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Best Marketing Events March 2017
 
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KEEPING SCORE

IndyCar Series 2017 Schedule
• Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg March 12
• Toyota Grand Prix Long Beach April 9
• Honda Indy Grand Prix Alabama April 23
• Phoenix Grand Oriux May 13
• IndyCar Grand Prix May 13
Indy 500 May 28
• Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix 1 June 3
• Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix 2 June 4
• Rainguard Water Sealers 600 June 10
• Kohler Grand Prix Elkhart Lake WI June 25
• Iowa Corn 300 Newton July 9
• Honda Indy Toronto July 16
• Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio Lexington July 30
• ABC Supply 500 Long Pond PA Aug. 20
• Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Madison IL Aug. 26
Grand Prix At The Glen NY Sept. 3
• GoPro Grand Prix Sonoma CA Sept. 17

Source INDYCAR

NYSJ NETWORK
WHAT YOU SAY!?

iSpot Top Ten Spenders Past Week (March 13-19/Lead Spot)

*NCAA Official Partner
• Geico ($27.2M) Hail Caesar Salad
• AT&T Wireless* ($19M) Unbelievable
• Verizon ($17.5M) Drop the Metrics
• NCAA* ($16.5M) Opportunity
• Coca-Cola* ($15.5M) Love Story
• Allstate* ($15.4M) Sarah, I Love You
• Progressive ($15M) Get Their Attention
• Capital One* ($14.4M) Clapper
• State Farm ($14M) Following
• Taco Bell ($13.4M) Work Emails
Source iSpot.TV

COLLECTIBLE CORNER

$10.00: Asking price for Mtn. Dew March Madness Inflatable Basketball Chair, on eBay
$19.49: Asking price for Duke University March Madness Unopened 12 oz. Bottle of Beer, on eBay
$64.99: Asking price official Wilson March Madness Final Four Basketball, on eBay
$69.99: Asking price for George Mason University March Madness Patriot Mascot Bobblehead, on eBay
$279.99 Asking price for March Madness '17 Semi-Finals Ticket Phoenix April 1, on eBay

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AT&T: 'Dentist' (More March Mad Ads Below)

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MARKETWATCH

NCAA MARCH MADNESS Men Sweet 16 March 23-24 CBS, TBS

NCAA MARCH MADNESS Men Elite Eight March 25-26 CBS, TBS

NIT TOURNAMENT March 14-March 30 Championship Madison Square Garden ESPN Platforms

SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES Austria March 14-25 ESPN

NCAA MARCH MADNESS Men's Final Four April 1-April 3 University of Phoenix Stadium CBS

NCAA MARCH MADNESS Women's Final Four March 31-April 2 American Airlines Center, Dallas ESPN

WRESTLEMANIA 33 April 2 Camping World Stadium, Orlando

MLB OPENING WEEK April 2-8

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY April 5 MLB

BOSTON MARATHON April 17

COLLEGE

Coaches Make ACS Call
NCAA Plans '18 Final 4
Final Four '22 In NOLA
Cancer Drives Home
Nissan House Open

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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99

Budweiser Has Can-Do Attitude In MLB Creative Effort

The self-proclaimed 'King of Beers' is bringing an artistic touch to its role as the official beer sponsor for MLB, getting local artists to design unique cans for 15 of its partner teams, with creative including the Gateway Arch for the St. Louis Cardinals, palm trees for the Los Angeles Dodgers, 'Amazin' Mets' for New York and the iconic elephant balancing on a baseball for the Oakland A's, all part of a larger multi-media campaign for the 2017 season. 'We wanted to leverage our long-standing partnership with MLB to raise a toast to the fans by giving them a piece of their hometown to hold in the palm of their hand,' said Ricardo Marques, vp for Budweiser. MORE

WWE Deal Puts Steve Austin, 'Macho Man' In Foot Locker

Wrestlemania 33 is less than two weeks away and all of the stars in the WWE sky will be at the mega-bash in Orlando, but as part of pre-event activation the organization is shining some light on its legends by signing a licensing and distribution deal with Foot Locker and Puma to sell limited-edition shoes and clothing featuring such icons as 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Randy 'Macho Man' Savage, Ric Flair, André the Giant and Undertaker, plus a guest shoe appearance by Walt 'Clyde' Frazier — longtime Puma endorser and a member of the basketball Hall of Fame — with the items to go on sale April 1 (the day before WrestleMania 33) on a first-come, first-serve basis. MORE

ManU Bringing Partners, Valuable Foes To U.S. Tour

One of the most popular and most valuable sports franchises in the world, Manchester United, is heading back to the U.S. this summer for a five-game Unmissable Tour presented by Aon and is bringing its marketing partners and valuable friends along, the former including a roster filled with brands well-known to consumers in America — Chevrolet, adidas, 20th Century Fox, DHL, EA Sports and Uber among them — with the opposition to include Real Madrid, Barcelona FC, Manchester City and two MLS clubs, Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake City. 'We have witnessed first-hand the passion and support for Manchester United in the U.S. so this tour is something we are looking forward to,' Ed Woodward, the club's executive vp, said of ManU's fifth visit here since 2011. MORE

MiLB Adds ServiceMaster Companies As Official Partners

Although the name ServiceMaster Global Holdings may not be top-of-mind with baseball fans, some of the companies under its umbrella might be familiar and could soon be even more recognizable as official partners of the 244 member teams, including Terminix, Merry Maids and American Home Shield, with parent SGH supporting the multi-year alliance via marketing and activation at stadiums — including a touring 53-foot interactive trailer now making its way to Minor League towns nationwide — in an effort to connect with the 41 million fans who attend MiLB games. 'This partnership will help connect MiLB consumers to the trusted service professionals who protect and maintain 75K homes and businesses each day,' said Pete Toches, vp-corporate communications from ServiceMaster Global Holdings. MORE

NCAA Gets Real With Intel VR March Madness Partnership

With the Men's Div. I Basketball Tournament heading toward the Sweet 16, it is fitting that Intel has signed on to become the NCAA's 16th Corporate Partner — the NCAA also has three Corporate Champion alliances — which said it would enable people to access for the first time Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and the Championship Game in VR for the first time via Intel True VR, providing the equivalent of a courtside seat with 360-degree capability and live commentary, plus an Intel VR app that will offer enhanced video highlights, stats, scoreboards and other touchpoints in and around the games. 'Intel's technology integrations during March Madness is one example of how Intel is changing the fan experience with True VR and 360 replay technology,' said James Carwana, GM for the Intel Sports Group. MORE

Global Games Helps NBA To Strengthen Ties With China

As part of its on-going efforts to build alliances with and create more inroads to fans and consumers in China, the NBA is continuing to send top stars to the nation under its Global Games platform, with the Golden State Warriors — led by Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — scheduled to play two pre-season games this coming October against the Minnesota Timberwolves with Karl-Anthony towns, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins and Ricky Rubio; part of the NBA's strategy that also includes games airing on TV and streaming live, a dedicated China Web site, offices in three cities, products sold in some 50K locations and a NBA Playzone family-themed destination in Shanghai, as well as off-season tours by LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Curry, Durant and others spearheaed by the likes of Nike, adidas and Under Armour. 'We are proud that after these games, nearly half of the NBA teams will have played live in front of fans in China,' said David Shoemaker, CEO for NBA China. MORE

