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What Sports Marketers Love About Fall:

• NFL 38%
• MLB 19%
• NHL 15%
• CFB 12%
• NBA 8%
• Nascar 4%
• NY Marathon 4%


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

Sprite: 1st Home Game


"You know what? I can't lie to you anymore. I'm a little tired now." — San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner after throwing five scoreless innings in relief last night two day's after his complete-game shutout, earning MVP honors for the World Series.

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.

HOMECOMING SPOILED The New York Knicks (1-1) had their own vision of what would happen during LeBron James' first game in his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1), taking the game, 95-90. James had 17 points and committed eight turnovers.

STAYING HOME Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2) broke a bone in his right hand last night during a 93-90 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (1-0) and joins teammate Kevin Durant on the injured list. His recovery time is still TBD.

HOME RUN Florida State, behind QB Jameis Winston, defeated Louisville, 42-31, last night after trailing 21-0. It was the 24th consecutive win for the No. 2-ranked Seminoles.

UPCOMING TCS NYC Marathon Nov. 2


$249.95: Asking price for Ozzie Smith autographed baseball from 1982 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, on eBay.
$269.99: Asking price for David Ortiz autographed baseball from 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox, on eBay.
$349.00: Asking price for autographed baseball from 1980 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, on eBay.
$499.99: Asking price for autographed baseball from 1960 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, on eBay.
$2,250.00: Asking price for autographed Derek Jeter New York Yankees jersey from 1998 World Series, on eBay.

Q&A: Can Rugby Leave Its Scrum Mark, Marketing In U.S.?

This Saturday, Nov. 1, 61,500 people will fill a sold-out Soldier Field in Chicago, not to see the NFL's Bears but the U.S. National Rugby Team (aka the Eagles) take on the iconic New Zealand National Rugby Team (aka the All Blacks), airing live on NBC Sports Network and presented by global insurance firm AIG, along with a roster of marketing partners including Gatorade, DHL and Emirates Airline. But as Daniel Glantz, global head of sponsorship for AIG, relates in this Q&A, even though sponsors are becoming more involved and it will be part of the 2016 Summer Olympics, getting people in the U.S. to embrace rugby has been a challenge as much for its foreign rules and quirks as for the appearance that it incurs more injuries than NFL games.

Playtime For adidas NBA Swingmen Howard, Noah, Lillard

Adidas, the NBA's official uniform and apparel partner, this week launches its "NBA Swingman" campaign to coincide with the start of the 2014-15 season and the unveiling of the brand's revamped jersey design, with such players as Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah, Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins and Kenneth Faried staring in humorous TV spots in which unlikely body-doubles — think 6'11" Howard matched with a 5'4" Kevin Hart look-a-like — get to replace the real deals in challenging situations thanks to some camera magic and the adidas jerseys. MORE

Sponsorship Deal Plugs Vizio Into College Football Playoff

After being title sponsor for the Rose Bowl Game from 2010-14, electronics firm Vizio remains a player in the new College Football Playoff with a deal to become title sponsor for the Fiesta Bowl, being played Dec. 31 in the University of Phoenix Stadium, which is one of six Bowl games that will be in rotation for playoff and championship games under the new system, with Vizio set to support the alliance via multi-media marketing that includes title sponsorship of the fan-centric Fan Fest throughout the day of the game and a social media destination that enables visitors to 'rally together' and have the opportunity to win a VIP experience at the game itself. MORE

ZTE Using NBA Alliances To Build Business, Awareness

Stating that 'We are on a fast-break in the United States," Lixin Cheng, CEO-president of the U.S. division of mobile phone company ZTE, unveiled alliances with the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors and an extension of a deal with the Houston Rockets, which added to the company's official alliance with the NBA in China, has helped the company increase brand awareness, boost sales and raise ZTE USA to the No. 4 smartphone manufacturer in America, with the intended goal to be No. 1 in three years. MORE

