A multi-media campaign from sports footwear and apparel retailer Foot Locker brings the wishes of boxing fans and others a bit closer to marketing reality when Manny Pacquiao misunderstands a conversation and thinks that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and he will get in the ring in a long-awaited and much-anticipated but far from being signed welterweight bout, all part of a 'Week of Greatness' push that also sees WWE star John Cena explaining, 'if something makes you happy that's okay even if it's not real,' and Derrick Rose getting fellow NBA star Tim Duncan so excited about Foot Locker that Duncan goes wild in the most low-key manner ever seen. MORE
With the annual Bridgestone Winter Classic coming Jan. 1 and the Coors Light Stadium Series following Feb. 15, the NHL is ramping up marketing efforts for its crown-jewel events, anchored by a campaign including TV, print, outdoor and Internet and a multi-media push to support two four-part reality-documentary series for the Classic and Series games, respectively, airing on cable network Epix and also being made available to fans and consumers at both the NHL's and Epix' Web sites, on Facebook and via apps, all in an effort to reach what the league said is 60 million fans. MORE
It pays to win the NBA title, as the defending champion San Antonio Spurs are finding out, with Tim Duncan appearing in national campaigns as well as alongside several of his teammates, including Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, in a series of new spots for supermarket chain H*E*B*, with the crew getting to show off their comedic talents to tout various offerings from the $20B grocer, which in turn supports the team as a presenting sponsor and via multi-platform activations such as fan experiences, community endeavors and marketing on TV, Internet, in-arena and POP. MORE
Some 100 million people will tune in to watch Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015 in the University of Phoenix Stadium on NBC, with a significant number of them paying attention to the commercials that run before, during and after the game, but while humor has been a driving theme in many of these ads, a new survey from industry group American Association of Advertising Agencies indicates that the public-at-large and ad professionals want marketers to address the issues of domestic violence and health, air more PSAs and make a genuine effort to reach out and speak to female fans and viewers. MORE
The 2015 Final Four is still months away, but the NCAA has jump-started March Madness for the next seven seasons, returning to some venues and naming some new ones to host the NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball semi-final and finals games, with Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Indianapolis all laying claim to bragging rights, national spotlights and monetary highlights — with host cities claiming $70-$200M in March Madness revenue — through 2021. MORE
NEWS FROM NFL 2014
Domestic violence, child abuse and other major issues have put the NFL at odds with its female constituency, which comprises a powerful 45% of the league's 150M fans in the U.S. and is a prime demographic for marketers, but that has not stopped women from buying goods and services associated with the NFL, in this case jerseys, with the most popular players led by Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Rob Gronkowski and Jamaal Charles; the most popular team the Pittsburgh Steelers and the most popular position quarterback, all according to a new survey based on in-store and online sales from Dick's Sporting Goods. MORE
'Even when there were blowouts the ratings were strong and better than almost anything else out there,' Sean McManus, chairman for CBS Sports, said about the network's Thursday Night Football programming this season, during which seven games from September to late October (simulcast on NFL Network) began and ended with more than 20 million viewers, which was supported by the biggest marketing push in the network's history and helped to establish Thursday night 'as an NFL destination.' MORE
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos may have gone down big time in Super Bowl XLVIII but they can take some solace in the fact that they, and not the Seattle Seahawks, are the favorite team this season among NFL fans, according to a just-released Harris Poll, which also dropped the Dallas Cowboys from the No. 1 spot after six consecutive years, but Seattle can still smile as the survey gives them the best chance to win Super Bowl XLIX this February ahead of the Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots. MORE
NEWS FROM NBA 2014-15
To help usher in the 2014-15 season, Turner Sports has unveiled a multi-platform campaign under the umbrella theme, 'Home,' which initially supports the NBA on TNT on Thursdays and Inside the NBA but will lead into elements encompassing the All-Star Weekend this February in New York and TNT's coverage of the post-season. However, as Matthew Hong, evp/GM of Turner Sports, reveals in this Q&A, even though there already are such high-profile story lines as LeBron James returning home to Cleveland, Carmelo Anthony staying home in New York, Kevin Durant recovering from recent surgery and Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant back from last year's season-ending surgeries, the challenge is to use all of the assets available to Turner to not only keep core NBA fans interested and excited but to also reach casual and non-NBA fans.
