in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2012 12:50 PM
The Super Bowl is not only a national but an international spectacle, and Super Bowl XLVI will draw just as much interest from viewers in Florida or Wyoming as in the host city of Indianpolis, and really intense interest from hundreds of people even in, say, Dubai. But that doesn't mean geography is completely irrelevant to the Big Game, to who watches it — and to how brand executives treat it.
One huge matter of the map already has been resolved for the game on February 5: There will be no flyover-state participants. While last year's game featured two heartland-based combatants in the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the two teams squaring off in this year's Big Game — the New York Giants and the New England Patriots — are from the coasts; the east coast, specifically. And for brand marketers, many insist, that's all for the better, because New York and Boston are key DMAs for advertisers.
At least one important advertiser, presenting sponsor Chevrolet, doesn't feel the geography of the Super Bowl teams matters all that much. "Last year was Green Bay versus Pittsburgh and it was the most-watched Super Bowl of all time," Chris Perry,CMO of Chevrolet parent GM, told brandchannel. "So while [the geographic argument] makes sense, I think the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl. A lot of people will be watching regardless."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 02:02 PM
Saab owners worldwide demonstrated their love for the brand — and fury at its demise — with more than 100 "We are Many, we are Saab" rallies in 42 countries (including Paris, France; Bucharest, Romania; and Montreal, Canada) over this past and upcoming weekend. The Wall Street Journal explains:
"Even though the company entered bankruptcy protection late last year and has largely ceased operations, its cars still have a following of clubs and enthusiastic individual owners. A lot of these folks are planning to meet at dealerships, mechanic shops, restaurants and other spots today, tomorrow and next weekend in what could be a final show of support for Saab before the lights go out for good.
Tim Colbeck, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America, or SCNA, says that while the car maker’s U.S. operation is winding down, its fate is not completely clear. The parent company is still corresponding with potential buyers, and it is possible that the company could, at some point, resume building cars. The chances of that are slim, however."
That slim sign of hope was echoed by former Saab CEO Victor Muller at one of the events this past weekend.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2012 02:11 PM
The King may have left the building, but he has not left the branding. Elvis Presley would have turned 77 on Jan. 8 if he could have found a way to survive the massive amounts of lethal drugs and sandwiches he ingested in the years leading up to his death on Aug. 16, 1977 (unless, of course, he really is that guy spotted at the Hare Krishna ranch in Roswell, New Mexico, back in 2008).
Assuming it's not, this year marks the 35th anniversary of when the King of Rock was found to be unresponsive on his bathroom floor. The world mourned his death then, but it's ready (at least, his estate is ready) to party now.
Graceland will kick off a yearlong celebration on Thursday that will feature a slew of special events, including tribute concerts, according to release from Elvis Presley Enterprises. An annual birthday shindig for Elvis kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday. That will be followed up by, you guessed it, an Elvis cruise from Jacksonville, Florida, to Nassau, the Bahamas. It’s not Hawaii, but one can bet a few rounds of “Blue Hawaii” will be heard along the way.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Shirley Brady on December 8, 2011 09:45 AM
Still reeling from the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case, Penn State officials and fans groaned last night as the university's disgraced former football coach was arrested on fresh charges (which his lawyer says he's denying) ... while clearly wearing a Penn State jacket with the Nittany Lions logo as police hauled him off to jail, where he remains this morning. Above, a few of the responses on Twitter as the news broke.
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2011 05:05 PM
Fans and admirers of the Green Bay Packers have inundated the team's phone lines and website (which redirects to packersowner.com) today to order up to 250,000 "shares" in the Super Bowl champion's latest sale of "stock" for $250 apiece.
The catch — well understood by everyone who snapped up the stock certificates — is that the shares aren't actually worth anything, including any scintilla of true ownership in one of the National Football League's oldest most storied franchises. The ultimate helm of the not-for-profit entity is held by an American Legion post in Green Bay in a complicated matrix of "public" ownership that is too long to be explained in most stock prospecti.
The bottom line is that the stock sale, the team's first since 1993, is entirely symbolic, a chance for the so-called Packer Nation of fans to express appreciation and support, mainly. But the proceeds are very real, and the team expects to raise at leaset $20 millon that will go toward a $143-million expansion plan for Lambeau Field including a new sound systrem, new videoboards and the addition of as many as 6,700 seats.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2011 02:02 PM
The Philadelphia 76ers last visited the NBA Finals in 2000 and won the whole thing in 1983, but there hasn’t been a lot of Brotherly Love for the Sixers in recent years as the team has either not made the playoffs at all or lost in the first round since 2003.
But now the team has new ownership, a new hope as the season is getting set to begin on Dec. 25, and a new mascot that will debut early in the year. That last one, actually, hasn’t been decided on just yet — so the team is asking fans to help determine the next face of the franchise will be, according to CSNPhilly. After all, whether it is Big Ben, B. Franklin Dogg, or Phil E. Moose, it will likely be around long after everybody on the current roster is gone.
The last mascot the Sixers had, a rabbit named Hip Hop, spent most of its time strutting around and doing crazy dunks off of trampolines. Last month, he was bounced out after fans told the new ownership that he had to go. So now the team is trying to figure out whether it wants a mascot in the form of Benjamin Franklin, a dog, or, oddly, a moose.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 28, 2011 12:02 PM
Airlines have taken to sponsoring teams in England’s Premier League recently. Etihad Airlines signed on with Manchester City in July. Emirates Airlines has its name on Arsenal’s stadium. And Turkish Airlines has a deal with Manchester United.
Great promotion for the airlines, right? Well, there are a few that get turned off when a brand sign on with a team: the fans of that team’s rivals.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2011 04:31 PM
The Denver Broncos lost their first game of the season, 23-20, to the Oakland Raiders and now head into a Week 2 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2005 and it is already not looking very good for the team to get there again this season.
This past July, the Broncos reportedly tried to trade quarterback Kyle Orton to the Dolphins and make backup Tim Tebow the starter. But the trade fell through and Tebow, a fan favorite of many in Denver who was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft, was left as a benchwarmer.
The Denver Post reports that eight friends pooled the money that they’d been saving up for tickets to the Super Bowl and put it toward two billboards with text to implore Broncos Coach John Fox to start Tebow instead of Orton, who has been the team’s starter since being traded to the Broncs from the Chicago Bears in 2009. "We believe in Coach Fox. We're just tired of Kyle Orton," said fan Jesse Oaks. "We were sitting around after Fox said he didn't hear the chants for (Tim) Tebow (during the loss to the Raiders) and we figured if he's deaf, we hope he's not blind."
After posting his idea on a Broncos message board, Oaks said that hundreds of other people offered to chip in cash to help defray the $10,000 of buying the billboards, which went up in late September. "It just feels like we're a team that's settling for mediocrity," Oaks said. "We're not blind. We know when we see good football.”
Well, it appears the coach was listening — Tebow is now the starting quarterback for the Broncos.