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QUICK HITS

• The NBA London Game 2019 will feature a regular-season game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks in The O2 on Thursday, Jan. 17. Marketing partners include Foot Locker, Gatorade, Nike, SAP and Tissot, with additional partners to be unveiled in the coming months.

• The Denver Broncos home field is getting a temporary name change to Broncos Stadium at Mile High. It had been Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but the national sporting goods retailer, which had been based in Englewood, Col., ceased operations in July 2016. A search for a more permanent naming rights holder is currently underway.

• Per AP Sports: Burger King in Russia ran a promotion on social media offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to any women who become pregnant by World Cup players. The offer was then deleted, In a statement Wednesday to AP, Burger King said, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online. (It) does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”

• The PGA TOUR has signed a deal with Facebook to distribute exclusive Saturday and Sunday live competition coverage, on a free basis, from eight tournaments leading into the FedExCup Playoffs for the 2017-18 season. Airing on Facebook Watch in the U.S., coverage begins at the Travelers Championship on June 23-24. Other events in 2018 include: Quicken Loans National; A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier; John Deere Classic; RBC Canadian Open; World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational; Wyndham Championship; and The Northern Trust.

KEEPING SCORE

MLB has released the leaders by position for the 2018 All-Star Game (as of June 19), with voting sponsored by Camping World. (Voting ends July 5 at 11:59 PM ET.)

American League: 1B José Abreu (Chicago White Sox), 2B José Altuve (Houston Astros), SS Manny Machado (Baltimore Orioles), 3B  José Ramirez (Cleveland Indians); OF Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels). Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox); Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays), Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees); DH Victor Martinez (Detroit Tigers).

National League: 1B Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves), 2B Ozhaino Albies (Atlanta Braves), SS Brandon Crawford (San Francisco Giants), 3B Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies); OF Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers), Nick Markakis (Atlanta Braves), Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals); C Wilson Contreras (Chicago Cubs),Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants).

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (June 15-17)

1. Incredibles 2 - Disney - $180 M ($231.5M worldwide)
2. Ocean's 8 - Warner Bros. - $19.6M
3. Tag - Warner Bros. - $14.6M
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story - Disney - $9.1M
5. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $8.8M
6. Hereditary - A24 - $7M
7. Superfly - Sony - $6.3M
8. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $5.3M
9. Adrift - STX Entertainment - $2.1M
10. Book Club - Paramount - $1.9M
11. A Wrinkle In Time - Disney - $1.8M
12. Gotti - Vertical Entertainment - $1.7M

NOTE: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Universal $173.6M international (opens in U.S. June 22)

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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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
Saturday
Oct222016

MetLife Sends Snoopy And His Peanuts’ Friends To Doghouse In Brand Makeover

Special to NYSportsJournalism

October 21, 2016: Calling it the “most significant change to the brand in over 30 years,” MetLife has decided to end its relationship with Charles Schulz’s Snoopy, the animated dog, and other friends that inhabit the world of Peanuts.

The MetLife-Snoopy alliance dates back to 1985.

The insurance firm said it is seeking to "remove the complexities traditionally associated with insurance" by "moving away from a traditional product-development model to one driven by customer insights," Steven Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO for MetLife, Inc. said in a statement.

The strategy is led by a new global brand platform, "MetLife. Navigating Life Together."

MetLife said it would "phase out its use of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang," which has been used on TV, in print and online, as well as via highly visible MetLife blimps named "Snoopy One," "Snoopy Two," and "Snoopy Three."

Earlier this year, New York-based MetLife said it would "pursue the separation of a substantial portion of its U.S. retail segment" to focus on its group life and employee benefits divisions.

"To adapt to our changing world, we are re-thinking how we do business," Steven Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO for MetLife, Inc., said in a statement. "We are moving away from a traditional product-development model to one driven by customer insights.

"Our new brand reflects our company's transformation and differentiates us in the marketplace, ultimately driving greater value for our customers and shareholders,"  said Kandarian.

The change also includes MetLife's new visual branding, adding green to the company’s traditional blue “in a symbol of partnership to form an M for MetLife.”

In addition, the colors reflect the company’s naming rights deal at MetLife Stadium, home for the NFL’s New York Jets, whose main color is green, and New York Giants, whose main color is blue.

An eight-foot Snoopy statue was placed outside MetLife Stadium in 2012 in conduction with the naming rights, and a pre-season game between the Giants and Jets had been dubbed “The Snoopy Bowl.”

MetLife said it would be rolling out the new brand globally through 2017.

Initial marketing will hit mobile, social and Web properties. Print ads will appear in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Washington Post beginning Oct. 21. TV will break in December.

Additional advertising is running in Mexico, Korea and Japan.

"We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable at a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant."

All sans Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts crew.

According to Esther Lee, global chief marketing officer of MetLife, "We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant. Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time.

"We are embarking on a journey to upend the long-entrenched norms of the insurance industry. We are focused on humanizing our industry and designing every customer experience to reflect the modern company we're becoming," said Lee.

Even with this, the Peanuts brand will have plenty of work.

Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, but his estate this year is expected to have an income of $48 million, second among deceased celebrities only to Michael Jackson ($845 million), according to Forbes.

Peanuts, despite being more than 65 years old, is still popular in modern culture. It is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — with McDonald’s among its partners.

Peanuts characters have appeared in ads for Dolly Madison snack cakes, Chex Mix, Bounty, Cheerios, A&W Root Beer, Kraft Foods, Ford and an array of products for Hallmark Cards, an on-going alliance that dates back to 1960.

The assets are owned by Peanuts Worldwide, LLC, a joint venture of the Iconix Brand Group (whose  portfolio also includes Umbra, Starter, Jay-Z’s Rocawear, Pony, London Fog, Zoo York, Ed Hardy and Joe Boxer) and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates.

"We have great respect for these iconic characters. However, as we focus on our future, it's important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers," said Lee.

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