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sporting brands

Adidas Ready to Make History in 2013

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2012 03:03 PM

This was supposed to be an off year for Adidas. After all, its Reebok subsidiary was set to lose the NFL apparel deal that it had had since 2001 to Adidas archrival Nike. Plus, NHL players wear Reebok and that league’s season hasn’t started yet due to financial differences between the owners and players. That’s not a help to an area that generally brings in $132 million annually. So last month, CEO Herbert Hainer had to tell investors that the company was adjusting its sales expectations for the year.

However, the Financial Times notes, Hainer also had some good news to share: “We will see record sales and earnings in 2013,” he said. “All that I hear from the markets is that we are winning market share in each and every country.” And, adjustments or no, things didn’t go badly for the sportswear giant this year. Its stock price is up 40 percent from the same point last year.

The FT attributes the stock price staying strong for Adidas partially because of the strong confidence of Hainer and his “shrewd instinct about where the sports goods business must go next to expand its appeal to customers.” Serving an aging market as well as helping people deal with the obesity epidemic are two areas that are helping the bottom line at Adidas.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Air Jordan 11 Release Sparks Black Friday-Like Crush for Nike, Retailers

Posted by Shirley Brady on December 21, 2012 10:58 AM

You may have noticed "Jordans" trending on Twitter today. Inclement weather across much of the U.S. did not stop Jordan Brand fans from lining up in the cold to pick up the new $185-$225 Air Jordan 11 Retro "Bred" shoe from Nike, one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2012 for sneaker heads. One mob scene in Alabama saw local police using pepper spray to control the crowd, who were vying for one of 36 bands that would allow them to acquire the iconic kicks at a later date. Nike's stock rose 4% this morning, while its latest quarterly earnings report indicates the company intends to "focus resources on driving growth in the NIKE, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands" going forward.

sporting brands

Tiger Woods Still a Valuable Brand to His Sponsors

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2012 03:29 PM

It’s not cheap to put on a big-name golf tournament, especially when it’s the Tiger Woods World Challenge, which pays out $1 million to whoever finishes first (this year, it was Graeme McDowell, above) and $120,000 to the golfer who finishes in last place.

Eighteen of the top players in the world take part in the event which started in 1999, a decade before he banged his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree outside his Florida home at 2:30 in the morning and his life began to unravel as news of his many mistresses began to spill out. Woods has since had his personal life opened up for pretty much everybody to see and gone through a divorce. Many of his endorsement deals disappeared (see ya, Accenture, AT&T, Gatorade, and GM) and a few stuck with him (Nike, Electronic Arts). Tiger did his best to lay low for a bit.

And even though it appears that Woods has gotten his golf game back in action and he’s moving forward with his life, there is still some fallout from the scandal. Chevron pulled out as the title sponsor of the World Challenge, which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, after last year’s event and “a deal with a major company unexpectedly fell through at the last minute in early September,” according to the Associated Press.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Golf Channel Campaign Touts Quirkiness of the Sport

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 29, 2012 04:13 PM

The Golf Channel is doing a booming business. It just had its best third quarter in history and was recently named America’s fastest-growing television network, now available in more than 80 million homes in the US, and more than 120 million worldwide. This comes on the heels of the Comcast-owned (via its NBC Sports group) cable network’s best second quarter in its 17-year history. 

But just because the network, which was co-founded by Arnold Palmer, has so many folks paying attention to it doesn’t mean the channel is acting like it’s in the popular crowd now. In fact, the channel is going the extra mile to showcase that it’s not quite like everybody else. The network’s new ad campaign is entitled “We Know We’re Different.”

The campaign launched this week with five on-air spots and print advertising (see below), timed to Golf Channel’s exclusive, live coverage of the Tiger Woods-hosted World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual. Each spot tells “an observation of the sport, from eccentric fashion to ball marking rituals, from the Golf Channel’s point of view,” according to a press release.Continue reading...

sporting brands

US Olympic Team Unveils New Branding

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 22, 2012 04:04 PM

The U.S. Olympic team raked in 104 medals in last summer’s London Games, 16 more than its closest competitor, China. The U.S. team also led the medal count at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. So things are on a good path athletically for America.

Obviously, there’s nobody at the United States Olympic Committee who is superstitious and afraid that any change could hurt the team’s performance because when the U.S. Olympic team takes to the slopes and rinks of Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Games, they’ll be wearing a new logo.

The USOC has introduced a new five-ring logo that “now feature the United States flag and the Olympic Rings in the designated IOC colors,” according to a press release.