Worldwide financial firm BBVA is getting solid returns as an official partner with the NBA, so much so that BBVA Compass will continue as the league's banking partner — as well as with the WNBA and D-League — as part of an extension to a deal signed in 2010, which comes with new marketing featuring NBA stars Kevin Durant and James Harden, alliances with several NBA teams and players in local markets, activation around the All-Star Game in New York this February, support of the NBA Global Games and continued efforts with NBA Cares to grow the BBVA Compass Future Builders Program targeting students nationwide. MORE
NEWS FROM NHL 2014-15
Despite four lockouts since 1991 and coming precariously close to losing its status as one of the four major pro sports in North America, the NHL said it is strong, getting stronger and experiencing growth among fans, marketers and media equal to or better than at any time in its history, with COO John Collins pointing to such events as the Bridgestone Winter Classic, the Coors Light Stadium Series, All-Star Weekend and media deals with NBC Sports and Rogers Communications that have given fans unprecedented access to the league and presented marketing partners with an array of platforms to grow their brands, their alliances with the NHL and the sport of hockey. MORE
The NHL will stage an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season when the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series hits Levi's Stadium, the new $1.2B home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, in February, with the nearby San Jose Sharks hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, but there will be several firsts, with this being the first outdoor game in Northern California, the first outdoor game for the Sharks and also the first NHL outdoor game to be played in a venue that will host the Super Bowl (historic Super Bowl 50, scheduled for February 2016). MORE
NEWS FROM BostonSportsJournalism.com
General Motors brand Buick has signed on as the title sponsor for the upcoming friendly match between two iconic soccer clubs, Liverpool and AS Roma, and the automaker intends to keeps its recent upswing in sales and consumer profile high via 'Buick Football At Fenway' on JUly 23, an event that will air on NBC Sports and is being conducted under the auspices of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, the latter of which also includes minority interest owner LeBron James, who just might make an appearance at the game due to his alliance with FSG and its marketing arm, Fenway Sports Management. MORE
NEWS FROM SanFranciscoJournalism.com
In 1853, Levi Strauss founded a company that eventually would change the world of fashion forever, giving birth to blue jeans and other clothing that are worn by people at work, play and sporting events — the latter of which ties in perfectly with a 20-year, $220M naming rights deal that Levi's signed for the new $1.2B home venue for the San Francisco 49ers. In this Q&A, Stacy Doren, head of Levi's marketing for the Americas, reveals why the deal happened, how the company is using Levi's Stadium and its alliances with the NFL and 49ers (including a new campaign with Niners TE Vernon Davis, pictured) to grow the brand, the role of technology and social media in reaching fans and consumers and what plans might be in store for such upcoming events as Super Bowl 50 (in 2016) and the NHL Coors Stadium Series (in February).
NEWS FROM LosAngelesJournalism.com
Three-time Cy Young winner and NL MVP Clayton Kershaw has added another accolade to his resume, signing with Subway as a Famous Fan endorser on a roster that includes AL MVP Mike Trout, with both men appearing in a print ad that touts their awards and favorite sandwiches (Turkey & Swiss and Spicy Italian, respectively), and Kershaw also getting congratulatory nods from other companies on his marketing team, such as Under Armour, Muscle Milk and Wilson; while his own non-profit group, Kershaw's Challenge, unveiled an MVP 14 T-shirt with proceeds going to support underprivileged kids around the world. Analysts say Kershaw, who earns about $3M in endorsements, could easliy double that during the off-season. MORE
MORE NEWS ...
The four-time NBA MVP and two-time NBA Finals MVP can now add MVP of the Power 100 MVPindex to his resume as LeBron James landed atop a ranking of the "world's most powerful athletes in the U.S." based 50% on on-field attributes and 50% on social media strength, with a Top Five that also included Russell Wilson, Kevin Durant, Rory McIlroy and Mike Trout, but it was the NFL that proved to be the most powerful league, placing 30 players in the Top 100, ahead of the NBA (21), MLB (15), tennis (13), Nascar (9), golf (7) and the NHL (5), according to the MVPindex team of Stout Partners, Horrow Ventures and Bloomberg Sports. MORE
This Saturday, Nov. 1, 61,500 people will fill a sold-out Soldier Field in Chicago, not to see the NFL's Bears but the U.S. National Rugby Team (aka the Eagles) take on the iconic New Zealand National Rugby Team (aka the All Blacks), airing live on NBC Sports Network and presented by global insurance firm AIG, along with a roster of marketing partners including Gatorade, DHL and Emirates Airline. But as Daniel Glantz, global head of sponsorship for AIG, relates in this Q&A, even though sponsors are becoming more involved and it will be part of the 2016 Summer Olympics, getting people in the U.S. to embrace rugby has been a challenge as much for its foreign rules and quirks as for the appearance that it incurs more injuries than NFL games.
