sports in the spotlight

Sponsors Pressure FIFA Over Qatar Bid Ahead of World Cup Kickoff

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 9, 2014 11:02 AM

The 2014 World Cup hasn't even gotten underway yet, but major sponsors of the event are already criticizing FIFA for its pick for the 2022 tournament host nation: Qatar. 

The selection of Qatar in December of 2010 immediately raised major concerns for a number of factors, including the punishing heat that the country suffers through during the traditional World Cup months of June and July; the country’s poor human-rights track record; the fact that Qatar doesn’t have much of a history with soccer; and that all of the stadiums for the event needed to be constructed (and will be white elephants after), among other issues that comedian John Oliver can explain for you.

Besides former US President Bill Clinton's total disappointment with the decision to skip the US and head to Qatar, investigators have now revealed that there were likely millions of dollars in bribes exchanged in order for Qatar to win the bid, The Guardian reports. The country has also come under fire for supposedly using "slaves" to help build the needed infrastructure for the event.

On top of everything else, the news of the illegal transactions now has official sponsors including adidas, Sony, Coca-Cola and Visa concerned about their association with the event. "Our expectation remains that all of our partners maintain strong ethical standards and operate with transparency,” Visa said, according to Associated Press.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple/Beats, Pepsi Max, Samsung Wearables and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 29, 2014 08:29 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Apple execs explain Beats acquisition as HP remains a Beats partner through end of the year.

Samsung announces prototype Simband personal health tech monitor with open cloud service.

BMW sees China as biggest electric car market, as Mercedes-Benz gives Chinese officials unprecedented access.

Pepsi Max unveils Idris Elba-directed short film (above) as part of #FutbolNow campaign.

Fender names U2's Bono and the Edge to its board.

MORE BRAND STORIES

Amazon tells customers to shop elsewhere in Hachette spat.

AriZona iced tea brand founders fight over brand value in court.

BlackBerry CEO defends strategy.

Bridgestone set to become Olympics sponsor.

Cadbury grapples with brand jihad in wake of pork discovery.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Twitter/Omnicom, Google's New Car, Microsoft and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 28, 2014 08:21 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Twitter, on track for 400 million users by 2018, signs $230 million partnership with Omnicom, shares real-time music stats with Billboard, and releases all tweets to science.

Google unveils internally built self-driving car (above) with no brakes or steering wheel.

Microsoft CEO Nadella lays out "post-post-PC" leadership vision and demonstrates real-time translation for Skype.

Massimo Vignelli, acclaimed for American Airlines logo and other iconic designs, has died at 83.

Nasdaq nears 13-year high as tech stocks soar.

MORE BRAND NEWS

A+E reveals Bio cable network rebrand as FYI.

Accenture finds that 72 percent of Americans would bank with Walmart, Google or T-Mobile.

American Express launches digital push for 14th Unstaged concert, featuring Pharrell Williams.

AP/Equilar study finds that median CEO pay passed $10 million in 2013.

Apple and Google vie for control of the Internet of Things.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

World Cup Watch: Budweiser Rises as One with Help from VICE

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 26, 2014 01:05 PM

With the World Cup in Brazil kicking off on June 12, brands are going into overdrive to capitalize on the growing anticipation.

Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the massive event, has embarked on a multi-faceted World Cup marketing campaign that includes a co-branded content web series—a first for the brand—in partnership with the Millennial magnet that is the VICE media brand these days.

The "Rise as One: Modern Stories" series started as a documentary on Fox and has been playing out in episodes on its YouTube channel as well as via its (age-gated) World Cup microsite, called (in line with its World Cup tagline), Rise as One.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Credit Suisse, McDonald's, Saab and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 20, 2014 09:13 AM

TOP 5 STORIES

Brands to Watch

Credit Suisse pleads guilty in tax case.

Levi Strauss CEO touts sustainability (and unwashed jeans) on 141st anniversary of 501 line.

McDonald's meme-tastic new Happy Meal mascot raises eyebrows.

Saab stops production.

Sprint agrees to pay $7.5 million FCC fine for unwanted calls.

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

AT&T's DirecTV deal fails to convince New York Times.

Atari aims to get back into hardware.

Brazil is struggling to get ready for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

China bans foreign vehicles for army duty.Continue reading...

red carpet

Big Ad Season for Brands Wraps Up This Weekend with Oscars Showdown

Posted by Dale Buss on February 28, 2014 05:51 PM

With barely a breather since Sochi, big brand marketers are now ready to strut the red carpet to the next tentpole-marketing event: Sunday's Academy Awards on ABC. Often called the "Super Bowl for Women," the Oscars promise to be a huge draw as they finish up a first-quarter season of extraordinary high-profile marketing opportunities for brands that are willing to invest.

The Oscars promise to draw ads from more than a dozen brands including Chevrolet, Coldwell Banker, Lipton, Mars, JCPenney, Pepsi and Unilever. And a growing number of these brands also are building experiential marketing efforts as well as social media engagements around their TV ads during the actual 86th Annual Academy Awards

However, at least two well-known brands with close past alliances to the Oscars decided not to return this year: Coca-Cola and Hyundai. It begs the question whether the Oscars have hit the same sort of advertising plateau as the Super Bowl, whose ads, studies show, don't have nearly as large of a consumer impact as one would think for such a hefty price tag. 

With or without Coke, other brands are taking advantage of the captive Oscars audience and treating the lead-up much the same as the Super Bowl; teasing and full-on releasing their campaigns beforehand—a newer tactic whose payoff isn't quite measurable yet as compared to the typical build-up and big reveal strategy of previous years. 

Here's a look at this year's brands hitting the red carpet:Continue reading...

Whether in Barcelona, Geneva—Or Both—Car Brands are Making News in Europe

Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2014 04:49 PM

With the European auto market showing signs of life after a five-year recession, and mobile-connectivity technology coming to dominate automobile design worldwide, there are hundreds of car brand executives flocking to Geneva and Barcelona this week.

At this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, increasing news about the latest in automotive technology is being made alongside myriad announcements about smartphone advances and news from the "internet of things." It's similar to how the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas each January has emerged as a crucial venue for advancements in automotive digital technology.

The Geneva Motor Show kicks off next week at a time when it appears European auto sales finally may have bottomed out. Combined with the fact that many of the advances they show won't be available for a year or a few years anyway, the Geneva show is a more important platform for car brands than it has been in some years.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Nokia, TacoBell, P&G and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2014 09:22 AM

In the News

Nokia releases first Android phone as Microsoft deal finalizes. 

Taco Bell gears up for mobile ordering nationwide.

P&G raises prices on higher-end Tide versions.

Alibaba opens US e-commerce site.

Ameriprise jumps on Olympics bandwagon with Tommy Lee Jones.

Barclays plans to axe up to 12,000 jobs.

Bloomberg plans splashier storytelling on TV.

Boeing faces challenges in raising Dreamliner output.

Coke launches special edition Sochi cans across Eastern Europe.Continue reading...

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