NBA-BBVA Union Gets The Most Bank For Its Buck

Worldwide financial firm BBVA is getting solid returns as an official partner with the NBA, so much so that BBVA Compass will continue as the league's banking partner — as well as with the WNBA and D-League — as part of an extension to a deal signed in 2010, which comes with new marketing featuring NBA stars Kevin Durant and James Harden, alliances with several NBA teams and players in local markets, activation around the All-Star Game in New York this February, support of the NBA Global Games and continued efforts with NBA Cares to grow the BBVA Compass Future Builders Program targeting students nationwide. MORE

College Football Fans Get New Tool To Trash-Talk Rivals

The first college football game to be played in the new $1.2B Levi's Stadium — home to the NFL's San Francisco 49ers — will take place tonight (Oct. 24) when Cal-Berkley hosts Pac-12 rival Oregon, and just to make things even more interesting the universities have partnered with IMG College and Intel (an official partner of Levi's Stadium) to license exclusive Pocket Avatars, which will enable fans of the Golden Bears (who can select Golden) or the Ducks (Speedy) to send animated, 3-D messages in their own voice to like-minded fans or hated supporters on the other side, throughout the game, although, likely to the dismay of some, 'Terms of User' guidelines do not permit any potential trash-talking to include curse words and/or racial and other derogatory slurs. MORE

Q&A: At B-Dubs, Winning Fans Is The Name Of The Game

With a new naming rights deal for college football's Citrus Bowl in place, a deal as an official partner with the NCAA about to enter its third season and interactive platforms such as GameBreak in place, Buffalo Wild Wings is in a great position to support and enhance its motto, 'Wings. Beer. Sports.' But as Bob Ruhland, vp-marketing for the casual dining chain affectionately known as B-Dubs, explains in this Q&A, in a category filled with restaurants using a bevy of messages to attract sports fans, Buffalo Wild Wings works hard to differentiate itself by keeping its customers connected to each other and their favorite teams, building genuine relationships with sports organizations and destinations and providing people with plenty of good food and fun.

Hot Off The Press: Chrysler 200, Meb, NY Marathon, Rugby



Q&A: DNA For Levi's, NFL, 49ers Growth Is In The Jeans

In 1853, Levi Strauss founded a company that eventually would change the world of fashion forever, giving birth to blue jeans and other clothing that are worn by people at work, play and sporting events — the latter of which ties in perfectly with a 20-year, $220M naming rights deal that Levi's signed for the new $1.2B home venue for the San Francisco 49ers. In this Q&A, Stacy Doren, head of Levi's marketing for the Americas, reveals why the deal happened, how the company is using Levi's Stadium and its alliances with the NFL and 49ers (including a new campaign with Niners TE Vernon Davis, pictured) to grow the brand, the role of technology and social media in reaching fans and consumers and what plans might be in store for such upcoming events as Super Bowl 50 (in 2016) and the NHL Coors Stadium Series (in February).

Q&A: How NFL, NBA, SNL Are Pumping Up State Farm

You may never have insurance agents named Jake, Aaron, Chris, Cliff, Hans or Franz, but for State Farm they are brand spokesmen beyond compare, with Jake taking calls at 3 AM, Aaron Rodgers doing his Discount Double Check routine in the most absurd situations, Chris Paul and faux brother Cliff taking assists to new heights and a bevy of characters from Saturday Night Live — think Super Fans and Hans & Franz — insuring that State Farm has a role in SNL's 40th anniversary. But as State Farm marketing director-brand content Patty Morris reveals in this Q&A, the company walks a fine line when using humor to sell insurance and goes above and beyond its due diligence when signing athletes and celebrities who will represent the company's attitude and attributes.

Poll: Broncos Get 'Revenge' Over SB Champ Seahawks

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos may have gone down big time in Super Bowl XLVIII but they can take some solace in the fact that they, and not the Seattle Seahawks, are the favorite team this season among NFL fans, according to a just-released Harris Poll, which also dropped the Dallas Cowboys from the No. 1 spot after six consecutive years, but Seattle can still smile as the survey gives them the best chance to win Super Bowl XLIX this February ahead of the Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots. MORE

Can New CMO Ease Rift Between NFL, Marketers?

