sports in the spotlight

Despite Big Sponsors, NFL Draft Does Little to Bolster Big League Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 03:36 PM

Starting last Thursday, bigwigs from the NFL’s 32 teams gathered at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to select young players in the hopes that they would become the next John Elway, Gale Sayers, or O.J. Simpson. (Well, OK, maybe not O.J.)

Since 1980, the Draft has been televised and it audience has grown exponentially, with an expected viewership of 50 million for this past weekend's broadcast, Ad Age reports. With that kind of captive audience, sponsorships and advertisers have grown as well. There were 19 official sponsors of the event this year, up from 16 last year. The list included Anheuser-Busch, Nike, Verizon, Pepsi, GMC, Visa, EA Sports, Under Armour, Gatorade and Castrol. It's no doubt that the big names spent more than the $15 million spent across ESPN and the NFL Network last year and the $11.9 million spent the year before.

"To the credit of the NFL, it's the most robust league," Ernest Lupinacci, founder of branding consultancy Ernest Industries, told Ad Age. "They announced the [2013 regular season] schedule and people went crazy. It was as if they let us know they were bringing the McRib sandwich back."Continue reading...

viral buzz

Pepsi Continues to Bask in Branded Content Glory with Top YouTube Views

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 8, 2013 06:37 PM

Pepsi took YouTube by storm last month according to Google’s YouTube Ads leaderboard. The brand is benefitting from its latest viral branded content hit "Test Drive", which has over 33 million views. 

The video, which is the brand's second attempt on a spoof video, garnered more plays than any of 2012's leaderboard ads, earning 13 million more views than 2012's top performer, Nike's "My Time Is Now."

Samsung made the chart twice in March with its Galaxy S4 launch, while newcomers EA Sports, Adidas, ConAgra, ESPN, Doritos and the Anti-Defamation League’s "Imagine a World Without Hate" video, (the first non-profit to be so feted) all made it as well.Continue reading...

media brands

News Corp. Readies ESPN Rival in Fox Sports 1

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 6, 2013 05:02 PM

In 1987, the first full year that Fox was on the air, the News Corp.-owned broadcast TV channel offered around $1.3 billion to the NFL to take over “Monday Night Football” from ABC. While the NFL didn’t want to sign on with a network that hadn’t established itself yet, the precedent had been set that Fox was unafraid to make bold moves on the sports programming front.

Since then, Fox has made deals to broadcast the NFL, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, UFC, the World Cup and several NCAA divisions. It also has launched 22 regional sports networks. Now News Corp. is doubling down and has announced the U.S. launch of a new 24-hour all-sports network that will go live in August and compete against the likes of ESPN and NBC Sports’ new channel.

“We are not trying to beat ESPN,” News Corp. COO Chase Carey told investors in Florida, according to Variety. “Sports is a big, huge arena. We’ve proven we can do some interesting and exciting things. We can enlarge the category and bring a new dimension to it. The key to success for us is to build an attractive business that resonates with consumers.”Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Taco Bell, Fox, Best Buy and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2013 08:56 AM

In the News

Taco Bell makes new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos available a day early.

Fox reveals details of new planned national sports network to compete with ESPN.

Best Buy ends work-at-home program for corporate employees as Yahoo! policy continues to be debated.

Alfa Romeo says its performance numbers make 4C an ideal car for U.S. market.

Doritos launches first global campaign.

Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne presses full merger with Chrysler.

Groupon CFO says company's business model will stay.

JCPenney board's patience said to be wearing thin with CEO Ron Johnson, as Martha Stewart dished from the witness stand and rehashes her testimony on NBC's Today Show.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Facebook, HSBC and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 5, 2013 09:01 AM

In the News

Apple value dips as Google soars.

Facebook sued over bungled IPO.

HSBC, now Europe's biggest bank, sheds personal loan assets.

Carmakers at Geneva Auto Show express fears on European recovery.

AARP ramps up YouTube marketing.

Ally Financial says U.S. is probing its retail-financing practices.

Amazon launches first TV effort, for fashion unit; leads mobile retail sales.

American Suzuki gets OK of bankruptcy plan by U.S. court.

Baileys slims down its bottle.

BBC Worldwide reportedly in talks to sell Lonely Planet stake.

Best Buy and Facebook focus on next-generation mobile marketing.

Boeing expects to move fast to get Dreamliner back into the air after FAA approval of fixes.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: KFC, Barnes & Noble, IKEA and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 25, 2013 09:07 AM

In the News

"Argo" wins Oscar for Best Picture as 85th Academy Awards widely distribute recognition among films, actors and others, while The Onion runs into critical barrage over tweet about young actress.

KFC launches campaign in China after an antibiotics scandal damaged the brand.

IKEA withdraws Swedish meatballs from store restaurants in 14 European countries on horsemeat scare.

Barnes & Noble chairman mulls buyout that could split it in two and put B&N's Nook e-reader up for sale.

BP may be closing in on a settlement as spill trial nears.

BYD targets electric-vehicle sales.

Darden warns of sales declines at its restaurant brands including Olive Garden.Continue reading...

media brands

Hearst's Esquire Expanding Beyond the Magazine to Become a TV Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 11, 2013 05:47 PM

The Esquire Network says it's ready for prime time.

The new network, announced today, aims to “capture the essence of the magazine,” David Carey, president of Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines, told The New York Times. "This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work."

The male audience is an ever-sweet spot for brands, as evidenced by offerings that vary from Spike TV to Discovery's Velocity Channel. The Esquire Network will replace the Comcast-created G4 video gaming channel (which gave Esquire fave Olivia Munn her start as co-host on Attack of the Show) on April 22, and be available in 62 million homes with cable or satellite service.

The rebranded network is a strategic partnership between NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines. NBCUniversal cable executive Bonnie Hammer positioned it as "an upscale Bravo for men." She added, "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Disney, Dell, USPS and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2013 09:06 AM

In the News

Disney sees higher TV ad revenues drive quarter and considers ESPN exit from U.K. sports coverage.

Dell seeks to transform brand, going private in $24 billion buyout under founder Michael Dell, as Microsoft gambles on involvement.

U.S. Postal Service plans to cut Saturday mail as Hallmark fights the cuts.

Apple loses right to iPhone brand in Brazil.

Arby's launches "fan of the week" promo via Facebook.

Lance Armstrong reportedly under investigation for obstruction and other serious crimes.

BP is hit by new $34 billion claim from U.S. state governments over Gulf spill.Continue reading...

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