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• Per N The top 25 public companies by game revenues captured 77% of the $121.7B global games market last year. No. 1 (for 5th consecutive year) followed by ,

• "Following an exciting and successful event in Dallas, we're thrilled to take the NFL draft to Nashville. The city has a passionate fan base and offers iconic locations that will enable us to expand the Draft in unique ways," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell: April 25-27, 2019, spanning across multiple landmarks in Nashville's historic downtown district.

• The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona will host Super Bowl LVII in 2023 and the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome in New Orleans will host Super Bowl LVIII in 2024, per the NFL. 

KEEPING SCORE

Upcoming Super Bowls

Super Bowl LIII Feb. 3, 2019 Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta (CBS)
Super Bowl LIV Feb. 2, 2020 Hard Rock Stadium, Miami (FOX)
Super Bowl LV Feb. 7, 2021 Raymond James Stadium, Tampa (NBC)
Super Bowl LVI Feb. 6, 2022 Los Angeles Stadium, Inglewood, CA (CBS)
Super Bowl LVII Feb. 5, 2023 University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ (Fox)
Super Bowl LVIII Feb. 4, 2024 Mercedes-Benz SuperDome, New Orleans (NBC)

Source: NFL

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (May 18-20)
1. Deadpool 2 - 20th Century Fox - $125M
2. Avengers: Infinity War - Disney - $28.7M
3. Book Club - Paramount - $12.5M
4. Life Of The Party - Warner Bros. - $7.7M
5. Breaking In - Universal - $6.5M
6. Show Dogs - Open Road - $6M
7. Overboard - Lionsgate - $4.7M
8. A Quiet Place - Paramount - $4M
9. Rampage - Warner Bros. - $1.5M
10. Feel Pretty - STX Entertainment - $1.2M
11. Super Troopers 2 - 20th Century Fox - $1.1M
12. Black Panther - Disney - $0.8M
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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
Wednesday
Jun102009

Why Companies Tell Athletes 'You're Rehired' After They've Retired

By Barry Janoff
Executive Editor, NYSportsJournalism

 

June 10, 2009: To paraphrase author Charles "Two Cities" Dickens, it is the best of times and the worst of times when it comes to using athletes in sports marketing. The economy has forced many companies to scale down their sports sponsorships, including previously big spenders in the automotive and financial categories.

General Motors, for example, ended its nine-year alliance with Tiger Woods in 2008, a year before their $7 million per year contract was to expire, even as its executives were visiting Washington to ask for a bailout. And the fact that many big-name athletes have been linked to situations that have caused concern among consumers — including Michael Vick, Michael Phelps, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — has put all active players under scrutiny. Kellogg chose not to renew its deal with Phelps after a photo of the Olympic swimming hero holding drug paraphernalia became public, and Vick lost all of his estimated $35 million endorsement deals after he pled guilty to charges relating to a dog fighting operation.

But this, in turn, has opened up opportunities for retired players such as Cal Ripken Jr., Michael Jordan, Dan Marino (NutriSystem) and Patrick Ewing (Snickers) to parlay their former playing days into new pay days.

"The work Cal Ripken, Ripken Baseball and the Ripken Foundation conduct on a professional and grass roots level mirrors many of the initiatives State Farm supports nationally and locally," Mark Gibson, assistant vice president of advertising at State Farm, says of the insurance company's alliance with the baseball Hall of Famer, who also has deals with Holiday Inn and Under Armour. "It's a natural fit for State Farm and we are very excited for the opportunity to work with Cal on many different levels."

Under Armour echoed those statements when it signed a five-year deal with Ripken in April. "Cal is an iconic figure who represents the very best of sports," says Steve Battista, senior vice president/brand at Under Armour.

Although not nearly as omnipresent as he was during his playing days in the NBA, Jordan continues to remain a valuable marketing tool for the likes of Hanes, Gatorade and the NBA, which regularly includes clips of him from his playing days in marketing initiatives.

Jordan, currently part-owner and head of basketball operations with the Charlotte Bobcats, also is the driving force behind Nike's Jordan Brand in commercials, personal appearances and basketball shoe design, helping to push annual sales to close to $1 billion and earning Jordan himself a Top 20 status on Forbes' recent list of 100 most powerful celebrities.

Is it safer to use retired athletes vs. current ones? "The answer is yes but not just because they are retired," says David Schwab, vice president at marketing agency Octagon, Washington, D.C., and managing director at First Call, Octagon's celebrity acquisition and activation division. "It's because a retired athlete is typically older and more mature. [In some cases], they don't have a steady income stream [so] they care more about the project."

This is not to say that Madison Avenue is down on active athletes. Woods, even without GM, still earns about $100 million a year from endorsements. LeBron James makes more than $25 million in endorsements to pace NBA players, Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the Nascar pack with $22 million in endorsement earnings and Peyton Manning ranks atop NFL players with some $15 million in endorsements.

Can athletes come back from critical situations to reinvent their marketing status in preparation for life after retirement? Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson has not been able to overcome his numerous indiscretions to become a player on Madison Avenue. Kobe Bryant earned more than $60 million a year in endorsements before he was accused of sexual assault in 2003 (which was settled out of court). He now takes in about a third of that, but has been the focus of recent marketing campaigns from Nike and Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater (alongside James in both), and will be the cover athlete of EA Sport's NBA 2K10 videogame this fall.

Ultimately, companies need to be careful about hiring any athlete, whether active or retired. According to Schwab, "Brands still need to perform proper due diligence on any talent to make sure they align with the company's goals, objectives and morals."

Orignally published at MediaPost, June 9, as "Rehired, Not Just Retired."

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