Grand Sports Marketer Of The Year 2015 free polls

NFL Marketing MVP 2015

1. Cam Newton Carolina 24%
2. Russell Wilson Seattle 15%
3. Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 14%
4. Peyton Manning Denver 10%
5. Tom Brady New England 8%
6. Rob Gronkowski NE 8%
7. Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 7%
8. JJ Watt Houston 7%
9. Marshawn Lynch Seattle 4%
10. Andrew Luck Indianapolis
Also receiving votes:
Drew Brees, Richard Sherman, Tony Romo, Eli Manning
SOURCE NYSportsJournalism See full story here


"That we suck." — Kobe Bryant of the 11-44 Los Angeles Lakers when asked what was the hardest part of his NBA "Farewell Tour"


$49.99 Asking price for (2) autographed Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towels, Super Bowl XL, on eBay.
$199.99: Asking price for Eli Manning autographed baseball cap, Super Bowl XLVI, on eBay.
$575.99: Asking price for Peyton Manning autographed football, Super Bowl 50, on eBay.
$1,199.00: Asking price for Tom Brady autographed football, Super Bowl XXXVIII, on eBay.
$12,000.00: Asking price for (2) tickets to Super Bowl 50, Levi's Stadium (Section 131), on eBay.

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Kia K900: LeBron 'Spaceship' (More Below)



NBA All-Star Saturday Night Feb. 13 Air Canada Centre Toronto TNT 8 PM (ET)

NBA All-Star Game Feb. 14 Air Canada Centre Toronto TNT 8 PM (ET)

MLB SPRING TRAINING Feb. 17-21 Pitchers/Catchers report

DAYTONA 500 Feb. 21 Daytona International Speedway Fox 1 PM (ET)

NFL SCOUTING COMBINE Feb. 23-26 Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis ESPN

NCAA MEN'S DIV. 1 MARCH MADNESS Selection Sunday March 13

NCAA MEN'S DIV. 1 MARCH MADNESS First Four March 15-16

NCAA MEN'S DIV. 1 MARCH MADNESS First Round March 17-18, Second Round March 19-20

NCAA MEN'S DIV. 1 MARCH MADNESS Sweet 16 March 24-25, Elite Eight March 26-27

NCAA MEN'S DIV. 1 MARCH MADNESS National Semi-Finals April 2, National Championship April 4 NRG Stadium Houston

NCAA WOMEN'S DIV. 1 MARCH MADNESS National Semi-Finals April 3, National Championship April 5 Banker's Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

COLLEGE 2015-16

AT&T Big On Campus
Heisman House Is Full
Delta Flies School Deals
NCAA, IMG Add Ten Yrs.
College Mech: $4.6B

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.


Vote: Grand Sports Marketer Of The Year



What are the qualities, strategies and skill sets that separate some companies, leagues, athletes and organizations from others and make then rise to the level of Sports Marketers of the Year? In 2015, it included the collective effort of 50 Super Bowls, two fighters who broke almost all records, a year-long celebration of an iconic sports drink's golden anniversary, a booming eSports category, a retailer dedicated to building school sports programs nationwide and an event that encompassed 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches and some 500,000 spectators that helped fuel the desire to bring the Olympic Games back to the U.S. TOP TEN SPORTS MARKETERS OF THE YEAR 2015

NBA Partners, Players Taking Activations To All-Star Game

The NBA is ramping up for its first All-Star Game and related festivities to be held outside of the U.S. and is taking more than 25 partners along for the ride to Toronto, where multi-platform marketing includes activations from first-year league partners Verizon, Mtn. Dew, Tissot and Canada Goose; new spots from brands including State Farm, Kia and Mtn. Dew; and a bevy of experiential events throughout the city and during such events as the All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Mtn. Dew (on ESPN), State Farm All-Star Saturday Night (TNT) featuring the Foot Locker Three-Point Challenge, Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the Verzion Slam Dunk contest; and the D-League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire. MORE

Borders Patrol: At Crossroad, WNBA Signs New President

On the heels of unveiling a multi-media marketing campaign and just two months shy of beginning its 20th season, the WNBA has hired Lisa Borders as its new president, filling a position vacant since Laurel Richie resigned in November, with Borders arriving with years of executive and leadership experience, most recently as chair for The Coca-Cola Foundation and vp-global community affairs for Coca-Cola, and also with WNBA experience having been at the forefront of bringing the Atlanta Dream into the league during her time as vice-Mayor for the city, but at a time when the WNBA is facing numerous challenges, including last season's all-time league-low in average attendance and soft TV viewership numbers. MORE

Disney Skips Super Bowl Ad, Sends Manning To Parade

Peyton Manning did not say after his Denver Broncos won Super Bow 50 whether or not he would retire, but he did tell the media, "I'm going to Disneyland," keeping a tradition that has taken place since Super Bowl XXI, but with a significant twist — Disney did not air a post-Big Game ad for only the second time since the inception of the 'What's Next' campaign, which has been one of the first spots to feature a member, usually Super Bowl MVP, of the winning team (in this case Von Miller), but did see Manning utter the iconic words (twice, in fact) and the next day take part in a parade on Main Street USA in Disneyland (Anaheim) with his family as part of the QB's celebration that also saw him acknowledged Papa John's and mention Budweiser in two separate national interviews. MORE

You Go, Girl: 'Marilyn' In Snickers Tops Super Celeb E-Poll

Just as she was during her short life and limited time in Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe remains one of the world's best-known stars more than 60 years after her death, proving it again when she appeared in Snicker's Super Bowl 50 spot, via BBDO and courtesy of The Marilyn Monroe Estate, one of nearly 50 actors, athletes and other celebrities who were in Big Game commercials, rankiing No. 1 by earning an E-Poll score of 100 and an 'Awareness' response of 81%, based on replies from consumers and viewers in a survey conducted under the auspices of E-Poll Market Research, coming out ahead of such living stars as Liam Neeson, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Reynolds, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alec Baldwin and Willem Dafoe, the actor who portrayed Monroe before eating a Snickers. MORE

LeBron Is Animated On Cartoon Network's Teen Titans Go!

