Top 20-Something Marketing Story Of 2015 Will Be: free polls

2014 Grand Marketer of the Year:

• ALS Association 52%
• Upper Deck 14%
• Under Armour 8%
• BBDO Worldwide 8%
• BitPay 5%
• Foot Locker 4%
• EPIX 3%
• Daily Fantasy 2%
• Levis 2%
• LeBron James 2%


The best of today's sports and sports marketing blogs are HERE

ESPN: Wimbledon Calling (More Ads Below)


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"It definitely doesn’t get easier. But today I was out there and I thought, ‘Wow. I’m 33, and she just turned 35. I don’t know how many more moments like this we’ll have.” — Serena Williams today after defeating her sister, Venus, at Wimbledon

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.

WORLD CUP CHAMPS FIFA Women's World Cup U.S. Women's National Team 5-2 over Japan.

IN 2015 MLB All-Star Game starters have been named, as voted by fans. Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays set an MLB record with 14,090,188 votes, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals set an NL record with 13,864,950 votes, Full rosters named tonight: Selection Show ESPN 7 PM (ET)

OUT Rory McIlroy could miss the British Open next week (and other tournaments) due to what he described as a "Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage (suffered) in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday."

OUT McIlroy's former girlfriend, Carolyn Wozniacki, ranked No. 5, lost today in the round of 16 in Wimbledon to No. 20 Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.


JULY 14 MLB All-Star Game Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati Fox 8 PM (ET)


$3.82: Asking price for 1998 NBA Finals Program Chicago Bulls (Jordan) vs. Utah Jazz, on eBay.
$19.99 Asking price for 2004 NBA Finals T-Shirt Detroit Pistons vs. Los Angeles Lakers, on eBay.
$24.95: Asking price for plaque commemorating 11-time NBA Champion Bill Russell, Boston Celtics, on eBay.
$749.95: Asking price for autographed Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey (COA), on eBay.
$59,500.00: Asking price for autographed 2003-04 LeBron James Rookie Patch Card, on eBay.

Nike, Ford, Others In-Play For 'Historic' NBA Africa Game

A group of marketing partners have come on board as the NBA prepares for what the league is calling an historic event — its first game in Africa — including Nike, Ford, South African Airways, telecom company Econet Global Limited and media partners SuperSport (TV) and 947 (radio) — bringing marketing and activation to the exhibition pitting NBA players in a Team Africa vs. Team World format and surrounding events to aid the likes of SOS Children's Villages of SOuth Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. MORE

Hyundai In NFL Driver's Seat En Route To Super Bowl 50

The NFL has switched cars for the upcoming season, signing Hyundai Motor America as its official partner, replacing General Motors, via a four-year deal valued at $200M that will see the carmaker activate year-round during the NFL Combine, Draft, pre-season, Kickoff, playoffs and Super Bowl, where Hyundai already is among the top spenders over the past six years. MORE

Golden Gloves: Mayweather, Pacquiao Top Paid Athletes

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fought in May and collected a combined $400M (and counting), which was a major reason that the two boxers were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the list of 100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World as compiled by Forbes, with their combined annual total of more than $460M from winnings and endorsements higher than the combined total of the next seven athletes on the list: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. The down side: Only two women athletes made the Top 100: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. MORE

Nike's Global Eight-Year, $1B Deal Puts 'N' Into NBA

Nike is living large in the NBA, and not just thanks to endorsers who include LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving and its Jordan Brand division. The company of the 'Swoosh' has signed an eight-year deal valued by industry analysts at $1B to replace rival adidas as the league's official on-court global apparel provider beginning with the 2017-18 season, an alliance that will also see Nike become the official category partner of the WNBA and NBA D-League, with marketing and activations to include such jewel events as the All-Star Game, NBA Draft, Global Games and the playoffs and NBA Finals. MORE

