Next Big Olympic Sport For U.S. Marketers 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

Kia K900: LeBron's Place (See More Ads Below)


"Corey Hart cut his foot getting into a whirlpool at Pirate City Sunday. [He will be] out for a few days.” — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle regarding first baseman Corey Hart

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.

BUY Kentucky is now 30-0 following last night's 72-64 win on the road over Georgia.

BUY Former MLB pitcher and current TV analyst Curt Schilling outed two of the people who replied with vulgar comments to his Twitter post about his daughter Gabby, listing their names and encouraging friends, co-workers and others who know these people to remember the way in which these two men responded.

SELL The New York Knicks (12-47) suffered their worst defeat of the season last night, losing at home to the Sacramento Kings (21-37), 124-86. The Knicks trailed at one point in the game by 44 points. Summing up the night for the Knicks: They had a four-on-one late in the fourth quarter and turned the ball over.

IN PROGRESS MLB Spring Training

UPCOMING MLS 2015 Opening Weekend

UPCOMING March Madness Selection Sunday, March 15 (First 4 March 17-18)

MAY 2, 2015 Floyd Mayweather - Manny Pacquiao MGM Grand


$25.00: Asking price for 1982 NCAA Final Four Program — North Carolina (Jordan, Worthy, Perkins), Houston (Olajuwon), Georgetown (Ewing), Louisville — on eBay.
$59.00 Asking price for NCAA March Madness 2014-15 Upper Deck Hobby Box, on eBay.
$189.99: Asking price for Dean Smith North Carolina autographed March Madness "Press Pass" card, on eBay.
$255.00: Asking price for 1980s UCLA March Madness starter jacket, on eBay.
$1,350.00: Asking price for (2) tickets to 2015 Final Four, on eBay.

NCAA Expands March Madness To YouTube Platform

With the Men's (and Women's) Div. I Basketball Tournament just two weeks off, the NCAA is preparing to bring March Madness to as many people on as many platforms as possible, adding for the first time a dedicated YouTube destination that will not only house highlights, daily news, tournament updates and interactive goodies for fans  but be a landing space for media and marketing partners to showcase their new messages. 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

Dell On Line As World Golf Champion-Match Title Sponsor

In what the company is calling its first official sponsorship in golf, Dell has signed a multi-year deal with the International Federation of PGA Tours to replace Cadillac as the title sponsor for the World Golf Championships-Match Play beginning in 2016 and to also join the roster of marketing partners in the three other World Golf Championship events, the latter starting this week at the Cadillac Championship in Florida alongside the likes of Bridgestone, Rolex and United Airlines, in what Tim Finchem, commissioner for the PGA Tour, calls an alliance that will enhance Dell's brand visibility around the world and become an "extremely effective and effective global marketing and B2B platform." 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

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

With the Super Bowl, World Series, March Madness, Oscars and Grammys among the most sought-after commercial slots of the year, and with the Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup also in the mix last year, it is little surprise that that companies spent some $181B in marketing in the U.S. in 2014, which translates to a global-leading $567 per person, according to the just-released Global Advertising Market Forecast Outlook from consulting and marketing intelligence firm Strategy Analytics, which also reports that TV spend accounts for 43% of the ad dollars in the U.S, a figure that put into perspective means ad spend per TV household in the U.S. is 46 times larger than that in India and ad spend in North America is twice that of Western Europe. MORE

Q&A: For InStadium, Fans Give Brands A Big Ad-Vantage

Back in the 1950s, Abe Stark's Brooklyn clothing store had on the outfield wall of Ebbets Field an advertising sign that offered a free suit to any player who could hit it, a challenge that helped Stark sell clothing, become a political figure in New York and earn a spot in baseball folklore. From humble beginnings has come stadium and arena marketing that takes advantage of such innovations as jumbo HD screens, LED lights and Dolby sound, which are among the powerful tools that InStadium uses to connect such brands as Lexus, Disney, Google and HBO with nearly 500 teams and leagues nationwide via multi-platform activation. Last year, the Chicago-based company added InStadiumTV, which goes beyond traditional 30-second spots to bring brand-sponsored fan-participation videos to life, and in January expanded InStadiumTV to more than 65 NCAA basketball arenas (and a bevy of NBA venues) in time for March Madness. As Barrett Davie, EVP and founder of InStadium, relates in this Q&A, all of this has helped to redefine the category, enhance fan experience and bring solid ROI to companies.

