Verizon’s shift to Wasserman puts cellular shuffle in motionPublished April 9, 2012
Following some internal changes at the company, Verizon has moved its NFL sponsorship business from Genesco Sports Enterprises to Wasserman Media Group as of this month. One minor impediment: Rival provider T-Mobile is an original Wasserman consulting client of more than a decade. However, Verizon vies with AT&T for the title of the largest cell company in America, while T-Mobile is No. 4. Consequently, T-Mobile has been quietly searching for a new consulting shop, and by the time you read this, sources tell us a full-blown agency RFP will be under way.
Of course, we recall from Verizon’s original NFL agency search two years ago that the number of sports marketing shops with relevant experience and without a conflicting telecom client are few. Whether that makes the search easier or more difficult is something about which we’re uncertain.
Genesco, which had been Verizon’s agency since it signed a four-year, $720 million hybrid content/sponsorship pact with the NFL in early 2010, retains some business-to-business, government and hospitality business.
Genesco could continue the daisy chain by pursuing T-Mobile’s business. T-Mobile has been largely out of sports since it failed to renew its NBA league deal last year due to its planned $39 billion sale to AT&T, which was later aborted after the Department of Justice voiced antitrust concerns. So with a possible fresh set of agency eyes, is there a new sports sponsorship in T-Mobile’s future? As they used to say back in Ma Bell’s analog heyday, “Hold the line.”
SPRING OLYMPICS: In any Summer Olympics year, attempts from marketers without Olympic rights to gain rub-off equity can be as interesting as the efforts from those that paid top dollar for the official rights. In regard to this competition, the race has already begun, as Royal Caribbean recently filmed some spots featuring two Olympic medalists. Diver Greg Louganis and figure skater Michelle Kwan pair off in their own version of the Olympics on behalf of the cruise line. The creative is expected to debut later this spring.
|Scott Becher will manage efforts for clients like Party City and Office Depot for Zimmerman.
Terry Lefton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.