Last June, during the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, an admittedly weary LeBron James said during a media conference following Game 3 that he was not sleeping well and staying up to watch on late-night TV Chopped on Food Network and Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network, and the creators of the animated show obviously heard him because James will make a guest appearance playing himself in an episode entitled 'The Cruel Giggling Ghoul,' set to air as part of an All-Star Jam that will also see characters on We Care Bears voiced by James' teammate Kyrie Irving as well as Paul George (Indiana Pacers) and Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), all leading up to NBA All-Star Weekend on Cartoon Network Turner Broadcasting sibling TNT and TBS. MORE

Strong Women Get Personal In adidas Global 'Create'

A multi-platform campaign under the umbrella theme, 'I'm Here to Create,' will support adidas' Sport 16 initiative via a group of strong, intelligent, creative and successful women who will take people up-close and personal into their worlds, with the initial push featuring tennis stars Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic, WNBA All-Star Candace Parker, model/entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, fitness guru and DJ Hannah Bronfman, street athlete Robin Arzon and fitness athlete Nicole Winhoffer, with ads crossing over from sports to entertainment during such high-profile events as the UEFA Champions League, the Grammys, the BRIT Awrds and the Oscars. MORE

NFL Books Mexico Trip With ESPN, Adds To U.K. In '16

After an absence of more than ten years, when more than 100,000 saw a game in 2005, the NFL is returning to Mexico City as part of the league's plans to expand its global presence, booking a game on Nov. 21 between the (still) Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans, with ESPN scheduled to air the first Monday Night Football telecast outside the U.S., even as the NFL enhances its presence in the U.K. via more stadiums, more marketing partners and more planned games, potentially with a franchise and a Super Bowl sometime in the future, with an enthusiastic commissioner Roger Goodell saying, "Let's continue to see that excitement and enthusiasm, passion and support continue to develop." MORE

ManU Signs Deadpool, Magneto To Play With Rooney

Already one of the most popular and valuable sports franchises in the world, Manchester United is adding some new players to raise the bar via a global deal with 20th Century Fox that will see cross-marketing and promotions on the pitch and social media — the club has some 7M followers on Twitter, 68M likes on Facebook — in-cinema and multi-media for such upcoming releases as Deadpool, X-Men Apocalypse and Independence Day: Resurgence, with a campaign anchored by a spot in which the character Deadpool wins a soccer game with a free kick and is cheered by Wayne Rooney and other ManU stars, only to find that he had "that weird dream again." MORE

CBS: New NFL 'TNF' Package Not The Deal We Wanted

The new pact unveiled this week by the NFL for its Thursday Night Football package was good for the league with a two-season value in excess of $900M, good for NBC — which joins with a five-game schedule — and good for NFL Network, but not everything that CBS wanted, as CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus reveals, with his network expecting to return with an eight-game schedule it had during each of the past two seasons but having to accept a five-game slate, albeit with certain needs that appear to have been fulfilled, because "that's what the NFL wanted." MORE

Super Bowl Eyes Record $220M Spend From Biz, Visitors

When the NFL in May 2013 awarded Levi's Stadium hosting rights to Super Bowl 50, it put into motion a series of financial, political, cultural and logistical events so that the San Francisco Bay Area could prepare for the Big Game, the fruits of which come this week when the spend related directly to the golden anniversary event by the NFL, businesses, visitors and media on lodging, transportation, food, beverages, hospitality and tourism is expected to top $220M, according to PriceWaterhouseCooper, which would set a record by surpassing the $210M figure in the New York area during Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) and the $205 spend surrounding Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix last year. MORE

Commercial Spotlight: Lego The Force Awakens, Leo Messi Space Scooter, H&M Modern Essentials Valvoline Pit Pals



Gatorade, A-B Drive NFL Revenue Growth To Record $1.2B

In what might have been a response to 'Deflate-Gate' and serious issues such as player health and concussions, domestic violence, child abuse and the quality of officiating, the NFL and its 32 teams saw sponsorship revenue rise just 4.4% in 2015 after having grown 7.8% in 2014, but the league still managed to top $1B for the fourth consecutive season by taking in a record $1.2B, led by Gatorade, Anheuser-Busch, Papa John's, Verizon and Microsoft, according to the 2015 IEG NFL Sponsorship Report, which also showed that insurance and quick-serve restaurants were the most active categories and that the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles were among the teams with the highest sponsorship revenue. MORE

Cam Tops Peyton, Wilson As NFL's Most Marketable Player

Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos has held the title of NFL's top marketed player with more than $12M in endorsements — the most among all NFL players — via such deals as Nationwide, Papa John's, DirecTV and Gatorade, but fellow QB Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is set to take the top spot and has been voted the NFL Most Marketable Player by the readers of NYSportsJournalism (as well as by industry analysts contacted by NYSJ), with Cam already at $11M in endorsements including Under Armour, Dannon Oikos, Gatorade, Microsoft, Beats by Dre and EA Sports, and more potentially to come if he helps to lead the Panthers to victory in Super Bowl 50 against Manning and the Broncos. MORE

In Super Bowl 50 Season, NFL Still Sets Gold Standard

Over the past two seasons, the NFL has been under more public scrutiny than ever, with issues covering rules and regulations, domestic violence, child abuse and player health, the latter gaining an even more intense spotlight via the move Concussion, but the NFL over the past two seasons has also continued to set the gold standard among sports regarding TV ratings, marketing, the power of the Super Bowl and overall popularity among fans, who rate the NFL as No. 1 versus its peers in the U.S., according to a new survey from The Harris Poll, with pro football twice as popular as MLB, three times more popular than college football and six times more popular than the NBA and NHL. MORE

Will Naming Rights To New NFL L.A. Stadium Hit $1B?