Reggie Miller Calls Amazon's Alexa For Mad Assistance

NBA Hall of Famer and member of the CBS/Turner Sports college hoops' Tournament broadcast team Reggie Miller likes Coca-Cola, is a messy eater, sleeps late and loves to sing Seal's 'Kiss Like a Rose,' all of which we know thanks to a series of TV spots from NCAA partner Amazon to support its Echo and Alexa platforms, with Reggie calling for assistance in a variety of situations, part of a larger March Madness campaign that also includes Internet, social media, presence on March Madness Live and Alexa programmed to answer specific questions about scores, schedules and live radio feeds of games in progress. MORE

Twix Gets Sorta Serious About Quirky Left-Right Debate

Left Twix vs. Right Twix has been an on-going tongue-in-cheek campaign by parent company Mars Inc. for several years, but the brand has upped the ante a bit with a new effort that includes TV, Internet, social media and new packaging that clearly defines (but does not explain the logic behind) the roles of its product, with one wrapper labeled 'Left Twix' and the other 'Right Twix,' forcing consumers, in effect to pick a side, which is what two new spots intensify; plus a leg of the campaign built around Stan Blondek, Professional Twix Bites Sorter. 'We know many fans have a preference when it comes to Left or Right Twix, and we're excited to now offer a pack for each side,' said Allison Miazga-Bedrick, brand director for Twix. MORE

Majestic Athletic Effort Helps MLB Stars Paint The Town

The official on-field uniform supplier for MLB has gathered some of its 30 brand ambassadors for a new platform in an on-going campaign, 'My Town My Colors,' with Majestic Athletic putting paint brushes and paint-covered bats and baseballs into the hands of such stars as Miguel Cabrera, Francisco Lindor, Joc Pederson, Kevin Pillar, Kyle Schwarber, Giancarlo Stanton and Noah Syndergaard, allowing them to create images of the cities in which they play, which will be shared via a multi-media campaign. 'We wanted to tell a dynamic story in an unexpected way with great energy and passion,' said David Goerke, vp-marketing for Majestic. MORE

IOC Closer To Naming Both LA, Paris As Future Hosts

As the September date nears for the IOC to decide whether Los Angeles or Paris would host the 2024 Summer Games, a situation raised by IOC president Thomas Bach may actually come to fruition: Both cities could be selected, one to host the '24 Games and the other to host the 2028 Summer Games, a decision based on finances, politics, logistics — and the fact that some many cities have over the past few years dropped out of bidding on hosting the games — with the IOC having formed an Evaluation Committee to explore all options. 'Everything is on the table,' said Bach. 'We have an opportunity to (reward) two excellent candidates.' MORE

Watch How B-Dubs Puts Real Time, Overtime Into Tourney

As the official hangout for the NCAA, Buffalo Wild Wings knows a few things about wings, beer and unusual sports situations, such as sprinkler systems that unexpectedly turn on mid-game, stadium lights that mysteriously turn off at key moments, the possibility that Men in Black had something to do with Brett Favre's record number of NFL interceptions, voodoo dolls made from food and a 'Hit The Button' that can send a Super Bowl or March Madness games into overtime, all of which B-Dubs is putting into play for a multi-platform 'We Do It All For You Campaign' with TV, social media and in-restaurant and on-site activation that will run through the Big Dance and to the Final Four in Phoenix. MORE

ManCity Breaks Marketing Ground With New EPL Pact

Last year, the English Premier League moved to eliminate a rule forbidding ad patches on jersey sleeves, which long had been reserved for EPL logos, but with the billboard space opened up for the 2017-18 season, Manchester City was the first to take advantage of the situation, signing a deal with team partner Nexen Tire that gives the South Korea-based company prime marketing space to reach a ManCity fan base that is strong worldwide, with more EPL clubs due to follow before the next season begins in August, providing each team with what could be more than $2M a year in added revenue. 'At Manchester City, we are always striving to take an original approach to our commercial partnerships,' said club CEO Ferran Soriano. MORE

Topps, Aramark Cook Culinary Treats For MLB Fans

Sy Berger was a major influence at Topps for more than 50 years before his death in 2014, so it makes sense that the company would join with Aramark, which handles food, beverage and/or service facilities for ten MLB stadiums, to create an 18-card insert series featuring some of the hottest menu items around the Big Leagues, including the Cracker Jack & Mac Dog (Pittsburgh Pirates), Classic Pastrami Sandwich (New York Mets), Cheesy Corn Brisket-Acho (Kansas City Royals) and the Chicken and Waffle Cone (Houston Astos), classic treats that will be sold alongside an array of new delectables from Aramark, Delaware North, Levy Restaurant and other MLB food-beverage partners. MORE

Nike, adidas, UA Get A Foothold On Big Dance Kicks

According to the saying, There's no business like shoe business . . .  especially if those shoes can help take you to the NCAA hoops championship, and the big three brands during March Madness are Nike which has deals with 40 schools — including No. 1 seeds Villanova, Gonzaga and UNC, as well as women's No. 1 overall seed UConn — adidas with 15 schools (including No. 1 seed Kansas) and Under Armour with ten schools plus Russell Athletic (which outfits the feet of Texas Southern), according to Apex Marketing Group, whose numbers also show that while Nike sits atop the Big Dance kicks count, they have eight fewer schools than in 2015 while Under Armour (plus six) and adidas (plus four) schools have taken those spots in the tourney this year. MORE

MLB Delivers The Heat To Fans With Sports Crate Deal

MLB and the MLB Players' Assn. have signed a deal with Loot Crate — which ships monthly boxes of unique movie and entertainment goodies to more than 650K subscribers via alliances with Marvel, Cartoon Network, WWE and others — naming the Los Angeles company's new Sports Crate as the exclusive licensed subscription box of the league, with ten teams already in the mix and others set to join during the year, offering baseball fans access to limited-edition gear, T-shirts, hats, offers such as a day in the Boston Red Sox' Fenway Park and exclusive action figures, which in the first box will feature starting pitchers for each of the respective teams, including Jon Lester (for those who have signed to receive items from the Chicago Cubs), Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers), Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants), Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Noah Syndergaard (New York Mets). MORE

Q&A: ACS Game Plan To Beat Cancer More Than X's & O's

The American Cancer Society was named as the Grand Marketer of the Year through a vote by the readers of NYSportsJournalism, based on activations with many impactful partners that raised money and drove awareness for one goal: to find a cure for cancer. In this Q&A, Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer for ACS (and former veteran marketing executive for Coca-Cola), and David Doan, ACS's vp-sports alliances, share the advantages of being able to work with such organizations as the National Association of Basketball Coaches, IMG College and Princess Lacey's Legacy; activating during such high-profile events as the NCAA College Football Playoffs, March Madness and the Final Four; and having hundreds of college and high school coaches be part of Coaches vs. Cancer; but also the challenges of having the mechanics and logistics in place to run the 24/7 year-round fund-raising efforts needed to support the work of countless thousands of people seeking to put an end the disease.

