Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 27, 2013 01:08 PM
Failing to make a playoff bid, the New York Yankees will head into the offseason to ponder a question it hasn't had to think twice about in nearly 17 years: Who will be the closer? On Thursday night, the team, along with a sell-out crowd, bid farewell to legendary pitcher Mariano Rivera, who, after spending the entirety of his career with the famed organization, pitched his last inning at home in the Bronx.
In 19 seasons, Rivera has earned more saves than any pitcher in MLB history, has pitched 141 postseason innings in which he only gave up 11 runs, and earned five World Series championships. He is the greatest closer who ever lived, and the Yankees and Major League Baseball have done their part to make sure he will be remembered as such.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 26, 2013 05:45 PM
When soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, awarded Qatar with the 2022 World Cup, there was some concern about the country's summer heat that reaches well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But it turns out that Qatar's brutal heat will be the least of FIFA's problems.
The Guardian reports that 44 Nepalese migrant workers died between June 4 and August 8 due to "modern-day slavery" conditions they were forced to endure. Fellow laborers told the paper that they're working extremely long hours without food and money, living in squalor and have been prevented from leaving the country.
"We were working on an empty stomach for 24 hours; 12 hours' work and then no food all night," Ram Kumar Mahara told the paper. "When I complained, my manager assaulted me, kicked me out of the labor camp I lived in and refused to pay me anything. I had to beg for food from other workers."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 24, 2013 10:47 AM
With less than a week to play, the Chicago Cubs have done their best to live up to the “Loveable Losers” nickname. The team has one of the worst records in Major League Baseball and will now have gone 105 seasons without winning the World Series, the longest stretch in pro baseball.
One thing the team has going for it is its home base heritage, Wrigley Field. Nicknamed the "Friendly Confines," it isn’t exactly clear who the field is friendly to, considering the team’s maddening lack of success over the years.
The gorgeous Wrigley may have been recently approved to get a slight facelift, but its old-timer feel is a major draw for tourists, Cubs fans or not, when visiting Chicago. Next year, Wrigley turns 100 and the Cubs are planning to celebrate with a lot more than a Willard Scott mention on the Today Show.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 16, 2013 12:39 PM
The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets are heading into their second season and have added a few big players—namely, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Andrei Kirilenko—that actually give the team a very good shot at unseating LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates as NBA champions.
Riding high on optimism, the organization has launched a new campaign that will be bolder—and multi-lingual. The "Are You Ready" campaign will feature billboard, print, TV digital, social and kiosk installations throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut markets, and will be broadcast in English, Spanish, and Russian—the native language of billionaire team owner Mikhail Prokhorov and new star Kirilenko.
The team has also named its first cross-platform sponsor, Securwatch24, which was founded by a former Brooklyn police officer. The brand will get mentions in the new campaign as well as placement inside the Nets' home court, the Barclays Center. The five-year, multimillion dollar deal will help offset the costs of maintaining the highest payroll in the NBA.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 6, 2013 07:05 PM
It's another NFL season, meaning there's another cast of muscle-bound marketing idols attempting to cash in on their athletic achievements in what can be short careers.
Some of the players that brands are featuring most this year have been on the rise for awhile. Clay Matthews, for example, the highest-paid linebacker in the game for the Green Bay Packers, is the new "Mama's Boy" for Campbell's Chunky soup in the latest rendition of a campaign that is entering its 16th year. It's always what the brand described in a release as "a tough and focused competitor on the field, who becomes a Mama's Boy off the field."
Eli Manning doesn't quite have the true acting chops of his older brother, Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning, but the New York Giants signal caller keeps managing to roll up more endorsement traffic. This season, for example, he's continuing his promotional partnership with Dunkin' Donuts. It includes a sweepstakes in which customers get a chance to join Manning at a training center this fall.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2013 07:14 PM
Adidas has been the sponsor of the United Kingdom’s athletic teams since 2005, but no longer. The long-time sponsor lost its contract to who else but its arch rival, Nike, which inked a sever-year deal reportedly worth upwards of $23 million, rumored to be double what Adidas bid.
So while the UK's track and field athletes will be wearing Nike gear when the world championships are held in London in 2017, the teams will still don Adidas-branded apparel for the 2016 Rio Olympics, which has its own sponsorship deal with the company.
Adidas knows all too well how crucial sponsorships are to its business. After it outfitted Olympic runner Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics, where he went on to win four medals, the brand took off. The deal however does make life a bit easier and less confusing for a handful of British athletes such as distance runner Mo Farah, who has donned Nike shoes but an Adidas singlet in his races, according to Runner's World.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2013 07:12 PM
The week is already building to a crescendo, that moment awaited by National Football League fans for seven months now, since the closing moments of the last Super Bowl. That's right—the moment when fantasy-football players need to lock in their rosters for the first week of action.
Well, alright: Fantasy leagues haven't become quite as big as the game itself, which will renew play for the 2013-2014 season with a Thursday evening kickoff between the visiting Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the host Denver Broncos. But the continued rise of fantasy play is one of the most interesting marketing elements of the upcoming season, along with the primacy of Sunday Night Football, the need for creative renewal by brands using NFL games as an advertising vehicle—and concern about the issue of head injuries.
So many Americans now are enrolled in NFL fantasy leagues that a growing number of marketers are turning to them as a sort of poor man's NFL-marketing platform. Lenovo, for example, has created a fictional fantasy-team owner whose exploits bring him in contact with actual NFL stars, according to the New York Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 30, 2013 08:02 PM
Sure, there's the Michigan-Notre Dame game on Sept. 7 and plenty of other rivalries duking it out on the football field this season, but another major tilt will be going on this season as well: Nissan vs. Hyundai.
Both brands are staking claims to having a disproportionate presence in marketing around college football this year, and it marks the third season of major emphasis for both Hyundai and Nissan. Nissan continues to focus on its marketing partnership with the Heisman Trophy while Hyundai's embrace of the game is more general.
"Our goal has been to position Nissan as the premier partner of the Heisman Trophy and also owning the space in college football," Vinay Shahani, director of marketing communications and media for Nissan USA, told brandchannel. In the past, Nissan has been "the biggest advertiser on ESPN for college football."Continue reading...