SBJ Marketing: Lowe’s taps Genesco for NFL sponsorship – Sports Business Journal | Region & Cash

My wife asked why I was supposedly writing a newsletter on my third day of vacation. Do you think the reason is:

  1. I’m a news junkie and I just can’t get enough juice.
  2. After four days at the MLB All-Star Game in LA, I still had a lot of good stuff in my notebook

Maybe it’s a little bit of everything.

“There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who get the credit for it.” — Indira Gandhi

Genesco Sports has quietly prevailed in one of the most controversial sports agency ratings of the year as the company will now service Lowe’s costly NFL league sponsorship. Originally signed in 2019, the sponsorship was overseen by Endeavor’s 160over90.

Many of the non-conflict agency heavyweights took part in this “beauty pageant” and while any pre-COVID memory is a bit hazy, I remember Genesco coming up just behind the winner in the original bid to come up with ideas and for the “official” enable the NFL to sponsor home improvement retail.”

Sources tell me that Genesco will serve its new customer with a combination of new and existing employees at its Charlotte office, which will be not far from Lowe’s headquarters in Mooresville, NC

It’s a pivotal year for Lowe’s NFL marketing platform as that original rights deal will expire after the upcoming season. Lowe’s joins a Genesco roster packed with NFL league and team sponsors including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Campbell’s Soup, Cigna, Little Caesars, Frito-Lay (PepsiCo) and Sleep Number. This deep list could provide fertile ground for potential cross-promotions.

As is so often the case, there has been a staff turnover in marketing since the client originally chose the agency. Jocelyn Wong, Lowe’s CMO, left the company and Marisa Thalberg, former Taco Bell chief brand officer, came on board as executive vice president and chief brand and marketing officer.

Drew Brees is among current and former NFL players used by Lowe’s

The MLBPA hosted more than 2,000 potential and current Associates at its “Players House” across from LA Live during All-Star Week, where Evan Kaplan, Managing Director of MLB Players Inc., noted that despite COVID, his organization is adding a third Record recorded year in a row.

Kaplan credits the success to continued growth in the trading card, video game and, more recently, NFT categories. “They’re really strong while the apparel market is still struggling a bit with production and supply chain.”

It’s the usual suspects when it comes to player sales – Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. However, the exact order of this trio varies slightly by calendar and product category.

Sponsors active on-site at the ongoing MLBPA hospitality venue included Fanatics, Sorare, Sony, Hyperice and Topps. “We all see storm clouds with inflation and maybe recession,” Kaplan said, “but business is good.”


There was a time when I referred to New Balance as the Volvo of athletic shoes, back when it boasted of being “backed by no one”. But now the brand has signed hundreds of MLB players, along with team contracts with the Red Sox and Mets.

So, with an MLB license, she takes the next logical step to showing her endorsers in uniform. Brand ambassadors already include Mets SS Francisco Lindor and Astros 2B Jose Altuve. The brand launched a full line called The Lindor Collection earlier this month.

“They have a tremendous number of players under contract (around 20% of MLB) and want to get closer to the game and tell their story,” said MLB CRO Noah Garden, adding that he expects New Balance to exercise its new rights will use in or just before the off-season.

My colleague David Broughton cites data from iSpot.tv showing that of the $11.1 million New Balance spent on all TV advertising last year, $2.51 million was spent on national MLB programs ( compared to 45% for the NBA). The brand spent just $44,000 on baseball television shows in the previous 12 months (July 2020 to July 2021).

Francisco Lindor is one of the prominent faces of New Balance Baseball

At the end of her first year as MLB CMO, Karin Timpone reconfigured the league’s marketing team both inside and outside of its NYC headquarters. your goal? Better communication among each other and with the fans.

“We built better infrastructure to connect all the dots,” she said. Agency and in-house work on segmentation, brand architecture and positioning is also underway.

Still in the “Skunkworks” phase is an MLB frequency/loyalty program that won’t take effect until next season at the earliest. “It’s not going to be old school,” promises Timpone, who once ran Marriott’s frequency/loyalty program.

“We’re looking at behaviors and incentives that target the next generation of fans. … We look at examples from other sectors. Maybe there’s an app that encourages you to visit every all-star event and gives you bonus content so you can enjoy it better. We’re less interested in points in a bench and more interested in getting casual fans further down the funnel…which could mean an interesting integration for sponsors.”


  • Several senior baseball sources at the All-Star Game said MLB is close to finalizing a CBD sponsorship. “Weeks away,” said one senior marketer. The leading question is whether a brand of CBD will be featured on the helmet ads that MLB plans to sell for the 2022 postseason.
  • The Red Sox and MassMutual have agreed on a 10-year pact for around $17 million a year, with performance kickers for the team that could bump it up to $20 million. The team then ended their contract with the insurance brand John Hancock after around 30 years of working together.
  • Fidelis Care renewed its contract with NYCFC as the official health sponsor of the MLS club.

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