sports in the spotlight

World Cup Draw Excites Brands and Fans Around the Globe

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2013 11:28 AM

Soccer fever is running high across the globe as FIFA officials gather in Brazil today to draw names from a series of pots to decide what teams will face eachother in the first round of next summer’s World Cup.

The 32 teams that have earned a berth will not only find out how skilled their opponents are but also discover the schedule and locations of their first-round games. As the New York Times points out, Brazil could fit the four countries that have hosted the last three World Cups—South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Germany—inside its borders, which means that some teams are going to be traveling far distances between games and playing in very different environments while others will get the lucky draw of playing all their first-round games in a much smaller area. England coach Roy Hodgson predicts that the travel for some teams could be more difficult than the actual opponents on the field.

When the names start getting pulled out of the pots to decide the eight groups of four, expect all of the World Cup official partners—Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, Emirates Air, Sony, Visa—to be on high alert.Continue reading...

celebrity designers

Celebrity Swap: Kanye Out, Drake In as Nike Keeps Up Sneaker Swag

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 5, 2013 07:41 PM

Kanye West and Nike recently split ways after having some creative differences (of the monetary type, of course). West took his act to Adidas (for $10 million and a bit of royalties), but the Swoosh didn’t bat an eye. Tuesday night, famed rapper Drake took the stage during his Would Like a Tour? tour in Nike’s birthplace of Portland, Oregon, and told fans that he had partnered up with Nike’s Jordan Brand.

"Today also happens to be one of the best days of my life," Drake told the crowd. "Growing up, I'm sure we all idolized this guy, he goes by the name of Michael Jordan. So today, I came to Portland and officially became inducted into the Team Jordan family." Enjoy it now, Drake. West was pretty excited when his first Air Jeezy came out back in 2009, too.

Drake and Nike jumped in with both feet. He immediately posted pics of two new pairs of sneakers on his Instagram, which feature the Jordan Jumpman logo next to Drake’s October Very Own (OVO) label, GQ reports.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sony, Volkswagen, Adidas and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2013 07:58 AM

In the News

Sony puts US fans in a lather with PlayStation 4 launch at critical time for company.

Volkswagen recalls 2.6 million vehicles worldwide and says UAW vote at its plant wouldn't affect US expansion plans.

Adidas goes with NBA "BIG logo" and short-sleeved jerseys for Christmas Day promotion.

A.G. Lafley shuffles P&G executives as one moves to Google.

Alexander McQueen collaborates with Damien Hirst

Berkshire Hathaway takes big stake in ExxonMobil.

Cisco earnings miss portends broader changes in industry.

Compuware gets shareholder pressure to put itself up for sale.

Comcast plans to start selling films.

Dolce & Gabbana appeal tax evasian conviction. 

Eminem taps brand partners to promote new album.Continue reading...

campaigns

Coke Puts Its Best Foot Forward in World Cup Promotion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 12, 2013 11:07 AM

The kickoff of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil won’t take place until June 12, but Coca-Cola is already in the spirit of the beautiful game thanks to its “Under the Crown” campaign, which follows the globetrotting World Cup trophy. 

The brand brought former Manchester United player Dwight Yorke and singer David Correy (who is the voice of Coke’s World Cup anthem, “The World is Ours) to Haiti on the Cup's latest tour stop. It will continue on to Kathmandu, Nepal on Dec. 2, when Coke will offer three fans the chance to fly to Nepal on the official FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour plane.  

Another World Cup sponsor, Adidas, is busy doing its own promo tour for its new Samba soccer cleats, designed to reflect the colors and culture of Brazil's Carnivale. The brand has already got a laundry list of top soccer players sporting the new cleats, including Leo Messi in a new ad for the line.Continue reading...

retail

1111 Equals $5.75 Billion as China Sets Singles Day Online Sales Record

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 11, 2013 07:22 PM

Bigger than Cyber Monday (which notched up US $1.46 billion in sales last November) and bigger than China's National Day "Golden Week," China's Singles Day ("光棍节") also known as "1111" as it falls on 11/11, has become the the biggest online shopping day of the year—worldwide. This year's event was expected to break all previous records, and that it swiftly did.

In the first twenty minutes of the day's online sales going live, China's dominant commerce site, Taobao, recorded US$500 million in sales. By 10:00 am, Taobao had crossed US$2.46 billion in sales. By 1:00 pm, the sales frenzy passed last year's tally. By the end of the day, owner Alibaba (China's equivalent of Amazon) crowed that its Taobao and Tmall online shopping hubs recorded 35 billion yuan or RMB, or a whopping US$5.75 billion.

Not bad for a holiday that didn't even exist 25 years ago.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Adidas Aims to Samba Into Soccer Fans' Soles Ahead of 2014 World Cup

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 06:04 PM

Adidas announced lackluster third-quarter results last week, with hopes for a fourth quarter sprint to put things right. “Sales were down 7%, with operating profit 6% lower,” Reuters reported. Archrival Nike, meanwhile, has been on a rollw. When it revealed its fiscal first-quarter numbers back in September, revenue had risen 8% over the same period in the previous year.

That's why Adidas is hoping that its official sponsorship role for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil will help revive sales just as its connection to the London 2012 Olympic Games and European Championships did last summer.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BT, CBS, Alibaba and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2013 09:11 AM

In the News

BSkyB shares hit by BT Champions League football rights deal win.

CBS criticized for not running more extensive apology over flawed Benghazi report.

Alibaba set for US$5B boost from China's online "Singles Day."

Adidas sprints for lead with Smart Run watch.

Amazon taps U.S. Postal Service to establish Sunday delivery for Prime customers.

Apple finds surprising market growth in Japan as China supply chain practices face fresh criticism.

Bank of America may have to pay US $864M over "Hustle" loans.

Bloomberg curbs reporting that might anger China.

Boeing and Japan Air Lines face another Dreamliner battery incident.

Bottega Veneta unveils new 'green' headquarters.

Cadillac's new CMO aims to focus brand around design.

Charmin pulls cheeky Twitter ad campaign.Continue reading...

sporting brands

In China, Under Armour Looks to Brand the Workout Experience

Posted by Kristen Van Nest on October 29, 2013 07:07 PM

Earlier this month, Under Armour introduced a completely different retail concept to the Chinese sporting apparel market—a market that has proven hard to crack even for the most seasoned retail veterans, including Nike and Adidas. But Under Armour's new Shanghai retail theater experience aims to do much more than just sell clothes and sneakers. 

Located in the Jing An Kerry Centre, the store features a 270-degree screen that covers 90 percent of the relatively small boutique, encapsulating store-goes in the sights, sounds and experiences of athletic training—a truly foreign concept in China and greater Asia. 

In China, especially, working out is not a common activity. Seeing joggers is a rarity and oftentimes in the gym, Chinese are seen wearing jeans or leather shoes as opposed to sporting apparel. Sports participation is also low due to lack of time, the single child policy, and limited governmental support to popularize sports. But, there is still huge market potential; after the Beijing Olympic Games, there has been dramatic growth in sporting brands. 

Still, the market has proven difficult, with Nike, Adidas, and others struggling to localize their retail approach to fit the unique needs of Chinese consumers, both young and old. In fact, Nike and Adidas have spent much of their time in the country with a hard focus on building a lifestyle brand around young consumers, capitalizing on consumer trends towards creativity and self-expression. Still, Nike recently saw a three percent decline in its China sales while it experienced an increase in all other geographic locations.Continue reading...

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