March Madness Spotlight: Subway Dick Vitale, LG Mascots Knock, Progressive Air Flo, B-Dubs Rally Beard

NEWS FROM NFL 2016

Despite Challenges, NFL Sponsor Spend A Record $1.25B

Although TV ratings may have been down, issues of health and player safety at the forefront and franchise relocation a focal point, sponsors and marketing partners still saw a bevy of reasons to put their money into the NFL to the tune of $1.25B this past season — up 4.3% over 2015 but behind the 4.7% increase in overall sports spending, according to research firm IEG — led by the beer and auto categories and driven by activity from insurance and QSR, with the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots among nine teams that recorded sponsorship deals above the league average. MORE

Behind Marketing, Fans, NFL Keeps Building U.K. Presence

Apparently loving its bangers & mash, fish & chips and growing fan and marketing support, the NFL has named the eight teams that will play in a one-season record four regular season games in London in 2017 — Baltimore vs. Jacksonville, New Orleans vs. Miami, Minnesota vs. Cleveland and Arizona vs. Los Angeles — with two games each in Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums, encouraged by numbers that, per the NFL, include more than 13M fans, a local TV audience that has 'more than doubled' since the first U.K. game in 2007 and a roster of marketing partners such as Anheuser-Busch, Hyundai, Pepsi Max, Microsoft, Marriott, Visa, Bose, Papa John's and Virgin Atlantic. MORE

Philly Eyes $80M Economic Impact From '17 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft, a long-time staple in New York before relocating to Chicago in 2015, is on the move again, returning to Philadelphia — which hosted the initial Draft in 1936 and last feted the event in 1961 — for 2017 as part of the NFL's strategy to enhance and financially enrich the platform, with local planners envisioning more than 200K visitors and eying an $80M economic impact on the city via what could be a week-long party in late April that is scheduled to include many league and city marketing partners and sponsors and cover an area that features such landmarks as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum and the Cathedral Basilica. MORE

SB LV Could Raise Naming Rights In L.A. To $1B

Tom Brady Finds That Gifting 'The Rock' Can Be Testy

Hot Property: Dez, Brady, Rodgers Top NFL Salesmen

Led By NFL, MLB, Licensed Sports Merch Nears $48B

How Car Companies Got Mileage From Super Bowl Ads

NFL Players Take A Stand With 'My Cause My Cleats'

 

NEWS FROM MLB 2016 

Q&A: The WBC And Olympics 'Can Absolutely Co-Exist'

In 2005, in response to the IOC voting to oust baseball and softball from the Olympics beginning with the 2012 London Games, the sport's overseeing body worked with MLB, MLBPA and other governing bodies worldwide to launch the World Baseball Classic — the fourth iteration of which is currently underway with 16 teams and more than 60 marketing partners — but baseball and softball have been reinstated to the Olympics beginning with the 2020 Tokyo Games. Does that put the future of the WBC in jeopardy? 'The WBC and the Olympic Games can absolutely co-exist,' Dominick Balsamo, vp-international media sales and marketing partnerships for MLB, says in this Q&A. 'The two events are distinct and attract their own fans and marketing partners.'

Marketers Come To Bat For '17 World Baseball Classic

When the 2017 World Baseball Classic begins on March 6, it will include 16 teams, more than 400 players, six cities, a half-dozen stadiums and some 60 (and counting) marketers that will activate globally, regionally and/or locally, led by top-tier partners GungHo Online Entertainment (Puzzles & Dragons), Swiss watchmaker Hublot, Nippon Express and Nomura Securities; with campaigns and various platforms from such companies as Delta Air Line, AT&T, Kia, Brooks Brothers, Sun Life Financial, Rawlings (the official baseball), New Era (caps), Majestic (jerseys and T-shirts), MLB Network and ESPN Desportes; all culminating at the WBC Finals in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 22. MORE

Topps Now All In With WBC Cards, Collectibles

Coming off a season in which its Topps Now platform exceeded expectations during its first year, selling more than 500K of the on-demand product, Topps is embracing its role as an official partner for the World Baseball Classic 'with daily cards of the top highlights as they happen,' starting with Israel's opening day victory and continuing throughout the two-week event that culminates at the title game in Dodger Stadium, with products to also include team sets, cards in Hispanic and ultimately cards that contain game-used items such as pieces of bats and uniforms. 'The World Baseball Classic is a natural fit for Topps Now because it offers great plays from international stars, with players whose cards you might not get anywhere else,' said David Leiner, GM and vp for Topps. MORE

MLB Starts Countdown, Sales Pitch To '17 All-Star Game

With the dust from the 2016 All-Star Game having just settled, and Home Run Derby balls hit by Giancarlo Stanton still rattling around PetCo Park, MLB has started the march to the 2017 All-Star Game and festivities in Miami Marlins Park, unveiling the official logo and accompanying promo video for such events as the SiriusXM Futures Game, T-Mobile Home Run Derby — where Marlins outfielder Stanton could defend his title while serving as one of the hosts for the week of events — the FanFest in the Miami Beach Convention Center and the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, with the Marlins using the jewel activities to sell season tickets for this year and beyond. MORE

Under Armour Plays Field With MLB Deal

Cubs Series Marketing Took 100 Years

Cubs' Bryant No. 1 In Topps' '17 Series

Retired Papi So Busy Even Peyton Looks Boring

IOC Puts Baseball Back In 2020 Tokyo Games

 

NEWS FROM COLLEGE 2016

Cap One Will Survive Madness With Charles, Gloria Gaynor

Of all the people heading to Phoenix to see the men's Final Four and championship game, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee are three of them, thanks to Capital One's fourth edition of 'This Is March Madness,' which sees the trio also bringing a guest, Gloria Gaynor, who in one of several new spots gets to sing her signature song, 'I Will Survive,' as part of a multi-platform campaign in which the official NCAA partner will be title sponsor for the March Madness Bracket Challenge, Capital One Jam Fest (starring Aerosmith), the Final Four FanFest and, on the women's side, presenting sponsor for Tourney Town at the Final Four in Dallas. MORE

$1.2B Ad Spend Makes Tourney 'Valuable TV Franchise'

When it comes to March, there is no shortage of Madness or marketing, with the 2017 tournament seeking to top last year's record $1.24B ad spend, driven by NCAA partners including GM ($493M), AT&T ($80M), Coca-Cola, Capital One and Unillever and such categories as automotive, telecom, financial services, restaurants and insurance; with broadcast partners CBS and Turner Sports' TBS, TNT and truTV again loaded with companies seeking to reach eyeballs and wallets from the First Four (March 14-15) through the Final Four (April 1) and Championship Game (April 3). MORE

Q&A: Ivy League Learning Lessons In Hoops Tourney 101

The Ivy League is going to a new classroom — its first post-season men's and women's basketball tournament, being played in the iconic Palestra in Philadelphia (March 11-12), with the winning teams getting a bid to the NCAA Tournament; joined by such marketing partners as presenting firm Citizens Bank, Coca-Cola, Nike and Under Armour, and games to air on ESPN platforms. But as Paul Bamundo, former marketing exec for the NBA and Subway and now CMO for Ivy League Sports — a collaboration between JMI Sports and the Ivy League — relates in this Q&A, although the Ivy League was the last NCAA hoops conference to organize a post-season event, the excitement, intensity and competition will rival that of more-established basketball tournaments.

