ESPN gives Kumho a whole lotta love
When it comes to team sponsorships, Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. sure knows how to pick 'em.
Two years ago, the company sponsored two of the premier teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA): the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. The Heat have made it to the NBA finals the last two years, and won the championship last year.
This year, the company re-upped with the University of Southern California ('Kumho is official tire of USC athletics"). The Trojan football team isn't having the best of seasons, but the banners flying at the Coliseum were in full view for the Nov. 24, 2012, game against No. 1 ranked Notre Dame.
The ESPN College GameDay crew were set up in Los Angeles. And though they didn't mention Kumho, viewers could not miss the banners in the background (see photo).
Perhaps if another tire manufacturer had sponsored College GameDay, then the banners would have been removed (maybe even digitally). Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has been the host of the ABC College Football Halftime Show for the last six seasons. And Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, is the majority owner of ESPN.
But that wasn't enough to keep the Kumho brand from being visible most of the telecast.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. also got some play. The blimp was hovering over the stadium, and one of the announcers gave the company some love with its slogan, "Goodyear, more driven."
The Goodyear brand was also mentioned in the Mr. Tire ad that aired during GameDay. Buy a set of four Goodyear tires and get $80 off -- $160 if you use the Goodyear credit card. Mr. Tire also offered up these deals: $70 off a set of Michelin tires; $50 off "instantly" on a set of BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Falken, Pirelli or Yokohama tires.
Still, based on screen time, Kumho was the winner on Saturday.