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sports in the spotlight

Messi’s Goals Yield Plenty of Gold

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 25, 2015 04:16 PM

Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has had a pretty sweet time in the past six months. At age 27, he scored his 400th career international goal, became the top scorer in Spain’s La Liga history and UEFA Champions League history, and broke or tied various other records. Whatever he touches, it seems to turn to gold.

That may be because the Argentine is, by far, the highest-paid soccer player on the planet, raking in $31 million in endorsement deals and $39 million in salary from FC Barcelona.

His compensation far outshines Cristiano Ronaldo’s $59 million and Neymar’s $40 million. Sure, Messi hasn’t won the FIFA Player of the Year Ballon D’Or since 2012, but plenty of brands, including Turkish Airlines and EA Sports, have opened up their wallets to the young man.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...

sporting brands

World Cup Branding: adidas Animates Argentina v Holland Semi-Final

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 9, 2014 11:14 AM

No confirmation on adidas signing on to replace soccer-bullish Nike as Manchester United's official kit-maker, but the FIFA sponsor just released an animated video ahead of the Argentina vs. Holland semi-final with its "all in" tagline: "Messi or RVP. Robben or Di Maria. Destiny is at their feet. This is the World Cup semi-final. It's now or never. all in or nothing."

Check it out below, along with the adidas #VAMOSLEO Lionel Messi app (vs. the Nike football app), McDonald's #FryFutbol recap of Brazil's crushing defeat by Germany, and more sports branding headlines.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

Brazil May Be the Host, But World Cup Ad Effect is Felt Globally

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 16, 2014 04:03 PM

The World Cup isn’t just bringing consumer attention to one sporting event—it's bringing major dollars to ad markets across the globe.

Media buyer ZenithOptimedia said the World Cup will “add as much as $500 million to the Latin American ad market this year, a further $300 million in the US and $300 million in Western Europe,” according to the International Business Times. The Asia Pacific region, however, will only see $250 million in related ad spend since the time difference between Brazil and the region makes it hard for consumers to watch the tournament. 

"The World Cup will provide a big boost to television in June and July, but we expect its share of the global advertising market to begin to fall this year, after peaking in 2013," said ZenithOptimedia. "Television's global market share rose slowly but steadily for decades, increasing from 29.9 percent in 1980 to 39.6 percent in 2013. We now expect its share to erode to 39.4 percent in 2014 and 38.3 percent by 2016.” Television ad spend is expected to keep rising at an average of 4.4 percent a year to 2016, but internet advertising is growing at 16.2 percent annually.

But Lou Aversano, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather New York, told Bloomberg that the World Cup is a worthy risk for brands looking to use the platform for advertising, as this year's social activity around the Cup has already surpassed that of 2010 tournament.Continue reading...

app watch

China's WeChat Stages a Blitz to Capture US Mobile Users

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 29, 2014 01:41 PM

WeChat, China's wildly popular messaging app is trying hard to get US mobile users in on the conversation.

Developed by Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings, WeChat currently has over 272 million registered users in China and 100 million more overseas, where it just overtook Facebook in Indonesia. And now with a new ad campaign, WeChat has set out to conquer the major US market. 

Tencent is asking consumers with Google accounts to connect them to WeChat and invite their Google contacts to join. If five new members sign up, users will receive a $25 Restaurant.com gift card through Jan. 31. The effort follows Tencent's $200 million advertising investment in a global campaign that starred soccer star Lionel Messi. 

But competition is fierce in the US, where WeChat (and everyone else) is already outnumbered by startup WhatsApp, which has 300 million monthly active users, as well as Facebook's messenger app and Spapchat, which receives 400 million messages a day.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Heineken Home Brews, 7-Eleven Wine, Chicago-Flavored Vodka and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 18, 2013 06:37 PM

Heineken Teams Up with Marc Newson

Home brewers are no longer a tiny niche market of experimental adventurers. The group keeps growing, particularly as the craft-beer movement continues to put its dent into the bottom lines of major beer purveyors.

And Heineken is getting in on the action. It has teamed up with design god Marc Newson and Krups to create what a company release calls “a sleek, stylish draught beer lifestyle appliance” called The Sub. The machine comes with a 2-liter keg that allows consumers to craft “perfect quality, super chilled beers” such as Heineken, Affligem, Desperados, and Birra Moretti Baffo d'Oro in their own homes. Seasonal beers will also be available.

The Sub will first be found in France and Italy in 2014 and be rolled out to other markets throughout the year. Newson-designed extras such as a full serving case, glassware, mats, and a skimmer are optional accessories. Heineken is calling it “the future of beer,” but consumers might just call it “convenient.”Continue reading...


The Week in China: Songs About Fried Chicken, GSK's Midnight Express, Messi WeChats and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 19, 2013 12:17 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: KFC, KFC and more KFC… Big pharma in big trouble for bribery… Goldman Sachs IPOs China… Lionel Messi for WeChat… Beyond existing auto sales... Beyonce... Luxury franchise buybacks… Union Pay app… Coca-Cola goes green… Kvass!… and more.Continue reading...


WeChat Makes Move for Global Expansion with Help from Soccer Star

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2013 04:39 PM

Tencent's WeChat, the popular messaging app in China and greater Asia is looking to boost its 300 million registered users with a global campaign—an effort that will get a helping hand from soccer superstar Lionel Messi. 

WeChat, a service similar to WhatsApp, but with video calls, photo sharing, location-based services and other social features more akin to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Skype, has been previously promoted in Thailand, India and Mexico with local celebrities. The latest initiative, however, will roll-out to 15 markets including Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey, with Messi as a global ambassador.Continue reading...

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