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SoftBank's "Speed Freak" CEO Sprints into US

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 15, 2012 12:53 PM

Japanese firms, fueled by a strong yen and low interest rates, have spent $75bn this year on foreign deals with no evidence of a slowing down. Now Japanese mobile operator SoftBank has agreed to pay $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake in Sprint, marking the company's largest overseas acquisition to date.

“This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world’s largest markets," stated SoftBank's billionaire founder and chief, Masayoshi Son, in a joint press release

"As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a v-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint’s strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market.”Continue reading...

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May the Birds Be With You: Angry Birds Teams with Star Wars

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 8, 2012 10:08 AM

The Angry Birds juggernaut has already gone into orbit with Angry Birds Space; now Rovio is extending the franchise into a galaxy far, far away. 

On November 8, the Angry Birds and Star Wars universes will collide in what Rovio is calling "our best game to date." Naturally, there will be "a whole host of toys, animations and other Angry Birds Star Wars goodness to enjoy" as the game-maker announced this morning. Check out the trailer below, and watch Rovio's Tumblr for more.Continue reading...

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Livestrong Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Nike Limited Edition Collection

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2012 02:47 PM

Lance Armstrong came back from his deathbed to win one of the most grueling races in sports, the Tour de France, seven straight times. Along the way, he inspired a kazillion folks with his autobiography, It’s Not About the Bike, and by founding one of the biggest cancer-research foundations around, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

While Armstrong supposedly took performance-enhancing drugs during the time of those races and has seen his personal brand take a huge hit, with results from that time period now wiped from his record and his sports legacy in tatters, but many fans don’t seem to care: Lance Armstrong is Lance Armstrong, one of the world’s most incredible athletes with one of the most incredible recovery tales.

So, after a rough year of dealing with those drug allegations and watching his record get wiped clean, the 41-year-old got to celebrate on Oct. 2nd. A highlight of the Foundation’s 15th anniversary (that’s the crystal anniversary for you married folks out there) is the release of a limited edition line of Livestrong apparel by Nike for the holidays. The all-yellow (of course) gear reflects Nike's continued support of the philanthropic organization that Armstrong launched in 1997.Continue reading...

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Can the NFL Do For Quaker What It Did For Prime-Time TV?

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2012 05:41 PM

Can football heroes do for Quaker Oats what rocket men couldn't? PepsiCo has added its Quaker and Tropicana brands to the stable of products covered by its big partnership with the National Football League, and for Quaker, which is partnering with the kid-oriented NFL Play 60, the tie-in couldn't have come too soon.

PepsiCo is kicking off the new NFL season, the first of its new 10-year deal with the league which includes a return to Super Bowl advertising, by deploying more NFL-themed displays than ever before and by highlighting its traditional blue-can Pepsi more than ever. The $2.3-billion deal, one of the largest sponsorships in U.S. sports history, involves the new brands as well as the original Pepsi, Gatorade and Frito-Lay brands.Continue reading...

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Shark Week at 25: Watch VW's Beetle Shark Cage Underwater Test Drive (VIDEO)

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 15, 2012 02:03 PM

The 25th anniversary of Shark Week has sparked an early feeding frenzy on social TV check-in app GetGlue, while Discovery Channel has created a host of digital tie-ins (games!) to keep viewers chomping at the bit. Sharp sponsors such as VW are also getting in on the fun, creating a shark cage to promote the 2013 Beetle. Watch its one-minute stunt above, follow along on Twitter, and tune in starting Sunday night.

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BMW and Toyota Collaboration More Than Just Sports Cars

Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2012 09:56 AM

The brand DNA of Toyota and BMW couldn't be more different — the first, the epitome of stodgy and reliable automotive transportation; the second, the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Even so, the two brands got together on Friday to announce that they will jointly develop sports cars, among other collaborations. The two companies, unveiling their plans at a press event in Munich, provided few details of the vehicles they expect to result. Industry observers predict the cars will be "high-performance, high-tech and green," as Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs put it.

"I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship," Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, said at the press conference. BMW Board Chairman Norbert Reithofer hinted at the bigger upside for the partnership — the development of low-carbon vehicle technology — with his statement, "I am the one most looking forward to a sports car that is environmentally friendly and truly excites car fans around the world."Continue reading...

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AB InBev Buys Modelo for $20B to Make Corona and Budweiser Flagship Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 29, 2012 04:56 PM

Anheuser-Busch InBev already owned half of Mexican Grupo Modelo but the world’s biggest brewer apparently needs to keep consuming all in its sight. InBev shelled out $20.1 billion to grab the other half of the brewer of such beers as Corona and Modelo and stake its claim to the growing Mexican market. The name of the website it set up to announce the deal says it all: GlobalBeerLeader.com.

It's a huge purchase, to be sure, but AB InBev sees the upside in the company as a whole and its Corona brand specifically. Modelo “is Mexico's biggest brewer with a 50 percent-plus market share in a virtual duopoly with Heineken's FEMSA Cerveza in the world's fourth most-profitable beer market,” Reuters reports. “Corona is the biggest imported beer in the lucrative U.S. market.” InBev shelled out so much dough partly because Modelo stakeholders had no real incentive to sell.Continue reading...

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Black Media Brands Issue #INTHEBLACK Wake-Up Call to Advertisers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2012 02:04 PM

In an historic and formidable alliance formed by America's Cable Advertising Bureau, a consortium of TV networks, print, radio, digital and media brands and individuals are joining forces to educate marketers about the buying power and "the new realities" of the Black consumer market.

The CAB has pulled together a who's who of black media for its 23 charter members: BET Networks, HuffPost BlackVoices, Black Enterprise, Burrell Communications, Essence Communications, GlobalHue, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, KJLH Radio, Johnson Publishing Company, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Nielsen, North Star Group, National Newspaper Publishers Association, One Solution, Radio One, TV One, Interactive One, Reach Media, Steve Harvey Radio, TheGrio, The Root, The Africa Channel, UniWorld Group, Vibe Media plus Walton Isaacson to create America's first black media and marketing consortium, #INTHEBLACK.

Using a Twitter hashtag as its name is a catchier hook than the group's more SEO-friendly alternative name (Reaching Black Consumers). The initiative launched Monday with a microsite and an ad in the business section of the New York Times and trade magazines such as Adweek and Broadcasting & Cable, as well as ads across of the consortium's media member outlets. The goal, they stated, is "to encourage increased investments in the African American consumer marketplace while helping companies reach the African American audience more effectively."Continue reading...

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