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...

sporting brands

Nike Gives New Look to Rebranded Oregon State

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2013 07:17 PM

Collegiate sports have probably the largest fan base in American athletics, with an estimated 173 million fans who support the cause.  

While schools like the University of Texas and the University of Alabama generally lead the NCAA in merchandise sales and national recognition, Oregon State would apparently like a bigger piece of those pies. To that end, the Oregon State Beavers have teamed with their fellow state dwellers at Nike to try and revamp their brand.

The new look, introduced Monday night, will be seen on the new uniforms for the football, men's and women's basketball, men’s and women’s soccer and track programs, modernizing and strengthening the athletic brand across all 17 sports teams. Portland Business Journal reports. None of them will hit the field till August, but the new logo (below) will immediately be put into use.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Brands Climb Onto NFL, NCAA Juggernauts for Football's Big Kick-Off

Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2012 05:02 PM

Are you ready for some football? Big brands surely are. The National Football League may be a marketing and TV-programing juggernaut, but it is carrying more weight for more major brands than ever.

Take auto advertisers, for instance. Despite football telecasts that already were slated to be crowded with other car brands, Audi decided to use tonight's kickoff game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys for the marketing launch of its crucial new 2013 S Models. These performance nameplates (S6, S7 and S8) and the "S" brand are fundamental for Audi to move to the next phase of its positioning in the U.S. market, as a provider of exciting, luxurious and well-designed automobiles.

And so the NFL gets the call tonight to host the first Audi ad under its new tagline, "Heighten Every Moment," featuring the Audi S8. The 60-second spot (watch it above) will run in the first break after kickoff. Audi also announced that it will appear in the Super Bowl game in February, its sixth consecutive advertising appearance in the big game.Continue reading...

brands under fire

Penn State Supporters Reel at Unprecedented NCAA Sanctions

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 23, 2012 11:47 AM

Penn State players, alumni and other supports are in shock today following the NCAA's unprecedented actions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal: a $60 million fine, a four-year college bowl ban and 40 scholarships axed, in addition to erasing all 14 seasons of victories under late coach Joe Paterno. The move follows a damning report by former FBI director Louis Freeh that accused the university of enabling former Penn State football coach Sandusky's crimes.

The NCAA's executive committee chair Ed Ray stated at a press conference, "The historically unprecedented actions by the NCAA today are warranted by the conspiracy of silence that was maintained at the highest levels of the university in reckless and callous disregard for the children. There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football. But, the fundamental story of this horrific chapter should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down." Are the NCAA sanctions excessive in your opinion? Post a comment below. (Update: Click here for Penn State president Rodney Erickson's response.)

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...

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