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%


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WWE 2K16: The Terminator (More Below)


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“We have not been able to get a majority of the citizens of Boston to support hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Therefore, the USOC does not think that the level of support enjoyed by Boston’s bid would allow it to prevail over great bids from Paris, Rome, Hamburg, Budapest or Toronto.” — Scott Blackmun, CEO for the USOC, regarding the decision to end support for Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics

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.

JULY 25 - AUG. 2 Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles ESPN

BUY The Kansas City Royals (60-38) last night became the first AL team with 60 wins with a 9-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians (45-53). The St. Louis Cardinals lead MLB in wins (64-35).

BUY Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees (56-42) set an MLB record by hitting a home run last night on his birthday, the sixth time he has done so in his career.

JULY 27 - AUG. 29 Emirates U.S. Open Tennis Series ESPN 2 ESPN 3

JULY 29 MLS All-Star Game MLS All-Stars vs Tottenham Hotspur Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Colorado Fox Sports 1 9 PM (ET)

AUG. 8-9: Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Induction Ceremony; Hall of Fame Game: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings NBC 8 PM (ET)

AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13 U.S. Open Billie Jean National Tennis Center, New York ESPN


$9.99: Asking price for 2010 MLB All-Star Game Home Run Derby official ball, on eBay.
$12.99 Asking price for 2007 MLB All-Star Game seat cushion, on eBay.
$100.00: Asking price for 2008 MLB All-Star Game banner featuring Derek Jeter, on eBay.
$250.00: Asking price for 1953 MLB All-Star Game Mr. Redlegs Bobblehead, on eBay.
$5,000.00: Asking price for two seats (Dugout Box section) to 2015 MLB All-Star Game, on eBay.

NFL's Manning, Romo Go All Rob Lowe For DirecTV

In the world of DirecTV, it takes a team of NFL quarterbacks to replace Rob Lowe, whose humorous campaign for the subscription cable provider featuring several inferior versions of the actor — awkward, creepy, scrawny arms — was pulled at the request of the Better Business Bureau when rivals complained about it, but DirecTV has re-energized the concept to promote its NFL Sunday Ticket, with Eli Manning (New York Giants) and Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) playing off their hackneyed selves and the promise of more such ads to come starring Eli's brother Peyton (Denver Broncos) and Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts). MORE

Boston Fails To Medal, L.A. Eyeing Gold For '24 Games?

Seven months ago, Boston topped Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC as the U.S. Olympic Committee's choice to carry the U.S. bid to the IOC to host the 2024 Summer Games, but finances, politics, logistics, lack of local support and other hurdles have ended that opportunity, with the USOC and the Boston bid group saying they mutually decided to make the move, which leaves the USOC with less than two months to meet the IOC's official deadline — and the bid committee in Southern California saying that it is ready, willing and able to step in. MORE

Bryant, Bumgarner, Posey Pace MLB Jersey Sales

It certainly pays to be a member of the World Champion San Francisco Giants if you want to have a top-selling MLB jersey, but it doesn't hurt to be part of the Chicago Cubs' youth movement, either, as three members of the Giants — Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence — and Cubs teammates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo all placed among the top sellers for the first half of the 2015 season based on two sets of stats released, respectively, by MLB and the Baseball Hall of Fame, which also included among their hottest movers the jerseys of Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper of the Los Angeles Angels and veteran David Ortiz, who has worn a Boston Red Sox jersey since 2003. MORE

Under Armour Continues Global Assault On Nike, adidas

Apparel and footwear company Under Armour includes among its roster of endorsers the NBA's Stephen Curry, pro golfer Jordan Spieth and globally renowned dancer Misty Copeland, each of whom had 'historic performances and accolades' over the past few months, according to company chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, key reasons that the Baltimore-based brand was able to realize such powerful 2Q financial figures as a 29% increase in net revenue, a 23% increase in its apparel unit and a whopping 40% jump in footwear — driven by Curry's MVP and championship performances in his Under Armour signature shoes — all of which has UA looking ahead and rivals looking back over their shoulders. MORE

Swift Croons For Keds, Trainor Signs With Skechers

There may be room for only one of these singers on stage at a time, but consumers will be getting a double-billing of casual footwear marketing with Taylor Swift the focus of a new campaign from Keds, "Ladies First Since 1916," which anticipates the brand's centennial anniversary via a "fresh perspective on what it means to be a woman today;" and Meghan Trainor getting people to think it's 'All About That Lace' when she stars in a multi-platform effort from Skechers later this year, joining an eclectic roster of brand endorsers who include Demi Lovato, Ringo Starr, Pete Rose, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mariano Rivera. MORE

Ronda Rousey's Next Challenge: Marketing Taichi Panda

Even as UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey prepares for her next match — against Bethe Correia in UFC 190, scheduled for Aug. 1 in Rio de Janeiro — the athlete known as the "most dangerous unarmed woman in the world" has taken on another challenge: becoming the marketing spokesperson for Snail Games USA's self-described "mobile hack 'n' slash dungeon crawler" Taichi Panda, which will include TV, social media and other activations in what Rousey called "a really exciting step for me and martial arts." MORE

Alex Morgan Adds EA Cover Star To Marketing Portfolio

Fresh off the success of the U.S. National Women's Soccer Team in winning the World Cup, forward Alex Morgan has become the first woman in the history of the EA Sports FIFA franchise to land a spot on the cover, where she will appear along side soccer great Lionel Messi on the upcoming videogame release in the U.S. (with Canada Women's National Soccer Team captain Christine Sinclair earning the coveted spot next to Messi on the Canadian releases), enhancing the FIFA 16 play as being the first to include women's soccer teams. MORE

