Best Global Green Brands 2014

sports in the spotlight

Floors Are the Next Frontier for NCAA Branding Innovators

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 08:07 PM

President Obama may have picked Indiana University to win this year’s whole NCAA men’s basketball tournament, but there is a lot of basketball to watch between now and the final championship game on April 8. 

Brand marketers are very attracted to all those eyeballs, and the ones associated with specific teams and the NCAA are no different. College sport’s governing body will find any way it can to lodge its name into the minds of viewers when it takes center stage in college tournaments and championships.

It turns out that the court itself is the latest branding target as evidenced by the mountain-image-riddled court in Las Vegas that hosted the Mountain West Conference last weekend, the New York Times reports.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Nike Gears Up for Earnings With News of How it Plans to Fuel(Band) Growth

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 06:16 PM

Nike introduced the FuelBand wristband in January 2012, and it has apparently sold well enough for the company to further invest in its growth as the device at the center of the connected universe it envisions. News on how Nike plans to boost its mobile/digital offering sets the stage for the company's quarterly earnings call on Thursday.

The athletic-wear giant's inaugural Nike Accelerator mobile development incubator, announced late last year, this week awarded $20,000 to 10 different startups that are building apps for its Nike+ products. The hope, CNET reports, is “to create a platform in much the same way that Apple has created a platform with iTunes and Microsoft with Windows.”

Hundreds of app ideas were proposed to Nike and its partner, TechStars, and the 10 that will receive funding as well as mentoring from Nike include “games that encourage users to exercise and a corporate wellness app that espouses healthy living habits,” CNET notes. The companies will work on their apps in Portland, Oregon, near Nike’s campus, and then pitch them to Nike bigwigs, venture capitalists and angel investors in June.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: American Airlines, Deutsche Bank, Google Babble and more

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on March 20, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

American Airlines defends $20-million severance pay to CEO.

Deutsche Bank forced to restate 2012 profits due to U.S. lawsuits.

Google will package and brand chat services as Babble.

T-Mobile readies "Uncarrier" no-contract pricing plan and proposed board structure, while AT&T introduces no-contract wireless phone service and Sprintlaunches de-branded Android smartphones.

7-Eleven sues 7-SEVEN chain for trademark infringement.

Apple brand found to be less "inspiring" than it was three years ago in new consumer survey.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Acura, Capital One Bank on Big Ads for March Madness

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 06:46 PM

Beginning Sunday with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament selection show on CBS, March Madness will get a grip on America. And that's the cue once again for a number of prominent brands to try to get a grip on March Madness fans.

Among brands that will be either sponsoring March Madness telecasts or advertising heavily during the next few weeks on the broadcast and cable networks that carry the 68-team tournament are Buick, Acura, Dove Men+Care and ING.

"The goal with March Madness advertising is reaching that core target and gaining prestige with them by associating with a prestigious event, as well as reaching next-generation fans and that passion of the recent graduate," Gary Robinson, manager of advertising and brand for Acura in the U.S., told brandchannel.Continue reading...

games people play

March Madness: The Likeness of Legends

Posted by Nicole Briggs on March 30, 2012 04:31 PM

As you tune into the March Madness games, what do you think your favorite college athletics should receive for their hard work on the court, their image, and likeness? As you mull over that question, consider this case. 

In the fall of 2011, former Boston Celtic and University of San Francisco athlete, Bill Russell, who led University of San Francisco to the NCAA championship in 1955 and 1956, joined forces with former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon on the behalf of other former NCAA players to sue Electronic Arts and the NCAA, as covered by Bloomberg News. 

The former college basketball stars accused the NCAA and Electronic Arts for “violating federal antitrust law by unlawfully foreclosing former Division I men’s basketball and football players from receiving any compensation related to the commercial use of their images and likeness,” stated Jon King, an attorney for the former players, to Bloomberg.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, Burger King, BP and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 30, 2012 08:56 AM

In the News

Apple grapples with Foxconn labor audit.

BP says Gulf oil spill was smaller than claimed.

Best Buy reboots big-box format.

BlackBerry owner RIM sees former co-CEO depart amid $125 million loss, trims exec staff, and explores strategic options including sale of Canada's troubled smartphone-maker.

Burger King sells 278 restaurants to biggest franchisee; tests new menu items; cedes U.S. crown to Wendy's; and brings lamb burgers to the U.K.

CBS and Turner boost digital ad sales through March Madness.

Chrysler unveils new spots to follow Super Bowl's "Halftime in America" commercial with Clint Eastwood.

Daimler and BYD announce Denza, a new EV auto brand for China.Continue reading...

retail watch

Best Buy Thinks Outside the Big Box, Shrinking at Home and Growing in China

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 29, 2012 03:28 PM

As Best Buy's March Madness commercial states, "It's time for comebacks and miracles."

The big box retailer used to be able to count on such major sports events — along with the Super Bowl, NFL Kick-Off, MLB Opening Day — to drive sales of new TV sets and big-screen home theaters. But with HDTV penetration at about 63% in the U.S., and an estimated one in four American homes a Blu-ray disc player, the big box consumer electronics retailer is backing away from its big box model.

Today, the company (which recently closed its UK operations) announced as part of its dismal quarterly earnings report that it is closing 50 of its 1,100 U.S. stores this year, while testing smaller tech support-centric "connected stores" in San Antonio and Minneapolis.

As part of its restructuring, it will also lay off 400 corporate and support workers in order to slash $800 million in costs and turn around its struggling business model. In addition to shifting away from being a big box retailer, it's also looking to China for growth.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Brands Tap Into NCAA March Madness

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 02:01 PM

With conference tournaments dominating this week in men's college basketball, it means that official March Madness is just around the corner. And when the NCAA men's tournament begins next week, brands are going to be more ready than ever to take advantage. That's because March Madness has become a multifaceted, extended marketing "season" much as the NFL Super Bowl represents earlier each year.

In fact, in some ways, March Madness arguably has become an even more effective tentpole marketing platform than the Super Bowl.Continue reading...

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