The man who was the drummer for arguably the most iconic and influential band in music history, The Beatles, and who has been making music ever since (and is currently on tour with his own group), is taking his sticks and skins to a new gig as spokesman for athletic and lifestyle shoe brand Skechers, where Ringo Starr will star in a multi-media campaign launching in Spring 2015 to include TV, print, Internet, social media and POP to support the Relaxed Fit line, joining a lineup of endorsers that also features Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Pete Rose and Mark Cuban. MORE
Allstate has taken a hands-on approach to using college sports as a platform to get its insurance message out and to reach a young demographic, including naming rights to the Allstate Sugar Bowl (which this year is part of the new CFB Playoffs), a corporate partnership with the NCAA, the 'Good Hands Field Goal Nets' activation with 81 universities now in its tenth year and presenting sponsor for the Football Writers college coach of the year award and the Football Coaches Good Works Team (in addition to an official partnership with MLS and the U.S. National Soccer Team). But as Pam Hollander, vp-marketing for Allstate, reveals in this Q&A, there is a significant challenge in getting their messages to resonate with people in a sports category loaded with insurance company rivals and there is a fine line that must be walked when using humor — perhaps best epitomized by Allstate's 'Mayhem' campaign — while remaining serious about selling insurance.
Back in December, a student held up a sign on ESPN asking his mom for financial help, not in dollars but in digital bitcoins (he received $23K worth into his account from various benefactors), a ploy that inspired bitcoin processing firm BitPay to move ahead with a strategy to align with sports and entertainment to reach a target demo of young, tech-savvy consumers. That tactic has since led to official partnerships with the NBA's Sacramento Kings and the athletic department in Georgia Tech, handling the account for rapper 50 Cent's new album and a naming rights deal with ESPN for the post-season college football game now known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. But as BitPay vp-marketing Stephanie Wargo explains in this Q&A, although the notion of paying with bitcoin is expanding, getting mainstream businesses and consumers to understand and use bitcoin is as difficult and challenging as the early days of the Internet.
With a new naming rights deal for college football's Citrus Bowl in place, a deal as an official partner with the NCAA about to enter its third season and interactive platforms such as GameBreak in place, Buffalo Wild Wings is in a great position to support and enhance its motto, 'Wings. Beer. Sports.' But as Bob Ruhland, vp-marketing for the casual dining chain affectionately known as B-Dubs, explains in this Q&A, in a category filled with restaurants using a bevy of messages to attract sports fans, Buffalo Wild Wings works hard to differentiate itself by keeping its customers connected to each other and their favorite teams, building genuine relationships with sports organizations and destinations and providing people with plenty of good food and fun.
Following several meetings with representatives from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst said that although there still remains a lot of work and planning, he is 'more optimistic than ever that a U.S. bid for the 2024 Summer Games can be successful,' putting the nation's overseeing body for the Games closer to the point where it could move ahead with a bid in early 2015 and giving sponsors and supporters of the USOC hope that the Olympics could return to domestic soil for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. MORE
Auto racing is a sport of numbers, and Bob Johnson is the man who drives the numbers that have helped to put Action Express Racing on top of the competition in the IMSA's Tudor United SportsCar Championship, which this season included wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Indy Motor Speedway and Road America plus a four-win sweep at the finale at the Petite Le Mans. But as Johnson, who has spent more than 40 years as a CPA and while at Ernst & Young had such clients as Nascar and the International Speedway Corp. before helping to found AER, reveals in this Q&A, keeping track of finances, repairing budgets and maintaining a balance among driver safety, quality equipment, marketing partners, fans and paying bills is both the challenge and reward to building a successful motorsport team.
There are 190 million fans of college sports and many of them love to spend money to support their team, this past season to the tune of $4.59B on univeristy-licensed merchandise, according to CLC, the college licensing division of IMG College (which represents 200 schools nationwide), with the Texas Longhorns leading the way for the 9th consecutive year, Florida State having jumped up from No. 21 to No. 8 due to its BCS success, Nike leading the apparel category (as it has every season since 1999 except for two) and EA Sports again topping the non-apparel category. MORE
Cancer is an aggressive disease that impacts mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and co-workers. The best way to beat it: Be even more aggressive in finding a cure. That is the heart of the strategy that drives STAND UP TO CANCER, which along with key partners MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL and MASTERCARD used in 2013 multi-media marketing and platforms that reached consumers and corporations to support an overarching plan of empowerment to get funds directly to doctors, scientists and hospitals to hasten research to end cancer. MORE