Posted by Shirley Brady on May 28, 2012 08:59 AM
BlackBerry-maker RIM plans to slash staff.
P&G will change candy-resembling Tide Pods on child safety concerns.
Formula One wins court challenge overturning 'F1' trademark.
Amazon will sell pre-paid wireless service in Japan.
Apple applies for patents on advanced stylus.
Two years after BP oil spill, tourists return to US Gulf.
Cisco pulls the plug on its Cius tablet.
ExxonMobil to vote on gay protections.
Facebook is reportedly developing a smartphone (with ex-Apple engineers).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 25, 2012 04:01 PM
The coming Summer Olympics are promising to be the most digital sporting event of all time. NBC is planning to stream gobs of events and is not afraid that doing so will bastardize the prime-time coverage that the average viewer seeks. That way, a table-tennis aficionado can catch every last move that the Warren Buffett-sponsored American teen prodigy Ariel Hsing makes while the general public can just marvel at her greatest hits.
The digital Olympics onslaught got a serious boost this week when Olympic partner Samsung released an awesome online-only advertisement featuring David Beckham, one of the brand's Team Samsung London 2012 ambassadors. In it, the soccer star promotes the Galaxy Note by sounding out Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” by kicking balls at a wall of drums. The word was spread about the ad using Beckham’s own Facebook page as well as other online touch points. Since the video went live on Monday, it's racked up more than 1M views.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 24, 2012 02:05 PM
For this summer’s Olympics in London, Adidas is listed as a partner. Four years from now, though, its biggest rival may be holding that title.
ESPN reports that Nike is exploring the idea of becoming an official sponsor of the Games by 2016, when the world’s best heptathletes and canoers, among others, will head to Rio de Janeiro.
Nike already has a slew of agreements in place with different Olympic and sports-federation governing bodies around the globe. In the U.S., for example, Nike sponsors the both the national basketball and the track and field teams, and has deals in place to put its golf ball-inspired track and field apparel (at right) on athletes from Germany, China and Russia too.
"We look at the Summer Games as one of the biggest opportunities we have to introduce new products and technologies," said Charlie Denson, president of the Nike brand, to ESPN. "We've always focused on the athlete. The misperception might be that we don't spend time with the federations or the organizing committees or things like that.”
The Olympics always provide a battleground for sports-apparel brands since the companies also sponsor so many athletes who are at the Games. It can likely get confusing for even the athletes themselves as to when they can wear the gear of their sponsor and when they need to wear the gear provided by the team.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2012 11:01 AM
The way the world communicates with one another is ever-evolving as new technologies continue to appear and social media continues to introduce new avenues of expression. With that, brands are always finding new ways to touch their customers and all of the classic branding rules are being tossed out the window.
Olympic sponsorship has long been a way for major brands to reach consumers every few years, but international Olympic executives are looking to possibly shift how the model works in order to embrace this new world.
The sponsorship model now in place brings in $1 billion, according to the Financial Times, but the IOC is planning to “take a step back” and re-assess the sponsorship strategy going forward.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2012 09:57 AM
There are fewer than 75 days left before the start of the XXX Olympics in London and sports marketing will no doubt be in the faces of consumers for most of that time and certainly during the Games themselves. But it won’t just be the big-bucks brands sponsoring the events or their big-name ambushing competitors that will be benefiting from the Olympics.
“You’ve got a month’s worth of free advertising for the sports and sports-related industries,” commented Vincent Mitchell, professor of consumer marketing at Cass Business School in London, to Bloomberg Businessweek. “You’re likely to see gym subscriptions go up, activity-type holidays go up, sports drinks, athletic shoes, it will be a mass effect.”
Even the smallest of sports brands may get a lift from all the sports talk going on as well. For example, a few elite athletes such as cyclist Rebecca Romero and tennis pro Andy Murray have asked the relatively tiny Science in Sport, which was bought by Provexis last summer, to send over its sports gels and other products as they prepare for the main event.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 16, 2012 03:06 PM
As the fast-casual sector continues to rise and wallet-watching consumers keep seeking out culinary alternatives that don’t break the bank, the fast-food nation is trying to find ways to keep drawing in customers.
McDonald’s, in the midst of a $3 billion global image upgrade, is trying to impress Chinese consumers with specialized promotions. And now it's completely turning the fast-food experience on its head in the UK, where it's in the spotlight as the official restaurant sponsor of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
Its British franchisees have been offering limited "Great Tastes of America" menu items evoking regional favorites, from Texas BBQ and Chicago to this week's Arizona Nacho Grande.
Now the word from the Daily Mail's ThisIsMoney website is that Mickey D’s is testing out waiter service at a handful of its 1,200 UK outlets. “If you have lots of bags, kids or are a large group, table service can be easier and less stressful,” commented McDonald's top UK exec Jill McDonald.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 16, 2012 10:03 AM
McDonald's is basking in the glow in the halo effect glow of some tremendously good PR in China. A young American working in Nanjing recently purchased some french fries for a homeless elderly woman — and proceeded to sit and share them with her. Faster than you could say "I'd like to buy the world some friends," the incident became the talk of the Chinese social web.
While the brand itself was not a proactive participant in the act of charity, thousands of mentions of "American French Fry Brother" came along with a mention of McDonald's. It was a bit of good fortune for the chain in China just before the new China Daily headline: "McDonald's raises prices again."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 15, 2012 06:33 PM
While they suffer from even more ignominy under a new glare induced by the HBO documentary series The Weight of the Nation, the roundly condemned purveyors of "junk" salt, sugar and calories aren't exactly lying low and saying their mea culpas. McDonald's, Coca-Cola and 7-Eleven are each fighting back in their own way.
Coca-Cola has launched a test of its own new "mid-calorie" sodas to join PepsiCo in trying once again the concept of a "hybrid" diet/non-diet drink even though other attempts by both companies to mine a moderately-minded market have failed. Coke plans to test Sprite Select and Fanta Select products this summer — with only half the calories, 70 of regular drinks per 12-ounce can — in test markets in Atlanta, Detroit, Louisville and Memphis.
Interestingly, Coke's new toe in the mid-calorie water will depend on a blend of sugar: Cargill's Truvia brand of natural sweetener stevia plus erythritol, a "sugar alcohol" (unlike the ingredients in PepsiCo's new, nationally available mid-cal, Pepsi Next, which includes sucralose and high-fructose corn syrup). That gives Coke a leg up on an "more natural" claim it might want to make for select beverages against Next.Continue reading...