sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 6, 2014 12:11 PM
Beats by Dre headphones have been seen on TV screens across the globe in the past few years while being worn by athletes of all stripes. At the 2012 London Olympics, the now Apple-owned brand was the unofficial ambush barketing champ as it handed out its product to athletes who apparently preferred them to whatever official sponsor Samsung was offering.
Now the NFL is attempting to head off a similar situation in the wake of signing an exclusive deal with Bose as "the official sound of the NFL."
NFL players are now banned from wearing Beats by Dre headphones while being interviewed on television for their NFL team. This includes at practice and in the preseason, Re/code reports. Coaches have the same restrictions.
The NFL noted that this isn’t a rule targeted at Beats, but at all headphones—and, indeed, any branded products that differ from league sponsors. It remains to be seen if this will mean a mass migration in the NFL to Bose headphones or if players will just ditch wearing headphones while around their teams.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2014 06:22 PM
As Bloomberg Businessweek put it in a headline this week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is "at the 50-50 yard line." In other words, the crisis over domestic violence and other misconduct by professional football players, how he is handling it—and, also importantly, how NFL sponsors are handling it—still could break either way.
The pressure on Goodell and the team owners who employ him is ratcheting up every day as the saga takes one more unwelcome turn after another. No sooner had the Minnesota Vikings reversed course yesterday and suspended Adrian Peterson just after welcoming him back into the fold, another ugly instance involving an NFL player surfaced. Arizona Cardinals running back John Dwyer now faces domestic-violence allegations, bringing the list of players facing assualt accusations to six.
Meanwhile, major NFL marketing and TV-advertising sponsors shifted rather uneasily in their seats. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi spoke out in support of Goodell and his efforts, for instance, even though she said she's "deeply disturbed" by some player behavior, and the league's mishandling of the case is "casting a cloud" over the NFL's integrity, the Wall Street Journal reported.Continue reading...
Posted by Rami Levi on September 2, 2014 03:03 PM
Call it a modern day miracle, but a candy brand has firmly associated itself with athleticism. The beautiful branded partnership between Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and the Mars-owned Skittles continued today with the release of a hilariously branded “training video.”
The video features the Seahawks star pushing through a rigorous training session with the help of his sugary friends. In light of the astronomical bidding war between Nike and Under Armour over the coveted feet of Kevin Durant, the video demonstrates the power a partnership born organically from genuine mutual interest between endorser and brand.
The love affair between Skittles and Lynch, aka Beast Mode, has been well-documented. After a few seasons of free publicity—TV broadcasts often catch Lynch snacking on Skittles during games—Skittles signed Lynch to a deal just before Super Bowl 48. Immediately following the signing, Skittles implemented a fairly standard sponsorship strategy with the launch of a limited edition Seattle Mix and donating to Lynch’s foundation during the Super Bowl.
But Skittles, known for its eccentric mastery of social media content, is just beginning to explore the creative possibilities of a “beast mode brand.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 28, 2014 11:23 AM
America’s premier tennis event, the US Open, got underway in Queens earlier this week and with it came a lot of expectations for one particular player: 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer.
Federer had a rough year in 2013, but he seems to have gotten his groove back, barely losing to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon this summer and picking up three tournament wins this year. While Federer's wins on the court may have taken a little hiatus, his professional brand hasn't skipped a beat.
Sponsor Nike released Fed's new line of tennis shoes to much fanfare after the athlete debuted the new kicks on the court Tuesday, where fellow Nike partner, sports star and design inspiration Michael Jordan looked on.
The legendary athletes actually worked together to develop the new tennis shoes, which are based on the Air Jodan 3, which came out in 1988 just when Federer was getting into sports. Nike designer Tinker Hatfield, who designed the Jordan 3, also designed Federer’s Zoom Vapor AJ 3.Continue reading...
Posted by Claire Falloon on July 21, 2014 01:03 PM
As concert and festival-goers don their denim cut-offs and band t-shirts this summer, they should also get ready for the usual barrage from brands clamoring for their money and attention.
This year fans will encounter everything from advertising and promotions to carefully integrated digital and live experiences from brands including Jim Beam, Honda, Budweiser, Vans and even Staples, which is sponsoring Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour (seriously, office supplies? What happened to sex, drugs and rock & roll?)
Old school purists may not like it, but concert sponsorship is nothing new and the presence of big corporate brands in music is a reality we may all have to get used to.
As Lady Gaga noted at SXSW back in March, “without sponsorships we won’t have any more artists in Austin, because record companies don’t have any f*cking money.” And as music labels recede, the big brands are marching in.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2014 03:03 PM
Music has long been a great currency of marketing. But automotive brands are taking their involvement with music to new levels these days as they seek ways to make connections digitally and with their toughest demographic, Millennials.
Honda, for example, just launched an ambitious effort called Honda Stage that involves concert sponsorships and other music touch points. Nissan this week announced a two-year partnership with the Americana Music Association, give the brand closer ties to country music and Nashville.
And Mazda, though a small brand by automotive standards, now also is trying to mount an outsized presence in the music arena. The automaker just announced an expanded partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, making Mazda the official automotive partner and doubling the brand’s participation this year to eight or nine events.
The series involves combining entertainment and running, featuring live bands performing at every mile along the course and a post-event headliner concert. Mazda will also have lots of on-site activations such as the Mazda Fueling Station with free food and beverages. It kicked off in Chicago this week and continues through December.
Mazda’s North American vice president of marketing, Russell Wager, talked to brandchannel about the new partnership and the brand's bigger strategy and goals:Continue reading...
World Cup Daily
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 14, 2014 02:01 PM
Germany won in more ways than one following the results of Sunday's World Cup final, where the country's national team claimed victory over Argentina in a 1-0 overtime thriller and one of its biggest brands, adidas, solidified its superiority in the sport over rival Nike.
adidas, an official sponsor of the Cup, outfitted both Germany's and Argentina's teams, helping the brand declare victory over Nike since the two brands launched an epic marketshare battle centered around the tournament. Ultimately, adidas prevailed as the most talked about brand during the Cup thanks to a broad marketing strategy that included ads, social media and a major presence at the event.
For one thing, as Bloomberg notes, many of the players Nike had signed as brand ambassadors were either injured or sent packing early in the Cup, while many of those under contract with adidas, particularly Argentina’s Lionel Messi, stayed in the tournament for much longer, ultimately giving adidas a lot more air-time.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM
As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...