When tested with consumers this past summer by SRI International, “consumers strongly identified the marks to stand for patriotism, inspiration, leadership and dedication.” What else could the USOC want in a logo?

This is part of a rebranding that’s been going on for two years now. "This redesign of our five-ring logo continues to build our framework for a consistent look and feel for all USOC assets as well as our desire to work collaboratively with the IOC,” said USOC Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Baird. “Additionally, since the American flag is the most recognized symbol of our country, putting it at the center of our marks signifies the importance of identifying with the history, spirit and symbolism of our country."

That’s all well and good, Baird, but can it finally bring curling gold to America? We’ll have to wait till 2014 to find out.

sporting brands

NBA Reveals Big Color Christmas Day Uniforms

Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 21, 2012 03:36 PM

TV's and tablets aren't the only thing people are getting excited about when it comes to holiday shopping. Sports fans get ready — for special one-color Christmas Day NBA uniforms. The Christmas tree light-like apparel is being revealed in a TV commercial breaking tonight, and can be purchased now at NBAStore.com and other retailers. Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook and Joe Johnson promote the "Big Color" uniforms in the commercial, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Reminiscent of Kit Kat's basketball spot, it's all about the sounds of the basketballs, with the stars dribbling basketballs, eventually taking the sounds of holiday music. Take a closer look at the Christmas Day uniforms below.Continue reading...

sporting brands

ManU in the Money: Manchester United Flexing Its Financial Muscle

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2012 01:04 PM

It's nice to be the world's most popular soccer team.

Footie powerhouse Manchester United, which is currently undefeated and in first place in both the English Premier League and its Champions League grouping, is starting to really flex its financial muscle to score a premium for its brand. ManU listed itself on the New York Stock Exchange back in August and it has been extremely busy in its first quarter. The team’s massive debt load dropped 18% down to $570 million, the AP reports. ManU also had a big influx of cash recently from an agreement with Comcast to broadcast all of its games in the United States over the next three seasons for $250 million, which is much better than the deal worth $80 million for three years that the team just had with Fox, which reaches fewer American homes than Comcast.

The club signed 10 new sponsorships during the quarter, according to SeekingAlpha.com. One new deal was with the largest telecommunications company in Azerbaijan, Bakcell, which will allow more than 2.5 million consumers to watch ManchesterUnitedTV there during the next three years. And if you’re looking for the team’s official soft drink in Japan, look no further than fruit and veggie drink specialist Kagome. The most notable deal, though, was a pre-IPO arrangement with General Motors, which agreed to pay $559 million to have Chevrolet’s logo grace the front of the team’s jerseys.

The team also just broke up with a sponsor, DHL, which had agreed to pay $65 million to place its logo on the team’s practice jerseys. Now its management team is eager to wring more cash from uniform supplier (home and away) Nike, which gets to push its swoosh next to jersey sponsor AON as part of a 13-year, £303m ($480.3 million) contract with ManU that ends in 2015. That’s a measly $36.9 million a year!Continue reading...

sporting brands

Oakley Signs Up for Tour de France After Dropping Armstrong

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2012 12:07 PM

The removal of Lance Armstrong’s name atop the winners list of seven straight Tours de France has also meant the removal of tens of millions of sponsorship dollars for the once-beloved cyclist.

One of those organizations that split from Armstrong has been sponsoring him since before he even was diagnosed with testicular cancer and even helped pay for some of his treatment: Oakley sunglasses. Well, Oakley apparently isn’t just disgusted with the whole sport of cycling, even though Armstrong clearly isn’t the only pro in recent years who has been nabbed for taking performance-enhancing drugs.

According to Bloomberg, after 12 months of negotiating, Oakley has signed on to be a sponsor of the Tour de France itself rather than any team or individual rider. That certainly seems like a safer way to go, though plenty of sponsors, such as Rabobank, have decided to leave the sport behind for now. The move comes as the Tour looks to rehabilitate its scandal-tarnished brand ahead of its centenary next year.

“I would like to see that the sport be what it once was,” Oakley CEO Colin Baden told Bloomberg. “It’s unfortunate what we’ve all experienced. It would be really nice to get back to the place where it’s admired, respected and understood.” It appears that getting to that point may take some time, but the Tour at least has one sponsor that will stick around and help the sport get through.

One thing Oakley also isn’t abandoning is Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation. “My wife’s a cancer survivor,” Baden told Bloomberg. “My belief and hope is that the foundation can continue its mission. Only time will tell, but it’s something we as a brand will still stand behind and we believe strongly that fighting cancer is a worthy cause.”

[Photo credit: Marc Pagani Photography / Shutterstock.com]

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