Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2011 12:30 PM
Versus took its name in 2006 after spending its first 10 years as OLN (the Outdoor Life Network), broadcasting plenty of hunting and fishing before reaching a larger audience with Tour de France coverage.
Since its renaming by Comcast in 2006, the network has focused more and more on mainstream sports and is now going totally that way as it rebrands itself NBC Sports Network, starting in January, according to USA Today.
"This is more than just a name change for Versus," said Mark Lazarus, the former Turner Sports exec who became the chairman of NBC Sports Group in May. "It's a complete repositioning of the brand."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 26, 2011 10:00 AM
From 1972-1996, the Winnipeg Jets skated to three division championships but never gained any higher accolades. No conference championships. And certainly no Stanley Cups.
So they were moved to Arizona to become the Phoenix Coyotes and help spread the NHL brand to new markets. That didn’t go so well. Neither did having an NHL team in Georgia. The Atlanta Thrashers, founded in 1999, couldn’t find a way to make the finances work down South, so True North Sports and Entertainment bought the team and moved it back to Winnipeg. You can be sure that Jets fans were happy to have an NHL team back again.
But with the move came a need for rebranding and the all-important task of making a new logo. Last week, sport-card manufacturer Upper Deck was getting frustrated that the Jets hadn’t come up with a logo yet because it was holding up production of next season’s cards. They don’t have anything to pout about now.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 15, 2011 02:00 PM
Before every major sports season gets underway, Upper Deck churns out endless numbers of cards to satisfy every seven- and 67-year-old card junkie.
But this year, all those NHL card junkies out there that are looking for a new Ilya Bryzgalov card now that he’s joined the Philadelphia Flyers or a Mike Richards card with him wearing his new Los Angeles Kings duds, they will all have to just sit tight.
The reason things are slightly behind schedule is because the Atlanta Thrashers were purchased by True North Sports and Entertainment Group, which moved the team to Winnipeg. While the team name was obvious – the Jets, like the NHL team that left town in 1996 – Winnipeg’s logo has yet to be announced.
This is what’s holding things up, the London Free Press reports, since the logo plays a key part in the card’s design.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 14, 2011 06:00 PM
Google posts record revenue as site expands beyond search ads, Android passes 6B app downloads, and CEO Larry Page takes swipe at Facebook.
Spotify — the second biggest digital retailer in Europe after iTunes — finally launches in the US.
Warner Bros. opens final Harry Potter film at midnight.
Amazon moves strike fear into retailers' hearts.
Dupont faces greenwashing claims.
Groupon comes under scrutiny in Connecticut.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 13, 2011 05:00 PM
For decades, Canada's Molson Breweries owned NHL sponsorship rights, only to have them grabbed by Labatt back in 2007. Now an Ontario appeals court has given the rights, worth hundreds of millions, back to Molson.
The pair faced off in court because Labatt “failed to sew up an extension of its sponsorship rights within an exclusive negotiating window last winter,” the Globe and Mail reports. The league then went back to Molson and signed a deal with them. Labatt requested and received an injunction last month, but then lost its appeal Tuesday and is now “reviewing its options for further legal action.”
Molson execs are likely tipping a few back to celebrate the fact that they get to spend “about $375-million over the next seven years” for the NHL branding exclusive, the paper notes.Continue reading...
brand and bottle
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 5, 2011 01:30 PM
There may have been only two hockey players from The Netherlands to play in the NHL throughout its history, but the major brewer that is based there, Amstel, knows a good marketing angle when it sees it.
The Boston Bruins rang up a bar tab of $156,679.74 when they were celebrating their recent Stanley Cup victory over the Vancouver Canucks. While $100,000 of that was for a 30-liter bottle of champagne. However, it was a different single bottle of alcoholic beverage on the bill that interested the folks in Holland: one bottle of Amstel Light.
Last week, Amstel Light was trying to find the person who placed that order so they could provide Amstel Lights for their Fourth of July (or July 1st Canada Day) party. Amazingly, they succeeded.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 20, 2011 07:00 PM
In the best pro sports branding tie-in of the year, Stanley Cup-winning NHL goalie Tim Thomas showed up at Gillette's World Shaving Headquarters in Boston to say goodbye to his "playoff beard" in a charity event.
Thomas can be seen foamed up with the Gilette safety razor scraping his face in a video from Boston's ABC news affiliate, which is not embeddable because, apparently, WCBVtv news producers hate the web... and Gillette.
The 110-year-old Gillette brand is still headquartered in Boston even though it was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2005. Gillette's name, of course, permeates Boston-area sports. The brand has naming rights for the Gillette Stadium just outside Boston, home of the New England Patriots football and Revolution soccer teams.
Gillette wasn't the only brand getting a tie-in boost from Lord Stanley and his hallowed cup o' hockey.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 17, 2011 12:00 PM
Continuing the innovative usage of YouTube by brand marketers, the advergame above claims to be first to use 3D sound. More details here.
Is Apple's "Buddy Finder" patent application a stealth dating service for iPhone users?Continue reading...