Would Farmers Insurance, Live Nation, Hyundai, Walt Disney or another Los Angeles-based company spend $1B for the naming rights to the stadium that in 2019 will be home to the returning Rams or for the full 298-acre complex being built to include a home for NFL network, other entertainment activations and possibly the 2024 Summer Olympics, receiving in return the attention of media across the U.S. and worldwide? Industry analysts say yes, or, at the very least, that the site now operating under the name Los Angeles Entertainment Center, represents "a new model that others likely will follow," echoing the words of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who said upon unveiling the league's approval for the Rams to move from St. Louis back to the city they left in 1994, "(This will have a lasting impact) not just on NFL stadiums and complexes but on sports complexes around the world." MORE

Fans Don't Pass On Cam, Peyton, Wilson Merchandise

Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers are among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and they also sell the most NFL-related merchandise, according to the NFL Players Assn., which lists Wilson as No. 1 overall, Rodgers the leader in bobbleheads, Manning tied for first in kids' toys and apparel and Brady as No. 1 in such licensed categories as T-shirts, figurines and college-branded products, with Newton, now headed to Super Bowl 50 to face Manning, as the fastest-rising player among fans and consumers. MORE

Can Gronk, Pence, Pastrana Stomach Stephen A.?

Stephen A. Smith, the outspoken analyst and commentator for ESPN, will be making new grumbling noises this year as the "Little Voice in Your Stomach" for Oberto Beef Jerky, as the brand unveiled a trio of endorsers including NFL TE Rob Gronkowski, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and motorsports driver Travis Pastana, who join Richard Sherman, Tough Mudder and NHRA's Jim Dunning Racing as company spokespersons, with Smith and the others set to appear in TV scheduled to hit in March and other multi-media efforts to promote its mantra, "You get out what you put in." MORE

Panini America UnBoxes Exclusive Alliance With NFL

Calling it a "landmark achievement," Panini America has signed a long-term deal making it the sole manufacturer of "traditional" trading cards and stickers licensed by the NFL, expanding an exclusive deal that the card and collectibles company previously inked with the NFL Players Assn. as well as a non-exclusive alliance in the digital card category (along with Topps), with both pacts set to kick in prior to the 2016 NFL Draft when Panini will also begin to support with multi-media marketing and releases to celebrate players and such jewel events as the NFL Combine, Kickoff, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, all aimed to "grow the football trading card category" worldwide. MORE

Car Companies Accelerate NFL Alliances With Team Deals

Hyundai, in its rookie season replacing GM as the NFL's official auto partner, continues to build the alliance with team pacts, adding the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers to deals already signed with the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans, but Toyota is the most active car company with about a dozen team partnerships — the one with the San Francisco 49ers encompassing naming rights to a portion of Levi's Stadium — Ford has about a half-dozen teams on its roster, anchored by the Detroit Lions and Ford Field, with naming rights also driving deals for the Tennessee Titans (Nissan Stadium) and New Orleans Saints (Mercedes-Benz Superdome). MORE

Q&A: With NFL, On Location Wants To Tackle The World

After nearly 25 years as an executive in the NFL and NHL, John Collins has joined as its CEO On Location Experiences, a premium events and hospitality firm run under the auspices of RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital and the NFL, which offers exclusive access to NFL events such as the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and Draft. But working in tandem with RedBird founder Gerry Cardinale — who helped to launch YES Network and Legends Hospitality (owned by the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys) — and Bruin Sports founder George Pyne — formerly COO for Nascar and president for IMG — the challenge as Collins relates in this Q&A is to expand for fans the landscape of the On Location Experiences platform to include high-profile non-NFL events (think Olympics and FIFA World Cup) while continuing to help the NFL build its own platform worldwide.

Brady, Beckham, 12th Fan Stuff Top-Selling NFL Jersey List

While people were watching NFL games, eating turkey and partying with family and friends, they also were multi-tasking by shopping online for NFL jerseys during the period from Nov. 26 - Dec. 2 — which covered Thanksgiving Weekend, Black Friday and Cyber Monday — with the most popular items being those featuring Tom Brady, Odell Beckham Jr., Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Dez Bryant and five members from the Seattle Seahawks (led by Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch) and as added dressing jerseys honoring the Seahawks' 12th Fan, according to figures from MORE

If It's Gronk's World, Do We Just Live In It?

