you in a new ad campaign. The campaign focuses on “blue-collar minded” individuals. Does that mean you aren’t in to all the cars, jewels, furs etc. that we see guys like McGregor or Tyson with?

Stipe: You could say that. Being able to partner with a brand that shares the same values in terms of hard work and giving back to the community was one of the big things that attracted me to working with Modelo. I get to tell my story as a firefighter, and more than just an athlete, and that’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often. 

JWS: You were an accomplished boxer growing up a part of the Golden Gloves program. I saw you challenged Anthony Joshua for title of “baddest man on planet.” Are you serious about pursuing a fight in the boxing ring with him or was that simply a fun idea trying to capitalize on the money Mayweather/McGregor got for their fight?

Stipe: Boxing was a big part of my upbringing. I would love to fight the winner of Joshua and Wilder, but all that matters to me right now is fighting this Saturday; after that, let’s talk. 

Howie Long-Short: Constellation Brands (STZ) acquired Grupo Modelo’s U.S. business from Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), back in 2013. Earlier this month, STZ reported Q3 ’17 profits increased 21% YOY (to $491.1 million), despite revenue falling .6% (to $1.8 billion). It wasn’t Modelo’s fault though, beer sales increased during the quarter; wine & spirits experienced revenue decline. Something to watch, the company recently acquired 9.9% of the marijuana company Canopy Growth (TSE: WEED).

Fan Marino: LeBron gets all the credit for bringing the Cleveland its first title since 1964, but Stipe beat him to it winning the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 198. I asked him if that bothered him (it would bother me, I’m petty).

Stipe: Not at all. The Cavs had me at a few of their playoff games and even at their victory parade back in 2016. I also met up with a bunch of those guys to cheer on the Indians in the World Series together. What Lebron has done for Cleveland, on and off the court, has been awesome to see and we’re both just trying to represent for our city. We share a mutual vision – for those to see the work we do in our community and inspire them to do better.

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Study Finds Super Bowl Ads Worth the Spend

SuperBowl

30-second advertising spots during the February 4th Super Bowl are selling for more than $5 million (40% of U.S. TV households will be watching), but a collaborative study between Stanford University and Humboldt University (Germany) found that Super Bowl advertisers continue to see meaningful post-game sales during other major sporting events (i.e. March Madness, World Series), within the same calendar year, indicating the spend is worth it. Those that built a social media presence or digital campaign to follow their Super Bowl ad, were successful in keeping their product(s) on the consumer’s mind through baseball season. Companies that were the sole advertiser within a specific product category received the greatest long-term value (see: BUD, PEP). Long-term advertisers received a boost in sales during Super Bowl week, despite the product being purchased before the event (i.e. the ad has yet to run).

Howie Long-Short: Just 10 Super Bowl ad spots remain, so the study is unlikely to impact ad sales (and NBC’s bottom line) for this year’s game. If there are going to be immediate beneficiaries, it’s going to be CBS (rights to ’19 SB) and FOXA (rights to ’20 SB); the rights holders of the next 2 Super Bowls. NBC Universal (CMCSA) said it expects to generate $500 million in Super Bowl ad revenue, a figure in line with the total generated for the last 2 years. Advertisers aren’t worried about the NFL’s declining attendance, that trend hasn’t translated to the Super Bowl; last year’s game drew 111.3 million viewers, the 5th most watched TV event of all-time.

Fan Marino: Mean Joe Greene and Joe Namath participated in iconic Super Bowl commercials, but a lesser known collegiate All-American starred in one of my all-time favorites; Terry Tate as “Office Linebacker”, installing workplace discipline in a 2003 Reebok spot. At 6’5, 300 pounds, with 4.3 40 (yard dash) speed and collegiate All-American (Morgan State) game tape, Lester Speight (his real name) should have been an NFL star; position changes and injuries derailed his promising career. He never played in a professional football game.

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Kevin Harvick’s Investment Portfolio, DANICA Premiers Tonight

Kevin Harvick won the Monster Energy (MNST) NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motors Speedway last weekend, which gives him a spot in the “Championship Four”; the 4 remaining drivers who will race for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19th. JWS got the exclusive opportunity to sit down Kevin to discuss his investment portfolio, sponsorship partners and sports marketing agency.

JWS: How important is it to you to have sponsors that you would invest in?

Kevin Harvick: The companies that you believe in and invest in, are the companies that you want on your car. I can tell you Exxon Mobil (XOM) is in my portfolio.

JWS: How have you managed to maintain long-term partnerships with several of your sponsors?    

Kevin Harvick: We’ve been fortunate through the years to develop what we have with the Busch Brand (BUD), Jimmy John’s, who’s been with us since 2009 and Textron (TXT), who started with us back in 2007. We’ve kind of found the niche with each of those companies in terms of what they like to do, how they like to entertain and where they like go.

JWS: Does having KHI Management (his sports marketing agency) help in terms of signing NASCAR sponsorship deals?

Kevin Harvick: The thing that makes us unique and different is that we have a sports agency that represents 2 PGA golfers, Donald Cerrone (UFC) and Harrison Burton (motocross). We’ve tried to make ourselves more diverse so that when we are trying to cut a deal for a NASCAR sponsorship, we have a family of assets that we can blend in; golf tournaments, UFC fights, etc.

JWS: How closely do you follow the market?

Kevin Harvick: I wake up with Maria (Bartiromo). I like to understand what is happening in the world. I spend a lot of time paying attention to it because I’m intrigued by it.  

Howie Long-Short: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) acquired Epix, buying out Viacom (VIAB) and Lionsgate (LGF.A) back in April for $1.031 billion. The company has underperformed over the last 6 months (+2.8% compared with industry-wide growth of 15.6%), and analysts are projecting Q3 earnings ($.33/share) that would be a 43% YOY decline. The company will report later today.