NBA, Players Step Into March With Big Dance Campaign

In a league filled with former college players —many of whom participated in the NCAA men's basketball tournament — the NBA has found an organic marketing campaign that links its current stars to their university days, 'The Dance Never Ends,' an effort unveiled in 2015 that is now back for its second go-round, showing the likes of Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers-Wake Forest), Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls-Marquette), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz-Butler) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets-UConn 2011 National Champions) and how such staples during March Madness — aka the Big Dance — as mascots, team colors and fan celebrations live on in the pros, with a eye also looking ahead to the NBA's own post-season. MORE

Ivy League Fills Marketing Roster For First Hoops Tourney

In 1954, I Love Lucy was the No. 1 show on TV, On The Waterfront starring Marlon Brando won the Academy Award and the Ivy League Conference was formed, which is significant because since then the Conference has not held a post-season hoops tournament — the last to award its automatic bids to the NCAA men's and women's tournaments to its regular-season winners, but that all changes with the Inaugural Ivy League Conference Tournament in Philadelphia (March 11-12), with the top four regular-season men's and women's teams vying for spots in March Madness, an event that also comes with title sponsor Citizens Bank and such partners as Coca-Cola, Nike and Under Armour, with games to air on ESPN and on radio via Westwood One. MORE

Unhidden Figures: Hoops Tourney Means Money, Beer

By the numbers, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament starts with the First Four (March 14-15) and runs through the Final Four (April 1-April 3), with 68 teams and some 900 players seeking to be this year's real deal or Cinderella, but the numbers can be drilled down much farther, including a projected $150M economic impact on Final Four host city Phoenix, where 125K visitors will spend an average of $2,100 each, according to online financial destination WalletHub; with some 70M brackets expected to be filled out; but of equal importance: the sales of pizza and desserts will rise and the number of barrels of beer being produced will go up 3.5M to 17.5M during the month. MORE

NCAA Tourney Plays In Candy Aisle With Hershey

Relating that 'Reese's brand is all about fun and March Madness is arguably the most fun in college sports,' the NCAA has signed a new five-year deal with Hershey — which has been an NCAA partner since 2009 — to continue as its 'official confectionary partner,' enabling the brand to maintain title sponsorship of the Reese's College All-Star Game and Reese's Final Four Friday, both during the Final Four weekend in host city Phoenix (April 1-3), supported by multi-platform marketing and on-site activation. 'We want to inspire fans and consumers to go for it and get into the game day spirit even more passionately than before,' said Kristen Riggs, senior marketing director for Reese's. MORE

Atlanta Launches Year-Long Push For CFB '18 Title Game

The city of Atlanta is living up to its nickname of 'Hot-Lanta' these day, with the Falcons in Super Bowl LI and next season moving into the new $1.5B Mercedes-Benz Stadium (which will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019), the Hawks making a push for the NBA playoffs, United FC preparing for its first MLS campaign, the Braves ready to open the 2017 MLB season in their new SunTrust Park stadium and local sports movers and shakers unveiling marketing under the banner 'I'm In' for the '18 College Football National Championship, to be played next January in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, including Internet, social media and a heavy dose of outdoor, anchored by a bevy of billboards that will focus on luminaries and 'behind-the-scenes employees' who helped to bring the game to Atlanta. MORE

ACS Plays Point For Coaches Vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers

If something seems a bit different during college basketball games this week, that's because some 4,000 men's and women's head coaches and their staffs on teams and in conferences nationwide are participating in Coaches vs. Cancer Suits & Sneakers Awareness Week (Jan. 23-29), an annual event under the auspices of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which seeks to raise awareness and drive donations for the fight against cancer, supported by a multi-media campaign, one element of which is teaming with Shoe Carnival to back Princess Lacey's Legacy, named after Lacey Holsworth, a dedicated fan of the Michigan State Spartans basketball teams who passed away from cancer in 2014 at the age of eight. 'Often we think there is nothing we can do — but there is,' said Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo. MORE

NCAA Unveils Details, Activation For '18 Final Four

The NCAA, currently involved with the college basketball season en route to March Madness 2017 in Phoenix, has unveiled some activation details for March Madness 2018 in San Antonio, including the official logo, marketing and community plans to support the event, with the Final Four to take place in the Alamodome March 29 and April 2, all part of the city's Tricentennial Celebration, marking the first men's Div. I hoops championship there since 2008 but the fourth overall. According to Dan Gavitt, vp-NCAA men's basketball championships, 'It's evident that the Final Four has a lasting effect on the host city and we're excited to bring it back to San Antonio.' MORE

Kristen Bell Drives Enterprise To March Madness

Hoops Final Four '22 Playing In NOLA

College B-Ball Coaches Make Call For ACS

Barkley's Next Fight: 'Magic' Johnson

Marriott Books Room For Tourney Campaign

 

NEWS FROM NBA 2016-17

NBA Fetes Latin Month With Marketing, Merch, Games

The NBA is entering el mes de Marzo como un leon, unveiling a multi-platform effort to support its 11th annual Noches ene•be•a Latin Nights platform, including TV, Internet, social media, community and in-arena activation and such merchandise as jerseys, hats, T-shirts and socks, which will be brought to light via all 30 teams and numerous Latin-themed games involving Los Suns, Los Bulls, El Heat, Nueva York and others; as explained by the campaign's lead TV spot: 'Vive La Passion celebrates the Latino fans who weave the NBA into everyday life, not just watching but living it, true fans who live NBA passion both on and off the court. MORE

'Magic' Johnson's Reappearance With NBA's Lakers No Sleight Of Hand

Hall of Famer, five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, who played his entire pro career with the Los Angeles Lakers and has also been their coach, vice-president and a minority owner, is returning to the franchise after team president Jeanie Buss named him president of basketball operations, the center of a shakeup among team hierarchy that also sees long-time GM Mitch Kupchak relieved of his role and Jim Buss, brother of Jeanie, reassigned from his duties as vp-basketball operations (although remaining as a team owner along with Jeanie and other siblings), the result of the Lakers posting a combined record of 84-220 since 2013-14 (through the All-Star Game break this season), with both Jeanie Buss and Johnson vowing to return the franchise to 'the values and standards of the purple-and-gold' set by Buss' father and long-time franchise owner, Dr. Jerry Buss (who passed away in 2013). MORE

Gee Whiz: Gatorade Takes Title Role For NBA D-League

Beginning next season, in what was called an unprecedented alliance, Gatorade will take title sponsorship of the NBA's Developmental League, which will be known as the NBA Gatorade League, to include uniform logos, signage and other marketing platforms, with the partnership to focus on players testing new Gatorade 'products and innovations' and Gatorade using its Sports Science Institute to 'collaborate with the G-League on programs to enhance sports performance and recovery,' much of which will be shared with the public and NBA marketing partners during All-Star Game weekend. MORE

Pepsi Makes Much Ado About Uncle Drew At NBA ASG

When historians look back at our era, they might not remember Kyrie Irving as an All-Star player for the NBA defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but if Pepsi has anything to say about it they will remember Irving's alter ego, Uncle Drew, the character who has become a caretaker of hoops history and who invites into his local pizza parlor such friends as Bill Russell, Baron Davis, Kevin Love, Ray Allen and Maya Moore to talk about the game and its players, which Irving-as-Uncle-Drew will be doing in New Orleans during All-Star Game weekend to support Pepsi, new marketing, the release of Uncle Drew clothing and accessories, and also to talk about an Uncle Drew movie that is in the works. MORE

