Its not about speed, it's about endurance.
Viagra is ending its five-year-old sponsorship of Major League Baseball, putting a cap to a six-year period in which erecticle dysfunction drugs spent hundreds of millions of dollars on sports media and sponsorships, coveting sports’ heavily male audience.
In 2001, Viagra became a sponsor of the No. 6 Ford driven by Mark Martin, which lasted until 2005. But it was the MLB deal that made the controversial category a gold mine for other properties. Viagra later paired its MLB deal with ads from Rafael Palmeiro, the first athlete to endorse and admit to using an ED drug. Levitra and Eli Lilly’s Cialis both advertised on Super Bowl XXXVIII. Levitra then signed an NFL sponsorship deal which ran from 2003-06, but the NFL grew uncomfortable with the affiliation and didn’t renew, giving the category to its clubs to sell (the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams have deals).Now Cialis is the last ED drug with a league deal, but sources said it is not likely to renew its contract with the PGA Tour once its rights expire at the end of the current season.
Why the change in the category? In the end, the pharmaceutical industry’s confusing and ever-changing marketing regulations made leveraging a sports sponsorship challenging, if not impossible, both for consumer and business-to-business marketing. Rules for entertaining doctors changed soon after the ED drugs were introduced, and more recently content restrictions of direct-to-consumer advertising during prime-time television grew more strict.