Best Global Green Brands 2014

sporting brands

Nike Says Goodbye to ManU, Hello to Moscow with New Kits

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 30, 2014 03:14 PM

Nike has one last go-around with the soccer world’s best-known brand, Manchester United, before it exits the stadium to make room for adidas after the sporting brand failed to renew its contract with the team after negotiations reached over $100 million per year. 

For the price of about $40 million annually, Nike has been outfitting ManU in Nike-branded uniforms for the last 12 seasons and has just unveiled its final kit which will be worn this coming season. The kit, which is the club's third uniform for the season, was unveiled during a preseason match as part of the club's US tour.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

At the World Cup, adidas Wins Big for Germany—and Soccer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 14, 2014 02:01 PM

Germany won in more ways than one following the results of Sunday's World Cup final, where the country's national team claimed victory over Argentina in a 1-0 overtime thriller and one of its biggest brands, adidas, solidified its superiority in the sport over rival Nike.  

adidas, an official sponsor of the Cup, outfitted both Germany's and Argentina's teams, helping the brand declare victory over Nike since the two brands launched an epic marketshare battle centered around the tournament. Ultimately, adidas prevailed as the most talked about brand during the Cup thanks to a broad marketing strategy that included ads, social media and a major presence at the event. 

For one thing, as Bloomberg notes, many of the players Nike had signed as brand ambassadors were either injured or sent packing early in the Cup, while many of those under contract with adidas, particularly Argentina’s Lionel Messi, stayed in the tournament for much longer, ultimately giving adidas a lot more air-time.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Winner Takes All: No Matter the Outcome, adidas Will Win the World Cup

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 10, 2014 02:22 PM

When Argentina’s Maxi Rodriguez put the final ball into the back of the net at the end of the seemingly endless World Cup semifinal against the Netherlands, there was a lot of celebrating going on across the globe. One place where there was sure to be extra high fives was within the offices of adidas.

The game, along with the other World Cup semifinal between Germany and Brazil, had pitted teams outfitted by adidas against those outfitted by Nike, and in both cases, the adidas-clad team won. Now adidas will have a World Cup final all of its own, featuring the man who has been the centerpiece of its World Cup-related marketing: Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

“Sponsoring the final teams is the grand prize for the apparel brand,” John Kristick, global chief executive officer of ad buying agency GroupM, part of WPP Plc., told Bloomberg. “There will be an immediate sales lift in the winning country, but these teams are football powerhouses—where, win or lose, the support for product sales will remain strong.”Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Benefit Gives Female Football Fans Their Own Space to Watch World Cup

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 7, 2014 05:10 PM

While many World Cup viewers are cramming themselves into sweaty bars, overpacked family rooms and massive public spaces, there are a few women in England who are seeing the matches in style. 

Benefit Cosmetics created a pop-up pub in London for women to watch the Cup along with other events, such as Wimbledon. It opened on the first day of the Cup with “cocktails, canapés,” and free “make-uppers” from beauty artists in attendance. The pop-up space will shut down on July 13, the final day of the soccer tournament. 

It isn’t just a sports pub for women, though, according to Event Magazine. There have also been karaoke nights, wine-tasting sessions, bingo and poker sessions, and live comedy, among other things. But Benefit's gambit is reflective of a greater push to recognize female soccer fans in a largely male sport.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Nike Risks Everything on Soccer Promotions as World Cup Kickoff Nears

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 9, 2014 02:10 PM

With the World Cup just four days away, millions of fans worldwide are gearing up to watch who will come out on top of the prestigious tournament—the same which goes for marketers who are waging millions of dollars on the global exposure. 

The battle between Nike and adidas, the world leader in football-gear sales, has played out across the screen for months leading up to the global sporting event, of which adidas is the official (and longtime) sponsor. But while adidas may have the edge for now, Nike has been gaining quickly thanks to its innovative technology and marketing strategies.

Today, Nike released a five-minute World Cup-themed short film, "The Last Game," featuring animated versions of the sport's best players, from Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo to Brazil's Neymar Jr., under the Nike Football campaign tagline, "Risk Everything." The film, Nike says, “tells the tale of a world where football has become bereft of risk and beauty, and only the world’s greatest players can save the game from extinction.”Continue reading...

sporting brands

NFL Punts Tradition for Super Bowl's Upcoming 50th Anniversary

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 5, 2014 10:36 AM

There's no party like a Super Bowl party, and the NFL is taking care to make sure its big 5-0 is extra special. The 50th Super Bowl, which will take place in 2016 in San Francisco, will have a whole new look after the NFL announced this week that it will be dropping the use of Roman numerals in the game's logo, a tradition that has been practiced since Super Bowl V in 1971. 

Apparently, the NFL did not like the way "L," which represents 50 in the ancient numeric system, looked in the event's logo. (One wonders if there was temptation to do this for 1996's Super Bowl XXX.)

But the NFL assured fans that this would be a one-time only change. “When we developed the Super Bowl XL logo, that was the first time we looked at the letter ‘L,’” said Jamie Weston, NFL’s vice president of brand and creative, of the 40th Super Bowl back in 2005, according to ESPN. “Up until that point, we had only worked with Xs, Vs, and Is. And at that moment, that’s when we started to wonder what will happen when we get to 50?”Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Brazil's Endangered Armadillo Will Get Boost from World Cup Supporters

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 06:02 PM

World Cup mascots aren't generally cause for outrage, unless you're one of the many football fans that believe there's no place in the game for oversized, anthropomorphic animals. But since 1966, when England introduced Willie the lion, the friendly figures have been a part of the games

When Brazil introduced Fuleco, the three-banded armadillo, as the mascot for this summer’s big event, there was more motivation behind the decision than just adding a friendly face to the month-long tournament. The armadillo was chosen after the Caatinga Association environmental group and the US-based Nature Conservancy campaigned for it to be the mascot in hopes that it would draw attention and dollars to the endangered species.

"One of the key objectives is to use the event as a platform to communicate the importance of the environment and ecology,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke upon the introduction of Fuleco, a combo of the Portuguese words for football and ecology, according to the BBC. “We are glad to be able to do so with the help of a mascot.”Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Mizzou's Michael Sam Breaks Down Barriers as First Openly Gay NFL Hopeful

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 10, 2014 05:50 PM

As Winter Olympics host Russia continues to get plenty of grief for its anti-gay laws, the US took another step in its gay-rights acceptance evolution Sunday when college football star Michael Sam publically announced that he's gay.

The Missouri graduate, who reached All-American status and was the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 is slated to be picked perhaps as high as the third round in the upcoming NFL draft—and according to reactions, Sam's new status won't have much affect on his potential pro-football career. 

Unless Sam's decision to speak out spurs a chain reaction, Sam will likely take the field in August for his new team as the first openly gay player in the NFL. His decision to hopefully enter the NFL "out" will be a first for the sports league, as it has only had a handful of players in the past who have come out after retiring from the game. After the end of this past season, the NBA saw its first player announce that he was gay, but Jason Collins has yet to sign with a new team this year. Major League Soccer also saw its first openly gay active player emerge last May. 

Pegged as one of the toughest and "manliest" sports out there, Sam knows that his decision is significant in a football industry that thrives on testosterone and masculinity. "I am an openly, proud gay man," Sam told ESPN. "I understand how big this is. It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be ... I want to be a football player in the NFL."Continue reading...

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