Catcher In The Cards: Buster Posey Is Tops At Topps

With three World Series rings, Rookie of the Year honor, an MVP, a batting title, two All-Star Game appearances and having caught three no-hitters since 2010 to his credit, Buster Posey is tops among most MLB players, but now the San Francisco Giants catcher is also tops at Topps, with the iconic sports and entertainment trading card and memorabilia company signing him to become its lead spokesman for MLB products, to appear in marketing, on packaging and in other activations, beginning with the 2015 Series 2 MLB set. MORE

Global Sales Of Sports, Celeb Logoed Goods A $241B Biz

Are consumers really influenced to purchase products that have names, logos or likenesses on them of pro and collegiate sports teams, cartoon characters, celebrities and musicians? Yes, in a big way, to the tune of a record $241B in 2014, according to a new study from LIMA, a leading trade organization for the global multibillion-dollar licensing and branding industry, which in its just-released LIMA Annual Global Licensing Study says that the dominant category is Character & Entertainment ($107B in worldwide sales), followed by Corporate ($53B), Fashion ($29B), Pro Sports ($26B), Publishing ($12B) and Collegiate ($4.6B). MORE

Commercial Spotlight: State Farm Inside Out, Wimbledon Awaits, ESPN Minions, MLS Heineken Rivalry Week 




MLB Adds The Hartford, Miller Lite To Marketing Lineup

Thanks to a pair of multi-year deals, MLB has added some depth to it roster of partners, signing The Hartford as the league's official business and homeowners insurance and employee benefits firm — which comes with presenting sponsorship of the AL and NL Reliever of the Year Awards, named after MLB legends Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, respectively — and Miller Lite as MLB's official beer in Canada, with both alliances being supported by multi-platform activation. MORE

MLB, All-Star Game, Buster Posey Insured By Esurance

Major League Baseball is no longer 'uninsured" thanks to a new multi-year alliance with Esurance, the online division of Allstate, which becomes the league's official auto insurance partner (in a category vacant since State Farm left after the 2012 season) and activates immediately as title sponsor for the Esurance All-Star Game Ballot — now all-digital for the first time in ASG history — with planned multi-media marketing to support, in addition to a new pact with Buster Posey of the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants to appear in marketing and personal activations throughout the season. MORE

New Commish Paints Bright Picture For MLB Fans, Game

In his first official message as the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Robert Manfred spoke in an open letter to fans, players and marketing partners and said that the game is strong but that there would be even better times ahead, pinpointing his interest in growing baseball by 'honoring the game's history while bringing in new people,' including more activations involving kids, making it more accessible to people in underserved and urban areas where teams and ball fields are harder to find, continuing to build on and emphasize technology that will move the game into the future and supporting today's core of stars such as Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Felix Hernandez, Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen. MORE

MLB Effort Gives Puig, Reyes, deGrom Home Advantage

What do MLB players do at home and what do they find most comforting when they are not at the ballpark trying to get to home plate? Yasiel Puig, Jose Reyes, Kris Bryant, Jacob deGrom, Jake Peavy, Lorenzo Cain, Class of 2015 Hall of Fame inductee John Smoltz and model and St. Louis Cardinals fan Karlie Kloss are among those who open up the doors to their residences to show and tell us what makes them tick in the second Home Field Advantage campaign from Coldwell Banker, which, according to Sean Blankenship, CMO for the real estate firm, "allows us to connect with these icons on a more personal level and get a glimpse of how their homes are special to them." MORE

MLB, Teams, Players Ready To Pitch 2015

Fans Have 21M Ways To Enjoy MLB Dog Days Of Summer

Louisville Slugger, Bat To Ruth, Jeter, Changes Hands

Why Mike Trout Is On 'Most Dangerous' List

World Series MVP Bumgarner Pitching For Carhartt



$20M Yahoo Deal Makes Bills-Jags First NFL Live Stream

The NFL is adding another platform to its plethora of options available to fans, consumers and marketers who want to connect with the league, signing what industry analsyts said is a $20M deal with Yahoo! to deliver free to a global audience the first exclusive live stream of an NFL game — the Buffalo Bills against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Oct. 25 — that will ultilize platforms including Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen and Tumblr spanning desktop mobile, tablet, connected TVs and set-top boxes. MORE

