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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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State Farm: Getting Older Winter Games Ads Below

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CFB Title Games '21-24
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
NCAA: More Health $$$
Cancer Drives Home
NCAA Reballs Madness

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
Tuesday
Jul212009

The Bad Boys Of Marketing Make Good

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

Originally published at MediaPost.com

"Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do/When they come for you?"

Spike Lee shows off the cover of the upcoming 'NBA 2K10' videogame with Kobe Bryant.July 21, 2009: Being a bad boy in sports marketing has been redefined. Just ask Manny Ramirez, Michael Phelps, Charles Barkley and Kobe Bryant.

In May, Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancement drug policy. He didn't lose many marketing deals, earning only about $3-4 million a year from RecoveryX, an energy drink from Changing Times Vitamins, and FatHead wall hanging products. But he did receive more than 1.5 million votes for the All-Star Game (he was not, however, on the final roster).

And on July 16, Manny's first post-suspension home game, the Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated "Mannywood," a section in the left field stands at Dodger Stadium, which includes a special ticket plan, merchandise and a supporting "Mannywood" marketing campaign. Bringing "Mannywood" back was "directly based on our fans' interest," according to Dodgers president Dennis Mannion. (Note: The team also kept in place a Manny Bobblehead Night for July 22, which was put on the schedule prior to his suspension, mainly due to the fact that all 56,000 seats at Dodger Stadium were sold for the event.)

Phelps was named SI Sportsman of the Year in 2008.Late last year, a photo showing Phelps with marijuana paraphernalia tarnished the golden image he earned for winning a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. Kellogg opted not to renew its alliance with the swimmer, Subway pulled back a campaign that was scheduled to break, and USA Swimming, the sport's governing body, slapped him in February with a three-month suspension.

But, with the backing of agent Peter Carlisle of Octagon, Phelps is again swimming in the marketing pool. Over the past few weeks, he signed a new deal with waterproof headphone company H2O Audio, and Subway unveiled the campaign it had temporarily pulled. Phelps still has deals with companies, including Visa, Speedo and AT&T, that earn him $8-10 million in annual endorsements.

"Given fans' idolatry, they welcome a fallen athlete back into the fold, and the brands are not far behind," says John Meindl, president and CEO for SportsBrandedMedia, New York, a sports marketing, branding and production company. "It's as if there is a formula for an athlete's endorsement recovery based on the individual's status, character, ability and the nature of the crime."

O.J. Simpson and Mike Tyson are the extreme cases of marketing pariahs due to the severities of their actions. But Bryant is an example of how a popular athlete associated with a horrendous incident can survive on Madison Avenue. In 2003, Bryant, who had won three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, was topping $55 million in annual endorsements. But when he was charged in Colorado with sexual assault, a majority of his sponsorship deals were terminated (the notable exception being Nike, which did not use his image for more than a year).

The case was settled out of court in 2004, but it took years for Bryant to reclaim his marketing status. In 2009, Bryant's endorsements come in at about $15 million, including recent campaigns for Nike and Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater during the Lakers' NBA championship run. He also will be on the cover of and star in a supporting campaign for 2K Sports' videogame, NBA 2K10, being released this fall.

So what does it take to be labeled a marketing bad boy? "For some brands, the bad boy image is part of their DNA —- as long as the athlete's crime does not go beyond felonious assault," says Meindl.

John McEnroe on the cover of EA Sports' Grand Slam Tennis videogame.Two cases in point: John McEnroe, whose on-court tantrums and profanity were as classic as his tennis play, and Charles Barkley. McEnroe, now 50, has parlayed his trademark "You cannot be serious!" rant in recent years into endorsement deals with National Car Rental and American Express. This past New Year's Eve, Barkley was arrested for suspicion of DUI. He took a "hiatus" from his commentator role on TNT's "Inside The NBA," and T-Mobile pulled TV spots that featured Barkley and Dwayne Wade. But the spots, including a new one, returned during coverage of the NBA All-Star Game in February, and Barkley himself, albeit a tad more humble, returned on-air shortly thereafter.

"McEnroe and Barkley are two men who have been able to leverage their 'bad boy' image for years," says Meindl. "I don't see the same for Plaxico Burress [NFL receiver who this year suffered an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound and currently is awaiting sentencing on criminal possession of a handgun]. Compared to what we have seen athletes involved with over the past few years, getting caught for steroids is like a parking ticket in the eyes of the fan."

NOTE: The lyrics quoted above are by Inner Circle, which first appeared on their 1987 release, One Way.