sporting brands

NFL, Riddell Accused of Stifling Helmet Safety Technology to Preserve Contract

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 18, 2013 05:37 PM

Athletic wear companies generally figure that partnering with professional sports leagues will lead to its brand name lodging into the minds of millions of potential consumers. They likely don’t predict that their product might be linked to major, life-changing injuries. 

Riddell has been the official helmet of the National Football League for at least a quarter century and most of that time, has likely been good for the company. In recent years, however, as the NFL’s concussion problem has made itself more known outside of the league, the association might not be as positive.

The league is facing a lawsuit from more than 4,000 former players who claim they weren’t protected as well as they should have been, with part of the battle centering around helmets that may have offered better protection, but were stifled by the league, Bloomberg reports.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Quiksilver Hit With a Wave of Bad News

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 7, 2013 06:17 PM

America has spent more time working or looking for jobs in recent years and it’s put the hurt on some recreational activities. That’s been quite a blow, apparently, to Quiksilver, the brand that’s long been synonymous with surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding.

Andy Mooney, who took over as CEO in January after running the show at Disney Consumer products and spending two decades at Nike, got to share the bad news with the world Thursday as the company reported not-so-great quarterly earnings. Overall revenues for the first quarter, which ended January 31, were down 3 percent to $431 million from $450 million the previous year. American net revenues dropped 9 percent in the quarter to $186 million, down from $205 million. The only major plus for the quarter was that e-commerce sales had gone up 39 percent to $33 million. Continue reading...

sporting brands

Nike Gives New Look to Rebranded Oregon State

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2013 07:17 PM

Collegiate sports have probably the largest fan base in American athletics, with an estimated 173 million fans who support the cause.  

While schools like the University of Texas and the University of Alabama generally lead the NCAA in merchandise sales and national recognition, Oregon State would apparently like a bigger piece of those pies. To that end, the Oregon State Beavers have teamed with their fellow state dwellers at Nike to try and revamp their brand.

The new look, introduced Monday night, will be seen on the new uniforms for the football, men's and women's basketball, men’s and women’s soccer and track programs, modernizing and strengthening the athletic brand across all 17 sports teams. Portland Business Journal reports. None of them will hit the field till August, but the new logo (below) will immediately be put into use.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Ryder Cup Seals Deal with First World Sponsor

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2013 01:07 PM

World War II and 9/11 are the only things that have kept the best European and American golfers from squaring off against each other every two years since the late 1920s in the Ryder Cup.

Though it has such big names as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie involved and been around for 85 years, the Ryder Cup has never had a worldwide sponsor—until now.

Scotland’s Standard Life Investments has signed on to fill that spot for the next two Cups, Reuters reports. "This announcement follows the launch of the unified Ryder Cup global brand identity and the stated aim of Ryder Cup Europe and the PGA of America to secure global partnerships going forward," said Pete Bevacqua, chief executive officer of the PGA of America. The tournament is one of the sport's biggest, reaching up to 500 million daily TV viewers in 183 countries. Continue reading...

sporting brands

Can Adidas Boost Market Share and Make a Serious Run at Nike?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 13, 2013 01:02 PM

After hyping its release for weeks, Adidas' new Boost running shoes finally made its debut Wednesday. The New York announcement was made in good company, with 100-meter world champ Yohan Blake of Jamaica and two-time 10,000-meter Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie of Nigeria standing close by. 

Since the release of Christopher McDougall’s excellent book "Born to Run" back in 2009, a book that made a well-researched case for running barefoot, the running world has had an ongoing debate of whether it is better to workout in “barefoot” shoes or to layer on the extra cushion.

With Boost, Adidas is going "all in" (as its global tagline goes) on the cushion, although the sportswear giant is happy to capitalize on that other market as well. The Boost shoes combine two new elements: the Boost cushioning, which is supposed to be so bouncy that it’ll keep runners going forward for extended periods and the ominous-sounding Spring Blade, which helps the shoe return to its proper shape while your foot flexes.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Adidas Looks to Boost Sales With High-Tech Running Shoe, Britney and Selena

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2013 02:39 PM

Running is about to change forever. Well, that’s what the marketing minds at Adidas want you to think about their new running shoes, the Adidas Boost trainers, which will make their debut Wednesday.

To prove the point, Adidas has released a teaser video (below) that shows off three metal balls being dropped from the top of the frame onto the base material for Boost, EVA (or ethylene vinyl acetate, which is often used in running shoes), and concrete. Guess which ball bounces the highest by far? Spoiler alert: Boost it is.

The Adidas Running website and Facebook page are also teasing the big reveal at a global press event in New York, while promoting the #boost hashtag to stir Twitter conversations.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Nike Suits Up With Super Bowl Gear and a Big Play for China's Skater Crowd

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 31, 2013 04:59 PM

The Super Bowl will mark the end of the first season for the apparel deal between Nike and the NFL — and don’t think for a second that the sportswear giant will miss an opportunity to crow about it.

The company notes on its website that as the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens take the field, players will be “wearing the NFL’s most innovative uniform system to date.” If that weren’t enough, athletes sponsored by Nike “will wear the Alpha Pro cleat and Vapor Fly glove.”

While the company trumpets its “Flywire technology” (“the uniform components are constructed to work in concert with each other,” it boasts, also noting “increased sleeve articulation),” one hopes that it has worked out the issues that had some of the league's larger players complaining about their new uniforms earlier in the season.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Hornets No More: New Orleans NBA Team Begins to Morph Into the Pelicans

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 25, 2013 11:11 AM

Time to buy up all the New Orleans Hornets gear you can: The NBA team has announced it will become the Pelicans.

“This isn’t something that was just done overnight,” said team owner Tom Benson, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We are not just changing the name to change the name. The Hornets name came from Charlotte. That fits in with Charlotte. It doesn’t fit into New Orleans, La., or our area here."

He continued: "The Hornets don’t mean anything here. We needed something that symbolizes New Orleans and Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. And nothing does that better than this name.”Continue reading...

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