brands under fire
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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...
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...