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sports in the spotlight

Cleveland Browns Dogged, Pounded by Online Wags for New Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 25, 2015 04:04 PM

Cleveland Browns 2015 new logo

The Cleveland Browns made a big deal out of introducing a new look to the team’s primary and secondary logos this week—a brand refresh the NFL team spent two years on.

Fans, sports pundits and online wags have had a field day with it, because the changes are barely perceptible compared with the previous visual identity.Continue reading...

super bowl

Mtn Dew Kickstart Preps Game Day: 5 Questions with Jamal Henderson

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2015 11:59 AM

Mountain Dew Super Bowl 2015 pre-game Mtn Dew Kickstart

Mountain Dew is a unique success story in the struggling carbonated soft-drinks business, with PepsiCo's youth-tinged brand proving at least able to hold its own in sales over the last few years in a declining category and outperforming the company's flagship Pepsi brand and other carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) as well.

What's the secret? For one thing, the Mtn Dew brand itself is unique. And over the last several years, PepsiCo has done a particularly good job of bringing innovation to Mtn Dew with new flavors, limited-time flavors, crowdsourcing of flavors and effective marketing aimed at Millennials.

Three years ago, Mtn Dew struck gold with the introduction of Kickstart, a line that is infused with 5 percent juice and vitamins as well as the taste, fizz and caffeine that have always made Mtn Dew appealing. What's more, Mtn Dew was able to nurture Kickstart into a $250 million-plus brand in just its second year.Continue reading...

super bowl

Super Bowl 2015: Canada's Sheldon the Spokespuppet Suits Up for the Big Game

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 27, 2015 03:07 PM

Cundari Sheldon disco ball Canadian Super Bowl ad

The Super Bowl isn't just an American obsession. Fans and brands have some (pig)skin in the Big Game, too.

Meet Sheldon, the erudite spokespuppet and winner of the Super Bowl Canadian Ad Challenge presented by CTV and the Canadian Marketing Association. He's the star of “Disco,” a spot by the Cundari agency that will receive free airtime on CTV in both the pregame show and during the game, winning the agency a trip for two to the Super Bowl, valued at $207,000. 

The spot was created for the Consumer Protection Ontario (CPO) arm of the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. While the Super Bowl spot is only running in Canada, it exemplifies growing interested by Canadian brands and marketers in leveraging the Super Bowl platform to gain a competitive advantage.Continue reading...

social media watch

Allstate Warns Social Over-Sharers with #MayhemSale

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2015 10:11 AM

Allstate Mayhem Sale Facebook

Allstate started 2015 by receiving more than one miliion Facebook impressions in a single day for its Project Aware Share campaign, which warns consumers against over-sharing on social media.

The insurance brand's public service stunt went viral on the very platform it's warning against, after pranking a real-life couple that their home had been burgled and their (replicated) goods sold off at MayhemSale.com (hashtag #MayhemSale) in a reference to the brand's Mayhem character, who engineered the fictitious sale.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Huawei Announces First US Sports Team Sponsorship: The Washington Redskins

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2014 04:11 PM

Washington's NFL team, which bears an increasingly controversial moniker, has found itself a new friend—with deep pockets.

Huawei Enterprise USA, the American division of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications and network equipment provider that is the third largest cell-phone manufacturer on the globe, has announced a multiyear sponsorship of the Washington Redskins.

The tech giant, which debuted at No. 94 as the first Chinese brand to make brandchannel owner Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, is also now the “Official Technology Partner” of the team, according to a press release.Continue reading...

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...

sports in the spotlight

From Shoulder Pads to Jell-O Molds, Brands Have Football Fever

Posted by Dale Buss on August 28, 2014 05:21 PM

After spending much of the offseason dabbling in off-the-field concerns ranging from trademark rights to television rights to gay rights, the twin behemoths of American football—the National Football League and the NCAA—figure fans are finally ready for some action on the field. Brand marketers of all kinds are right there with them intending to find new ways to leverage relationships with what remains the nation's most popular sport and its biggest TV-viewing engine.

Russell Athletic, for example, is teaming with Boeing to incorporate excess carbon fiber from the production of the company's latest plane, the 787 Dreamliner, into Russell shoulder pads and other protective athletic gear. The carbon filaments provide high strength-to-weight ratio and durability and so could prove ideal in helping the sport cut injuries. The partnership also is a way for Boeing to use scrap material as part of its sustainability push.

Meanwhile, a genuine on the-field star, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, is following in the footsteps of other NFL stars in launching a personal brand. In the case of the Pro Bowl pass catcher, it is "ThrowUptheX" apparel—named for the touchdown dance in which Bryant crosses his arms at the forearms.Continue reading...

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...

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