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sports in the spotlight

Anti-Redskins Campaign Gets Louder as NFL Stays Silent on Mascot Movement

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2014 01:58 PM

After being rebuffed by the NFL, Native American groups have taken to the airwaves to spread their message against the use of derogatory terms like "Redskins" in national sports.

During Game 3 of the NBA Finals this week, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation aired a TV commercial in sever major markets—Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington—that shined a spotlight on the ongoing conflict between Native Americans and the NFL's Washington Redskins, who have repeatedly refused to change the team's mascot despite outcries from fans, government officials and players. 

Produced by the National Congress of American Indians, the group claims that the NFL refused to allow the ad to air during the season. The Oneida Indian Nation did however air several radio commercials during the season.

“It’s just a time to get people thinking about putting an end to outward hatred and using sports as a tool to focus on racism,” said Marshall McKay, chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun tribal council. “The R-word is as derogatory a slur as the N-word. When this name first came to be, it was a vehicle for people to bring the victims of violence into an office so they could collect a bounty.”Continue reading...

sporting brands

NFL, Riddell Accused of Stifling Helmet Safety Technology to Preserve Contract

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 18, 2013 05:37 PM

Athletic wear companies generally figure that partnering with professional sports leagues will lead to its brand name lodging into the minds of millions of potential consumers. They likely don’t predict that their product might be linked to major, life-changing injuries. 

Riddell has been the official helmet of the National Football League for at least a quarter century and most of that time, has likely been good for the company. In recent years, however, as the NFL’s concussion problem has made itself more known outside of the league, the association might not be as positive.

The league is facing a lawsuit from more than 4,000 former players who claim they weren’t protected as well as they should have been, with part of the battle centering around helmets that may have offered better protection, but were stifled by the league, Bloomberg reports.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

NFL Brand Tarnished as League, Referees Return to Negotiating Table

Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2012 03:41 PM

So far early in this National Football League year, the league seems to be writing The Tale of Two Seasons. It truly is the best of times in some ways — and the worst of times in at least one huge respect.

As every gridiron and sports fan is aware, the negative was highlighted throughout last weekend, the third weekend of play this fall, as substitute referees blew a handful of significant calls, made many other questionable calls, and overall threw so many flags at the players and teams that the pace of play was severely disrupted. All of that came down as team owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell continued to stand firm against the contract demands of the permanent referees and kept them off the field as a result of the labor dispute.

Then, to end the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football last night, the Keystone Cops refereeing crew made a call in the endzone that gave Seattle the winning touchdown as time expired — and immediately ranked as one of the most badly botched calls in the history of professional football.

Remarkably, after reviewing the play on Tuesday, the NFL came out and officially refused to utter a mea culpa on behalf of its replacement referees. In fact, the league upheld the call and is "holding firm" as the negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association continued today.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

NFL Defends Brand and Sacks Saints, as Timsanity Heads to NYC

Posted by Dale Buss on March 21, 2012 05:02 PM

What a difference a year — let alone a day — makes in the National Football League.

Last year, the NFL, owners, management and players were just settling in for what promised to be a long-haul labor dispute which essentially kept professional football out of the regular flow of news for months, during the crucial time after the April draft when fan excitement typically builds over prospects for the coming season. Its relevance and even the NFL brand faded for a while.

This year, however, the NFL's off season is pulling a 180-degree turn worthy of the league's nimblest scatback. Today's announcement by Commissioner Roger Goodell of very stiff penalties for head coach Sean Payton and others associated with the New Orleans Saints for their bounty-hunting exploits broke on the same day that the Denver Broncos traded the closely watched Tim Tebow to that media-wallflower team, the New York Jets.

And oh, yes — the signing of Peyton Manning by those same Broncos? That already is so two days ago.Continue reading...

suiting up

PepsiCo Suits Up for Landmark NFL Contact Renewal

Posted by Dale Buss on September 6, 2011 03:22 PM

President Obama's decision to work his jobs speech on Thursday around the schedule of the National Football League's opening day shows that he's still got some keen political instincts. Because this week, in this economy, the NFL seems to be the one thing you don't want to mess with.

Brand marketers seem to have forgiven the uncetainties sown by the league's four-month labor stoppage and are ready to jump back on an advertising bandwagon that has outrun every other marketing vehicle over the last three years.

Certainly PepsiCo is the prime example: Today, the beverage giant and the NFL announced a 10-year extension of their current agreement to go into effect next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the extension could be valued as a $2.3-billion investment in the continued marketing appeal of America's real pastime.

It's one of the largest sponsorship deals ever in sports and ensures that PepsiCo brands Pepsi, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and others will be official marketing partners of the league at a cost of nearly $100 million a year.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Lockout: NFL and Players Fail to Reach Deal

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2011 06:30 PM

The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, the league's 32 team owners and related parties that it has decertified, effectively renouncing its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League. Now the matter's headed to court as the NFL team owners move towards a lockout.Continue reading...

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