By The Staff Of NYSportsJournalism.com
December 16, 2013: A review of the year 2013 is filled with sports marketing and business pros and cons, were and wannabes, and highs, lows and plateaus.
But when it comes to the Top Ten Sports Marketers of the Year, it's all about building, teaming, overcoming adversity and moving forward.
Despite the diversity of areas and venues in which this year's Ten Sports Marketers of the Year encompass, they have one thing in common: They didn't watch things happen — they made things happen.
The Ten Sports Marketers of the Year were selected by NYSportsJournalism.com via a careful review of the stories, articles, Q&A's, features and marketing and business efforts from and about companies, people, organizations, teams, leagues, agencies, medial outlets and others in 2013.
These final ten will now go to a vote among the public-at-large. Ultimately, one of the ten will join past Grand Sports Marketers of the Year, including BVAA Compass (2010) and Mission AthleteCare (2012).
The ten Sports Marketers of the Year (in alphabetical order): Boston Marathon, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dove Men+Care, EA Sports Madden NFL 25, Fox Sports 1, Floyd Mayweather, National Hockey League, Red Bull, Reebok, Stand To Cancer (with MLB and MasterCard).
A synopsis on each follows for all of the ten 2013 Sports Marketers of the Year.
Congratulations to all ten for the work and achievements you have had in 2013, and to the achievements to come in 2014 and beyond. VOTE HERE
• The Boston Marathon experienced the rush of competition, the tragedy of death and injury and the emotional lift of support, compassion and caring shown by first-responders, medical staff and countless others in the hours, days and months following the bombing. Ultimately, it was all about Boston Strong and building toward the 2014 event. See the full story here.
• Buffalo Wild Wings found that it was much more advantageous to be a partner than a player with the NCAA and became the "official hangout of March Madness," brought its name to college football's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Dec. 28) and enhanced its sports presence in its more than 975 locations nationwide, closing the year with a new deal with PepsiCo that portends sports growth to come. See the full story here.
• Dove Men+Care continued to build its presence in the growing male grooming products category, finding a strong voice during March Madness with Dwyane Wade and Jay Bilas, during baseball season with a Dads-focused campaign with several MLB players, supporting its first alliance with the ING New York Marathon by putting "softie" tough guy John McEnroe on center stage and working with Operation Homefront to unite members of the military serving overseas with their families. See the full story here.
• EA Sports covered the full 100 yards to support its historic Madden NFL 25, including the biggest cover vote in brand history that pitted 32 NFL stars against 32 NFL legends, with Barry Sanders topping the tally and then being featured in a national ad campaign. See the full story here.
• Fox Sports 1 had the audacity to try to become a big fish in an ocean occupied by the sports whale known as ESPN, and succeeded in creating waves before, during and since its Aug. 17 by reaching 90 million homes with 5,000 hours of planned 24/7 programming led by MLB, Nascar, UFC, soccer and college football and basketball. See the full story here.
• Floyd Mayweather, called "pound for pound the greatest fighter on the planet Earth," may not single-handedly bring boxing back to its heyday, but he pulled no punches in promoting, along with Showtime, the Brand Mayweather "Money Team," anchored by a victory over Saul "Canelo" Alverez on Sept. 14 that ultimately could earn him as much as $100 million, garnered more than $150 million in revenue from 2.2 million PPV hits and more than $20 million from the live gate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. See the full story here.
• The NHL came into the 2012-13 season like a lamb and left like a lion, rising from the ashes of a lockout that cut the campaign to 48 games and appeared to crumble a plan to boost fan and marketing support by undertaking a 2013-14 campaign that evp-marketing Brian Jennings called "our most ambitious season ever." That included moving from two outdoor games to six— the Bridgestone Winter Classic, the Tim Hortons Heritage Class and the four-game Coors Light Stadium Series — while building marketing and media alliances that will allow the league to have major exposure prior to and during the Winter Olympics and then into the Stanley Cup playoffs. See the full story here.
• Red Bull in October 2013, commemorated the one-year anniversary of Felix Baumgartner skydiving feat and becoming the first person to break the sound barrier without the use of a vehicle by releasing a nine minute-plus video showing the event via a helment-camera as Baumgartner saw it. But riding the tsunami after-effects of the event was not Red Bull's only splash. The year also included motorsports, BMX, surfing, snowboarding, New York Red Bulls, Red Bull TV, Lolo Jones, Lindsey Vonn, Blake Griffin, Ryan Sheckler, Rickie Fowler, the Red Bull Project Endurance and, oh, yeah, selling more than 35 billion cans of Red Bull worldwide. See the full story here.
• Reebok has a desire to perspire, which goes back to its origins more than 115 years ago and was re-energized in 2012 with the unveiling of "The Sport of Fitness." In January 2013,, Reebok continued its push into the fitness category by signing a multi-year deal to become lead sponsor of Spartan Race, and then invigorated its fitness message with "Live with Fire," a multimedia campaign that included an "Ignite the Fitness Fire" mobile application and support of singer Alicia Keys' global "Set The World On Fire" tour. Reebok also signed a deal with Les Mills International and drove BOKS, a free, before-school physical activity program that is currently in some 600 elementary schools nationwide. See the full story here.
• Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) with MLB and MasterCard: SU2C was established in 2008. In 2013, two-time Emmy winner Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) and the official mascots from the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies had key roles in MasterCard Worldwide's multi-media marketing campaign, including "Dig In & Do Good," which was unveiled in conjunction with MLB's All-Star Game. MasterCard set a donation goal to Stand Up To Cancer of $4 million; when that was met, a re-launch of the campaign had MasterCard seeking another $4 million in donations. This month, the second annual MLB.com Auction to benefit SU2C was anchored by donations and PR efforts from all 30 MLB teams. See the full story here.
Mission AthleteCare Named 2012 Sports Marketer Of The Year