Best Global Green Brands 2014

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 responsibility

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...

The Big Game

Super Bowl Ads See Celebs, Car Brands Take Center Stage

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2014 05:43 PM

No industry has come to define Super Bowl advertising quite like the car business. Automakers, after all, are among the biggest US advertisers and marketers by dollar volume. According to Kantar Media, the auto sector will be the biggest advertiser at the Super Bowl for the third straight year.

“It’s the right place,” Jon Swallen, Kantar Media’s research chief, told Bloomberg. “The Super Bowl attracts a broader audience than core sports fans who are male, skews higher income and is a perfect audience for auto brands.”

While some automakers such as BMW are saving their marketing dollars for the Sochi Olympics and other platforms, at least eight auto brands are planning to use Super Bowl commercials this Sunday as a platform to help achieve their greater goals for 2014—and beyond.

Hyundai and Chrysler, according to Kantar research cited by USA Today, made the top five biggest spenders in the past five Super Bowls, along with Bud Lite and Budweiser parent Anheuser Busch InBev, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

This year, 30-second Big Game spot on NBC costs $4 million, according to Adweek, while it has become standard practice to run pre-Game teasers (trailers, in a sense, of the Game Day spot), and viral videos promoted across YouTube, Twitter and Facebook with hashtags. One question is how much the pre-Game sneak peeks and reveals steals the thunder and surprise from in-game ads. A bigger question, for marketers' bosses, is whether watercooler buzz leads to sales.

Here's a snapshot of what auto brands are planning for Super Bowl XLVII, much of which has been revealed already by teasers and even full commercials and related cross-platform, digital and social campaigns. Watch below, and let us know your favorite so far in the comments below.Continue reading...

trademark wars

University of Texas Goes On the Offensive to Protect 'Strong' Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 17, 2014 11:39 AM

When a high-power, renowned NCAA Division I football program hires a new coach, it's a pretty big deal. But the University of Texas probably didn't foresee the legal troubles it has run into since it hired new head coach Charlie Strong on Jan. 5. 

Since then, the Longhorns' legal department has been putting a lot of effort into going after manufacturers of clothing and gear that have already started to use Strong’s name on Texas promotional gear, the Associated Press reports.

The university has already put a stop to the sale of unsanctioned products with the words  “Stronghorns,” “Texas Strong,” and “UT Strong” on them. And while manufacturers may have been quick to jump on the 'Strong' bandwagon, the school wasn't too far behind: two days after it signed Strong to the coaching job, UT submitted an trademark application for "Stronghorns." After all, Strong signed a five-season contract for $25 million. According to the Austin Business Journal, six other applications for "Stronghorns" have been created as well.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Notre Dame Reportedly Will Cut Ties with Adidas for Player-Favored Under Armour

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2014 03:57 PM

Get ready to re-outfit your leprechaun. According to a report from ESPN, Notre Dame, one of the most iconic brands in college athletics, is preparing to end its apparel contract with Adidas at the end of the school year and sign-on with Under Armour. 

Sources told reporter Darren Rovell that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank himself went out to Notre Dame Thursday to discuss the deal with school heads. And why not? College athletics present a huge branding—and financial—opportunity for Nike, Adidas and the like, and Under Armour has been growing its brand exponentially, even getting under the skin of the NFL for infiltrating its strict uniform policies. 

"We have been very happy with adidas," ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN.com last month while noting that all the big brands were under consideration, including Nike. “It is just good business to use the expiration of a contract to review all options."Continue reading...

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