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

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

LeBron James Teams With Old Pals Nike and Samsung for NBA Season Opener

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2013 06:33 PM

The NBA season kicks off Tuesday night with the defending champion Miami Heat versing the Chicago Bulls, and if LeBron James' latest Nike ad has anything to say about it, it seems that James is feeling pretty carefree heading into another season.

The new TV commercial, titled "Training Day," follows James riding his bike through the streets of Miami, all along collecting a troupe of neighborhood kids like a scene out of Rocky II.

James, wearing his new LeBron XI shoes, is seen heading to the arena to practice some shots, the beach for a swim, and ending at the playground to play some pickup with the kids.Continue reading...

Taco Bell, NBA Renew Cross-Platform Sponsorship Deal with New Video Twist

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2013 12:57 PM

When the Chicago Bulls take on the champion Miami Heat on Oct. 29 for the NBA season opener, viewers can be sure to have a hankering for a beefy, crunchy burrito or a sweet churro before the final buzzer sounds.

Taco Bell has been the official QSR partner of the league for the last four years and now the pair have announced an extension of that deal that includes prominent placement during telecasts and online through all of the NBA, WNBA, and D-League platforms.

The multiyear deal will also include a new digital/social media program on NBA.com and other platforms dubbed "Buzzer Beaters" that will aggregate video of game-winning shots, according to Ad Age.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Nike Sees $36 Billion Future in Basketball, Running Gear

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2013 11:58 AM

Over 80 analysts and investors gathered in the Tiger Woods Center at Nike's Oregon headquarters on Wednesday for the company's annual Investor Day, and boy did they get good news.

Various company heads took the stage to assure investors that the 45-year-old company, which was just named Forbes' Most Valueable Sports Brand with a brand value of $17.5 billion, currently nets revenues of over $25 billion, plans to hit $30 billion in revenue by 2015, and $36 billion just two years after that. 

How will they do it? Growing businesses that they are already strong in, of course, including basketball, running and women’s apparel and footwear.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Adidas Pop-Up in London has D Rose Fans Jumping—for Sneakers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2013 06:11 PM

Whether you’re playing ball on the playground or in an NBA arena, the basket’s rim typically sits 10 feet above ground, a height generally out of reach for average-sized men and women.

Some people, of course, can not only touch that rim but get up above it; a bunch of them are in the NBA, but there are plenty still out in the streets and Adidas and Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose went out to find them.

The shoemaker offered a little bit of incentive for its London pop-up shop to those who could jump the 10 ft. height—if they could reach the new Rose shoes, they could keep them.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Floors Are the Next Frontier for NCAA Branding Innovators

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 08:07 PM

President Obama may have picked Indiana University to win this year’s whole NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but there is a lot of basketball to watch between now and the final championship game on April 8. 

Brand marketers are very attracted to all those eyeballs, and the ones associated with specific teams and the NCAA are no different. College sport’s governing body will find any way it can to lodge its name into the minds of viewers when it takes center stage in college tournaments and championships.

It turns out that the court itself is the latest branding target as evidenced by the mountain-image-riddled court in Las Vegas that hosted the Mountain West Conference last weekend, the New York Times reports.Continue reading...

china

Li-Ning Has High Hopes for "Way of Wade" Campaign

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 4, 2013 01:13 PM

"It never hurts when people are talking about you relative to a guy whose every statement is picked up by a microphone."

That was the assessment of Brian Cupps, Brand Initiatives Director at Li-Ning, of the recent news that Dwayne Wade's new Li-Ning-inspired nickname "Way of Wade" (WoW) was called "corny" by MVP teammate LeBron James. "It's more tongue in cheek than anything," said Cupps. "It doesn't hurt."

Li-Ning's fledgling partnership with Wade has certainly not hurt either brand. Though hard numbers are yet to come, Cupps said anecdotally that "all of our indicators, be it social media or future sales, are up based on Wade." Cupps added, "Particularly in the US, where we had little to no real consumer following, we have a very strong pull right now and demand for our products because of Wade. Now we have to feed that demand."

Feeding the demand is going to be a huge challenge for Li-Ning for a number of reasons. For starters, it's a Chinese brand facing a mountain of existing consumer prejudice against China. Worse, negative China news outside of Li-Ning's control impacts this effort. Continue reading...

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