2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

personal brands

Is This the End of the Tim Tebow Brand? Not Likely

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 05:58 PM

Could it be the end of Tebowmania?

After being cut from the New England Patriot's roster earlier this week, Tim Tebow, the University of Florida football star, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and creator of a new verb, "Tebowing," has once again watched his short-lived NFL career fall flat. Now a free agent, it seems as the NFL season will kick-off Thurday without its most recent marketing juggernaut—but is this really the end of Tebow the brand?

While Tebow the NFL star has left much to be desired, the handsome, well-spoken QB has done wonders for the NFL and consumer product brands alike both on and off the field, where he has struggled to succeed since his last starting bid with the Denver Broncos. But the marketing phenomenon that is Tim Tebow has long outlasted his career as a first-string quarterback.Continue reading...

personal brands

Ackman Abandons JCPenney Shares, Leaving Disaster in his Wake

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 02:49 PM

Most people want to leave the world a better place than when they entered. Most investors take the same approach with companies in which they obtain a huge stake. So how does Bill Ackman feel about JCPenney now?

The activist investor's grand experiment in attempting to move the venerable retailer from also-ran brand to a dynamic rebirth failed in even grander fashion this summer, and now Ackman has decided to sell his 18 percent stake in the company, or about 39 million shares, at a loss of as much as $500 million, according to Bloomberg.

The head of Pershing Square Capital Management clearly signaled his intentions a few weeks ago when he mounted one last offensive in the boardroom, attempting to oust CEO Myron Ullman—spectacularly but unsuccessfully, in the end. That failure followed the debacle wrought by Ackman's hand-picked CEO, Ron Johnson, who actually succeeded Ullman a couple of years ago.Continue reading...

personal brands

Funnyman Ansari Cements his Personal Brand with $3.5 Million Book Advance

Posted by Dale Buss on August 23, 2013 03:41 PM

When Aziz Ansari writes his book for Penguin Press—for which he received a mind-boggling advance of $3.5 million— will it be the actor himself writing about his own life as a single? Or will it be his character Tom Haverford in the hit NBC TV show Parks & Recreation? Because they seem like pretty much the same guy.

Either way, in a case of art imitating life imitating art, or life imitating art imitating life, Ansari has landed a deal so huge, reported Publishers Weekly, that it places him just behind the $3.7 million that Lena Dunham scored for her book in October and likely ahead of stars such as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak and fellow P&R star Amy Poehler.

The book, expected in September 2015, will be about the single life and how it has been altered by digital technologies. That would pretty much track Ansari's character on the show, an entrepreneurial sort who is constantly sidetracked by his attachment to his smartphone and incursions into digital-tech startups.Continue reading...

personal brands

Detroit Trust Looks to Raise Money to Preserve Rosie the Riveter Factory

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 31, 2013 11:47 AM

In a touching tip of the hat to nostalgia, a group in Detroit is trying to raise enough money to save some of the factory where Rosie the Riveter helped build nearly 9,000 B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II and became an icon of American female empowerment.

The Save the Bomber Plant campaign has raised $4.5 million of the $8 million required to separate and preserve 175,000 square feet of the Ypsilanti Township plant and convert it to a new home for the Yankee Air Museum.Continue reading...

personal brands

Tesla Grapples with Expectations but Nothing Will Slow Musk's Hunger for Innovation

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2013 04:22 PM

The stock of his beloved Tesla was battered earlier this week after a leading auto analyst said it already was far overvalued at its current price. But whether he's comparing himself to Henry Ford or promising a way to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes, Tesla founder Elon Musk remains focused on visionary new ideas for the future.

At mid-afternoon Thursday, Tesla shares had recovered much of the 14 percent drop they experienced on Tuesday after Goldman Sachs veteran analyst Patrick Archambault, in a broader research note on the automotive sector, set a six-month price target of $84 a share for the only successful EV brand. That was up from the analyst's previous price target of $61—but far below the Nasdaq stock's peak value of $132.41 on Monday. Archambault left unchanged his "neutral" rating on the stock.

Other Tesla watchers were seemingly more bullish, such as Adam Betancourt, who opined on SeekingAlpha.com that when the company reports second-quarter earnings next week, it "will still be a monumental step in the company's rapid growth cycle."Continue reading...

personal brands

Former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason Releases Business-Inspired Pop Album

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 3, 2013 03:03 PM

Some folks turn to self-help books for business-motivation, while others go the motivational-speaker route or turn to personal coaches. Andrew Mason, the former CEO and cofounder of Groupon, is hoping younger generations will turn to his newly-released album, "Hardly Workin'" which is filled with “motivational songs about business leadership." 

Mason, who was tossed out of Groupon in February, released the seven-song pop album, like a Schoolhouse Rock for the working world, on Tuesday.

“I managed over 12,000 people at Groupon, most under the age of 25,” Mason wrote in a blog post, the Chicago Tribune reports. “One thing that surprised me was that many would arrive at orientation with minimal understanding of basic business wisdom.” Whether they want to now learn it from an out-of-work guy with a guitar remains to be seen.Continue reading...

personal brands

Ford Keeps it All in the Family with More Kin than Ever

Posted by Dale Buss on June 28, 2013 10:38 AM

There's a Ford in your future. Especially if you already are a Ford.

Seven, a record number of Ford-family members, now are on the payroll of Ford Motor Co., ensuring a strong family flavor in the management of the company even as some investors say the family's continued control of voting shares is hindering the performance of the stock that has some public ownership.

Henry Ford II, grandson of the founder, turned the company into a modern survivor and one of Detroit's Big Three automakers when he was CEO from 1945 through 1979. But Bill Ford Jr., his nephew, didn't fare as well when he was CEO of the company several years ago, eventually making his best decision as boss: recruiting Alan Mulally in 2006 to revive Ford. Bill Ford Jr. remains chairman.Continue reading...

personal brands

Lombardi at 100: A Personal Brand that has Withstood Time

Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2013 03:12 PM

As ESPN prepares to coronate him as the greatest NFL coach of all time, it's only appropriate that today is the centenary of the man. Vince Lombardi was born on June 11, 1913, 100 years ago, and he's still considered the best leader of men the game has ever seen as well as an exemplar of effective leadership and accomplishment overall.

Because of his rock-ribbed consistency, reputation as a disciplinarian, charismatic personality, testimonials of his former players (11 of whom are in the NFL Hall of Fame)—and record of success, taking the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships over nine years in the Sixties—Lombardi rose to iconic status soon after his untimely death from cancer in September, 1970. Then-commissioner Pete Rozelle renamed the Super Bowl trophy the Vince Lombardi Trophy within days of his death.

Since then, there has occurred a revival of his beloved Packers franchise; the publication of David Maraniss's fine book on Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered; a recent successful run on Broadway for a play about Lombardi; and word that a biopic film is in the works that could star Robert DeNiro.Continue reading...

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