sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 6, 2014 12:11 PM
Beats by Dre headphones have been seen on TV screens across the globe in the past few years while being worn by athletes of all stripes. At the 2012 London Olympics, the now Apple-owned brand was the unofficial ambush barketing champ as it handed out its product to athletes who apparently preferred them to whatever official sponsor Samsung was offering.
Now the NFL is attempting to head off a similar situation in the wake of signing an exclusive deal with Bose as "the official sound of the NFL."
NFL players are now banned from wearing Beats by Dre headphones while being interviewed on television for their NFL team. This includes at practice and in the preseason, Re/code reports. Coaches have the same restrictions.
The NFL noted that this isn’t a rule targeted at Beats, but at all headphones—and, indeed, any branded products that differ from league sponsors. It remains to be seen if this will mean a mass migration in the NFL to Bose headphones or if players will just ditch wearing headphones while around their teams.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 June 18, 2014 06:49 PM
Before the World Cup got underway, Beats by Dre said it wasn’t aiming to be the ambush marketer it had been in previous events, like when it caused quite the stir at the 2012 London Olympics.
But Beats couldn't stay out of the spotlight for long. Without much effort on its part, players from nearly every team at the Cup have been seen wearing the headphones in and around the World Cup venues, despite the fact that Sony, the official FIFA and World Cup sponsor, gifted all 736 players a set of its own high-tech headphones to wear whenever they pleased. This week, FIFA moved to actually ban Beats products from the field and at media events.
The move is similar to rumors that circulated during the Sochi Olympics about Samsung, the official sponsor, complaining that athletes were walking around displaying their Apple iPhones. Though Samsung denied that it demanded that the IOC's brand police make sure Apple logos were covered up, Olympic representatives were captured literally taping over Apple logos around the events.Continue reading...
World Cup Daily
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 11, 2014 05:57 PM
With just hours until the World Cup kicks off in Brazil (with Jennifer Lopez, who finally confirmed she'll be performing the anthem in the opening ceremony), millions of fans and brands big and small are preparing to cheer on their favorite athletes and teams. And while much of the attention has been on the brand battle between Nike and adidas, there are plenty of local brands looking to get in on the action too.
Over in Australia, local bookmaker Sportsbet.com sent a 151-foot hot air balloon shaped like Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue into the skies about Melbourne. The balloon, which wore an Australian soccer jersey with the words #KeepTheFaith on the back, was likely a reference to the national team's tough World Cup opponents, but spirit-lifting or not, the stunt didn't go over too well with local religious leaders and business owners.
Meanwhile, British sportsbook Paddy Power caught its own share of flack after it posted an image showing the words "C'mon England PP" carved into a large swath of the Amazon rainforest. The company eventually had to clarify that the image was photoshopped and not real in order to avoid any further brand damage.
Another local sponsor getting into the spirit is UK plumber Dyno, which is launching a campaign to keep everyone's toilets flowing freely during the World Cup. The brand will have "Rush to Flush" squads on-hand to handle emergency call-outs in hopes to avoid the same fate as four years ago, when there was a “25 percent increase in blocked toilets across the UK during the England vs France game.”Continue reading...
World Cup Daily
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 5, 2014 04:11 PM
The World Cup starts next week, but the amount of advertising related to it is already overwhelming. Marketers have piled on to this World Cup more than any World Cup in the past, the New York Times reports, thanks to the expanding Hispanic population in the US, the ability to reach more consumers with social media and better technology, and the growing love for event TV that viewers actually watch as it happens rather than later, when they can skip through the ads.
“World Cup soccer has the power to be the most talked about subject in social media, ever,” commented Gail Horwood, VP for worldwide digital strategy at Listerine’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, to the Times. “We’re going to tell the story of the matches through the mouths of the fans using two 24-hour newsrooms, in New York and London, with support on the ground in Brazil.”
Another sign that this World Cup has entered into a new realm for marketers, the Times notes, is how, like at the Olympics or Super Bowl, official sponsors are being "dogged by rivals also seeking to ride the World Cup’s coattails" as so-called ambush marketing gets more sophisticated (and digital). So more than ever this World Cup, FIFA partners such as Coke and adidas are seeing a lot of marketing pushback from rivals Pepsi and Nike.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 28, 2014 06:03 PM
After a few weeks worth of speculation and one very viral video, Apple officially announced today that it is acquiring Beats Electronics and its streaming music service, Beats Music, for $3 billion—its largest acquisition to date—and is bringing co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine on board at Apple.
“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in a press release. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
Indeed, Apple altered the world of music with its iPod MP3 players and iTunes service—one of the only online music marketplaces widely supported by the music industry. But what many may not know is that Beats co-founder and record label executive Iovine has long played a significant role in the adoption and growth of Apple's music products, including securing product placement deals for Steve Jobs and using his leverage in the entertainment industry to help promote the iPod, as Apple Insider notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 19, 2014 12:11 PM
The World Cup, a sporting event far larger than the Super Bowl in both size and marketing dollars, is only a few short weeks away and brands are doing all they can to get in front of the millions of soccer fans around the globe. Perhaps the biggest battle will be between Nike and adidas, which is an official sponsor of the event and the maker of the tournament's official game ball, Brazuca.
But while adidas' name and logo will be slapped on billboards and stadiums across the country, the brand is surely bracing for whatever ambush marketing move Nike has up its sleeve, much like the brand has done at past Olympic and World Cup events.
Nike has been quickly catching up to adidas in the soccer gear market, despite the fact that it only entered in 1994 after the World Cup came to the US. Nike has far outgrown the German company as a whole, but adidas is still the leader in soccer, bringing in a reported $2.4 billion in 2013 compared to Nike's $1.9 billion, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 5, 2014 04:43 PM
In just over a month, the world's top soccer players will take to the field and do battle from June 12 to July 13 in soccer's quadrennial blockbuster event, the FIFA World Cup. Big brands, though, are already tangling and showing their soccer cred in hopes of winning the hearts and minds of the billions that get a glimpse of the World Cup. The Super Bowl is nothing compared with this.
With a relationship with FIFA dating back to 1974, and as an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 1978, Coca-Cola is celebrating this year's event with what it's billing as the largest marketing campaign in company history, entitled The World's Cup. Aimed at involving as many consumers as possible, the campaign kicked off in early April with a two-minute short film, called "One World, One Game."Continue reading...