LeBron, Serena, Alicia Raise Their Voices For Nike Equality

Nike has gathered together some of its most impactful athletes — including LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Gabby Douglas and Megan Rapinoe, plus singer Alicia Keys and actor Michael B. Jordan — for a mutli-platform cause-marketing push, 'Equality,' which encompasses partnerships with Mentor and PeacePlayers — organizations that use sports to support and encourage youth and equality worldwide — to be shared via TV, outdoor, Internet, social media and on-site activation at the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans in an effort to show how equality on the court, based on skill not color, should extend to all walks of life. MORE

Triple-Double Russell Westbrook Schooled By Bill Russell

Despite the fact that he's averaging a triple-double this season, Russell Westbrook claims he is not about the numbers but is all about the wins, until he shares a list of his stats in a new spot from Foot Locker, including the number of times he has crashed into cameramen (1.7 times a game), appearing in 72% of opposing coaches' nightmares and keeping Vine alive for seven months with his highlights, then crosses the line when he claims to be the 'greatest Russell in NBA history,' a statement quickly refuted by Hall of Famer, 11-time NBA champ and five-time MVP Bill Russell — all in good fun to sell Air Jordan XXI kicks and other gear from Jordan Brand. MORE

NBA Lifts Marketing Spirits With Jack Daniel's Partnership

Calling it the 'largest partnership with a professional sports league in its history,' Jack Daniel's has signed a multi-year deal making it an official marketing partner with the NBA, WNBA, D-League and USA Basketball, to be supported by a hoops-themed multi-level campaign — which has launched with an ad that shows a statue of brand founder Jasper Newton 'Jack' Daniel and a basektball — to also include a heavy dose of 'Drink Responsibly,' with the alliance's coming-out party to be staged at the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, where the spirits and alcohol company to feature sponsorship of the All-Star Celebrity Game and Jack Daniel's House No. 7 hosting music, food, 'unique programming' and, of course, drink for people legal age. MORE

Curry, LeBron Top List Of Best-Selling NBA Merchandise

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have won the past two NBA championships and they could meet in the Finals again this June, so it comes as little surprise that LeBron James and the Cavs and Stephen Curry and the Warriors have the best-selling jerseys and overall NBA merchandise October-December 2016, according to NBAStore.com, with Curry's teammate Kevin Durant, who joined the team this season from the Oklahoma City Thunder, at No. 3, James' teammate Kyrie Irving at No. 4 — with James and Irving tops among players via sales of their Nike shoes — and Russell Westbrook of the Thunder rounding out the Top 5 ahead of Dwyane Wade (Chicago Bulls), Kristaps Porzingas (New York Knicks), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Jimmy Butler (Bulls) and Derrick Rose (Knicks). MORE

Q&A: Inside Inside The NBA's Animal House Frat House 

In the mischievously good-natured vein of the 1979 classic, Animal House, Turner Sports has its own Delta Tau Chi fraternity, populated by Robert Hoover (played by Ernie Johnson), John 'Bluto' Blutarsky (played by Charles 'Sir Charles' Barkley), Eric 'Otter' Stratton (played by Kenny 'The Jet' Smith) and Daniel Simpson 'D-Day' Day (played by Shaquille 'Big Diesel' O'Neal). But as Turner Sports evp-production and chief content officer Craig Barry — who here gets the role of Animal House director John Landis — relates in this Q&A, letting the four Inside The NBA guys banter and joke among themselves on almost any topic — such as Shaq investing in the company that makes one of his favorite foods, Krispy Kreme — resonates with viewers because they are real, the show is authentic and, above all else, the focus always comes back to the NBA.

Jersey Score: NBA Eyes $100M+ With Ads

Twitter Builds Sports Presence With NBA, Fans

Chris Ball On The Ball For Spalding's 125th Fete

Survey: NBA Teams Find Fan Loyalty More Than Winning

State Farm Tops NBA $800M Sponsorship Spend

NBA, All-Stars, Partners Party In NOLA

 

NEWS FROM NHL 2016-17

After 125 Years, Stanley Cup Still The Life Of NHL Party

You must be doing something right if you are 125 years old and people want to earn the right to be in your presence, carry you around, take you on trips, pay homage to your history and strive to be part of your future, a description of how the NHL and its players feel about the league's ultimate honor, the Stanley Cup, as it takes center ice in a multi-media effort honoring the 125th anniversary of Lord Stanley's trophy, which, according a campaign TV spot, 'If this Cup could talk, it would recall countless hearts it has touched and all of the places it has been.' MORE

NBC Sports, NHL All-Stars Shine Spotlight On Hollywood

As they sing in the 1937 warbler, Hooray for Hollywood, 'Any office boy or young mechanic can be a panic,' which is what NBC Sports is crooning for a multi-media effort, 'Hockey Goes Hollywood,' to support its coverage of the Honda NHL All-Star Game and surrounding events taking place this weekend in Los Angeles, with a dozen of the league's top players — such as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Lane, Tuukka Rask and Wayne Simmonds — appearing in a series of TV spots and NBC and the NHL joining their Internet and social media forces to put a spotlight on the game as well as the league's Centennial Celebration. 'The campaign is about bringing the stars and the sport to life authentically through the lens of Hollywood, including the movie life that Los Angeles is known for,' said NBC Sports Group CMO Jenny Storms. MORE

Reebok 'Born In The Cold' Promo Eyes NHL Classic

According to The Weather Channel, it is expected to be in the mid-30s in St. Louis on Jan. 2, 2017, not freezing but cold enough for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic to add a spicy chill to the event, and just right for a promo from league partners Reebok and Lids, 'Born in the Cold,' which asks people to submit via Twitter and Instagram pictures or videos showing how they brave frigid temperatures, with the top prizes including tickets to the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and host Blues or to the Alumni Game, scheduled to include such icons as Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull. MORE

NHL Fans, Players Can Now Run On Dunkin' Donuts

The NHL's Centennial Celebration just got a bit sweeter with the league signing a multi-year deal with Dunkin' Donuts to become its official coffee, donut and breakfast sandwich partner in the U.S., to begin at the Bridgestone Winter Classic game Jan. 2 and then continue through All-Star Game weekend, the Stadium Series and Stanley Cup playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals, which will see Dunkin' Donuts activate multi-media marketing via TV, Internet, social media and in-arena through deals with the NHL's U.S. franchises, including fresh creative that will feature new spokespersons Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers, David Backes of the Boston Bruins and Meghan Duggan of the NWHL. MORE

NHL Stars Trash The Place For Bauer Hockey Campaign

In a spot that channels an iconic ad from the 1990s in which Magic Johnson and Larry Bird play an über game of H*O*R*S*E for a Big Mac and fries (and re-created years later by LeBron James and Dwight Howard), Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs are featured in the humorous 'Call Your Shot,' part of a multi-media 'Aim For Greatness' effort from Bauer Hockey, in which the two players challenge each other to take ever-increasingly difficult slap shots using Bauer's new 1N hockey stick, with the pair ultimately trashing on-set cameras, lights, an ice sculpture, a table filled with food and other items. MORE

Gretzky: Why I Returned To NHL, Oilers

With Gretzky At Center, NHL Plans 100th Fete

Will Hockey World Cup Drive Fans, Brands To ESPN?

