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brands under fire

Nike and Other Brands Cut Ties with Ray Rice as NFL Goes on Defensive

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 10, 2014 11:46 AM

The start of the NFL season should be a celebratory time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but this year is a bit different thanks to TMZ’s timely release of a tape of former Baltimore Raven's running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancée inside an elevator in a (now shuttered) Atlantic City casino.

The Ravens released Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely (after first only serving him a two-game suspension), but the outcry is loud over how poorly Goodell and the league handled the serious situation. In light of the most recent revelations, Rice's many endoresement deals are disappearing—including the biggest of them all, Nike. 

While Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer, expressed her support for her husband and outrage over the amount of publicity her private life has received, not too many others are offering up support for the 27-year-old.

Fans, in particular, were outraged by his actions and retailers including Modell’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and NFL.com immediately removed Rice’s jersey from shelves, while the Ravens announced that they will allow fans to exchange Rice jerseys later this month, as brands move to quickly distance themselves from the debacle.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Brands Make Big Plays for NFL Stardom with Long List of Endorsements

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 8, 2014 11:22 AM

As the NFL season got underway this weekend, plenty of big brands have turned to big-name players to shill their products, betting big on the purchasing power of celebrity. 

Nationwide, for instance, debuted its new logo alongside pitchman Peyton Manning after the insurance brand struck a deal with the NFL a few months ago. But that's not the only product that Manning is helping move. He is also part of Papa John’s biggest social media campaign to date, according to Adweek. Papa John’s, which is also the official pizza sponsor of the NFL, features the older Manning, who also happens to be a Papa John's franchise owner, in ads side by side with company CEO John Schnatter distinguishing between a “Pizza Maker” and a “Play Maker.”

Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, the quarterback for the New York Giants, isn’t missing out on the start-of-season money train, either. He has a deal with Dunkin’ Donuts, which is giving fans who purchase an iced coffee with their Dunkin' Rewards card before Sept. 28 a chance to meet the younger Manning at a “Manning MasqueraDDe” party on October 21.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Skittles Masters Beast Mode Branding with Marshawn Lynch

Posted by Rami Levi on September 2, 2014 03:03 PM

Call it a modern day miracle, but a candy brand has firmly associated itself with athleticism. The beautiful branded partnership between Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and the Mars-owned Skittles continued today with the release of a hilariously branded “training video.” 

The video features the Seahawks star pushing through a rigorous training session with the help of his sugary friends. In light of the astronomical bidding war between Nike and Under Armour over the coveted feet of Kevin Durant, the video demonstrates the power a partnership born organically from genuine mutual interest between endorser and brand.

The love affair between Skittles and Lynch, aka Beast Mode, has been well-documented. After a few seasons of free publicity—TV broadcasts often catch Lynch snacking on Skittles during games—Skittles signed Lynch to a deal just before Super Bowl 48. Immediately following the signing, Skittles implemented a fairly standard sponsorship strategy with the launch of a limited edition Seattle Mix and donating to Lynch’s foundation during the Super Bowl.

But Skittles, known for its eccentric mastery of social media content, is just beginning to explore the creative possibilities of a “beast mode brand.”Continue reading...

bc q&a

Long Live The King: 5 Questions with the Gatekeepers of the Elvis Brand

Posted by Paula Pou on August 29, 2014 03:58 PM

Every August, thousands of Elvis Presley fans descend upon Graceland to pay their respects to the King. Elvis Week, as the annual event has become known, is a celebration of the rock and roll icon’s life, and consists of concerts, movie screenings and candle vigils. This year’s event marked the 38th anniversary of Presley’s death, and while it wasn’t a landmark anniversary, change was in the air. 

And there’s good reason: Graceland is under new management. It’s not news that the Presley family no longer has majority control over Elvis’s intellectual property or management of Graceland itself—Lisa Marie sold that in 2005. But, in late 2013, National Entertainment Collectibles Association founder Joel Weinshanker acquired the rights to operate Graceland and its related properties in partnership with the Presley family and Authentic Brands Group (ABG). As part of that same transaction, ABG bought the Elvis intellectual property and oversees licensing and merchandising for the brand.   

The duo of brand managers have helped revive the King's brand for a new generation of fans, including the introduction of an iPad tour narrated by John Stamos, a 450-room hotel that will open next fall, and a deal with Pulse Evolution to bring The King back to life with holographic performances for live shows, films and ads.  