Livin' On A Player: Bon Jovi Joins NFL's On Location

Wilson, Brady, Manning Top NFL $1.4B Merch Sales

A-B Extends Bud Light's Alliance With NFL

Q&A: How Microsoft Surface Pro, QB Wilson Boost NFL

London Town's A Go-Go For 2016 NFL Party Plans



Why 60% Of Big Game Ads Won't Score With Fans

Companies are spending upward of $5M for 30-seconds of airtime during the broadcast of Super Bowl 50 on CBS, but only 39% of them will get a true ROI, despite the anticipated presence of some 110M viewers, because they will fail to get their message across and/or will not engage and connect with potential consumers, according to research and consulting firm Brand Keys, which has placed on the optimistic half-full list of winners brands including Doritos, Hyundai, Kia, Mtn. Dew, Pokémon, Skittles and Snickers, but demoted to the half-empty pessimistic list all four beers from Anheuser-Busch — Bud, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Shock Top — as well as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the latter of which also has its name on the Halftime Show staring Coldplay and Beyoncé. MORE

Survey: Super Bowl Ads Getting Longer, More Effective

Anheuser-Busch, the official beer sponsor (via Bud Light) of the NFL and in its 28th Super Bowl as the exclusive national broadcast category partner, has spent more than any other company on Super Bowl ads over the past ten years, but the brewer is getting its money's worth, gaining the top three spots and four of the top six among the 25 most-liked commercials to air during the Big Game since Super Bowl XLV (2011), according to a new survey from Ace Metrix, which also reveals that a growing percentage of ads are 60 seconds or longer, that many more contain a social media component and, in the best news for marketers who this year have paid CBS upward of $5M for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl 50, that ads are becoming more effective and having more impact on viewers and consumers. MORE

With $2.4B In Revenue, Super Bowl Is NFL, TV Gold

The Super Bowl has proven to be one of the most golden of properties in sports history, and perhaps no more so than with the golden anniversary of the Big Game approaching, as companies have paid CBS upward of $5M for 30-second spots and the total ad revenue from TV sales expected to surpass the record $345M set last year when NBC had the broadcast, according to Kantar Media, putting an exclamation point on a trend that has seen the total TV ad revenue from Super Bowl XLV (2006) through Super Bowl XLIX (2015) approach $2.4B from some 130 brands, led by 10 marketers that have spent some $745M — 31% of Super Bowl network revenue — over that period, including Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Chrysler and GM. MORE

Esurance Has $1M Reasons To Play In Super Bowl 50

After making news last year with 'Sorta You isn't You' spots during Super Bowl XLIX staring Lindsay Lohan and Bryan Cranston, Esurance is back with new creative and a new theme, 'Pass It On,' which will see the e-company, a division of Allstate, run a commercial during Super Bowl 50 tied to a sweeps giving away $1M via Twitter to a select group of people who receive tweets from Esurance and then retweet them, which will be driven by on-air reminders during the broadcast on CBS, all part of a strategy to show how it saves money by operating online and passing the savings on to customers. MORE

Super Heroes, Villains, Rebels Plan Super Bowl Invasion

Heading into 2016, cinema fans have a lot to buzz about, including upcoming films from the DC Universe (Superman v Batman, Suicide Squad), the Marvel Solar System (Captain America: Civil War, X-Men Apocalypse, Deadpool), video game classics-turned-big screen viewing (Warcraft, Assassin's Creed), Earth invaders (Independence Day: Resurgence), astronauts going where no one has gone before (Star Trek Beyond) and rebels in a galaxy far, far away (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and they are among the movies that could get air time before an audience of 100M on CBS during Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. MORE

Fair Or Fowl: Chicken Wing Sales Eye Panther Victory

Calling it the second biggest eating time of the year after Thanksgiving, the National Chicken Council said that food brands, restaurants, fast-feeders, supermarkets and C-stores are getting ready for a flock of activity on Super Bowl weekend, when some 1.3B chicken wings are expected to be consumed — approximately 162.5 million pounds of wings, the equivalent of 6,325 times the combined weight of the players on the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos —  and with the NCC claiming that four of the last five Super Bowls having been won by the team representing the city with the higher wing sales in each respective game, this year's winner appears to be the Panthers, whose home city of Charlotte sells three-times more wings than Denver. MORE

Quicken Loans Will Launch Rocket Mortgage At Big Game

Already tied closely to sports via a naming rights deal for Quicken Loans Arena, the home to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, as well as via Fathead, owned by a group headed by Quicken Loans chairman and founder Dan Gilbert, the financial firm is taking its new campaign, 'Push Button, Get Mortgage' — with the tag 'Rocket Mortgage,' — to the Super Bowl via an in-game commercial and supporting efforts anchored by a sweepstakes in which people are eligible to win many of the goods and services that will be featured in the 'What We Were Thinking' spot, including Kitchen Aid mixers, Blendtec blenders, Shinola bikes and $100K toward buying a home or paying a mortgage. MORE

Bud, Bud Light, Michelob, Shock Top Hitting Super Bowl

Almost as certain as death and taxes is that Anheuser-Busch would be the exclusive category national broadcast partner during the Super Bowl, which will happen for the 28th consecutive time when CBS airs Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, with the brewer arriving with three minutes of total air time for Bud, official NFL beer sponsor Bud Light, Michelob and Big Game rookie Shock Top, capping a season-long celebration that has included multi-medial marketing, special cans honoring previous Super Bowl winners and a limited-edition bottle for the upcoming historic golden anniversary game. MORE

Super Bowl, Olympics Drive $60B Global Sponsor Spend

The coming year will see a series of unique sports events with global impact, including the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the NHL-led World Cup of Hockey in October and the NFL's historic Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, which will combine with such factors as more companies moving toward global expansion and finding more opportunities to align with rights' hodlers to raise worldwide sponsorship spend to a projected record $60.2B — the biggest growth in three years and a jump of $9B versus 2012, according to research, marketing and consulting firm IEG, with sponsor spend in North America alone reaching record heights with a 4.5% growth over 2015 to more than $22B. MORE