Fan Marino: If you enjoy sports documentaries, check out DANICA; premiering this evening at 8p EST on Epix (or for free at epix.com). The film, directed by broadcasting pioneer Hannah Storm, focus on Danica Patrick; the most successful woman in the history of professional motorsports. It’s a rare, candid look at Danica as a competitor eagerly preparing for her next race; a woman confidently considering when she wants to start a family; and a budding mogul carefully considering thinking about her next steps.

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NBA SPONSORS’ RECORD SPEND; NUMBER TO GROW IN ’17-’18 WITH NIKE UNIFORMS AND JERSEY PATCHES

NBA sponsors spent a record $861 million during the 2016-2017 season, a 7.8% jump from 2015-2016 and a significant increase from the projected 4.3% annual increase in overall sports sponsorship expenditures. Sponsorship dollars are expected to rise again during the 2017-2018 season, with a new 8 year/$1 billion Nike (NKE) uniform deal beginning and teams selling advertising patches on their jerseys for the first time. State Farm, Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), Gatorade (PEP) and Tissot (OTC: SWGAY) were the league’s most active sponsors during the ’16-’17 season.

Howie Long-Short: The data was compiled by ESP Properties, a sports & entertainment research and consulting firm owned by WPP (WPPGY), an international advertising & PR firm. Back in August, WPPGY cut full year revenue projections to between 0-1% for 2017 as some of their high-profile clients have cut back on ad spend (the consumer goods sector, in particular). CEO Martin Sorrell warned that Facebook (FB) & Google’s (GOOGL) dominance as advertising platforms and Amazon’s (AMZN) disruption of the retail sector are holding back ad growth world-wide. If he’s right, things are going to get worse for WPPGY (and others in the advertising world) before they get better.

Fan Marino: 9 of the league’s 30 teams had team sponsorship revenues below the league average last year; Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz. Only Charlotte and New Orleans do not have jersey patch sponsorships in place for this season. Is it a coincidence that the other 7 were proactive in securing lucrative ad patch deals? Probably not.

Sponsorship Spend On NBA Tops $880M, Will ‘Skyrocket’ With Nike, Jersey Deals

EXCLUSIVE: KEVIN HARVICK DISCUSSES HIS PERSONAL PORTFOLIO

The Monster Energy (MNST) NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are underway, with 16 drivers competing to be crowned Champion at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19th. JWS got the exclusive opportunity to sit down with 2014 Champion, Kevin Harvick to discuss his investment portfolio, sponsorship partners and sports marketing agency.

JWS: How important is it to you to have sponsors that you would invest in?

Kevin Harvick: The companies that you believe in and invest in, are the companies that you want on your car. I can tell you Exxon Mobil (XOM) is in my portfolio.

JWS: How have you managed to maintain long-term partnerships with several of your sponsors?    

Kevin Harvick: We’ve been fortunate through the years to develop what we have with the Busch Brand (BUD), Jimmy John’s, who’s been with us since 2009 and Textron (TXT), who started with us back in 2007. We’ve kind of found the niche with each of those companies in terms of what they like to do, how they like to entertain and where they like go.

JWS: Does having KHI Management (his sports marketing agency) help in terms of signing NASCAR sponsorship deals?

Kevin Harvick: The thing that makes us unique and different is that we have a sports agency that represents 2 PGA golfers, Donald Cerrone (UFC) and Harrison Burton (motocross). We’ve tried to make ourselves more diverse so that when we are trying to cut a deal for a NASCAR sponsorship, we have a family of assets that we can blend in; golf tournaments, UFC fights, etc.

JWS: How closely do you follow the market?

Kevin Harvick: I wake up with Maria (Bartiromo). I like to understand what is happening in the world. I spend a lot of time paying attention to it because I’m intrigued by it.  

Fan Marino: Textron is a large cap aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies industrial conglomerate that happens to own E-Z-GO. E-Z-GO sells golf carts. The company reported revenues were up 2.6% YOY to $3.6 billion in Q2 ‘17. Revenue growth was attributed to the company’s May acquisition of Arctic Cat.

Howie Long-Short: The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs started this past Sunday with a race at the Chicagoland Speedway. Harvick currently sits in 3rd place in the standings, 35 points behind the leader (Martin Treux Jr.) The next race is Sunday 9/24 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

COLLEGES/UNIVERSITIES NO LONGER HAVE PROBLEM CASHING BEER COMPANY CHECKS

Colleges & Universities that were once were steadfast against beer company sponsorships are now coming around on the revenue potential associated with beer sales, in stadium signage, media and licensing opportunities. Texas, which began to sell beer in 2015, reported $1.3 million in profits from beer sales during the 2016 season; so it’s no surprise that others are looking to get in on the action. 36 on-campus stadiums will sell beer during the 2017 season (with 14 more pouring at off-campus venues), while the number of school marks and intellectual property being used in beer marketing campaigns at an all-time high. There is no doubt that the change in thinking is driven by revenue potential, but school administrators maintain that controlling beer sales will keep students safe, helping to curb the binge drinking that occurs prior to and during halftime of games.

Colleges chug beer dollars

Howie Long-Short: This makes sense, though I’m surprised given the politics.

David Price/Earnings: Beer marketers’ thirst for new income streams have found a new home in the perfect spot; colleges & universities. Sounds like a slam dunk to me.

Fan Marino: I’m not sure it’s going to curb the binge drinking, but it certainly seems sensible. Why shouldn’t adults of legal age be permitted to purchase a beer at a football game?