Commercial Spotlight: NFL Fuel Up, March Madness,, ADT Ving Rhames



Can Stephen Curry Become NBA's Manning Of Marketing?

For several years, it appeared as if NFL QB Peyton Manning was in every commercial, not far from the truth considering his deals have included Nationwide, Papa John's, DirecTV, Buick and MasterCard, and in the NBA the two players with the most commercial air time have been LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who each have a bevy of partners that garner them millions in annual endorsements. But is the mantle of marketing maven now passing to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who is about to play in his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game and is a legitimate MVP candidate? Curry currently has ad campaigns running with the likes of State Farm, Degree, Muscle Milk, Zamst and Backyard Sports; is about to star in national efforts for Under Armour (to support his first signature shoe) and Express; and can also be seen in spots for ESPN's This is SportsCenter, the NBA on TNT and regionally for the Warriors. And there potentially could be more to come if the Warriors and Curry continue to light up the league and stake their claim in the post-season. MORE

Why Adam Silver Sees Europe, Jersey Ads In Future

Surely You've Heard About Kareem, Wisconsin

State Farm Brings Assists, All-Stars, J-Lo To New York

NBA Players, Fans Get Carded By Panini, Modell's, MTA

Mt. Dew Kickstarts Activation With Russell Westbrook



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

NHL Is Using Marketing, Fans, Media To Full Strength

Despite four lockouts since 1991 and coming precariously close to losing its status as one of the four major pro sports in North America, the NHL said it is strong, getting stronger and experiencing growth among fans, marketers and media equal to or better than at any time in its history, with COO John Collins pointing to such events as the Bridgestone Winter Classic, the Coors Light Stadium Series, All-Star Weekend and media deals with NBC Sports and Rogers Communications that have given fans unprecedented access to the league and presented marketing partners with an array of platforms to grow their brands, their alliances with the NHL and the sport of hockey. MORE

NHL Fans Get A Mouthful With P&G Alliance

NHL, Honda Deal In Next Gear With ASG, Canada

NHL Heats Up OUtdoor Games With Epix Efforts


NEWS FROM March Madness 2015

Panini Goes To Head Of Class With IMG-CLC Deal

Trading card and collectibles company Panini America, which already has deals that include the NFL, NBA, FIFA and MLB Players Assn., is taking college sports by storm, signing an exclusive alliance with IMG College's College Licensing Company to work with CLC's nearly 200 university partners, adding to the more than 200 colleges already aligned with Panini via recent pacts with Licensing Resource Group, Fermata Parnters and a number of individual institutions, all enabling Panini to release beginning this spring trading cards featuring current and former pro athletes in their respective college sports uniforms, including the likes of Tom Brady from his Michigan days (pictured), with a target audience that includes, but is not limited to, the more than 190M people who are fans of college sports. MORE

Bright Lights, Financial Highlights Drive March Madness

The 2015 Final Four is still months away, but the NCAA has jump-started March Madness for the next seven seasons, returning to some venues and naming some new ones to host the NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball semi-final and finals games, with Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Indianapolis all laying claim to bragging rights, national spotlights and monetary highlights — with host cities claiming $70-$200M in March Madness revenue — through 2021. MORE

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

CFB Officials Real Serious About Title Game Counterfeiting 

Monday night brings the first National Championship under the new College Football Playoff system, with Oregon facing Ohio State in AT&T Stadium, but comes with a problem that long has challenged college and pro sports: counterfeit merchandise. Officials from the NCAA, CFP, the universities of Oregon and Ohio State and licensing firm College Licensing Company, which has official deals with nearly 50 brands, have been paying close attention to the situation — during the two recent CFP semi-final games they seized some $30K in unlicensed goods — especially with so much attention being put on the game, so many people interested in goods and memorabilia and so much money changing hands in what has become a $4.6B licensed college retail category. 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

Why Trout Is On 'Most Dangerous' List With Ruth, LeBron

Mike Trout joined an esteemed list of athletes last season when he won the AL MVP award, but his growing fame has also put him on another more dubious list — most forged autograph on memorabilia — alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Tiger Woods, as well as a list of celebrities whose John Hancocks are faked the most that includes The Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and the cast from The Walking Dead, all according to PSA/DNA Authentication Services, which says that working with respected companies will get you the real deal but warns, "There's less than a 50% chance that autographs of current and former celebrities and sports stars on the marketplace are authentic." MORE


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



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

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).