Ticket To Ride: Super Bowl, Taylor Swift Top StubHub List

This past year had its share of big sports event, big concerts and big entertainment, on online ticket destination StubHub has crunched the numbers from its consumer data and presented a hot hit list for 2015, which is led by Super Bowl XLIX, Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour, the World Series, U2, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, the NCAA men's hoops champion Duke Blue Devils and Garth Brooks; with StubHub also translating its facts and figures into key numbers that can provide marketers, leagues, teams, agencies and others with an insight into the buying and spending habits of sports-, theater- and concert-goers in the U.S. MORE

Butterfinger (Sky) Diving Into Big Game

Sweet Deal: Snickers, Skittles Super Bowl Return

NFL Sees Gold In Season-Long Super Bowl 50 Fete

Super Bowl, Oscars, March Madness Drive Ad Spend



Motel 6 Books Title Sponsorship Deal With Cactus Bowl

In marketing for Motel 6, spokesman Tom Bodett offers, "We'll leave the lights on for you," which wlll now transcend to college football as the brand has signed a deal to become title sponsor for what will be known as the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl, scheduled for Jan. 2 (ESPN) featuring teams from the Big 12 and Pac 12, with the college football post-season game to receive multi-media support and pre- and in-game activations with fans as well as an effort to enhance what Motel 6 sees as "a celebration of the drive and commitment that these athletes have to bring their very best." MORE

Nissan Inks 'Wide-Ranging' Pact With 100 NCAA Schools

Calling it the "widest-ranging sponsorship in the history of collegiate sports," Nissan has signed a four-year deal to become an official sponsor of 100 schools and universities and a "proud supporter" of select NCAA championships, reaching what the carmaker said would be 1,000s of students, 22M alumni and 188M fans," which will support and enhance Nissan's alliances as sponsor of the Heisman Trophy and sibling Infiniti's position as a corporate partner with men's hoops. MORE


AT&T Among Strongest In College Sports Spend

Delta Lands Hands-On Deal To Reach College Customers

Study: NCAA Athletes Get $1M More For Food

Operation Hat Trick Fetes Vets With CFB Campaign



Spalding Sends Lillard, DeRozan To Find 'True Believers'

Saying that it wants to celebrate the "passion and confidence that basketball fuels among athletes and fans," Spalding has launched a multi-media campaign featuring NBA All-Stars Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozen, who will encourage people via Internet, social media and other activations to visit a Web site to share photos and create a hoops-related nickname — The Board Collector, Arc of Justice — for the opportunity to win such goodies as tickets to games and Spalding products, which will lead to a three-part docu-series during the NBA Finals in June that will share the stories told by people who have a Basketball Jones, here is driven by the official basketball and backboard of the NBA. MORE

Curry, NFL, Tech Fitness Score Big For Under Armour

Sports footwear, apparel and fitness company Under Armour has had its first $1B net revenue quarter, — with full-year revenues nearing $4B — and, according to CEO Kevin Plank, there are several impactful reasons, including Stephen Curry's signature shoe line, a renewed deal with the NFL, a slate of launched and still to come tech-driven fitness items and a roster of such high-profile endorsers as Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Andy Murray, Lindsey Vohn, Misty Copeland, Jordan Spieth, Buster Posey, Bryce Harper, Michael Phelps, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Muhammad Ali. MORE

Draymond Green Finds Kevin Hart Is Friend And Faux

Kevin Hart makes his debut for Foot Locker in a pair of commercials in which the actor-comedian proves to be fashion-challenged, with one spot that also stars Draymond Green from the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors following Hart's quest to launch a line of clothing so poorly designed that he is forced to replace it with gear from the retailer's 'hottest month' collection (and then forced again to seek other options when Foot Locker 'threatens' him with a lawsuit); and a second adl in which a young actor who portrays Hart's real-life eight-year-old son Hendrix busts his 'dad' for taking and wearing his new outfits from Kids Foot Locker. MORE

WNBA Eyes Challenges, Rewards, Growth In 20th Season

When the WNBA launched in 1996 and began its first season in 1997, there were plenty of critics who predicted a short life for the NBA's distaff partner, but now the league is preparing for its 20th season, which arrives with such issues as slow growth, soft attendance and in need of a president to replace Laurel Richie (who left last year); strong broadcast partners in ESPN and NBA TV; a firm roster of marketers led by Verizon, Anheuser-Busch and State Farm; a revised playoff format; a new multi-media campaign mantra, "Watch Me Work"; and an array of stars — many of whom will play for the U.S. or their respective home countries in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero — led by 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donna, WNBA Finals MVP Maya Moore, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins and Candace Parker. MORE

Curry, Warriors Find More Ways To Top LeBron, Cavaliers

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA title last season, and Golden State's Stephen Curry was named MVP last season over a field that included the Cavs' LeBron James, and this season Curry and the Warriors have continued to beat LeBron and the Cavaliers, with Curry coming in No. 1 in jersey sales and Golden State team merchandise taking the top spot in the latest figures from the NBA's e-retail shopping site, covering a period that includes such top-sales periods as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holidays, the latter of which was highlighed by the league's debut of Xmas-themed jerseys during five games on national TV — one of which saw the Warriors defeat the Cavaliers. MORE

NBA, State Farm Ensure Alliance Via Multi-Year Extension

Helping to usher in the New Year, State Farm has signed a multi-year extension to its pact with the NBA, which began in 2010, to continue activations around such jewel events as the All-Star Game and both the NBA and WNBA Drafts, but also adding elements that include USA Basketball, the NBA D-League and the new NBA Store in New York, supported by TV (anchored by the new "The Hoopers" campaign), in-arena, online and other platforms. MORE

