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March Madness Becomes 'Marketing Madness' as Brands Get in the Game

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 27, 2015 12:02 PM

March Madness continues to draw a ton of eyeballs and wherever the eyeballs are, the brands will inevitably follow. The number of eyes this year, though, have not grown as exponentially as in years past, partially due to the aging of the live-streaming business; there are no new ways for viewers to consume these games and a large majority of the people who would use live-streaming are already doing so.

Still, according to the Wall Street Journal, fans consumed 11 million hours of games via live-stream in the first week. The number of streams rose 7% from the same period last year, which is all well and good except that from 2013 to 2014, the number of streams jumped 40% and from 2012 to 2013, that same number jumped a whopping 158%.

That kind of growth may be over, but that’s not stopping brands from getting in on the Madness—even if they can't use the term "March Madness" because they're not an official NCAA sponsor.Continue reading...

social marketing

Century 21 NCAA Twitter Campaign With Detlef Schrempf Almost Makes the Shot

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 26, 2015 11:55 AM

Century 21 Detlef

Century 21's new US social media campaign features retired basketball legend Detlef Schrempf, in a tie-in that's supporting his foundation.

The 1984 "Sweet 16" champ reads NCAA tournament-themed tweets and adds another word of his choosing, in response to Twitter users who've been encouraged in recent days to participate via the hashtag #DetlefSayMyTweet — but only if they don't use brand names and don't mind not being identified.Continue reading...

bc q&a

The March Madness Maestro: 5 Questions with Buick's Molly Peck

Posted by Dale Buss on March 13, 2015 01:07 PM

On Monday, Buick will be front and center at one of America's biggest sporting events, with its top-tier automotive sponsorship of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Now in its fifth consecutive March Madness, the tournament's official auto partner is hosting an online "trick shot" bracket competition, in which 16 trick shot experts will compete, and consumers will vote for the winners.

Marketing during the tournament will include the newest addition to its ongoing “That’s Not a Buick” campaign.Continue reading...

bc q&a

Goodwill Dunking: 5 Questions on the Harlem Globetrotters Brand

Posted by Dale Buss on January 2, 2015 11:22 AM

Harlem Globetrotters 50 Cent December 2014

When Herschend Family Entertainment acquired the Harlem Globetrotters last year, the Atlanta-based operator of major theme parks, aquariums and other attractions nationwide saw the potential of the venerable basketball and entertainment brand. Long before there was Dude Perfect, there was the Harlem Globetrotters—and as the Globies, as fans call the trick shot-spinning basketball stars, near their 90th anniversary in 2016, Herschend is helping take them to the next level.

Winter is high season for the Globetrotters, whose multiple squads are just beginning their intensive schedule of appearances at arenas big and small around the country. That's the opposite of high season for Herschend, which also owns and operates iconic Middle American parks including Dollywood in Tennessee and Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

That was just one of the advantages for Herschend of tapping into the Globetrotters' brand and mystique.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

The Homecoming: LeBron James Tanks, But Still Gets Thanks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2014 12:55 PM

Last night, LeBron James made his first home appearance for the Cleveland Cavaliers in four seasons to great anticipation.

The city’s hopes for a championship are resting firmly on his shoulders, a responsibility that has been chronicled by ads celebrating his homecoming from pretty much every brand he endorses (and there are many): Nike, Beats by Dre, Sprite, Dunkin' Donuts, Samsung, Kia and State Farm, among others.

James, however, only scored with five of the 17 shots he put up, and turned the ball over to the winning New York Knicks eight times. "It was a special night," James said, according to ESPN. "But I'm also glad it's over."Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

LeBron James Homecoming is a Slam Dunkin' Donuts for Brand Partners

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 29, 2014 05:21 PM

The return of LeBron James to Cleveland is being trumpeted as "the biggest sports homecoming of this generation" and "the hottest ticket" in the NBA—and has been heralded by the plethora of brands he endorses, including Beats by Dre and Sprite, too.

While some find the story of the two-time NBA champ returning to northern Ohio to bring some victories to his home state uplifting (a new baby girl just sweetening the saga), some critics think the narrative has been driven home one too many times. Fans, however, seem to be on the uplifting end of that spectrum—along with his brand partners.

According to new research from social analytics firm 4C, King James' Ohio comeback has resulted in “huge increases in social engagement between LeBron, the brands he endorses and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

Led by Dunkin' Donuts, brands have seen the pay-off for signing endorsement deals, with big spikes in social engagement since the superstar made his announcement he's returning to Ohio in July.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Sprite and Kia Celebrate LeBron James Return With a Pickup Game and Ride

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 27, 2014 03:55 PM

LeBron James has returned to his home state of Ohio for the coming basketball season, and appears to be planning to stay there until he retires. This fact has been driven home so many times that even folks who don’t follow the NBA one iota are likely to know it. 

But Sprite has decided to once again share the story of how the 29-year-old—whose jerseys were burned on the streets of Cleveland only a few short years ago because of his decision to “abandon” the Buckeye State in order to move to Miami and win a few championship rings—is coming home to try and bring the city its first championship in any sport in half a century. 

While Sprite (and Beats by Dre before it) don't mention the burnt jerseys, their ads and mini-docs are all about how, in the end, home is where LeBron's heart is—and the fans are—as King James returns to his hometown.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

Jordan Brand Taps Funny Side of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul for Late-Night TV

Posted by Dale Buss on October 20, 2014 05:28 PM

They've both already demonstrated their commercial chops for a variety of brands. Now NBA stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin want to show off their comedic skills—and Nike's Jordan shoe brand is only too happy to showcase the two pro-basketball all stars. Call it Jordan Branded Entertainment.

The duo are natural funnymen for the brand's first foray into original programming. Paul has made his mark as an endorsement personality in campaigns such as State Farm's separated-at-birth scenario that focuses on "giving assists," while Griffin probably is best known for his work for Kia, including taking a flying leap over a Kia that was blocking him in the paint. Continue reading...

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