Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 28, 2011 10:10 AM
Everybody loves Michael Jordan, right? The ultimate brand spokesman, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, has been affiliated with a slew of brands in his 48 years: Nike (which produces his lucrative Jordan Brand line), Coca-Cola, Gatorade, MCI, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Wheaties, Rayovac, Ball Park Franks, and Hanes.
Since March of 2010, he’s been the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats, the first former player to hold such a title. Since he’s seen both sides of the coin, you’d think that when the NBA lockout occurred, Jordan would have been able to help broker a deal between the players and his fellow owners.
Instead, Jordan went hard-line against the players, not wanting to give in an inch, and reportedly getting fined by the NBA for his public comments. Now that the lockout's end is looming, one wonders how much his sudden tough-guy appearance hurt his brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2011 02:01 PM
Big food and beverage companies argue they are fighting federal regulators so stiffly about new front-of-package labeling standards for the nutritional characteristics of their products for an important reason: the government doesn’t want producers to be able to highlight the amounts of fiber, omega-3s and other positive nutrients in them – just to summarize how little sodium and other “bad things” they contain.
The debate could get sharper in the wake of the release of a new report that dimensionalizes the financial advantages brought to companies by developing and marketing “better-for-you” foods. Companies with a higher percentage of sales from BFY products had a 50 percent increase in operating profit (compared to 20 percent at companies with a below-average percentage of sales of those items), outperformed the S&P 500 by an average of 60 points (vs. 40 points) and generated higher shareholder returns than the other companies, according to a new study by the Hudson Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2011 01:03 PM
Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden may be a rising star, but he has a long way to go to take on the king, by which we mean Michael Jordan.
MJ hasn’t played professional basketball since 2003 and hasn’t won a championship since 1998, yet he has one of the strongest, shiniest brands of any celebrity out there.
Forbes estimates “that Jordan earned $60 million over the past year mainly through his endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports and Five Star Fragrances.” Of course, he also has five restaurants and a car dealership of his own in North Carolina. Plus, he’s got a day job as the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.
During Jordan’s playing days he was earning $50 million annually at his peak from sponsorships. While many of his sponsors have been with him for some time, Forbes notes that 2K signed him last year to be on the cover of NBA 2K11, which went on to sell five million panels and become the best-selling NBA video game in history.
Jordan's deal with Nike started when he graduated from college in 1984. The five-year deal, worth $2.5 million, must have felt like big bucks to him then. The Jordan brand now pulls in more than $1 billion annually, “with MJ getting a piece of the action,” the site notes. “The Jordan Brand’s market share of the U.S. basketball shoe market is 71% according to SportsOneSource,” Forbes reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 8, 2011 01:06 PM
Well, at least General Mills thinks that Aaron Rodgers is worthy of an endorsement contract: The cereal maker is featuring the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl MVP quarterback on boxes of Wheaties for a month, along with the team's defensive star, linebacker Clay Matthews. But only in Wisconsin.
The Wheaties deal illustrates one of the most interesting marketing twists of the new, almost-delayed season of NFL football.
Rodgers did the Walt Disney World parade thing on the day after his team's Super Bowl victory in February, appeared on the David Letterman show and did some of the other PR duties usually attendant to a good-looking, articulate, "elite" quarterback after leading such a march to the championship.
But for some reason, Rodgers has been slow to catch on as a spokesman for national brands in the way that the league's other top field generals, past and present, have done.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 6, 2011 03:22 PM
President Obama's decision to work his jobs speech on Thursday around the schedule of the National Football League's opening day shows that he's still got some keen political instincts. Because this week, in this economy, the NFL seems to be the one thing you don't want to mess with.
Brand marketers seem to have forgiven the uncetainties sown by the league's four-month labor stoppage and are ready to jump back on an advertising bandwagon that has outrun every other marketing vehicle over the last three years.
Certainly PepsiCo is the prime example: Today, the beverage giant and the NFL announced a 10-year extension of their current agreement to go into effect next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the extension could be valued as a $2.3-billion investment in the continued marketing appeal of America's real pastime.
It's one of the largest sponsorship deals ever in sports and ensures that PepsiCo brands Pepsi, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and others will be official marketing partners of the league at a cost of nearly $100 million a year.Continue reading...
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...
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...
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...