L.A. Kings Go To Market With Golden Jubilee

Pittsburgh Penguins Add 'Most Loyal' Fans To Cup Reward


NEWS FROM eSPORTS

How Shaq, A-Rod Are Helping DC Become eSports Capital

In what was called a move intended to help make Washington DC the 'eSports capital' of the world, Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, has signed a deal to be an exclusive sponsor for NRG eSports, the Los Angeles-based organization that has teams in numerous eSports competitions, which was co-founded by owners of the NBA's Sacramento Kings and lists among its investors Shaquille O'Neal, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Collins, with Events DC also making alliances with Overwatch and other players in the eSports field. 'DC is no longer your grandparents' capital,' said Max Brown, chairman for Events DC. 'In the next five to eight years, DC will be positioned to be the capital of eSports.' MORE

Twitter Builds eSports Platform With ESL Live-Stream

Following live-streaming deals with the likes of the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL, Twitter is now boosting its presence in the burgeoning landscape of eSports by signing alliances with top category players ESL and DreamHack to not only live-stream events during the coming year — beginning with the Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland — but to also run live and original content, including a weekly show from ESL to include highlights, behind-the-scenes footage and access to gamers and upcoming competitions, encompassing some 1,500 hours of content. 'eSports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers who already use Twitter as a primary source of content,' said Anthony Noto, COO for Twitter. MORE

Report: eSports Revenue To Accelerate To $1.5B By 2020

Envisioning it as the next battleground for brands, marketers, media and players, the global eSports landscape will continue to grow in 2017 and accelerate thru 2020, reaching revenues of $1.5B, according to a new study from research and consulting firm NewZoo, which anticipates that the number of players will top 58M, the audience will hit 358M and the global eSports economy will near $700M this year; and forecasts the category could impact nearly 2B people over the next four years, driven by increased viewership on TV, the addition of more pro sports leagues such as the NBA and FIFA; and more investments and activation from non-endemic companies, a list that already includes the likes of Coca-Cola, Bud Light, Buffalo Wild Wings, Taco Bell, Ford, Hyundai, Gillette, Axe and sportswear and shoe companies Nike, adidas and Under Armour, 'which will battle it out for eSports team jerseys and footwear deals.' MORE

How NBA Seeks To Score In eSports With 2K eLeague

Calling it a 'unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the growing eSports community,' the NBA and Take-Two Interactive have unveiled plans to launch the NBA2K League, which will see all 30 league teams closely involved with the competition, being called the first official eSports league to be operated by a U.S. pro league and set to begin in 2018, which comes at a time when eSports is experiencing viewership and investment growth, with the NBA especially interested in reaching what  research firm NewZoo says are 9.6M hoops fans who are also into eSports. MORE

Call Of Duty World League Builds eSports Success

Armed with eye-popping stats from Season 1 that includes the participation of more than 1,000 teams, more than 1.2B minutes watched of live competitive content and 120M tune-ins, Activision has unveiled activation for Season 2 of Call of Duty World League Presented by Playstation4, scheduled to run from Dec. 7 through the championship in August 2017, with an anticipated multi-media marketing campaign and interaction with fans worldwide as part of the growth of eSports that is predicted to top $1.1B in revenue in 2019. MORE

20M eSports Fans, Serena Launch Overwatch League

Blizzard Entertainment, already a major player on the eSports landscape, will expand its presence in 2017 with Overwatch League, based on the game it launched in May and now encompassing 20M players worldwide, with marketing support including a spot featuring tennis icon Serena Williams and plans to emulate professional sports with teams representing different cities and a combine to evaluate talent. 'We're building a league that's accessible to fans and players, sustainable and exciting for everyone involved,' said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder for Blizzard, all part of the burgeoning success of eSports that industry analysts said would top $1.1B in revenue by 2019. MORE

New Stats Show eSports Reaching MLB, NBA Levels

The power of eSports, which has been ramping up for several years, continues to grow and is reaching the point where the number of players, followers and marketing and media partners is approaching NFL, MLB and NBA levels, according to a just-released report from research and consulting company NewZoo, which shows that the number of people in the U.S. who watch pro sports and are aligned with eSports is growing, that more executives and players in pro sports are investing in eSports properties and that more non-endemic companies that also have sports ties — such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, MasterCard, Geico, Buffalo Wild Wings and General Mills — are becoming official partners in eSports. MORE

General Mills Joins eSports Mix With Yahoo Live Show

Add General Mills to the list of such non-endemic brands as Coca-Cola, Nissan, Buffalo Wild Wings and Red Bull either entering or expanding their role in the burgeoning eSports fray, with the food company signing a deal as the first sponsor for Yahoo eSports Live, a new weekly platform that will include news, analysis and coverage of events in the category, with GM supporting via marketing behind Resse's Puffs Cereal campaign in an effort to target 'an important audience of millennials.' MORE

eSports Continues Global Boom With AEG-ESL Alliance

AEG, which owns or operates sports and entertainment venues, teams and platforms globally, and major category driver ESL have signed a strategic long-term partnership with the lead goal ito 'broaden the worldwide reach of eSports' — a category anticipated to top the $1B mark by 2019 — including the potential of holding events in such AEG destinations as Barclays Center (Brooklyn), The O2 (London) and Staples Center (Los Angeles); leveraging AEG's experience in ticketing, marketing and producing live events; and expanding upon and developing new events across ESL's portfolio. MORE

Doodle Jump Set To Make Impact On eSports Landscape

Claiming more then 10M monthly players and 200M downloads, Lima Sky is preparing to bring its Doodle Jump game to the world of eSports, naming Skillz as the official tech partner for the upcoming launch, with game creators anticipating the same impact as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends when those platforms entered, and changed, the global category landscape, which currently has more than 185M fans and is on pace to top $9B in revenue in 2017, per industry analysts. According to Andrew Paradise, CEO for Skillz, "Doodle Jump already has hundreds of millions of players . . . it will now have organized, broadcasted tournaments and competitive leagues to transform it into a full-fledged eSport." MORE

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

ES Dives Into eSports With Madden, Battlefield

Fantasy Sports Face Highs, Lows, Challenges

 

NEWS FROM TENNIS 2016-17

Jack Sock Joins Kobe, Trout, Rizzo On BodyArmor Roster

If you want to be one of the best athletes in your sport, it doesn't hurt to associate with others who are among the best in their respective sports, a plan that Jack Sock — ranked as the world's top American male tennis player — seems to have followed in signing an endorsement deal with BodyArmor sports drink that includes multi-media marketing, as the brand has a line-up of players that includes world's No. 1 ranked golfer Dustin Johnson, NBA champions Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Rizzo of the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs, three-time World Series champion Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants), two-time AL MVP Mike Trout and Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion who also is an investor in the brand. MORE

BNP Paribas Showdown Nets 10th Anniversary Activation

Tenth anniversaries are traditionally feted with gifts of tin or aluminum, but for its tenth anniversary the BNP Paribas Showdown is bringing tennis diamonds and marketing gold to the exhibition event in Madison Square Garden (March 6), with such top players as Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Jack Sock, Juan Martin del Potro and legends Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt; and a marketing roster that includes nine-time title sponsor BNP Paribas, Kia, SAP, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, eleVen by Venus Williams and Delta Air Lines, all part of a larger umbrella activation, World Tennis Day. 'The tenth anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown is as much a celebration of corporate support as it is of tennis,' said event creator Jerry Solomon. MORE

How Will Marketers, Media, Tennis Greet Maria's Return?