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

NHL '15 Outdoor Stadium Series Game Inside Levi's



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


Brands Jump-Start NFL Marketing With Winston, Mariota

With Super Bowl XLIX and the 2014 NFL campaign barely in the rear view mirror, the league and a number of marketing partners already are looking ahead to the 2015 season and historic Super Bowl 50, with adidas and Upper Deck signing a bevy of incoming rookies, including projected top draft picks Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Kevin White and Devante Parker; and Under Armour using its presenting sponsorship of the Scouting Combine (underway through Monday) to outfit participants with shoes and shirts and getting its brand closer to first-year players via on-site signage and other activations. MORE


Poll: NFL Takes A Hit But Remains No. 1 Among Fans

Although experiencing a slight drop in popularity after a season of dealing with serious issues such as domestic violence and child abuse, the NFL remains the favorite sport in America, according to a new Harris Poll, which lists baseball No. 2 and college football a strong third, aided by the recent overwhelming success of the College Football Playoff and championship game, with hockey, hoops, auto racing and golf also in the Top Ten. MORE

Under Armour Gets Into The Ring With Muhammad Ali

Report: Ad, Sponsorship Spend To Top $57B In '15

On Tour, Maroon 5 In Tune With Vita Coco

Caroline Wozniacki Rides Deal As Next Lady Godiva

Dick's Opens Doors To U.S. Olympic Team Sponsorship

'Ambitious' Asics Campaign: 'Big World. Go Run It'


En Route To Super Bowl 50, NFL Renews CBS' TNF Deal

After declaring its first season of programming a tremendous success, CBS has been given the option by the NFL for a second platform of Thursday Night Football, which will again see CBS produce a slate of 14 games and have its lead analysts in place for the full year, share the first eight games with NFL Network — which then gets exclusive broadcast rights for the games leading to the post-season — and support with multi-media marketing plus new elements to include programming and other initiatives across CBS and NFL networks, all leading to CBS' broadcast of the historic Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. MORE

FIFA Extends World Cup Alliance With Fox Sports

Fox Sports has yet to broadcast a soccer World Cup event under a deal signed in 2011 to replace ESPN for exclusive U.S. English broadcast rights, but FIFA must like what lies ahead as the sport's governing body has added the 2026 men's World Cup (and the 2023 women's World Cup) to the alliance, which already includes the 2018 competition in Russia and the 2022 games in Qatar; with FIFA also extending its deal with NBCUniversal's Telemundo (Spanish language) and CTV/TSN in Canada. MORE

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

How Ohio State's CFB Championship Earned AT&T $46M

In 2013, when AT&T signed a naming rights deal for Cowboys Stadium valued at upward of $19M annually, the telecommunication firm was banking on ROI from high-profile events that would attract attention nationally and internationally, which accurately describes the first National Championship Game under the new College Football Playoff system that was played in AT&T Stadium Monday night and broadcast on ESPN and its network siblings to a record 34M viewers, which translated to more than $46.7M in media value for title game presenter and stadium naming rights holder AT&T via exterior and interior signage, on-air visuals, graphics and verbal mentions. MORE

Top Sports Marketers Of 2014: The Best, Nothing Less

Despite the diversity of goals, strategies and achievements this year's Top Ten Sports Marketers of the Year encompass, they have one thing in common: They took the challenge to become the best, and settled for nothing less. They come from all areas of the sports, sports marketing and sports business landscape; touched consumers, fans, viewers, athletes, marketing and media partners, and investors; and left their respective marks during 2014. Now, it is time for the public to vote for the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year from among these ten powerful candidates (in alphabetical order): ALS Association, BBDO Worldwide, BitPay, Daily Fantasy Sports (category), Epix, Foot Locker, LeBron James, Levi Strauss & Co., Under Armour and Upper Deck. MORE