sports in the spotlight
Posted by Matthew Moore on November 18, 2011 10:52 AM
English Premier League club Newcastle United caused a stir by announcing it sold the naming rights for its historic stadium, St. James' Park, to British retailer Sports Direct. In England, a country where soccer stadiums could be mistaken for places of worship, this is scandalous.
However, rising player wages and billionaire owners like Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour are making money more important than ever in the British game, as the New York Times notes.
Sponsorships, of course, generate significant revenue for sports teams, yet American sports teams have generally avoided covering their jerseys in corporate logos, even though rival soccer teams around the world (including American ones) don't seem to mind. Manchester United even has two shirt sponsors: Aon (game jerseys) and DHL (training kit). Spend enough time around a Premier League stadium and you might mistake it for a NASCAR race.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 16, 2011 11:03 AM
Their timing simply could not be better. BankSimple, the banking 3.0 startup we covered in April, has changed its name to Simple and opened its virtual doors (at Simple.com, naturally) to the public. Not really a bank at all, Simple partners with banks and financial institutions to offer money management services online.
Simple is capitalizing on the growing frustration with big banks and the name change, “is a better representation of what we aspire to. It releases us from the constraints of an industry in desperate need of innovation,” writes Joshua Reich, Simple co-founder and CEO, in a blog post.
The public beta follows a September sneak peak on their blog which stated: "The product isn’t finished. It will never be finished. We’re constantly improving. But we’ve now reached the point where we’ve learned as much as possible from testing internally and in a few weeks we’ll be shipping cards to our first real customers."
Simple offers no fees for ATM withdrawals, no monthly management fees, no overdraft fees, no minimum balance, live customer support and dedicated account interfaces for mobile and web platforms. The goal is no less than to overhaul traditional front-end banking as banks are under increasing public scrutiny for their part in the global financial crisis.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 31, 2011 02:02 PM
Brand mascots are perennial Halloween costume favorites (count the number of Angry Birds you spot trick or treating this year!). But just when you thought there coudn't possibly be another way for commercial culture to tap into Halloween, major brands are haunting the occasion with spooktacular tie-ins, including the annual Halloween Google Doodle on the Google homepage today.
OnStar, Kraft, Progressive Insurance, Mike's Hard Lemonade, and Honda are among the legions of brands with Halloween promotions this year. It adds up to a phantasmagoric overload that makes it really difficult for any single brand, promotion or Halloween-themed marketing campaign to stand out from the rest, especially with so many Halloween messages in commercials and TV programming. But it's all in good fun, and hasn't stopped an array of brand marketers from joining the fun.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 20, 2011 12:31 PM
That little leprechaun mascot of the University of Notre Dame may seem cute, but he means business when it comes to his trademark.
Chapman High School, located in a small town in northeastern Kansas, was destroyed in a 2008 tornado and re-opened earlier this year. Now it has to give up its Fighting Irish mascot because the Catholic University in Notre Dame, Indiana, thought the logo and mascot too closely resembled its own, according to the Kansas City Star.
“Chapman school superintendent Lacee Sell said Notre Dame told school officials that the leprechaun is a federally registered trademark the district is not allowed to use,” the paper reports, and a school district attorney “suggested” that the high school not try to make a stand. So if you’ve got any ideas for a mascot and logo for Chapman, the school is having a contest now to find a new one.
The high school doesn’t need to give up the name “Fighting Irish,” the Star notes, which is good because the Irish theme has been part of Chapman for some time, with a four-leaf clover prominently displayed on its website, which coincidentally is chapmanirish.net. Still, "Fighting Irish" has an even longer history at UND.
“I think we’ll get something bigger and better, and it’ll be all ours,” said Betty Ryan, a teacher at Chapman, to the Star. “We’ll always be the Fighting Irish, whether we can say it or not.”
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 20, 2011 10:01 AM
The 2012 Republican National Convention will take place in Tampa Bay, Florida. The logo (above) selected by the Tampa Bay Host Committee caught flack after Republicans freaked out when some suggested — in all seriousness — that the logo's minaret "could be considered as Islamic 'Moorish Revival' architectural style." (The palm tree probably didn't help either.)
So when it came time for the GOP to select its event logo, the Grand Old Party tread carefully. Now, the official minaret-free 2012 Convention logo.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 12, 2011 09:58 AM
LeBron James has become the NBA player that fans love to hate ever since he unceremoniously dumped his home state of Ohio and moved along to the Miami Heat last season to seemingly become part of some sort of freakishly unstoppable winning machine. Unfortunately for the Heat and its fans, the team was stoppable — even though it took until the NBA Finals to get the brakes to completely work.
And now, everyone in the NBA has been stopped, due to the lockout that owners and agents and players and veterans and league execs and tons of lawyers, among others, are busy trying to get untangled in order for some actual NBA games to be played this season.
Do you think all that dislike and the lack of a season is stopping the James Marketing Juggernaut? Of course not. It’s time for it to go into overdrive. One of his sponsors, Nike, is releasing a line of James off-court apparel featuring a lion logo designed to honor LeBron’s “heart of a lion.”
The generic-looking logo is “reminiscent of the coat of arms of medieval English monarchs such as King Richard the Lionheart,” according to USA Today.Continue reading...
name that _______
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2011 03:01 PM
U.S. real estate has been a pretty tricky business in the last decade as the housing bubble created whole new neighborhoods that needed shopping centers and donut shops and card stores and all the rest. Until, of course, they didn’t anymore and banks started to foreclose on such things.
If you’re in the real-estate biz, it might not be the worst idea to separate yourself from the past and start with a whole new image, right? That seems to be what’s going on in the real-estate investment trust side of the business.
REIT.com reports that four “well-known REITs are re-branding their company names, logos and ticker symbols to keep up with the changing times or to better align their brand with their core strategies.”
U-Store-It-Trust announced that it is changing its name to CubeSmart. Its Wall Street ticker changes from YSI to the far more memorable CUBE.
“Brand has become much more important in our industry as the ways our customers find our product have changed,” said Dean Jernigan, CubeSmart CEO.
Developers Diversified Realty Corporation also changed its name to DDR Corp., entailing a new logo, tagline, and brand identity.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 9, 2011 12:02 PM
One constant of the outpouring of grief over the death of Steve Jobs has been modified Apple logos, including creative use of apples in front of Apple stores. What few realize is that this capacity to fiddle with Apple's most recognizable bit of brand identity, and at the same time not lose any of that identity, speaks to the power of even the simplest element of what the Apple brand is.
But it wasn't always this way. The history of Apple's logo mirrors that of a brand that started off with promise, faltered at times, and went back to core principles to achieve global iconic status.Continue reading...