NBA Extends Space On ABC For 2015-16

The league has added games and supporting preview air time to its alliance with ESPN and ABC, unveiling an eight-game schedule to run as a Saturday Night on ABC programming block beginning in January, along with NBA Countdown, giving ESPN-ABC four nights of hoops next season — Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday —  in addition to ABC remaining the home for the NBA Final. MORE

Commercial Spotlight: Straight Outta Compton, The Man From UNCLE, EA Sports NHL 16, ESPN Ant-Man







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

How Esurance Helped Drive MLB, ASG To A New ERA

When Esurance, the online division of Allstate, signed on in April to become the official auto insurance sponsor of MLB and title sponsor for the first-time all-digital Esurance All-Star Game and Final Ballot process, it marked not only the start of a partnership but a new era for MLB. And even just months into the alliance, as Chris Lee, director of brand partnerships and social engagement for Esurance, explains in this Q&A, the pact has already proven to be a success in brand awareness and beyond as seen by the record number of ballots cast, the response to supporting marketing led by a "Sorta You" ad starring San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Esurance's presence at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, key elements in Esurance's sports sponsorship strategy with its U.S. Open tennis alliance coming to an end.

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

T-Mobile Swings For Fences At Lead ASG Sponsor

The Hartford, Miller Lite Join MLB Lineup

Louisville Slugger, Bat To Ruth, Jeter, Changes Hands

Why Mike Trout Is On 'Most Dangerous' List

Coldwell MLB Campaign Gives Players Home Field Advantage



Marketers, Politicians, Fans Support NFL Growth In U.K.

The NFL has a long-term plan to enhance and build its place in London and the U.K. — with the strong potential of putting a franchise as well as staging a Super Bowl there — the newest move being a ten-year deal that will see at least two games a year played in a new stadium that beginning in 2018 will be the home of soccer powerhouse Tottenham Hotspur, adding to the annual three-game schedule of NFL games now played in Wembley Stadium, all of which is being supported in the U.K. by the likes of Anheuser-Busch, Jeep, Visa, Pepsi, Microsoft and Papa John's, all of whom are targeting a local fan base of more than 13M (and growing). 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

$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



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

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

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

Kyrie Slips Into PSD Underwear As Endorser, Investor

With many NBA players as fashion conscious off the court as they are skilled on it, it is no surprise that such stars as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry have added clothing and accessory lines to their business and endorsement portfolios, and the latest to join that roster is LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, who has signed with premium underwear brand PSD as an endorser, designer, "trend-setter" and investor, joining a team that also includes NBA and NFL players James, Marshawn Lynch, Mike Miller, Chandler Parsons and Steve Johnson. 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


Under Armour Effort Teams Vonn, Copeland, Bundchen

The sports apparel and shoe brand has brought together its preeminent female athletes and stars, united as Women of Will, to appear in a campaign under the umbrella "I Will What I Want" effort to launch its Armour Bra Collection, with testimonials and first-person experiences told in multi-media format by Lindsey Vonn, Misty Copeland, Gisele Bündchen, U.S. Women's National Soccer Team World Cup champ Kelley O'Hara and pro surfer Brianna Cope, who sing the praises of Under Armour's new iteration of what it calls "a woman's most important piece of workout gear — her sports bra" while sharing their "declarations in overcoming doubt and setbacks related to their womanhood." MORE

Poll: Even Sans Jeter, Yanks Top MLB As Fan Favorite

Despite the retirement of Derek Jeter, a man who arguably is considered the most popular player in team history, not making the playoffs for two years and last winning the World Series in 2009, the New York Yankees remain the favorite team in MLB, according to The Harris Poll from Harris Interactive, coming out ahead of rival Boston Red Sox, the surging (in popularity) Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers, but the sport itself has taken a hit — dropping from 37% to 32% as being favored among people. 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

Showtime Starts Search For Missing Sports Artifacts

Sports is about the athletes who play the games and the fans who watch them, but it also is about the balls, bats, sticks, gloves, shoes, trophies and other items that help to define memorable sports moments, many of which reside in Halls of Fame or private collections but a vast number of which have gone missing, which is a situation that Showtime will try, in part, to resolve with a new docu-series on Smithsonian Channel, Sports Detectives, in which a team of experts — including writer/producer Brian Biegel, whose Miracle Ball book depicted his extensive search for Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round The World" ball — will try to locate and authenticate such iconic (and reportedly missing) artifacts as Muhammad Ali's gold medal from the 1960 Olympics, the American flag that goalie Jim Craig draped over his shoulders after the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" victory, Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run ball from Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and the football from Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" catch. 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

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

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

Amid Changes, Topps Finds Tradition Still Builds Business

Topps has been a part of card collecting for 65 years, creating some of the most iconic images and memorabilia in sports and entertainment, which holds true even today as the company builds its digital side via such apps as BUNT (MLB), Huddle (NFL) and Kick (soccer). But as Clay Luraschi, vp-product development, relates in this Q&A, it is the time-tested thrill of finding new cards — led this season by those from the likes of such MLB rookies as Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, Yasmany Tomas and Billy Burns and potential future Hall of Famers including Topps spokesman Buster Posey — and the tradition of trading and sharing cards and memorabilia among kids, parents, grandparents and friends that is helping to grow the category and drive it forward.

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


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