What To Gift NBA Fan Who Has It All: Yoga Mat, BBQ Set, Sock Monkey

According to, the top-selling items with a week to go until XMas include Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Derrick Rose jerseys; Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors hats; and any item associated with Kobe Bryant. But there are a bevy of eclectic items for sale for NBA fans who have it all, including team-themed BBQ sets, balloons, yoga mats, fanny packs and Argyle Sock Monkeys, all of which get five-star ratings in a new campaign from such players as John Wall, Damien Lilliard, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins. MORE

State Farm Wants You To Meet, Greet, Tweet The Hoopers

Following three season of "Born to Assist," State Farm has unveiled a humorous campaign centered around a "modern American family" known as The Hoopers to support its agents and agencies and again featuring a cast of NBA characters — Chris Paul (as Dad), DeAndre Jordan (Mom), Kevin Garnett (Grampa), Kevin Love (Son) and Damian Lillard (Baby), who will appear in a series of TV spots, print, online, social media and in-arena activations leading up to the All-Star Game and then through the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. MORE

'Skinny Akron Kid' LeBron James Inks Fat Deal With Nike

Having lost the services of James Harden to adidas and Stephen Curry to Under Armour, with a down-to-the-wire deal to keep Kevin Durant in the fold and away from UA, Nike made certain that, as Taylor Swift sang, it would never, ever, ever see LeBron James walk out their door by signing him to a lifetime contract to continue to build a brand that is expected to top $400M in sales this year, with no ceiling in sight, with James acknowledging that he remains loyal to a company that in 2003 saw a future with a "skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron." MORE

Kia Gets Milestone Billing On NBA ASG Jerseys

The NBA has unveiled its uniforms and other apparel for the 2016 All-Star Game this February in Toronto, and, as expected, league partner Kia has become part of a milestone by having its logo on the jersey-front, which also will see logos from apparel supplier adidas and the NBA itself, another inroad in the NBA's move to sell priority, high-profile ad space as it has done in the WNBA and NBA D-League, and as Nascar and soccer have done for years, to help drive marketing and income. MORE

Anheuser-Busch, NBA Draft Bigger Marketing Deal

Curry Takes Endorsements To The Next Degree

Becky Hammon, A-Davis Ink Money Shot Deals

What Happens When LeBron Reads Tweets About LeBron

Survey: Knicks, Lakers Cost Most For Visitors

NBA-Verizon Deal Set To Impact League, Teams



Trout Lands Leadoff Spot In Topps '16 MLB Series 1

Mike Trout has received numerous accolades during his MLB career, including ROY in 2012 and MVP in 2014, but now he joins the likes of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and Derek Jeter as being the No. 1 card for Topps baseball — with the photo capturing the moment last September when Trout climbed the wall in Angels Stadium and robbed Jesus Montero of the three-run homer — as voted upon by fans and consumers, putting the Los Angeles Angels four-time All-Star outfielder in lofty territory as the iconic trading card company celebrates its 65th anniversary of producing MLB cards. MORE

MLB Strikes 'Historic' Pact To Reach Fans In China

In a major step intended to significantly increase its footprint in China, MLB has signed a three-year deal with Internet-based Le Sports communications to bring for the first time live-streaming games across the country and to also reach fans and families through mobile, OTT, multii-layer activations and events that will take the game to the people and build on MLB's presence in a geographic region that commissioner Rob Manfred says is "a crucial frontier for the development of baseball." MORE

MLB Hits Home Run With $778M Sponsorship Spend

In his first year as commissioner, Rob Manfred saw MLB score strong numbers in attendance and TV ratings and major returns in marketing and sponsorship, where league partners hit a combined record $778M in spend, with the most-active including New Era, Anheuser-Busch, eBay, State Farm, VF Corp, and PepsiCo, and lots of noise from such newcomers as DraftKings, Amazon Web Services, Esurance, Falken Tires, The Hartford, Maytag and Starwood Hotels, all of which accounted for more than $80M in growth over 2014. MORE

MLB, Players, Fans Stand Up To Cancer During Series

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Returns To MLB

Bryant, Bumgarner, Posey Top MLB Jersey Sale



Turner eLeague Takes eSports, Marketing To Next Level

The plan for an eSports competition unveiled by Turner Broadcasting and WME | IMG this past September — a strategic move into the burgeoning category that has a global viewing audience of motre than 225M and revenue expected to top $765M by 2018 — finally has a play date, with the two media companies saying that its eLeague would make its debut on May 24 featuring Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offense, including planned ten-week coverage of the event to include a regular season, playoffs and Global Championship, with Turner expected to support with such multi-media marketing as TV, tie-ins with Turner Sports properties NBA on TNT and Inside the NBA, ads during NCAA Men's Div. 1 basketball March Madness (which Turner airs on TNT, TBS and truTV in alliance with CBS), Internet and social media. MORE

EA Dives Into eSports With Platform For Madden, Battlefield

Following in the footsteps of competition such as Activision but calling it a "groundbreaking opportunity," veteran video game company EA has unveiled a strategy to build its first eSports platform, the Competitive Gaming Division, which will be overseen by EA COO Peter Moore and position such titles as Madden NFL, Battlefield and FIFA in the burgeoning category — expected to approach $300M in revenue this year and growing — with EA CEO Andrew Wilson proclaiming, "This is the latest step in our journey to put our players first and enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises." MORE


