Best Global Green Brands 2014

sporting brands

Are You Ready to Rupp? Iconic Arena to Get Major Overhaul

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2014 11:49 AM

Rupp Arena, the home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, is a bit of a basketball mecca. Roundball fans travel from around the US to take in a game there and experience UK fever. 

But fans may want to put off their trips for a few years now that the University of Kentucky and local government is injecting $310 million to update the iconic arena. Improvements will include separating the arena from the adjoining convention center, replacing its current beige façade with glass windows, new luxury boxes, a center-hanging scoreboard and one improvement that will likely change the game-watching experience for the thousands of attendees: chair backs for all!Continue reading...

sporting brands

Gunner Do It: Inside Puma's Record-Breaking Arsenal Football Club Deal

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 28, 2014 07:36 PM

Puma has made a major move, signing a five-year "kit" deal with English Premier League powerhouse Arsenal, dealing a major blow to 20-year partner Nike.

The move is all part of a brand renewal strategy under new Puma CEO Bjoern Gulden that aims to re-establish the brand in the sports apparel market, which has taken a backseat to its lifestyle brand in recent years. 

The new $249 million deal is the largest ever for "the Gunners," as the legendary football club is calld by fans, and Puma, and drops the apparel-maker's logo right back into the spotlight on the backs (and rear-ends and cleats) of one of the league's hottest clubs, Sports Business Daily notes.

Arsenal’s previously struck a sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines in 2012 for five years and $248 million.

In addition, Puma has gained the rights to produce other Arsenal-related merchandise. Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger, who is also slated to sign a new contract with the club, will be given a large pool of cash to recruit free agents.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Adidas Celebrates 50 Years of Iconic Stan Smith Sneaker with Pop-Up, 3D Printing

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 20, 2014 12:41 PM

Despite the fact that many people may not know who Stan Smith actually is, they likely know his shoe. Smith himself says his own son once asked him if the shoe had been named for him or if he had been named for the shoe.

The shoes, in fact, were named for the American tennis icon 50 years ago—a date Adidas is celebrating by introducing two new Stan Smith collections. After all, more than 40 million pairs have already been sold, making it the top-selling brand in the history of Adidas.

The big anniversary celebration included a Stan Smith-themed pop-up store at the Old Truman Brewery in East London that featured “an interactive floor, a digital 'Stan Yourself' station, and a 3D printing post” that allows consumers to print out “trefoil lace locks,” according to Dexigner.com. What's "Stan Yourself," you may ask?Continue reading...

sporting brands

Notre Dame Reportedly Will Cut Ties with Adidas for Player-Favored Under Armour

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2014 03:57 PM

Get ready to re-outfit your leprechaun. According to a report from ESPN, Notre Dame, one of the most iconic brands in college athletics, is preparing to end its apparel contract with Adidas at the end of the school year and sign-on with Under Armour. 

Sources told reporter Darren Rovell that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank himself went out to Notre Dame Thursday to discuss the deal with school heads. And why not? College athletics present a huge branding—and financial—opportunity for Nike, Adidas and the like, and Under Armour has been growing its brand exponentially, even getting under the skin of the NFL for infiltrating its strict uniform policies. 

"We have been very happy with adidas," ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN.com last month while noting that all the big brands were under consideration, including Nike. “It is just good business to use the expiration of a contract to review all options."Continue reading...

sporting brands

Sweet Kicks: Foot Locker, NBA Extend Multi-Year Marketing Partnership

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 17, 2013 04:12 PM

For nearly two decades, Foot Locker and the NBA have had a fruitful partnership, one that won't be ending anytime soon. The twosome just agreed to a multi-year deal that makes the retailer an official marketing partner of the NBA, MediaPost reports. This puts Foot Locker in the same category as Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Diageo, American Express, Adidas, Nike, and 13 other major brands. 

Fans that tune into All-Star weekend’s annual skills competition will witness the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest—both on TV and online. The retailer will also sponsor the "Kicks of All-Star" section on NBA.com, which will show-off footwear—most available for purchase from the retailer—worn by NBA stars during All-Star weekend.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Dow, Blue Diamond Boost US Olympic Efforts

Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 12:46 PM

American commercial sponsors of US Olympics teams have long helped the home-country effort in lots of ways beyond buying ads on TV telecasts, ranging from employing olympians while they're training to broad efforts to boost American hopes such as that launched for the 2012 Summer Olympics by Procter & Gamble.

And with US medal hopes suffering a number of blows in the weeks before the games begin in February in Sochi, Russia, it may be all the more important for brands to do their parts to be helpful to American olympians.

One example of that assistance will come from Blue Diamond Almond Growers, which is an official sponsor of the US Ski, Snowboarding and Freeskiing teams heading into olympics season. Continue reading...

sporting brands

NHL Hopes to Emulate NFL in Coverage, But Not Lawsuits

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2013 02:36 PM

The NHL has long been in the shadow of pro football, baseball, and basketball in the American psyche, but Commissioner Gary Bettman has been plugging away to try and gain ground. 

The league’s latest effort takes a page directly from the National Football League's playbook by creating a new television series that gives fans a view into the behind-the-scenes world of professional hockey, Ad Age reports. The seven episodes of NHL Revealed: A Series Like No Other will debut on the NBC Sports Network, another brand that is battling to better compete against market leader ESPN. The NFL found an interested audience for the two behind-the-scenes shows it has been a part of: HBO’s Hard Knocks and Showtime’s Inside the NFL.

The plan is to follow pro players at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as well as at the pro games being played outdoors this season, one of the league’s biggest successes in recent years. The games debuted in 2008 and have grown each year since, though it was not played in 2013 due to the disagreement between owners and players that shortened the season. There will be six outdoor games played this season, and only one of them will not be part of the NBC series—but that's only because it will be the focus of an HBO special.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Under Armour Looks to Take a Bite Out of FuelBand Success with MapMyFitness Acquisition

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2013 12:51 PM

It's no longer enough to just go for a run. Athletes and first-steppers alike are more data driven than ever, feeding off of fitness apps that tell them how many steps they've taken, their heart rate, calories burned and so on. After all, if it can be measured, it can be improved.

Following the runaway success of personal fitness trackers like Nike's FuelBand, main competitor Under Armour has announced that it has acquired MapMyFitness for about $150 million. It may not have cost UA too much, but the addition of the new technology will lift the company to a whole other level in the fitness business.

The one differentiator that will set UA apart (and perhaps above) competitors? MapMyFitness analyzes data from multiple mobile device brands and operating systems, unlike Nike's FuelBand, which works exclusively with Apple's iOS.Continue reading...

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