On the heels of this year’s Elvis Week, brandchannel chatted with Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland, and ABG’s President and CMO Nick Woodhouse to find out what else the future holds for Elvis.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Legends of the Court: Federer, Jordan Team Up for Air Jordan Tennis Shoe

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 28, 2014 11:23 AM

America’s premier tennis event, the US Open, got underway in Queens earlier this week and with it came a lot of expectations for one particular player: 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer. 

Federer had a rough year in 2013, but he seems to have gotten his groove back, barely losing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon this summer and picking up three tournament wins this year. While Federer's wins on the court may have taken a little hiatus, his professional brand hasn't skipped a beat. 

Sponsor Nike released Fed's new line of tennis shoes to much fanfare after the athlete debuted the new kicks on the court Tuesday, where fellow Nike partner, sports star and design inspiration Michael Jordan looked on. 

The legendary athletes actually worked together to develop the new tennis shoes, which are based on the Air Jodan 3, which came out in 1988 just when Federer was getting into sports. Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, who designed the Jordan 3, also designed Federer’s Zoom Vapor AJ 3.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

will.i.am Designs for Lexus as Celebrity Creative Director Trend Rolls On

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2014 06:20 PM

will.i.am is not afraid to share his creative vision with any brand willing to pay to hear his thoughts. The artist formerly known as Michael Adams has previously helped Intel and Coca-Cola shape their creative vision and new products and is now lending himself to Lexus Europe.

Lexus Europe is launching a new Lexus NX model and will.i.am will design his own limited-edition “sharply styled, premium, mid-size SUV” as part of it, according to Marketing Magazine. He’ll also star in the brand's Striking Angles campaign. 

"We’re really excited to be working with will.i.am,” said Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe, Marketing Magazine reports. “His unrivalled passion for design and innovation, coupled with his incredible creativity, makes him the perfect partner for our Lexus NX 'Striking Angles' campaign."

But this isn't the artist's first rodeo with Lexus. Only a month ago, Lexus sponsored Pyramidi, “the debut gallery artwork by will.i.am,” according to The Auto Channel. The artwork was displayed at a gallery in London and “explores the interface between analogue and digital music in a live gallery experience featuring project-mapped visuals accompanied by a new song composed by will.i.am.”Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

From Kim K to Karl Lagerfeld, Celebrities are Cashing In on Branded Products

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2014 03:55 PM

It’s not enough to just be a superstar these days, with millions of adoring fans and multitudes of followers on social media. Instead, celebrities from all walks of life are turning their personal brands into actual businesses with products and services that you never knew you needed.  

Case in point: Kim Kardashian's blockbuster mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” The Sims-like game is sitting at No. 1 on the iTunes free app chart and reportedly brought in $200 million in the few months that it's been live. Kardashian, according to Forbes, will take home around $85 million of that thanks to her near 50 percent stake in the game. While the game "is ridiculous. It’s laughable. It grates on your nerves after awhile," the Washington Post reports, "it’s nearly impossible to look away.” 

Reflecting the Kardashian brand, now a multimillion-dollar empire, the app lets users achieve various levels of gameplay on their way to becoming an “A-list” celebrity with Kim as a guide. In-app purchases of Kim Coins drive revenue through the roof for the fairly simple app, which has a 5-star rating.Continue reading...

celebrity brandcasting

Want More Mariah and Jay Z? Just Sip and Scan

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 24, 2014 07:20 PM

The world of celebrity-endorsed products knows no bounds. That's why Mariah Carey and Jay Z have teamed up with former Def Jam CEO Kevin Liles on two new, interactive beverages: Butterfly and 40/40. 

The beverage bottles deliver exclusive content to super-fans via the Go N'Syde app. “With Go N’Syde, an artist like Mariah can program this every day. She could say, ‘Hey I just got out of the studio, why don’t you go inside Butterfly with me right now?’ And then you’ll see her studio,” said Liles, now chief creative officer and exclusive Curator of Content for Go N’Syde.

Simply hold a smartphone up to a Go N’Syde bottle and an interactive menu appears, sans bar code or QR code, offering photos, videos, sweepstakes offers and more to fans, much like Lady Gaga tried to do with her community for her "Little Monsters." 

“We’re really creating it so that you get a real Mariah Carey life experience, by scanning the bottle and going inside,” he added. “So when you purchase a bottle you have an antenna into Jay Z or Mariah’s network, and that’s what’s so exciting about it.”Continue reading...

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