LeBron, Melo Seek History With Olympic Hoops Team

The 1996 USA Men's Basketball Team that won gold in the Barcelona Olympics that year will forever be known as the Dream Team due to an imposing roster that included Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen, but the players seeking a spot on the team that will participate in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro also dream of gold and more, with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony looking for their historic fourth Olympic medals, Chris Paul going for his third gold and a group of 27 other NBA stars competing for what will ultimately become a 12-man roster under the guidance of head coach Mike Krzyzekwsi, who after the run in Brazil will hand the team's reins over to Gregg Popovich. MORE

KT Tape Sticking Around With Team USA, Olympic Deal

In 2012, KT Tape, used for pain relief and muscle support, gained national attention when Kerri Walsh Jennings wore the product en route to an Olympic gold medal in volleyball with teammate Misty May-Treanor, and now KT Tape is making its presence official by becoming the kinesiology tape licensee for Team USA, with a pact running through the Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 Winter Games in South Korean, to be supported by marketing featuring Walsh Jennings and NBA star James Harden, who will appear on products and assist in other activations. MORE

Security, Money Priority For USOC, LA2024 Games Bid

With the countdown to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro just about eight months off, the U.S. Olympic Committee put its focus on Summer Games about eight years away, meeting with Casey Wasserman and other executives from the LA2024 group leading the bid process for Los Angeles, which seeks to overcome such major obstacles of finances, security, player logistics and support from people in Los Angeles and nationwide to take on Rome, Paris and Budapest to win the IOC approval. MORE


Why Atlas Came Back To Train Bradley, 'Fight' Pacquiao

The event was supposed to be about the upcoming welterweight fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr., but media conference also was about veteran trainer Teddy Atlas, who in 2015 returned to the ring after a four-year absence, during which time he was immersed in the sport as an analyst and commentator for ESPN but decided to then bring his decades of experience — including working with several boxing champions — to help guide Bradley to be part of pugilist history by potentially being the last man to face Pacman, who has publicly shared his decision to retire to a life in politics following the scheduled April 9 bout. "When you look at a fighter it goes beyond lefts and rights," said Atlas. "A person has to have character, heart, and I saw that in Bradley."  MORE

Two Mike Tysons Enter Octagon In EA Sports UFC 2

In his prime, Mike Tyson put fear into his opponents even before he entered the boxing ring, and now two versions of the man previously known as 'The Baddest Man on the Planet' will be in game-mode as part of EA Sports UFC 2 — 'Iron' Mike Tyson from his 37-0  rise to glory in the 1980s and 'Legacy' Mike reflecting the 13-5-2 latter part of his career — all part of what EA said was a plan to help videogamers re-visit history and imagine "that if MMA was as popular back when he was competing as it is today, you might have seen Tyson step into the Octagon and put on four-ounce gloves." MORE

Batman v Superman Now Dale v Jimmie In Heroic Effort

In the upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. is pitting two of the most iconic super-heroes in comic book and movie history against one another, and tossing other DC comics legends into the mix, a plot line being followed by Nascar's Hendrick Motorsports as it pits two of its legends, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, in a multi-platform effort under the umbrella theme, "Hero Faceoff," with Earnhardt's No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS getting a Batman makeover, Johnson's No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS taking on a Superman identity, a sweepstakes via Nationwide dangling a trip to the film's premier on March 25, a build-a-Superman car hobby project in Lowe's and enough merchandise to flll the Batcave and Fortress of Solitude. MORE

Adidas Sees Shape Of Things To Come For Major Tom

Having already handled footwear and sportswear for athletes in soccer, basketball, hockey, tennis and elsewhere around the world, adidas is now going out of this world via its Y-3 high-end collaboration with designer Yohji Yamamoto, which has signed a deal with Virgin Galactic, under the auspices of Sir Richard Branson, to create functional and fashionable clothing and shoes for space pilots and, at some point in the future, some 700 astronauts who will become the next generation of Capt. Kirk and Major Tom when they fly aboard the SpaceShip Two, with Adam Wells, head of design for Virgin Galactic explaining, "It's very bold, very pioneering. It's something that will change how we view life on this planet." MORE

No. 1 Golfer Spieth Eyes Green With Coca-Cola

The No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and the man who last year made more than any other golfer ($53M) via winnings and endorsements, Jordan Spieth, has added to his marketing roster, signing a multi-year pact with Coca-Cola to appear in TV, digital, social media, POP, on-package and lead other activations for both the global soft drink and sibling water brand Dasani, with the 22-year-old also ready to take the alliance to Olympic levels when he participates in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. MORE

Gatorade, A-B Drive $118M Spend For Endurance Sports

Competitions such as road-running marathons, triathlons, obstacle courses, mountain climbing, cross-country biking and other endurance sports challenges have seen a rise in competitors, and with it a rise in marketing and sponsorship spend behind these events, which led by PepsiCo's Gatorade and Mtn. Dew, Anheuser-Busch and Nestlé saw the figure hit a record $118.8M in 2015, according to research firm IEG, with the most active brand categories led by sports equipment and apparel, sports nutrition, medical services, sports beverages, beer and hotels. MORE

Q&A: How UFC Marketing Is Moving Beyond The Octagon

The Ultimate Fighting Championship was formed in 1993 as a pro MMA group and acquired in 2001 by Frank Fertitta III, his brother Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White for $2M, which under the corporate auspices of Zuffa LLC now produces more than 40 live events, runs UFC GYM and is broadcast in more than 129 countries, a growth aided over the past year by the presence of such fighters as Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Conor McGregor and Chris Weidman. But as Garry Cook, former executive with Nike and Manchester City and since 2014 the UFC's chief global brand officer, reveals in this Q&A, the challenge of growing the UFC among core fans while attracting casual and non-endemic fans and marketing partners — the latter of which currently includes Reebok, Anheuser-Busch, Topps and EA Sports — means being authentic, building an interactive and vibrant platform that addresses domestic and global needs and keeping fighters up-close and personal.  

