brands under fire

MLB's Brewers, Yankees Ready to Face Brushback Over PED-Using Players

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2014 02:47 PM

It felt good for Ryan Braun to sock a home run in his first at-bat of spring training games for the MLB's Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. But it was the former National League MVP's first dinger in any Major League Baseball game in 9 months, so it also was a reminder of how far Braun and his personal brand still have to go in their efforts at redemption from the PED scandal he got tangled up in last year. 

The highest-profile participant in the growing scandal, of course, is Alex Rodriguez. The MLB has passed down an unprecedented 211-game suspension—then entire 2014 season—an action A-Rod appealed with several lawsuits (that were recently dropped) in his efforts to retain some semblance of dignity as one of the reigning biggest stars for one of the premier teams in pro sports, the New York Yankees. Fellow (unblemished) Yankees star Derek Jeter intends to retire after this year.

Another big star who's been whacked by his PED use is Nelson Cruz. The free-agent outfielder formerly of the Texas Rangers has signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles after he served a 50-game suspension last year—a decision that has come under criticism from baseball purists.Continue reading...

personal brands

Drug Test Hits MVP Braun, Major League Baseball and Sponsors

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2011 03:03 PM

The stakes for Ryan Braun, last season's National League Most Valuable Player in Major League Baseball, couldn't be higher after word has leaked out that he tested positive for a substance the game has banned. Not only his reputation is at stake but also a 57-game suspension and about one-third of his 2012 salary, should he not be able to overturn MLB's finding on appeal.

Braun, the left fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, apparently is pleading that the tests somehow have been mishandled or misinterpreted amid the league's complex process, but no player ever tested positive has won on appeal. In any event, the league's final ruling isn't likely to come until January.

Meanwhile, the brands behind Braun's increasingly significant commercial endorsements are bound to be none too happy about any of this. Nike, AirTran Airways, and Cytosport, makers of Muscle Milk, had ties with Braun before he was bestowed the MVP award in November. Presumably, a number of other brands have been exploring the rising endorsement potential of the young star who is telegenic and, until now, has had a squeaky-clean reputation.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Kindle, Panasonic, Virgin & more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2011 09:01 AM

In the News

Amazon considers remedy for Kindle faults.

Anheuser-Busch InBev plans reality show for Budweiser brand.

Apple and HTC face judgment day on patent dispute, as Apple celebrates 100M apps from the Mac App Store and The Beatles' success on iTunes.

AT&T reportedly gets a break in its T-Mobile acquisition plan.

Auto Nation seeks new dealerships in existing Sun Belt markets, while U.S. auto dealers get creative with promotions.

Diamond Foods faces challenge over payments to walnut growers, complicating acquisition of Pringles from P&G.

Disney Four Seasons hotel begins construction.

General Mills takes G-WIN digital innovation initiative global.

GM faces potentially long investigation of Volt fires.Continue reading...

personal brands

Brewers’ Braun Takes on Gotham

Posted by Dale Buss on July 5, 2011 01:00 PM

Quick quiz of your baseball knowledge: Which National Leaguer leads all other players in his league in votes for the starting lineup of the July 12 All-Star Game in Phoenix? It’s not the injured Albert Pujols of the Cardinals.

Which same player is one of only two in professional baseball who is signed with the same team through 2020? It’s not Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies.

And which same slugger, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, hit the eighth-most home runs (128) of any player in Major League history through his first four seasons? It’s not Prince Fielder.

The correct answer: Ryan Braun, one of the biggest-time players to make his first appearance at the new Yankee Stadium without recognition as such.

Blame that largely on the fact that Braun has played from the start in one of the league’s smallest markets on a team that has made only one playoff appearance in decades.Continue reading...

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