tech in the spotlight

Space Inc.: The Great Beyond is Now Ripe for Brand Commercialization

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 06:41 PM

What is it about space that entrepreneurs want to keep going up there—or at least starting companies that go up there? Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is the latest king of business buildling who's now gotten a foothold in the great beyond, joining Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and SpaceX's Elon Musk.

Bezos founded and funded a space startup called Blue Origin that had been a relatively low-profile venture until it turned up as a partner to Boeing for the "space taxi" program for NASA of which Boeing won the biggest share this week, while SpaceX also got a contract. Blue Origin had been focused on developing spacecraft with a vertical takeoff-vertical landing first stage, simlar to technology that SpaceX has been working on with its Grasshopper and Falcon 9 launchers.

Musk, also founder of Tesla, has been involved via SpaceX in a high-profile race with Branson's Virgin Galactic to be the first to take rank-and-file global citizens into space on their separate aircraft, a competition which is supposed to take civilians into space as early as next year.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: General Mills, Subway, Clear Channel and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2014 09:35 AM

TOP STORIES

General Mills sees profits drop 25 percent on decline in US sales.

Subway deploys mobile payments to all 26,000 US locations in partnership with Softcard, the mobile wallet formerly known as Isis.

Sony warns of $2 billion loss and trims mobile unit.

NFL lobbied to meet with women's activists as sponsors face protests and weigh pulling out, and the Minnesota Vikings switch course and bar Adrian Peterson. (Update: Nike has dropped its sponsorship of Peterson.)

Scotland's looming independence vote prompts Richard Branson and other business leaders to make contingency plans. 

MORE BRAND NEWS

Absolut licenses Andy Warhol images for holiday campaign.

Adobe helps bring 3D-printed shoe to life.

Airbus sells some defense businesses.

Allstate hosts college-football Twitter challenge.

ALS Association tries to avoid pitfalls after monetary success of Ice Bucket Challenge.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: NFL, McDonald's, Sears and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 16, 2014 09:07 AM

TOP STORIES

AB InBev explores financing to buy SABMiller.

Apple sets sights on TV as regulators set sights on Apple Pay and fans spot the iPhone 6's hidden bulge—while U2 iTunes freebie is defended despite backlash.

McDonald's gives away coffee for the next two weeks and brings McCafe to Canadian grocers as it considers expanding its build-your-own-burger test.

NFL faces crisis as domestic violence issue ambushes Cover Girl campaign and Radisson Hotels pulls Vikings sponsorship after Adrian Peterson allegations, but teams keep fans.

Sears secures $400-million lifeline via CEO Lampert's hedge fund.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alibaba ups IPO share price to $66-to-$68 range.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos partners with Boeing and Lockheed on rocket engine.

America Movil said to seek AT&T bid for $17.5 billion of assets in Mexico.

AstraZeneca finds partner in Eli Lilly for experimental Alzheimer's drug.

Burger King notches North American same-store sales increase.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Alibaba, Apple, Electrolux and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 8, 2014 09:23 AM

TOP STORIES

Alibaba kicks off road show today for potential largest IPO.

Apple nears launch of new iPhone as lines form and carriers' strategy of scaling back subsidies poses risks, while company gears up to market larger screens.

Electrolux buys GE appliance business.

Nissan wins real-time marketing with 7-minute Twitter response to Royal Baby news.

GM plans to launch hands-free driving by 2016.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Activision launches huge promotion to make a megahit out of "Destiny" game.

Amazon is in talks to sell Fire phone exclusively through Telefonica's O2 in UK.

Annie's organic brand sells to General Mills.

Boeing and Ryanair plan major fleet announcement.

Bud Light faces gripes at end of "Whatever" event in Crested Butte, Colo.

Campbell Soup swings to profit on higher sales.

Chick-fil-A observes death of founder S. Truett Cathy.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Starbucks, Voya and more

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2014 09:36 AM

TOP STORIES

Apple beefs up security (as BlackBerry touts its own) after celebrity hacking, amid plans for new smartwatch and larger iPhones and appeal in hiring ruling.

Starbucks plans smaller, express-style stores.

US Postal Service cuts e-commerce delivery rates in pre-holiday move and delivers Amazon groceries in test.

Visa teams with NFL to push new online-payments service.

Voya completes metamorphosis from ING US.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Barclays tests finger vein scanners.

Boeing closes in on $10 billion Ryanair order.

BP is exposed to civil liabilities following $50 billion fine in Gulf Oil disaster.

Burberry leverages social media for new fragrance.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

From Shoulder Pads to Jell-O Molds, Brands Have Football Fever

Posted by Dale Buss on August 28, 2014 05:21 PM

After spending much of the offseason dabbling in off-the-field concerns ranging from trademark rights to television rights to gay rights, the twin behemoths of American football—the National Football League and the NCAA—figure fans are finally ready for some action on the field. Brand marketers of all kinds are right there with them intending to find new ways to leverage relationships with what remains the nation's most popular sport and its biggest TV-viewing engine.

Russell Athletic, for example, is teaming with Boeing to incorporate excess carbon fiber from the production of the company's latest plane, the 787 Dreamliner, into Russell shoulder pads and other protective athletic gear. The carbon filaments provide high strength-to-weight ratio and durability and so could prove ideal in helping the sport cut injuries. The partnership also is a way for Boeing to use scrap material as part of its sustainability push.

Meanwhile, a genuine on the-field star, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, is following in the footsteps of other NFL stars in launching a personal brand. In the case of the Pro Bowl pass catcher, it is "ThrowUptheX" apparel—named for the touchdown dance in which Bryant crosses his arms at the forearms.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: McDonald's, Uber, Walgreen and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2014 09:31 AM

TOP STORIES

McDonald's in Ferguson, Mo., becomes headquarters of protest coverage as brand names first US VP of digital, rolls out bagged McCafe coffee with Kraft across US, and sets to offer mandarin oranges.

Uber hires former Obama campaign chief as lobbyist and tests delivery service in D.C.

Staples accelerates turnaround actions as sales continue to fall.

Walgreen shakes up executive ranks after projection was off by $1 billion.

Petsmart explores possible sale.

MORE BRAND NEWS

AirAsia takes advantage while Malaysia Airlines wallows in tragedies.

Apple soars to stock record amid optimism about upcoming products.

Audi airs Emmys promo that's heavy on celebrity cameos (at top).

Boeing may boost production of its bestselling 737.

Brita recalls thousands of child water bottles.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Tata, Axe, Uber and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2014 09:41 AM

TOP STORIES

Tata launches new airline Vistara on social media as Jaguar, Land Rover sales boost business

Chiquita bananas brand sparks bidding war.

Axe goes celibate in ad for new scent.

Uber goes after Lyft and vice versa as they seek to supplant taxi industry.

Robin Williams dies of suspected suicide at age 63 as brands and fans pay tribute and ABC News apologizes.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Aereo could survive on new Senate proposal. 

Alibaba poses problems for bankers with IPO.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways finalize investment deal for reinvigorated Alitalia. 

Amazon and Disney dispute more than pricing as new Fire Phone ads tout Firefly technology.Continue reading...

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