DirecTV Adds To Mannings QB Package With Romo, Luck

If you can afford it, having too many quarterbacks is never enough, and DirecTV has taken that to heart, signing Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts to appear with Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants Eli Manning, who have been with the company for a decade, to appear in marketing and activations to support NFL Sunday Ticket, including Red Zone Channel. Fantasy Zone Channel, HD Mix Channels, Player Tracker, stat and fantasy alerts and highlights. MORE

NFL Sees Gold In Season-Long Super Bowl 50 Celebration

The Super Bowl has long been a bottomless pot of gold for the NFL, but the league is taking the gold theme literally with a year-long ramp-up for the game next February in Levi's Stadium, with current and past players and coaches as well as marketing partners activating in a multi-layer platform that will begin at the NFL Draft on April 30, continue throughout the pre-, regular and post-season and culminate at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 50, including merchandise, ad campaigns, gold highlights on uniforms, balls and on the playing field and celebrations in the cities of previous Super Bowl winners and at the high schools from which particiapting Big Game players and coaches graduated. MORE

Wilson, Manning, Brady Top NFL $1.4B Sales

Brees Joins Mission AthleteCare Mission

Super Bowl, Oscars, March Madness Drive U.S. Ad Spend

En Route To Super Bowl 50 NFL Renews CBS TNF Deal

Beckham Makes Another Catch On Madden NFL 16 Cover



NBA 2K16 Gets Spike In Interest From Curry, Harden, Lee

2K Sports has added some new wrinkles to its next NBA game, creating three covers with All-Stars Stephen Curry, James Harden and Anthony Davis, respectively, and putting Spike Lee into the game action — where he wrote and directed the MYCAREER mode — as well as marketing, for which the director of such films as He Got Game and Mo' Better Blues has written, directed and stars in a TV spot, 'Story is Everything,' that will anchor a multi-media campaign to support the release of NBA 2K16. MORE

Curry Continues March As NBA, Marketing, Fan MVP

Newly minted NBA MVP Stephen Curry has added to his roster of endorsement deals, signing a multi-year pact with official league partner Harman International to represent their JBL audio brand in a marketing platform that will feature TV, Internet, social media and consumer activations, as well as General Mills' Wheaties, extending Curry's reach among sports and music fans and bolstering his status as one of the league's most marketable players with alliances that also include State Farm, Under Armour, PlayStation, Degree, Express, Foot Locker, Kaiser Permanente, and Muscle Milk. MORE

NBA's Loyal Fans: Chicago, San Antonio, L.A. (Not Lakers)

LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers this past season after four years with the Miami Heat and drove the Cavs into the playoffs and up the list of teams with the most loyal fans, but the roster is headed by the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, defending champion San Antonio Spurs, the Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, according to the 'Sports Fan Loyalty Index' from brand engagement and marketing consultancy firm Brand Keys, which said that the bottom of the NBA list was populated by the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. MORE


Why Adam Silver Sees Europe, Jersey Ads In Future

Pepsi Sees Net Gains In New Deal With NBA

NBA Jumps At Shot To Be Part Of Disney Springs Complex



Marketers Drive NHL Sponsor Revenue To Record $447M

The NHL, in the midst of a Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning that is drawing strong viewership numbers on NBC, has another significant reason to celebrate: Sponsorship spending in 2014-15 on the league and its 30 teams is on pace to set a record at $447M, up $60 million (9%) from last season and nearly $100M more than 2001 ($356M), driven by the likes of new and returning partners such as Reebok, Enterprise, Discover, Geico, Toyota, Honda, PepsiCo, MillerCoors, P&G, DraftKings and Samsung; and paced by category leaders in QSR, automotive, financial, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, according to the just-released IEG Sponsorship Report: NHL. MORE