Why NFL Brands Show Faith Amidst Fallout

Aaron Rodgers Named 'Most Valuable Photobomber'

Doritos Details Plans For Fans To 'Crash' Super Bowl XLIX

Ship Shape: Cruise Lines Boost Manifests With NFL Deals



Q&A: Turner At Bat With MLB Playoff Campaigns, Coverage

TBS seeks to be the sultan of swing during its exclusive broadcasts of the American League Wild Card Game (Sept. 30), AL Division Series (beginning Oct. 3) and AL Championship Series, stepping up to the plate with an on-air crew that includes Ernie Johnson, Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Dennis Eckersley, three-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez and nine-time All-Star Gary Sheffield, supported by a marketing campaign starring actor Bryan Cranston humorously re-enacting iconic post-season events (think Carlton Fisk, Kirk Gibson and Derek Jeter) and another heavy-hitter featuring the music of AC/DC. However, as Craig Barry, svp-production and executive creative director for Turner Sports, divulges in this Q&A, the challenge is not just getting core baseball fans to tune in but also employing tactics that attract casual fans, keep the core audience engaged and utilize social media to drive interest, ratings and marketing dollars.

Q&A: Cal Ripken Jr. Talks Post-Season, Marketing, Jeter

Although he last played a MLB game in 2001, Cal Ripken Jr. is very much a part of the baseball landscape as president and CEO for Ripken Baseball, owner of MiLB's Aberdeen IronBirds, in campaigns for such brands as Kellogg's and Under Armour and, since 2007, as an analyst and commentator for Turner Sports' coverage of MLB. With this year's post-season fast approaching, Ripken will get national air time alongside Ernie Johnson and Ron Darling as part of TBS' exclusive AL playoff broadcasts. But first, the Hall of Famer who played in a record 2,632 consecutive games shares his thoughts in this Q&A on the challenges MLB faces in attracting new fans, the pitfalls players need to avoid on social media, the ups and downs of being a marketing spokesman and a plan of attack for his friend Derek Jeter after Jeter hangs up his New York Yankees uniform for the last time.



NBA Gets $24B To Extend, Enhance With ESPN, TNT

It will be same Bat-time, same Bat-channels for the next 11 years if you want to watch the NBA on TV or via the Internet, digital, mobile and other platforms as the league, under first-year commissioner Adam Silver, has signed new $24B pacts with Disney's ESPN and ABC and Time Warner-Turner's TNT, continuing alliances that track back to the 1960s for the former and the 1970s for the latter that now extend through the 2024-25 campaign and will also drive growth among a plethora of destinations at which the NBA, it's media partners, marketers, fans and consumers intersect. MORE

NBA Taking Roll Call, Wants Everybody Up For 2014-15

With MLB post-season in full swing, the NFL in over-drive, Nascar running its Chase for the Sprint Cup eliminations and the NHL iced up and skating, the NBA has unveiled a multi-platform marketing campaign "Everybody Up!", with an intro spot, "Roll Call," that is jammed with a bevy and current stars, coaches, fans, dancers, mascots, Grammy-winning musician Common and social media images, all intended to let people know that the 2014-15 season is on its way. MORE

McDonald's Welcomes Back LeBron, Monopoly, Moneybags

As part of a new campaign from McDonald's, a commercial heralds the return of a star and shows fans in Cleveland cheering for his arrival, but it turns out that the focus of all the attention is not LeBron James, who is back with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers after four seasons with the Miami Heat, but rather Mr. Moneybags, the iconic figure from Hasbro's Monopoly, who is getting the hero's treatment because he is offering people the opportunity to win such prizes as cash, cameras, a shopping spree in Target and, oh, yeah, "one-on-one experiences" with James or fellow athletes Patrick Kane (NHL), Jamie McMurray (Nascar) and Alex Morgan (soccer). MORE


Survey: LeBron Fan Fav Even Before Cleveland Pt. 2

Harden, Barkley. Pippen: You Must Remember This

LeBron Drives The Lane In Kia's $60K K900

NBA Likes The Sound Of Alliance With Harman

Vizio, Griffin Feel Poetry In Mouthguards, Bobble Heads



NHL Fans Get A Mouthful With New P&G Alliance

The NHL has added Procter & Gamble to its roster of marketing partners, with global consumer goods giant putting its division in Canada front and center to bring its oral care division to fans, including a multi-platform campaign for such products as Crest, Oral-B, Scope and Fixodent to run throughout the season and league veteran Martin St. Louis and his wife Heather being signed to support the launch of and marketing efforts behind Crest Sensi-Relief. MORE


