Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2013 12:09 PM
English Premier League champs Manchester United once again found the club tied to some unsavory folks. In an email to fans about its young players with the subject line “New Order,” the team’s initials were designed in such a way that the design resembled the Nazi swastika.
As an uproar ensued, ManU was forced to quickly apologize on Saturday for the unintended affront in its weekly email. "The creative is completely inappropriate,” the club’s head of media, David Sternberg, commented to The Guardian. “We apologise unreservedly and are taking appropriate internal action."
While some outraged fans let the team have it on Twitter, others didn’t see the swastika image in the revised logo and wondered why ManU had bothered to issue an apology.
While evidently still unclear how the creative was designed and approved, the team may be a little sensitive to the issue since the publication of Bill Buford’s 1990 book, Among the Thugs, chronicled the misadventures of ManU fans, some of whom were attached to the far-right, whites-only political party, the National Front.Continue reading...
the revolution will be televised
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2013 12:49 PM
When Major League Soccer got underway in the US back in 1996, there was a lot of doubt that Americans wouldn't care enough about soccer to watch it on TV or attend games. While the league has yet to reach popularity levels of the 'big four,' it seems that soccer may have finally hit its stride in America.
Nowadays, you can overhear sports fans discussing the roster of the US men's national team as they prepare for next summer's World Cup in Brazil, and catch plenty of matches on the big screens in sports bars across the nation. After all, Fox Sports shelled out $425 million just to broadcast the Cup next summer in the US alone, and this fall, NBC Sports began broadcasting English Premier League games to much fanfare.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 21, 2013 11:51 AM
American television broadcasters have long had a difficult time selling US viewers on watching soccer. But in its opening weekend after striking a three-year, $250 million deal with the English Premier League, its looks like NBC is well on its way to making soccer a 'thing' in the US after all.
More than 3.4 million Americans tuned in to the seven Premier League games that were broadcast this past Saturday and Sunday on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and Mun2. That's a 52 percent increase from the number of viewers that tuned in for five games that were broadcast last year on ESPN and Fox Soccer, according to AdAge. In addition, more than 5.7 million minutes of Premier League action was streamed, Zap2It reports.
The debut weekend featured the most-watched opening-day EPL match in US broadcasting history, Manchester United vs. Swansea, with 792,000 viewers.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 09:16 AM
Amazon and Conde Nast create new "all-access" magazine subscriptions across platforms.
Al Jazeera sues AT&T for dropping US channel and makes limited US debut.
Facebook leads project to connect whole world through the internet.
Apple loses iPad market share in China to Samsung and plans to launch iTunes Radio in September with big advertisers.
BMW is making customers wait for repairs due to global supply-chain hiccups.
Barnes & Noble abandons plans to split company.
Bob Evans opens Express prototype.
CBS turns to its stars in battle with Time Warner Cable.
Coca-Cola sees "very positive" prospects in Indonesia.
Cummins diesel deal with Nissan for Titan could vex Chrysler's Ram truck.
Diageo fights off latest legal challenge to its Parrot Bay cocktails.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2012 01:04 PM
It's nice to be the world's most popular soccer team.
Footie powerhouse Manchester United, which is currently undefeated and in first place in both the English Premier League and its Champions League grouping, is starting to really flex its financial muscle to score a premium for its brand. ManU listed itself on the New York Stock Exchange back in August and it has been extremely busy in its first quarter. The team’s massive debt load dropped 18% down to $570 million, the AP reports. ManU also had a big influx of cash recently from an agreement with Comcast to broadcast all of its games in the United States over the next three seasons for $250 million, which is much better than the deal worth $80 million for three years that the team just had with Fox, which reaches fewer American homes than Comcast.
The club signed 10 new sponsorships during the quarter, according to SeekingAlpha.com. One new deal was with the largest telecommunications company in Azerbaijan, Bakcell, which will allow more than 2.5 million consumers to watch ManchesterUnitedTV there during the next three years. And if you’re looking for the team’s official soft drink in Japan, look no further than fruit and veggie drink specialist Kagome. The most notable deal, though, was a pre-IPO arrangement with General Motors, which agreed to pay $559 million to have Chevrolet’s logo grace the front of the team’s jerseys.
The team also just broke up with a sponsor, DHL, which had agreed to pay $65 million to place its logo on the team’s practice jerseys. Now its management team is eager to wring more cash from uniform supplier (home and away) Nike, which gets to push its swoosh next to jersey sponsor AON as part of a 13-year, £303m ($480.3 million) contract with ManU that ends in 2015. That’s a measly $36.9 million a year!Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 7, 2011 02:02 PM
The quadrennial FIFA men’s World Cup always has a huge international draw on television, but the numbers watching in India are growing. It is estimated that in the first two days of last year’s Cup, 20 million people watched in India, a 35% increase from 2006, according to the Times of India. Before the Cup ended, the paper notes, 287 people in India had watched the event.
Those kinds of numbers have some thinking that India “will become the largest football-consuming nation in the world,” the paper notes. Those kinds of numbers and that kind of interest, of course, have businesses looking to capitalize. The Times reports that “several English football clubs are entering into licensing arrangements with Indian partners to deliver a complete football lifestyle experience.”
Manchester United, the Premier League’s version of the New York Yankees with the most league titles (19) and a steady stream of big-name players, has been the most aggressive in India, partnering with Future Group-owned Indus League Clothing to create “exclusive ManU branded stores” that’ll carry everything from jerseys and refrigerator magnets to slippers for the more refined fans.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 5, 2011 10:01 AM
In the late summer of 2012, the sporting world’s eyes will be upon London where the XXX Olympics (oh, behave!) will kick off with much fanfare and probably a good many shots on the television of the Queen’s Guard marching about seriously.
If all goes well for Olympic organizers, it’ll also feature a stadium with a new name. The Daily Mail reports that the Olympic Park Legacy Company is “looking to raise about £10million ($13.5 million) a year in naming rights for the three main arenas in Stratford after the 2012 Games.”
With the Olympic ceremonies alone estimated to be valued up £5b, it could be an unprecedented platform for brand exposure. That's why London 2012 organizers are seeking sponsors to sign on the dotted line and place their names on the new Olympic Stadium, aquatics center, and velodrome. The stadium alone should raise £6m ($8m) annually, the Mail reports.
The West Ham United club of the English Premier League are looking to move into the stadium after the Olympics end, the Mail notes, which would make it part of the growing numbers of teams that play in a branded stadium.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Matthew Moore on November 18, 2011 10:52 AM
English Premier League club Newcastle United caused a stir by announcing it sold the naming rights for its historic stadium, St. James' Park, to British retailer Sports Direct. In England, a country where soccer stadiums could be mistaken for places of worship, this is scandalous.
However, rising player wages and billionaire owners like Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour are making money more important than ever in the British game, as the New York Times notes.
Sponsorships, of course, generate significant revenue for sports teams, yet American sports teams have generally avoided covering their jerseys in corporate logos, even though rival soccer teams around the world (including American ones) don't seem to mind. Manchester United even has two shirt sponsors: Aon (game jerseys) and DHL (training kit). Spend enough time around a Premier League stadium and you might mistake it for a NASCAR race.Continue reading...