NHL, Discover Financial Deal New Marketing Cards

While hickey fans are focusing on the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, the NHL and Discover are looking ahead, signing a pact that extends their current alliance through 2019 and enhancing it with the launch of an NHL Discover Card that offers members exclusive access, discounts and other amenities related to the league, while maintaining the firm's status as the official credit card and payment services partner for the NHL, title partner for the NHL on NBC's Thanksgiving Showdown Game, sponsor of the league's float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and other marketing and activation support. MORE

ESPN Back On Ice With NHL, 2016 World Cup Of Hockey

The self-proclaimed 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' has not shown an NHL game since 2004 but ESPN is getting back in a big way, signing a deal with the NHL and NHL Players' Assn. for exclusive U.S. broadcast, radio and other rights to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will feature teams representing eight nations — including the U.S., Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, plus All-Star teams from North America and Europe — complete with marketing and media support. MORE

NHL Eyes Outdoor, World Cup Games As '16 Jewels

Although the 2014-15 season is just past the midway point and the Stanley Cup playoffs are still months away, the NHL has revealed plans for the 2015-16 campaign, which will see three marketing-laden games outdoors — the Bridgestone Winter Classic and two matches under the Coors Light Stadium Series banner — plus a return and reboot of the World Cup of Hockey, with six national teams from the U.S., Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic plus and two teams of European and North American players competing for a trophy in a tournament that could take the place of the NHL and NHL Players Assn. sending its athletes to the Olympics. MORE

Samsung Eyes Tech-Savvy Fans With NHL Pact

NHL Using Marketing, Media At Full Strength

Fans Get An NHL Mouthful With P&G Alliance

Honda Deal In Next Gear With NHL ASG, Canada



Boston Gets USOC Bid, Begins Journey For IOC OK

Following a months-long process to outlast Los Angeles, San Francisco and D.C. to gain the bid from the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent the U.S., Boston now undertakes what will be a marathon rather than sprint to the finish line in 2017 when the International Olympic Committee will decide from among several global destinations which city will host the 2024 Summer Games, a daunting and expensive task that, if successful, would put the Summer Olympics on U.S. soil for the first time since 1996 in Atlanta and make Boston only the third American city ever to host the Summer Games. MORE

Will Gronk, Big Papi Deliver Dunkin' Donuts To Your Door?

The CEO for Dunkin' Donuts said the brand in currently testing mobile apps for ordering food and drink and could soon follow with a test of home delivery, but is it possible that celebrity spokesmen such as Rob Gronkowski of the New England patriots and David 'Big Papi' Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox might be going door-to-door with sweet treats and coffee? The pair are the focus of a new humorous push for summer to support Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee, "Summer Chill," which finds them singing about the joys of the product and taking people on a ride that includes TV, Internet, social media, in-store and a dedicated Web site where visitors can download songs by the duo and share other eclectic elements. MORE

Olympics, Trials, Brands Put $182M Focus On Marathon

Adidas Finds 800 Lb. Guerrilla Marketing In Boston


Giants' Series MVP Bumgarner Now Pitching For Carhartt

When he is not on the mound with the San Francisco Giants, with whom he has won three World Series championships over the past five seasons and was named MVP of the 2014 Fall Classic, Madison Bumgarner gets down and dirty on his 100-acre family farm in North Carolina, which is where we find him in a new effort from Carhartt, known for its durable work apparel, as the 25-year-old cuts trees, moves lumber, mends fences and undertakes other sweat-inducing chores, with the multi-media campaign also spotlighting such backbreaking jobs as firefighters, oil riggers, search-and-rescuers and construction workers. MORE

Zappos Hits The Ground Running With Bay To Breakers

Already a top online destination for shoes and style,, a division of Amazon, is ready to walk the walk and run the run as the title sponsor for the San Francisco Bay To Breakers race, a 7.46 mile event first competed in 1912, which this May will take some 50K participants through the city with marketing partners that also include Under Armour, Geico and Hyatt Regency and a Zappos activation that is encouraging runners and spectators to try to set more than 40 race-related world records such as selfie photo taking, sourdough bread eating and garlic fry tossing. MORE

