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EA Sports’ NBA Jam Adds European Flair with Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 31, 2011 11:57 AM

When Turkish Airlines signed on for five years of being the sole sponsor of Euroleague Basketball, the professional basketball league in Europe, it likely had no idea that it would (a) be getting a lot of press because current NBA players have either signed or are considering playing there this season if the NBA’s lockout continues, and (b) had no idea their name would be plastered onto one of the world’s most popular video games: NBA Jam.

SportBusiness.com reports that Euroleague Basketball has signed a licensing deal with Electronic Arts to use its players and teams in NBA Jam. This is the first time that European players and teams are featured in the game, beginning with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, according to the EA/Euroleague press release on the partnership.

“All fans will be able to choose any of the four participating teams in the last Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four,” said a statement from the league. And if video-game players get bored of playing with the Carmelo Anthonys and Kevin Durants of the NBA part of the game, they can get a little dose of international flair and take control of such players as Dimitris Diamantidis, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, or Carlos Suarez.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Burger King Sacks, Chevrolet Complains, Pan Am Rises

Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2011 08:53 AM

Anheuser-Busch InBev goes back to the drawing board with Bud Light account.

Apple cracks down on U.S. brand counterfeiters; shuns user-tracking tool in new software.

AutoNation dealership staffs to get tablets.

Burger King exiles the King in new commercials.

Ford uses Twitter to engage youth market.

Gatorade grapples with getting its complete lineup on store shelves.

General Electric raises nuclear-proliferation fears by seeking to build uranium-enrichment plant in North Carolina.

General Motors CMO publicly knocks ad work for Chevrolet by new agency Goodby Silversein.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Nike Sees Bright Future in Mixed Martial Arts

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 5, 2011 12:59 PM

Only one mixed-martial artist has a major shoe contract and custom clothing line. Japanese Caol Uno, who is 28-14-5 in his professional fights, is the lucky fella. The contract deal is with Nike, which Yahoo! Sports reports has a MMA division “on the horizon.” 

Yahoo! points out that Nike “continues to endorse MMA fighters” and that the sport’s “athletes around the world wear the Fortune 500 company's brands.” Sherdog.com notes that the company just signed an endorsement deal with Brazilian MMA middleweight Anderson Silva.

The company also sponsors two other Japanese fighters, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Yoshihiro "Sexyama" Akiyama and “recently announced they would also sponsor Kazuyuki "Little Hercules" Miyata,” Yahoo! reports.Continue reading...

personal brands

There's the Rub: Tiger Woods Pitches Japanese Pain-Killer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 30, 2011 07:00 PM

Golfer Tiger Woods once pulled in “an estimated $100 million annually” just on endorsement deals, according to the Wall Street Journal, but those numbers have dropped since a 2009 sex scandal that left him divorced and $750 million poorer, according to FOX News.

Some companies that Woods endorsed, such as Accenture, AT&T, and Gatorade severed ties with him after the scandal, but it’s hard to feel sorry for the 35-year-old golfer, who still brings in an annual paycheck from Nike, Electronic Arts, TAG Heuer, Upper Deck Co., and TLC Laser Eye Centers for endorsing their products and services. 

And now you can add one more endorsement deal to that list for Woods, who's currently sidelined by a knee injury: the Vantelin Kowa heat rub for joint and muscle pain, produced by the pharma arm of Japan's Kowa Group.

Wait: Tiger Balm wasn't interested?Continue reading...

brand strategy

Stakes Rising for PepsiCo’s Nooyi

Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2011 12:00 PM

The buzz continues from the Wall Street Journal's look at PepsiCo's fortunes this week, with an article titled "PepsiCo Wakes Up and Smells the Cola" and a sidebar profile on CEO Indra Nooyi titled "PepsiCo Chief Defends Her Strategy to Promote 'Good for You' Foods."

While the hook was Pepsi's return to TV advertising this week following a three-year hiatus to focus on social media and crowdsourcing via its Pepsi Refresh corporate philanthropy program, the spotlight turned to Nooyi herself, who has come under fire since Coca-Cola was revealed to hold the #1 and #2 sales slots (with Coke at #1 and Diet Coke unseating Pepsi to take #2) in the US last year.

The big question: did Nooyi take her eye off what should be any brand leader's top objective — marketing and positioning its products to boost sales — in order to promote what she calls "Performance With Purpose"?Continue reading...

sip on this

Pepsi Parties With "Coke's" Santa for First Campaign in Three Years

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 27, 2011 10:00 PM

Pepsi tonight unveiled its new summer campaign, with the tagline "Summer Time is Pepsi Time" and a none-too-subtle tweak at its chief rival in the cola wars. Yes, Virginia — that's Santa Claus, the iconic Coca-Cola brand mascot.

Saint Nick is shown boogying on summer vacation (with assorted elves in tow) to the Pepsi beat — and rejecting a bartender's offer of Coke. Watch it below and tell us what you think.Continue reading...

chew on this

Quaker, in a Slump, Needs to Wake Up for PepsiCo

Posted by Dale Buss on May 31, 2011 04:00 PM

Over the last year, PepsiCo appears to have turned around the biggest part of its acquisition of Quaker Oats from a decade ago. Gatorade, on the back of its new three-part product line, has revived its domination of the sports-drink market.

But PepsiCo can’t be nearly as happy with the rump end of its deal for Gatorade: the Quaker brand itself.

Despite a flurry of new products, repositionings and marketing campaigns, the oatmeal-heavy brand remains an apparent afterthought for PepsiCo, with first-quarter sales having dropped. Some in and around the CPG industry are even talking about Quaker as a possible sale property, as Ad Age notes.

A number of obstacles stand in the way of Quaker’s really taking off after years of efforts to ignite growth.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AT&T, PBS, LeBron & more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 31, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Activision Blizzard tests subscription for Call of Duty videogame.

AmEx custom publishing writes success story.

Apple to reveal iCloud and iOS5 on June 6th.

AT&T faces growing opposition to T-Mobile acquisition.

Budweiser, Miller High Life appeal to Americans' patriotic spirit.

Colombia coffee growers create logo to woo Chinese from tea to lattes.

Comcast buys Blackstone's stake in Universal's Orlando parks.Continue reading...

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