Poll: Jordan Tops Ruth, Ali, Serena As GOAT

Naming the greatest sports star of all time takes in a lot of players, a lot of opinions and a lot of time, but the GOAT is Michael Jordan, according to a just-released Harris Poll, naming Jordan not just No. 1 among his NBA peers but among all players across a bevy of sports, with MJ leading an all-time Top Ten list that also includes (in order) Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady and Wayne Gretzky. MORE

Serena, WTA A Perfect Match For Record TV, Ad Numbers

The Year of Serena Williams and her quest for a calendar Grand Slam drove tennis, media, marketing and the WTA to realize rising — and in some cases historic — numbers regarding attendance, TV viewership, digital and online visits and marketing deals, with Williams — whose accolades include Sports Illustrated Athlete of the Year and the WTA Player of the Year — taking in some $13M in endorsements (not including investments in her own and other companies) and close to $12M in earnings while bringing more attention to women tennis players and athletes worldwide, moving WTA CEO Steve Simon to state, "The depth of the playing field in our sport is unprecedented, the competition outstanding (with) growth continuing in the future." MORE

Paramount Pictures, Hasbro Expand Hollywood Alliance

Having already seen the results of their alliance with two global movie collaborations, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro have unveiled what they are calling "a groundbreaking deal" to work on more Hasbro properties and united them in a Hollywood universe, with movies soon to be on the drawing board for Micronauts, Visionaries, M.A.S.K., ROM and G.I. Joe, with the two companies seeking to build on the success of the Transformers film franchise that has earned some $3.8B to date and G.I. Joe, which has taken in more than $675M worldwide to date. MORE

Taylor Swift, Cochella Drive $1.4B Music Spend

Tracy Morgan Return Engagement For Foot Locker

Spieth, Rory Swing Golf Sponsors To Spend $1.7B

USOC, NBC, Marketers Begin Olympic One-Year Countdown

World Surf League On Board For First Global Campaign

Ronda, Mayweather, Cowboys Top Yahoo! Searches

Survey: Nike, adidas, Jordan Top Brands For Millennials

Visa Unveils Team Of Athletes Eyeing 2016 Olympics


Q&A: North Face Explores 'Faster, Younger' Outdoor Market

The North Face knows what it's like to climb extremely high mountains, endure frigid temperatures and test the limit of human endurance, and after recently releasing its first global marketing campaign it also knows what it's like to try to attract a modern outdoor consumer who is "faster, younger and more motivated," as company president Todd Spaletto explains in talking about the means and methods behind the call-to-arms effort, "Never Stop . . . ," adding, "We are building a brand strategy that can drive us for the next ten years . . . What we do and say is authentic." MORE

Q&A: At Rhone, Hard Work Brings Sweet Smell Of Success

Rhone Apparel is driven by many inspirations, among them, men can smell but their workout clothing doesn't have to, a significant factor that motivated Nate Checketts to dive into the "athlesure" category, which is burgeoning thanks to consumers who spend more than $33B on gear they can wear in the gym and also in casual situations. But as Checketts, co-founder and CEO for Rhone, relates in the Q&A, getting guys to buy into the idea that workout clothes can look good and smell clean, and spreading the message about Rhone Apparel — whose investors include former NBA commissioner David Stern and former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein — without hiring pro athlete endorsers, is as challenging as it is rewarding.

Living Legends Are Living Large With Marketing Alliances

Unlike Babe Ruth, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson, celebrities can be well past their greatest achievements — but still be alive — to sell merchandise, attend sponsorship events and appear in ad campaigns, as witnessed by a group of elder-statesman and iconic figures that includes Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Pelé, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Joe Montana and Bo Jackson, each of whom has been in commercials over the past couple of years and/or have lent their time and likenesses to endorse such brands as Under Armour, Subway, AT&T, Papa John's, Emirates Airline and Toyota, as well as driving the efforts of their own products and philanthropic endeavors. MORE

Businesses, Hollywood, Sports Eye Cosmos In Cuba

The match on June 2 between the NASL's New York Cosmos and the Cuban National Team was more than a friendly game, it was a step in helping to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, a process that is moving forward after more than 50 years of conflict, coming with support from a growing number of U.S. companies such as American Express, MasterCard, Netflix and Airbnb — which recently established themselves in Cuba — Hollywood and TV executives already filming or planning to do so in the country and sports leagues including the NBA and MLB tapping into the region as a hub for top prospects. MORE

Fighting The Good Fight: ALS Association Named 2014 Grand Sports Marketer Of The Year

Countless people are working endless hours to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, widely known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The ALS Assn. has been at the forefront of this fight since 1985, but in 2014 garnered national and international attention with two key campaigns — the 75th Anniversary of Gehrig's "Luckiest Man Alive" speech (with extensive support from MLB and the New York Yankees) and the Ice Bucket Challenge (inspired by Pete Frates) — which raised awareness and funds worldwide. For these and other efforts, the ALS Assn. has been named the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year for 2014 based on votes cast by the readers of NYSportsJournalism. There is as yet no cure for ALS and the battle continues, with the ALS Assn. and such groups as Project ALS, ALS Therapy Development Institute, ALS Society of Canada and the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. among those front-and-center. For those battling ALS, every step is a good step. And, according to the ALS Assn., "Raising awareness is a crucial step in generating support for the efforts to find treatments and a cure for today's faces of ALS." MORE