Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 3, 2012 02:03 PM
In the running world, a trend of the past few years has been the marketing of shoes that gave runners the sense of having bare feet. It appears that a similar sensation is being sought for basketball players. Last year, Adidas cranked out the adizero Crazy Light basketball sneaks that were, um, crazy light.
Now the company is doing itself one better. The brand just debuted adizero Crazy Light 2, which it claims is the lightest basketball shoe ever. Weighing in at 9.5 ounces, it’s hard to argue. Adidas claims that this Crazy Light is 10% lighter than its nearest competitor and is .3 ounces lighter than the previous version.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 24, 2012 04:06 PM
As the globe tuned in to watch the Formula One race last Sunday in Bahrain — which went ahead despite the slew of politicians, human rights groups, and even F1 fans who argued against it — fans of the sport are questioning what kind of hit the F1 brand has taken as a result of the controversy, particularly as F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is rumored to be planning a return in 2013.
The controversy stems from the months of violence and political unrest that have snarled the country. Protesters called the race “a publicity stunt by the country's rulers to make the nation seem more unified than it actually is,” according to CNN.
Even though last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled due to a spate of violence, F1 officials went ahead with the 2012 race, which saw the ouster of a team of a British journalists (a TV crew for Channel 4) who were covering the anti-government protests hours before Sunday's race. Reporters for CNN, Reuters and the Financial Times were denied entry altogether.Continue reading...
Posted by Craig Ellenport on April 16, 2012 02:53 PM
Last fall, when the National Football League was moving its headquarters up the block from 280 Park Avenue to 345 Park, folks in the NFL Media group came across boxes of hats as they were cleaning out the offices. They were NFL.com promotional hats, with the traditional NFL Shield emblazoned on the front of the cap and an awkwardly placed “.com” sitting to the right of the bottom of the shield.
Those hats actually became obsolete a few years back when the NFL’s brand management team declared that the shield — with the letters N-F-L featured prominently — could not be used as a substitute for the actual acronym in a title or headline.
It’s a rule that was never completely obeyed (when the NFL Network launched the NFL RedZone channel in 2010, that logo used the Network logo in the title), but at least now the media group is becoming a more consistent, streamlined unit.
On April 26, the same day all 32 NFL teams get a new look when they add fresh talent at the annual NFL Draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the five entities that make up the NFL Media group will be unveiling a new look of their own.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 12, 2012 03:11 PM
With new competition encroaching upon the cable-TV sports niche it has long dominated, ESPN suddenly wants to provide more glimpses of itself to the outside world.
And we're not talking about faux glimpses, such as the hilarious "This Is Sportscenter" promo ads ESPN has run on itself over the years, involving its anchor personalities and real sports stars ranging from soccer ace Landon Donovan to Los Angeles Laker Koby Bryant, from New York Yankee Derek Jeter wondering who used his razor in the "ESPN locker room" to golf legend Arnold Palmer creating his namesake drink in the "ESPN cafeteria." Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2012 11:56 AM
IBM proved an effective social change agent back in 1990, when it pulled its TV advertising from the PGA Championships that were being played at an Alabama club that only allowed members that were white. The club changed its policies and Augusta National, home of the Masters, soon followed the same path and admitted its first black member.
Bloomberg News observes that IBM now has the power to make change again, as one of the three main sponsors of the Masters at the now-80-year-old Augusta, which has faced escalating criticism in recent years for not allowing women to join. (Martha Burk, anyone?) IBM, of course, named a female CEO, Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, back in January.
“The company’s CEO traditionally dons the club’s signature green member blazer at the tournament, as do the CEOs of co-sponsors Exxon Mobil Corp. and AT&T Inc.,” Bloomberg noted. “IBM will have to decide whether to keep spending the money if its CEO lacks equal status with other sponsors.” In the end, Rometty attended -- wearing a pink jacket, not a green one. Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 28, 2012 01:03 PM
The Los Angeles Dodgers brand has seen better days. Last April, a controversy exploded over the team's ownership. Not since the legendary baseball team picked up and left its beloved Brooklyn fans in the dust had the Dodgers been so battered by bad press.
It seems then-owner Frank McCourt had run afoul of Major League Baseball (MLB), who was questioning McCourt's management of the team and its finances. In fact, McCourt had a very public dispute with his wife Jamie, whom he fired in 2009 as CEO of the Dodgers. A week later, Jamie filed for divorce. A California court told the McCourts they would have to work out their Dodger dealings outside of divorce court. The whole mess went into extra innings when it was later learned that the IRS was investigating the odd couple for money they took from the team without paying taxes.
Through it all, Frank McCourt remained a Dodger stalwart. On April 27, 2011, he proclaimed, "I took my life savings and invested it into the Los Angeles Dodgers. No one handed me the Dodgers and no one is going to take it away. I'm not going anywhere." A nice sentiment, perhaps, but it didn't stop the team from entering bankruptcy in June. The MLB promptly put a monitor in place to keep a watchful eye on the Dodgers, which McCourt claimed was tantamount to a "hostile takeover."
Well, Frank, as the umpire famously screams, "Yer OUT!" On April 27, 2012, exactly a year after his infamous "I'm not going anywhere" speech, McCourt agreed to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2.15 billion to another ball player, none other than LA Lakers basketball superstar Magic Johnson, heading his own team of buyers. In addition to Magic Johnson, the Dodgers' new owners will include financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, Peter Guber, head of film company Mandalay Entertainment, and Stan Kasten, former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. A judge needs to approve the deal, but if it goes through, the Dodgers will be sold for more money than any other professional sports team.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on March 19, 2012 05:32 PM
With the 2012 Major League Baseball season opening in less than a month, the Chicago White Sox are getting ready for Robin Ventura, former White Sox third baseman, as this will be his first year as manager of the team.
To help share his baseball philosophy on hard work, dedication and love for the game, Energy BBDO produced a set of spots which will be break on local television today (Mar. 19) to help drive ticket sales and enthusiasm ahead of Opening Day on April 6th.
The commercials (watch below) feature Ventura looking back at his remarkable past with the team, with old clips from White Sox games. In a second spot, he walks onto the field, while his voiceover highlights his passion for baseball and his team.
The tagline, simply: "Appreciate the Game."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 02:01 PM
With conference tournaments dominating this week in men's college basketball, it means that official March Madness is just around the corner. And when the NCAA men's tournament begins next week, brands are going to be more ready than ever to take advantage. That's because March Madness has become a multifaceted, extended marketing "season" much as the NFL Super Bowl represents earlier each year.
In fact, in some ways, March Madness arguably has become an even more effective tentpole marketing platform than the Super Bowl.Continue reading...