Companies pact on branded sports dox

BBDO, intent on luring clients like Pepsi, Gillette and Federal Express into becoming more involved in sports docus from pre-production through final editing, has signed a deal with Bombo Sports & Entertainment, one of the most active New York-based programming suppliers.

“The deal gives us a first look on any Bombo projects,” said John Osborne, exec VP and director of integrated marketing for BBDO New York. “One of our goals is to integrate the brand messages of our clients with the content of the programs.” Other BBDO advertisers that may agree to sponsor Bombo shows include M&M/Mars, Visa and Duracell.

U.K. kicks

Bombo produced the theatrical docu “Manchester United: Beyond the Promised Land” in partnership with Mel Gibson’s Icon Prods. That pic is now playing throughout Europe and Asia. Bob Potter, CEO and managing partner of Bombo, says there’s no distribution deal yet for “Manchester United” in the U.S., but Warner Bros. plans to release it as a Christmas video this year in the U.K.

Osborne said BBDO’s goal is to “avoid force fits” of the agency’s clients in which viewers would be turned off by what look like blatant product placements.

Bombo is also not interested in such obvious shoehorning of sponsor logos, which tend to detract from the content of the documentary.

Nike goes to net

Potter says Bombo signed Nike to sponsor a docu called “Pete & Andre’s Guerrilla Tennis,” featuring Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. Nike then bought the one-hour time period on CBS to present the special.

In the works at Bombo are an 80-minute film about the World Cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team and a docu about the world of rodeo.

BBDO N.Y. is the flagship of BBDO Worldwide, the third leading global ad agency, covering 298 offices in 74 countries billing more than $13.5 billion.

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