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POLL POSITION
Sports Marketer of the Year
 
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QUICK HITS

• Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists Class of 2018: Ray Allen, Maurice Cheeks, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Hugh Evans, Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Rudy Tomjanovich, Chris Webber, Kim Mulkey, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Wayland Baptist University. Class of 2018 will be named during the NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in San Antonio March 31-April 2.

• Serena Williams, who said her first auto purchase was a while Lincoln Navigator SUV she named “Ginger,” has signed to become an official spokesperson for the brand. A social media-based marketing campaign includes videos of Williams talking about and driving the 2018 Navigator, with ongoing videos to follow. “Partnering with a brand like Navigator comes from a genuine place,” she said in the first video. “Let’s just be honest: Serena Williams needs to be in the new Navigator.”

• The Smashing Pumpkins unveil 'Shiny And Oh So Bright' 36-city tour, their first tour in nearly 20 years, with founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, James Iha. Produced by Live Nation.

KEEPING SCORE

Most Exciting Sports Worldwide
1. Athletics (i.e. Olympics) 47% Very/Quite Exciting
2. Tennis 43%
3. Football (soccer) 43%
4. Rugby 41%
5. Gymnastics 36%
6. Boxing 32%
7. Formula 1 32%
8. Swimming 26%
9. Horse Racing 25%
10. Cycling 25%

Most Boring Sports Worldwide
1. Golf 70% Very/Quite Boring
2. U.S. Football 59%
3. Cricket 58%
4. Darts 58%
5. Snooker 57%
6. Basketball 52%
7. Horse Racing 52%
8. Cycling 50%
9. Formula 1 49%
10. Boxing 46%

Poll from YouGov.com

BUY SELL

Most-Watched Winter Olympics in U.S. TV History
1. Lillehammer, 1994* 204 million
2. Vancouver, 2010 190 million
3. Salt Lake City, 2002 187 million
T4. Torino, 2006 184 million
T4. Albertville, 1992 184 million
T4. Nagano, 1998 184 million
* Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding incident

Source NBC Sports

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Monday
Oct072013

D-Howard Helps To Fuel Houston Rockets Domestic, Global Marketing, Sales Efforts

By Barry Janoff

October 6, 2013: People in Los Angeles and NBA fans elsewhere may not have liked the fact that all-star center Dwight Howard left the Lakers to join the Houston Rockets. But the Rockets certainly are making the most of it in marketing and ticket sales.

The newest company to join the Rockets' 2013-14 bandwagon is smartphone provider ZTE USA, a division of China-based ZTE Corp.

The alliance, the first of its kind for the company, names ZTE as the official smartphone of the Rockets for the upcoming season.

According to ZTE USA, which is based in Richardson, Texas, "Houston is an important market for [us]. It is one of the top wireless markets in the country and many of ZTE’s carrier partners have large presences there, including AT&T, Aio Wireless, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, US Cellular, Cricket Wireless and Tracfone."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ZTE USA said it would be lunching two smartphones – the ZTE Grand S and the ZTE nubia 5 – and planned to take advantage in marketing and in-arena activation with a Houston roster that includes Howard, James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons.

Rockets marketing partners also include Toyota (which also has naming rights to the team's home venue Toyota Center), Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), United Airlines,  McDonald's and Comcast's Xfinity.

Thanks to the arrival of Howard, and the presence of head coach Kevin McHale, Lin, Harden and the others, Rockets management is optimistic about the coming season.

“We’re further ahead in our sales process at this time than we ever have been,” CEO Tad Brown told the media during a recent workout session. “The season-ticket base is up 34%. We are close to being sold out of season tickets. And we are pretty confident with the excitement that this team has already created in the market that we’ll be sold out of every game.”

Under the terms of the agreement, ZTE said it would receive corporate sponsor status, including use of Rockets marketing rights, TV-visible branded signage, hospitality, giveaways and promotions through branded kiosks at Toyota Center and in-game activations.

ZTE, which unveiled the partnership as presenting of the Rockets' pre-season opener on Saturday (Oct. 5), said it would also be the presenting sponsor of the Rockets' annual street-ball three-on-three Blacktop Battle and would participate in the Season of Giving community program.

ZTE said it provides its technology to more than 500 carriers and operators in more than 160 countries

The Rockets said they each more than 325 million people worldwide via more than 30 different networks. The team has a large and growing fan-base in China thanks in big part to former all-star center and current team spokesperson Yao Ming, a naitve of Shanhai.

Howard's primary marketing partner, adidas, sponsored a D Howard Tour of Asia in August to coincide with the launch of Howard's signature D Howard 4 shoe (pictured). The trip included three stops in China (Beijing, Chengdu and Hangzhou) as well as Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

"ZTE and the Rockets are both global brands bringing powerful lineups to excite both sports and tech enthusiasts across the country."

Howard had the seventh best-selling jersey in the world last season, according to the NBA and adidas, the league's official outfitter, when he was still with the Lakers. The Rockets are hoping that Howard's new jersey will attract even more fans this season.

The fact that Lin is of Asian descent (Taiwan) is also helping to bolster the Rockets' international connection.

“The Houston Rockets are a perfect match for ZTE’s first corporate sponsorship in the U.S. ZTE and the Rockets are both global brands bringing powerful lineups to excite both sports and tech enthusiasts across the country,” Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO for ZTE USA, said in a statement. “Houston, and the U.S. at large, is a key market for ZTE going forward, building on our already 15-year track record of bringing robust yet affordable technology to U.S. carriers and consumers alike.”

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