The last time Maria Sharapova played in a pro tennis tournament was during the 2016 Australian Open, but as her 15-month suspension for failing a drug test comes to an end, the five-time Grand Slam winner and former world No. 1 is planning her return to competition in April at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, a friendly spot for her as the car company is one of her marketing partners, but also an early test of how the media, other tennis players and potential new brand partners will react to her post-suspension actions and attitude, especially in light of the fact that so many of her fellow Russian-born athletes have also been busted for failing drug tests. 'She has had a real wake-up call,' said tennis icon Chrissie Evert. 'She is out of her bubble now.' MORE

Serena, Maria Get Top Billing For beIN WTA '17 Schedule

Last May, the Women's Tennis Assn. signed a five-year deal with beIN Media Group that gives the media company broadcast rights in some 30 territories worldwide, including the U.S., for all WTA tournaments and certain premier competitions, beginning with the 2017 season that launches this week with such stars as newly reminted world No. 1 Serena Williams, Venus Williams, former No. 1 and now No. 2 Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Garbiñe Muguruza and Maria Sharapova, who is scheduled to return to the courts in late April (following a suspension due to her use of a banned substance), many of whom are also featured in a new beIN multi-level campaign to tout the alliance with the theme, 'You can't stop these women.' MORE

Go Figure: Deloitte Signs On As Official USTA Partner 

Audit, consulting, tax and advisory firm Deloitte has signed what was called a 'long-term, wide-ranging' pact with the U.S. Tennis Assn. to become an official sponsor for the U.S. Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams and the premiere sponsor for the Wheelchair Competition at the U.S. Open this summer; with plans to work with USTA to 'revamp the core enterprise digital technology and build the USTA's grassroots digital capabilities,' with Deloitte supporting via multi-platform marketing such as interacting with tennis groups on local community levels to expand the sport's reach and build alliances that 'promote inclusion and empower well-being and innovation beyond tennis.' MORE

Serena, Roger Help Tennis Net $800M In Sponsor Deals

Driven by Serena Williams' quest to set a Grand Slam record, Roger Federer's $60M in endorsements (despite dropping out of the Olympcis and U.S. Open due to rehab) and activation led by such companies as Emirates Airline, FedEx, BNP Paribas, Coca-Cola and Rolex, tennis is projected to reach a record $801M in sponsorship deals this year, according to a new report from IEG, which represents a 4% increase over 2015 and more than $60M over 2014, but women's tennis still took a hit due to such factors as low TV ratings and the absence of Maria Sharapova (PED-related suspension) and Victoria Azarenka (pregnancy), both of whom missed the Olympics, U.S. Open and other tournaments. MORE

WTA Network Seeks To 'Revolutionize' Tennis

Court Testers: When Andy Met Luol

Sharapova Won't Net Call For Olympics, U.S. Open

Serena, WTA A Perfect Match For Record Numbers

 

NEWS FROM THE OLYMPICS

En Route To Winter Games, Toyota Builds Skiing, Skating

Continuing to expand on its strategy to 'actively increase our support for winter sports,' Toyota has signed new multi-year partnerships with the National Governing Bodies for U.S. Figure Skating and U.S. Speedskating, has extended its alliance with USA Hockey and has added sponsorship deals with two prolific members of the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding teams — Gus Kenworthy and Torin Yater-Wallace — to a roster that already includes the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard teams, title sponsor for the U.S. Grand Prix, official automobile for Burton Snowboards and snowboarders Amy Purdy and Chloe Kim, all anticipating Toyota's first global activation as an top-tier partner with the IOC. MORE

Toyota On Board With Burton Preparing For Winter Games

With just about a year to go until the '18 Winter Olympics in South Korea, global IOC partner Toyota said it is 'actively increasing our support for winter sports,' the latest move signing a multi-year deal with Burton Snowboards to become the official auto partner of the company supported by marketing and activation at the 35th annual Burton Snowboarding Championships taking place this week in Vail, adding 16-year-old snowboarding phenom Chloe Kim to its endorsement roster and aligning with the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard teams and the U.S. Grand Prix. MORE

24 Hour Fitness Keeps USOC, Team USA In Shape

Citing a desire to 'provide more programs and training resources for future Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls,' the U.S. Olympic Committee has extended its alliance with 24 Hour Fitness — an official Team USA partner since 2004 — through the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, a partnership that will see a broadening of the USOC Certification Program developed for personal trainers and members, the continued assistance in designing High Performance Training Centers constructed in the respective cities of Olympic Games hosts and marketing support involving 24 Hour Fitness destinations nationwide. MORE

With Budapest Out, IOC In Bid Trouble For Future Games

Just days after stating that their bid was still in place, officials in Budapest withdrew from the competition to host the 2024 Summer Games, leaving two prime candidates — Los Angeles and Paris — but also meaning that more cities had dropped out of the race than were still in, with Boston, Hamburg and Rome also having fallen by the wayside, a situation similar to the bid process for the 2022 Winter Games, which came down to Almaty and eventual winner Beijing when several other cities withdrew, decisions based on finances, logistics and public unrest; all of which foreshadows what could be an ominous situation — all but acknowledged by officials — for the International Olympic Committee as it looks ahead to determine host cities for the 2026 Winter Games and beyond. MORE

Special Olympics Says 'Let's Go' To '17 Winter Games

When the Special Olympics World Winter Games begin in Austria in March, there will be 2,700 athletes from more than 100 countries competing in nine events, with Team USA sending some 150 athletes and 40 coaches, and to help pay for travel, hotels, food and other expenses the organization has aligned with GoFundMe to raise money, supported by a multi-media effort, 'Let's Go,' which shows some of the athletes in action and includes participation from such current and former Olympians as Simone Biles, Apolo Ohno, Hannah Teter, Aly Raisman and Julie Mancuso. 'GoFundMe's mission is to empower people to help people, and Special Olympics has been helping to empower people with intellectual disabilities for almost 50 years.' MORE

NBC, USOC, IOC Start One-Year Clock To Winter Games

There may still be some people shaking sand out of their shoes from the Summer Games this past August and  a good many working to bring the 2024 Summer Games to Los Angeles, but NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee are looking 12 months ahead to the start of the '18 Winter Games in South Korea, marking the one-year-out date with multi-platform marketing, activation and athlete appearances from the likes of Shaun White (snowboarding), Gracie Gold (skiing) and Hilary Knight (hockey), with official broadcast network NBC integrating the message across all of its assets, led by TV, cable, digital, regional, local and radio. MORE

Costas Steps Back From Olympics, Upfront About PEDs

Part of the news that came during NBC's one-year-out celebration for the '18 Winter Games in South Korea was that long-time on-air host Bob Costas would be stepping away from that position and would be replaced by Mike Tirico, but the veteran sports analyst and broadcaster was not stepping way from the controversial issue of the use of PEDs and other illegal drugs by Olympians and other athletes, claiming in no uncertain terms that such overseeing bodies as the IOC, WADA and CAS 'would have to get even more serious about drug testing and issuing lifetime bans to offenders — either that or throw up a white flag, and I don't see them doing that.' MORE

IOC: Games Bid Process Has 'Too Many Losers'

Bridgestone Extends TOP Alliance With IOC

Rome Says 'Arrivederci' To 2024 Summer Bid

Comcast Builds Olympic Role As Official USOC Partner

IOC, Alibaba Pact Will 'Transform Olympic Movement'

 

MORE NEWS . . .