Buick Keeps Sales Ball Rolling With Soccer

General Motors brand Buick has signed on as the title sponsor for the upcoming friendly match between two iconic soccer clubs, Liverpool and AS Roma, and the automaker intends to keeps its recent upswing in sales and consumer profile high via 'Buick Football At Fenway' on JUly 23, an event that will air on NBC Sports and is being conducted under the auspices of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, the latter of which also includes minority interest owner LeBron James, who just might make an appearance at the game due to his alliance with FSG and its marketing arm, Fenway Sports Management. MORE


Go West: NHL '15 Outdoor Game Inside Levi's Stadium

The NHL will stage an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season when the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series hits Levi's Stadium, the new $1.2B home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, in February, with the nearby San Jose Sharks hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, but there will be several firsts, with this being the first outdoor game in Northern California, the first outdoor game for the Sharks and also the first NHL outdoor game to be played in a venue that will host the Super Bowl (historic Super Bowl 50, scheduled for February 2016). MORE

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



Are Fans, Players, Marketers Buying Into Byron?

Declaring that "This is still Lakers Town," new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott showed that, although he has not been with the team since 1997, he still bleeds purple and gold when, during his introductory press conference on July 29, he declared that it was the Lakers, not the Clippers, that ruled the town and that "a ton of great players want to be here," which had to sound good to former players Magic Johnson and Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, current players such as Kobe Bryant, ownership, fans and marketing partners including Coke, Nike, AmEx, Staples, Toyota and Verizon, all of whom endured last season the team's worst showing in a decade and still face the potential of several rebuilding years to come. MORE


LeBron James, NFL Crowned Power Kings Of Social Media

The four-time NBA MVP and two-time NBA Finals MVP can now add MVP of the Power 100 MVPindex to his resume as LeBron James landed atop a ranking of the "world's most powerful athletes in the U.S." based 50% on on-field attributes and 50% on social media strength, with a Top Five that also included Russell Wilson, Kevin Durant, Rory McIlroy and Mike Trout, but it was the NFL that proved to be the most powerful league, placing 30 players in the Top 100, ahead of the NBA (21), MLB (15), tennis (13), Nascar (9), golf (7) and the NHL (5), according to the MVPindex team of Stout Partners, Horrow Ventures and Bloomberg Sports. MORE

Cracker Jack Takes Fans Out To Macy's Day Parade

When the classic baseball song, "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" was authored in 1908 by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer, Cracker Jack was just 12 and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade would not hit the streets of New York for 16 years, but all three will finally come together this November as part of Cracker Jack's "The Surprise Inside Project" marketing campaign when the first float in the event for both the brand and parent company PepsiCo is part of the 88th annual celebration, rolling through Manhattan displaying on a 36-foot long, three-story high creation a working scoreboard, live cameras that will show parade-goers on a huge LED screen and ballpark seats, with a fireworks display and musical number culminating the ride in Herald Square. MORE

Heineken On Tap As MLS Official Beer Partner

Cities Losing Heat For 2022 Winter Olympics

Diet Mt. Dew Puts Dale In The Hands Of Fans 

Panasonic All In For Paralympic Games

Panini America Goes Back To College For Deals

Don't That Beat All: Ringo Starr's Drumming For Skechers

The man who was the drummer for arguably the most iconic and influential band in music history, The Beatles, and who has been making music ever since (and is currently on tour with his own group), is taking his sticks and skins to a new gig as spokesman for athletic and lifestyle shoe brand Skechers, where Ringo Starr will star in a multi-media campaign launching in Spring 2015 to include TV, print, Internet, social media and POP to support the Relaxed Fit line, joining a lineup of endorsers that also features Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Pete Rose and Mark Cuban. MORE

