sports in the spotlight

Nike on Cusp of Record-Breaking Sponsorship Deal with Manchester United

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2012 05:13 PM

In 2002, Nike agreed to fork over £303 million ($485 million) and give a share of retail sales to Manchester United so its iconic swoosh could grace the home kit, away kit and related apparel of the world's most popular soccer team. But their 13-year agreement comes to an end in 2015, and the word from the Daily Mail is that the two sides are in the midst of negotiating a new deal that could pay the Red Devils a massive £1 billion ($1.6 billion).

If signed, it’ll be the largest sponsorship deal in all of sports. Not too shabby for a team that Forbes ranked as the top of its annual ranking of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams. Forbes valued ManU at $2.23 billion, $350 million more than the second team on the list, Real Madrid. 

Nike will have a six-month window to negotiate, the Mail reports. Sure to be mentioned in the talks is the fact that GM's Chevrolet division agreed this summer to shell out $559 million over seven years so Manchester United would sport Chevy's logo on the front of the shirt — the terms of which contributed to the ouster of GM's former CMO, Joel Ewanick.Continue reading...


Ford Looking to Sustain Social Buzz, But No More Prelaunch in Primetime

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 04:02 PM

Ford has taken some arrows as the auto industry's social-media-marketing leader, most notably around a staged press conference in Sept. 2011 that was pushed out on social media. But for the most part, the automaker's social aggressiveness has helped it conquer new territory. Becoming an acknowledged trailblazer in the arena also has helped Ford sidestep potential problems that can attend companies if they get too far out on social-media limbs.

"Ford being well-respected ... in the social space, has given us an added level of credibility and it has given us a legion of fans who actually act as our eyes and ears and who can flag stuff for us," Scott Monty, Ford's director of social media, told Business Insider. People are "looking out for our best interests and will say, you know, 'You guys might want to take a look at this.'" Including, evidently, the company's CEO.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

No Super Bowl Ads by GM? GMC Is Revved Up for Football Anyway

Posted by Dale Buss on September 6, 2012 11:02 AM

GM's former CMO Joel Ewanick may have pulled the plug on any plans by GM brands to advertise during the 2013 Super Bowl in favor of Manchester United before he abruptly left the automaker in July, but that isn't stopping the GMC brand from redoubling its long-running interest and investment in the National Football League.

Just consider the 30-some GMC Sierra pick-up trucks that just took over Times Square for the NFL Kick-Off (check out the pictures on Facebook). "Nothing changes for us" in terms of the GMC brand's association with the nation's most popular sport — and a brand marketers' best friend — Chris Hornberger, GMC national sales promotion manager, told brandchannel. It's been three years since the GMC brand or vehicles have been featured in a Super Bowl ad anyway.

GMC is one of a chorus of brands that continues to increase their bets on professional football with this week's kick-off of the official season "like children anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus," as New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott put it. Nothing else comes close to matching NFL games as a prime-time TV-advertising vehicle, but there are doubters.Continue reading...


GM Sees Chevrolet Brands Boost August Sales

Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2012 05:05 PM

After an iffy few months, General Motors executives are displaying a bit more pep in their step these days. That's what can happen after GM reported U.S. August sales that were 10 percent ahead of a year ago.

On a relative basis, GM's gain was the lowest year-to-year of any of the major OEMs in the U.S. market. But on a call with auto reporters on Wednesday, GM sales executives were able to boast about satisfying results from Chevrolet's sponsorship of the Summer Olympics telecasts on NBC, some timely brand-building under its Chevy Confidence program to clear out 2012 models, and even the relatively new position of being able to hold firm on small-car prices while competitors have to dig deeper into their bag of incentive tricks.

To be sure, GM's August sales tally pales in comparision to Toyota, which posted a 46-percent gain over a year ago, and Honda, with a 58 percent bump. But the size of those advances in large part was attributable to the Japanese companies' dismal 2011 results as they tried to recover output from the earthquake and tsunami in spring of last year. And even as the Japanese brands and other competitors have been trying to claw for market share this summer, GM has been able to maintain "price discipline" in small cars thanks to strong sales of its own models.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Barclays, MundoFox, Ultra and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on August 13, 2012 08:36 AM

In the News

Barclays' new chairman may end free banking.

Barnes & Noble cuts Nook pricing to "lowest ever" ahead of new Amazon Kindle Fire.

BuzzFeed expands to radio with SiriusXM.

Chinese consumers counter economic gloom with travel boom.

CNN reportedly talks to reality TV producers to turn around ratings slump.

Dell challenges — insurmountable?

Fox backs new MundoFox channel for US Latinos.

GM CMO Ewanick's flame-out, re-parsed.

HSBC moves to squelch Occupy protest in Hong Kong.Continue reading...


Spotlight Turns to Manchester United IPO and GM Lawsuits Post-Ewanick

Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 12:59 PM

General Motors is scrutinized daily by thousands of automotive and business journalists as well as investors and U.S.-government policymakers and a whole host of other people, and yet there remains a mystery about exactly why GM CMO Joel Ewanick became persona non grata so abruptly on July 29th. The latest disclosures, via Bloomberg News, paint a picture of a relationship betweeen Ewanick and his CEO that unraveled in part over lack of decorum.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Heineken, NASA, Unilever and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 6, 2012 08:51 AM

In the News

Heineken to assume control of Tiger Beer producer Asia Pacific Breweries for $4 billion.

NASA sees $2.5 billion Mars Rover "Curiositysuccessfully land, Twitter explodes.

Unilever sets sights on overtaking Skinny Cow with Magnum brand.

London 2012 Olympics boosts personal brands of Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and Andy Murray

Abercrombie & Fitch leads brands entering India via web partnerships.

Apple iPad grabs 68% of global tablet sales.

Applebee's woos late-night diners.

AT&T plans to phase out 2G networks.Continue reading...


GM's Interim CMO Walks Tightrope as Automaker Looks to Restore Confidence

Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2012 06:04 PM

From his first public remarks since taking over as interim CMO of General Motors, it's clear that Alan Batey isn't planning any abrupt changes in policies, directions or programs as he steers the company's marketing efforts at least for the short term. Only recently promoted from Chevrolet sales vice president to vice president of U.S. sales and service, Batey was just tapped again — this time to succeed Joel Ewanick, the controversial global CMO who unexpectedly parted ways with GM on Sunday.

"There is no change," Batey told reporters and analysts during the company's July sales call. "We've always been one thing here, and we have no change in direction or priorities. Our focus is on executing. There is a lot going on right now; a lot of new products. We'll have no disruption and no change. It's all about execution."

From Batey's remarks, it's easy to infer that the main problem his bosses had with Ewanick was with Ewanick, not necessarily with his work. And GM did say that his dismissal had to do with execution of Chevy's sponsorship agreement with the Manchester United soccer franchise, not with the fact of his having struck a deal with Manchester. Sure enough, Batey's first duty in his new role on Monday was to announce the signing of the Man U deal after terms were altered.

But more (likely) is going on than it appears.Continue reading...

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