BMW Joins Gold Rush To 49er's Levi's Stadium

United Airlines On Board As Niners, Levi's Partner

P&G's Duracell Powers Seahawks-Niners Rivalry

Q&A: DNA For Levis, Niners Growth Is In The Jeans



Marketers, Supporters Start 100-Day Olympics Countdown

It is now 100 days and counting until the Opening Ceremony for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles, which will see some 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches and 500,000 spectators taking part between July 25-Aug. 2, with the milestone date giving marketing and media partners including Toyota, Coca-Cola, Toys R Us, Bank of America and ESPN — as well as supporters such as singer Avril Lavigne — the opportunity to ramp-up activations for what organizers are calling the "single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics." MORE

L.A.'s Kershaw Is Now Most Valuable Pitchman

Three-time Cy Young winner and NL MVP Clayton Kershaw has added another accolade to his resume, signing with Subway as a Famous Fan endorser on a roster that includes AL MVP Mike Trout, with both men appearing in a print ad that touts their awards and favorite sandwiches (Turkey & Swiss and Spicy Italian, respectively), and Kershaw also getting congratulatory nods from other companies on his marketing team, such as Under Armour, Muscle Milk and Wilson; while his own non-profit group, Kershaw's Challenge, unveiled an MVP 14 T-shirt with proceeds going to support underprivileged kids around the world. Analysts say Kershaw, who earns about $3M in endorsements, could easliy double that during the off-season. MORE


Amidst Scandal, U.S. Women Keep Eyes On FIFA Prize

"We are here to win the World Cup and that's what we intend to do" was the determined attitude taken by the coaches and players of the U.S. National Soccer Team — who will head to Canada for the month-long FIFA Women's World Cup (June 6-July 5) — during a media event in New York that happened not by choice on the same day that more than a dozen people, including nine current and former FIFA officials, were indicted on charges of bribery and racketeering, which put marketing partners in a foul mood but was handled politically correct by such stars as Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo (pictured). MORE

Fox, Marketers Ready To Kick Women's World Cup Grass

The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup will be the center of the soccer world when matches are held in six cities in Canada beginning June 5, and Fox Sports, official U.S. Soccer and FIFA marketing partners and the women on the U.S. roster — including Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Kelley O'Hara and Sydney Leroux (pictured) — are ready to support with multi-platform marketing, on-site support and other activations, all targeting the more than 13 million viewers across the U.S. who are expected to tune in for all or part of the competition. MORE

IOC Adds Winter Games Events: Boys Of Summer Next?

The International Olympic Committee this week made changes to the program of the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, adding events in snowboarding, Alpine skiing, speed skating and curling intended to attract female athletes and a younger viewing audience, a move that could have a direct impact on the concerted efforts of such groups as the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation, which are seeking to return their sports — both dropped after the 2008 Games in Beijing — back in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with the IOC scheduled to vote on the 2020 program in August 2016 on the eve of the Summer Games in Rio de Janiero. MORE


DraftKings Signs Big (Apple) Deal With MSG

Shaq, Shakespeare, Sharon Star At Turner Upfront

Turner Tunes Into iHeart Radio Awards, Final Four

BodyArmor Says It, Not Gatorade, Is Sports Drink Of Choice

Coneheads Get Mass Quantities Of State Farm Insurance


$140M Thriller: New Deal Builds Michael Jax Marketing

It certainly pays to be a popular athlete or celebrity when it comes to marketing and endorsements, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao can attest, but some dead celebs are still taking in big bucks via their estates, and the people who oversee Michael Jackson's estate have signed a deal with Authentic Brands Group — whose portfolio already includes Muhammad Ali, TapouT, Prince and the estates of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe — to build on the annual $140M realized via worldwide entertainment, apparel and other licensed activations by "taking his brand to the next level." MORE

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