Grand Sports Marketer 2016 — American Cancer Society

With platforms that include Coaches vs. Cancer, Suits & Sneakers, Three-Point Challenge, A House United To Tackle Pediatric Cancer and the multi-media marketing effort, 'Come And Play For Us,' the American Cancer Society has been named the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year 2016 based on thousands of votes from the readers of NYSportJournalism and input from sports and business marketing analysts and writers nationwide; an honor that also puts a spotlight on the work being done by ACS executives, staff and volunteers; doctors, nurses, researchers, technicians and others seeking a cure for cancer; programs being conducted in cooperation with such groups as IMG College, the National Assn. of Basketball Coaches and Princess Lacey's Legacy; and the countless number of courageous people who have defeated cancer or are fighting to beat the disease, with help from the families and friends who build their support system. SEE THE FULL STORY HERE

L.A. Marathon Puts Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid In Driver's Seat

The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon on March 19 may be about running, but organizers know it takes a lot of drive to reach the finish line, which makes room for Hyundai Motor American to sign on as an official partner and promote the new Ioniq Hybrid and Electric vehicle, which will, among other activation, serve as the lead car for the pro men's and women's divisions, be showcased near the starting line at Dodger Stadium as well as the finish line adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier and be part of the Finish Festival and Marathon Health & Fitness Expo. 'Ioniq will attract an entirely new group of eco- and efficiency-oriented buyers in the U.S. market,' said Mike O'Brien, vp-corporate and product planning for Hyundai, which is headquartered about a hundred miles up the California coast in Santa Barbara. MORE

Mobil 1 Effort Teams 'Odd Couple' Harvick, Mutombo

Kevin Harvick is a 41-year-old, 5-foot-ten-inch Nascar driver, Dikembe Mutombo a 50-year-old, 7-foot-two-inch retired NBA star and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, so it made sense for Mobil 1 to unite them in a campaign, 'Tremendously Odd Couple,' to support the launch of Mobil 1 Annual Protection motor oil — touting the premise that you don't have to change your oil for one year or 20K miles — a scenario based on the original The Odd Couple movie and TV show that here pits neat-freak Harvick and casual Mutomobo over such issues as cooking, ironing, sleeping and, of course, changing motor oil. MORE

IndyCar Series Revs Up Marketing, TV, Social Media

Defining it as a 'unique moment in the recent history of the Verizon IndyCar Series,' all four major manufacturing partners have extended their alliances with the racing circuit — Chevrolet, Honda, Dallara and Firestone — to coincide with the start of the '17 season, more good news for IndyCar, which also reports that fan engagement is rising across the boards in such platforms as TV viewership, track attendance (including a new record at the iconic Indy 500) and social media. 'It's another sign of the positive momentum we continue to build as we grow this sport into the next decade,' said Jay Frye, president of IndyCar competition and operations. MORE

Consumers Will Spend Record $5.3B On St. Paddy's Day

An old Irish proverb claims, 'There are only two kinds of people in the world — the Irish and those who wish they were,' which rings no truer than on St. Patrick's Day when people of all nationalities celebrate by donning green and, this year, spending a projected record $5.3B, good news for restaurants, bars, supermarkets, party-related retailers and even the official stores of the NBA, MLB and NFL via St. Paddy apparel and accessories, according to the National Retail Federation, which in a new survey indicates that some 139M people in the U.S. will pay an average of nearly $38 each in such categories as food (52%), beverages (41%), apparel (28%), decorations (22%) and candy (14%). MORE

'Sugar Ray' Leonard: 'Boxing Will Have A Big Comeback'

On March 4, CBS will air the welterweight world championship bout between Danny Garcia (33-0) and Keith Thurman (27-0) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, only the second time in nearly 40 years that a fight will air live in prime time on network TV, an event that has not gone unnoticed by boxing icon 'Sugar Ray' Leonard, who won titles in five weight classes during his illustrious career against such other Hall of Fame fighters as Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler. 'Top fights like this one on CBS will bring fans back to boxing,' said Sugar Ray, who will be ringside as part of the broadcast team for the bout being produced by Showtime Sports. MORE

Nascar Serious About Longtime Deal With SiriusXM

Calling it a 'level of coverage unmatched by anyone in audio entertainment,' Nascar has signed a six-year deal to extend its alliance with SiriusXM satellite radio, which traces back to 2002, through 2020 and to 'continue to deliver racing content 24/7 to millions of listeners across North America' via programming that includes live broadcasts of every race from the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series and other events, daily talk shows, news, features and exclusive content. 'SiriusXM helps Nascar reach new, diverse audiences nationwide,' said Steve Herbst, svp-broadcasting and production for Nascar. MORE

UFC Feels At Home With New T-Mobile Arena Alliance

Calling it an 'industry first,' T-Mobile Arena has signed a multi-year deal naming the UFC as an anchor tenant — joining NHL expansion team the Vegas Golden Knights — which establishes the venue as UFC's exclusive destination in Las Vegas and gives the MMA organization a multitude of marketing and media rights during and around four planned events there per year, an alliance that is organic in nature as UFC is headquartered in Vegas and has already had several major competitions in the arena, including UFC 209 (March 4). 'While UFC calls Las Vegas home, there are few brands as powerful globally and we look forward to welcoming fans and visitors from around the world for years to come,' said Bill Hornbuckle, president for T-Mobile Arena owner MGM Resorts. MORE

Time To Start Your Nascar Monster Marketing Engines

To coincide with the start of the '17 season, with new marketing partner Monster Energy at the forefront of Nascar's premier Cup Series, the racing circuit has given the green light to 'Ready. Set. Race,' extending and enhancing an effort launched last year that now embeds Monster Energy's 'bold, edgy brand' into creative, which includes TV, print, Internet, at-track activation and such Nascar social media destinations as Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to feature driver-created videos that follow their Chase for the Cup throughout the year. 'The Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series creative is unlike any we've ever done,' according to Jill Gregory, svp/CMO for Nascar. MORE

Super Bowl Previews Hollywood Blockerbusters For '17

With more than 110M people expected to watch Super Bowl LI, and even more anticipated for the Pepsi Zero Sugar Halftime Show with Lady Gagy, movie studios again will spend big during the Big Game on Fox, possibly even topping the $29M spent duirng Super Bowl 50 and the category record of $35 million during Super Bowl XLIX two years ago, with a cast of star-driven spots for upcoming releases that could include Blade Runner 2049 with Harrison Ford, Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot, The Mummy reboot fronted by Tom Cruise, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vehicles Baywatch and Fast & Furious 8, other-worldly beings-driven Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the return of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and the next mega global event from a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars VIII. MORE