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sporting brands

Nike Steps Up Its Game, Puts the Plus in Nike+

Posted by Michael Waltzer on February 23, 2012 11:58 AM

It's been a big year for Nike, between the release of the FuelBand and Linsanity (yes, Nike is giving Jeremy Lin his own shoe already, the Nike Hyperfuse 2011 Linsanity PE). The brand continues to impress with a slew of announcements this week, unveiling innovations for basketball and summer sports.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Nike NBA Star Kicks Glow Intergalactic for All-Star Game in Orlando

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2012 09:55 AM

The NBA season may only be 66 games this season, but Nike is not missing an opportunity to sell more shoes. At the start of February, three of its big-name endorsers — Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James, and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder — lent their names to Black History Month-themed sneakers on store shelves.

Now the talented trio will all be taking the court for the NBA All-Star Game in Orlando on Feb. 26 and Nike isn't missing a beat. The sports shoe giant is releasing space-themed shoes for each player to sell in honor of the city’s relationship with space travel, according to Fox News. (It’s only an hour west of Kennedy Space Center.) As Fox News reports, the Nike shoes will feature graphics that "pay homage to the supernova — arguably the most powerful force in the universe." The outsoles of the shoes will glow in the dark and show will have individual “mission patches,” just the way astronaut uniforms do.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Watch Kobe Bryant Lecture Celebrities for Nike

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 16, 2012 12:01 PM

Kobe Bryant's mock personal motivation commercial for his latest shoe — the Kobe VII System — for Nike: "Where do you go from the top? You go over the top. The #KobeSystem: Success for the Successful is Kobe's winning, results-oriented philosophy on how to adapt to succeed. You're Welcome."

Celebrity cameos include comedian/actor Aziz Ansari, Hope Solo, LeBron James, Jerry Rice, Landon Donovan, Tony Robbins, Serena Williams, Kanye West,  and Richard Branson.

Find out more (on a more serious note) about the Kobe VII System shoe (Correction: "It isn't a shoe, but a system that adapts with you and allows you to elevate your game," says Nike) below.Continue reading...

personal brands

NBA's Big Names Get Even Bigger

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 4, 2012 10:05 AM

If there is one thing NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Derrick Rose need, it's more exposure, don’t you think? Forget their break-ups and make-ups... basketball's major personal brands are making sure their names are out there in bold print across the nation with three totally different deals.

You’d think the Chicago Bulls point guard, Rose, who is making almost $95 million over five seasons, had enough cash in the bank to survive for some time, but the word from Business Insider is that he’s bolstering his accounts by signing a “lifetime endorsement” deal with Adidas that will pay him $250 million. Not bad for a 23-year-old in a rough economy who may or may not have had someone else take his SATs for him. It’s actually a 10-year deal, according to ESPN, that would have Rose serve as the “face” of Adidas. As ESPN hears it, Rose’s shoes outsell LeBron’s in China.

Meanwhile, James is shoring up his name and fame by opening his own retail store in Miami over the holidays, while Bryant is having fun spoofing his image for Nike.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Nike Adds Miami Heat to LeBron 9 Shoe

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 22, 2011 10:01 AM

The Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks will reprise their NBA Finals matchup from last season on Christmas Day, the first day of this shortened NBA season. The Heat will likely get to watch the Mavs celebrate their Finals victory again before they tipoff their new season.

LeBron James, who says that it took him two or three weeks to start coming out of his depression after the Finals, isn’t going to enjoy the show too much.  Something he will likely enjoy is the launch of a special design for his ninth signature shoe with Nike, the LeBron 9, which is slated for release on Dec. 31st.

The Huffington Post reports that Nike is putting a little bit of Miami flavoring in the $170 shoe by commissioning locally-flavored art from one of the city’s coolest artists, Alvaro Ilizarbe, who goes by the name Freegums, for one version of the shoe.Continue reading...

chew on this

McDonald's Keeps Performing Like a Growth Company

Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2011 10:01 AM

The McDonald's juggernaut just keeps going. Global same-store sales were up 5.5 percent in October, fueled by the chain's popular annual Monopoly promotion (this year featuring LeBron James), featured products such as the McRib in the United States, and strong performance in international markets.

And now, eager to protect that solid growth, McDonald's is hatching a plan for how it will continue to defy the mature-company label in the future. Its three-pronged growth plan includes a continued emphasis on menu options, on modernizing the customer experience, and on broadening access to its stores, CEO Jim Skinner told attendees at its Investor Day conference last week.

McDonald's so-called Plan to Win strategy is similar in terms of concept and success to the One Ford plan that Ford CEO Alan Mulally hatched a few years ago and has carried out with great success. There's nothing that can push a company through the kind of awful stretch suffered by the global economy lately like a visionary CEO with a well thought-out plan, who executes with deliberation and determination. Alan Mulally, meet Jim Skinner.Continue reading...

social marketing

Nike, LeBron, Wish Basketball Would Never Stop

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2011 01:32 PM

Despite weekend talks the NBA lockout continues, making Nike's latest "Basketball Never Stops" spot from W+K (above) all the more poignant. Starring a determined LeBron James, Nike's social marketing including a Facebook push and Twitter hashtag, #BasketballNeverStops, managed by the Nike Basketball feed. The owner of the Miami Heat, meanwhile, was fined $500,000 last week for venting on Twitter about the stalemae. More on the campaign below.Continue reading...

rising brands

Carmelo Anthony Makes a Big Splash in His Jordan Brand M8's

Posted by Michael Waltzer on October 26, 2011 06:01 PM

You may not be able to walk on water, but Carmelo Anthony can.

Last Thursday (Oct. 20) marked the date of a spectacular launch event for his new M8 Jordan Brand sneaker. Inviting guests to NYC's Pier 54 to the Hudson River, an 85-foot 3D projector was used to project a truly one-of-a-kind light show on the water.

It began with a helicopter dropping someone dressed in white into the water — before a giant vision of the New York Knick was visible, running up and down the water dribbling a basketball. Nike's Jordan Brand marketers also used the entire front of a building for another projector which showed Carmelo running across it to shoot a basket.Continue reading...

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