Apart from family, what could be more important than wine and bikes? Of course, there might be the odd rant about other topics on here too...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Lance TV

Get ready for a Lance-filled few weeks. According to Advertising Age, "From a marketing point of view, Lance Armstrong has already won the last Tour de France he will ever compete in, even though that race doesn't begin until July." Apparently since his announcement that this year's will be his last race, he "has been mobbed by marketers and media companies buying into the global excitement he generates".

The remainder of this post is from the Ad Age article:

Discovery Communications will launch a seven-week campaign June 6 to promote its pre-Tour programming that runs June 26 through July 1.

Verizon and AMD are sponsoring the U.S. Discovery campaign leading up to its week of programming; Nokia is sponsoring a campaign airing on Discovery’s Latin American and European networks. OLN is attracting several new advertisers to this year’s race, including IBM, Capital One Financial, Revlon’s Mitchum and Levi Strauss & Co. Additionally, Coca-Cola Co.’s Dasani is readying new summer commercial spots featuring Mr. Armstrong, who also is appearing in a new spot from 24 Hour Fitness.

Despite the breakup rumors, Discovery has Sheryl Crow starring in one of its minute-long vignettes to promote its week-long Lance Armstrong TV programming. Verizon and AMD are the presenting sponsors of the vignettes, which also feature other cycling enthusiasts, including actresses Laura Dern and Rita Wilson, boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and musician Ben Harper.

All the promotions build up to the focal point of Discovery’s pre-race programming: The Science of Lance Armstrong, a special that will be telecast on all of Discovery’s international channels on the same day and same prime-time slot. It’s the fourth TV event Discovery has premiered a program across all of its worldwide assets.

And of course it only starts with the pre-race hype. John West, senior vice president for ad sales for OLN, said the network is about two-thirds of the way toward sellout levels and revenue goals -- about the same place it was last year at this time.

In addition to offering sponsorships of leader boards and race updates, the network has put together ad-sponsored vignettes, such as a two-minute travel log sponsored by Expedia. Other advertisers include Nissan North America's Infiniti, Ford Motor Co.'s Jaguar and Land Rover, Trek bicycles and Bissell.

Sirius Satellite Radio is hoping for a similar effect. It will offer daily reports from the tour titled Lance in France ... Off the Bike and on the Mic, on its Faction music channel, which hosts the weekly Armstrong Radio show. Because Sirius’ music channels are ad-free and sponsor-free, it won’t be pitching marketers around the Tour coverage -- but it hopes to use the daily reports to entice new listeners, both cycling fans and more general Lance enthusiasts.