World Marathon Majors Going The Distance With Abbott

A search that had been eight years in the making finally came to fruition with the signing of global health care firm Abbott as the first title sponsor for the World Marathon Majors, a joint effort launched in 2006 that encompasses six of the top competitions around the globe — the Boston Marathon, Tokyo Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the TCS New York Marathon — effective in 2015, with Abbott preparing to support via a new campaign, "Life. To The Fullest," that will include multi-media ads, on-site activation and signage and an effort driven by the firm's employees. MORE

Q&A: When The Game Is Afoot, Allstate Has Good Hands

Allstate has taken a hands-on approach to using college sports as a platform to get its insurance message out and to reach a young demographic, including naming rights to the Allstate Sugar Bowl (which this year is part of the new CFB Playoffs), a corporate partnership with the NCAA, the 'Good Hands Field Goal Nets' activation with 81 universities now in its tenth year and presenting sponsor for the Football Writers college coach of the year award and the Football Coaches Good Works Team (in addition to an official partnership with MLS and the U.S. National Soccer Team). But as Pam Hollander, vp-marketing for Allstate, reveals in this Q&A, there is a significant challenge in getting their messages to resonate with people in a sports category loaded with insurance company rivals and there is a fine line that must be walked when using humor — perhaps best epitomized by Allstate's 'Mayhem' campaign — while remaining serious about selling insurance.

Q&A: How BitPay Is Playing Bitcoin In Sports, Marketing

Back in December, a student held up a sign on ESPN asking his mom for financial help, not in dollars but in digital bitcoins (he received $23K worth into his account from various benefactors), a ploy that inspired bitcoin processing firm BitPay to move ahead with a strategy to align with sports and entertainment to reach a target demo of young, tech-savvy consumers. That tactic has since led to official partnerships with the NBA's Sacramento Kings and the athletic department in Georgia Tech, handling the account for rapper 50 Cent's new album and a naming rights deal with ESPN for the post-season college football game now known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. But as BitPay vp-marketing Stephanie Wargo explains in this Q&A, although the notion of paying with bitcoin is expanding, getting mainstream businesses and consumers to understand and use bitcoin is as difficult and challenging as the early days of the Internet.

USOC: 'More Optimistic Than Ever' On '24 Games Bid

Following several meetings with representatives from Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC, U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst said that although there still remains a lot of work and planning, he is 'more optimistic than ever that a U.S. bid for the 2024 Summer Games can be successful,' putting the nation's overseeing body for the Games closer to the point where it could move ahead with a bid in early 2015 and giving sponsors and supporters of the USOC hope that the Olympics could return to domestic soil for the first time since the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. MORE

How Crunching Numbers Drove Action Express To No. 1

Auto racing is a sport of numbers, and Bob Johnson is the man who drives the numbers that have helped to put Action Express Racing on top of the competition in the IMSA's Tudor United SportsCar Championship, which this season included wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Indy Motor Speedway and Road America plus a four-win sweep at the finale at the Petite Le Mans. But as Johnson, who has spent more than 40 years as a CPA and while at Ernst & Young had such clients as Nascar and the International Speedway Corp. before helping to found AER, reveals in this Q&A, keeping track of finances, repairing budgets and maintaining a balance among driver safety, quality equipment, marketing partners, fans and paying bills is both the challenge and reward to building a successful motorsport team.

Report: College Merchandise Retail Market Hits $4.6B

There are 190 million fans of college sports and many of them love to spend money to support their team, this past season to the tune of $4.59B on univeristy-licensed merchandise, according to CLC, the college licensing division of IMG College (which represents 200 schools nationwide), with the Texas Longhorns leading the way for the 9th consecutive year, Florida State having jumped up from No. 21 to No. 8 due to its BCS success, Nike leading the apparel category (as it has every season since 1999 except for two) and EA Sports again topping the non-apparel category. MORE


Cancer is an aggressive disease that impacts mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and co-workers. The best way to beat it: Be even more aggressive in finding a cure. That is the heart of the strategy that drives STAND UP TO CANCER, which along with key partners MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL and MASTERCARD used in 2013 multi-media marketing and platforms that reached consumers and corporations to support an overarching plan of empowerment to get funds directly to doctors, scientists and hospitals to hasten research to end cancer. MORE