Posted by Dale Buss on December 13, 2012 01:34 PM
Mondelez International is stepping up its investments and innovation in marketing and product development. The Kraft global-snacks spinoff may have stumbled a bit since its Oct. 1st debut as a new company on the world stage. But give it time.
Today it's hosting a Mobile Futures conference (follow on Twitter at #MobileFutures), taking pitches from "SoLoMo, mobile at retail, and social TV" startups as part of its commitment, under digital strategist Bonin Bough, to invest in mobile startups.
The company aso is crowdsourcing ideas for creating a new chocolate bar "that would deliver a fresh and unique experience to the chocolate lover" through its Cadbury, Milka and other confectionery brands. "Of particular interest are cutting-edge product concepts that expand upon the special qualities that make the chocolate bar so wonderful, comforting and fun to eat," a Mondelez press release put it.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 4, 2012 04:01 PM
Somebody at AT&T likes to see the company's logo around town. Dallas was named as the location for its new headquarters in 2008 and, since then, the telecommunications giant has put its name on the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and the AT&T Performing Arts Center there. Now, they are adding another local sponsorship: the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tourney, which serves as a fundraiser for both Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers as well as the pocketbooks of a few big-name pro golfers.
This will actually be the second PGA tournament that AT&T will sponsor, having signed on with the inaugural big-bucks National event held in the D.C. area every Fourth of July weekend since 2007. AT&T will have to wait till 2015 to get its name on Byron Nelson, though, since HP has its name there till then (and has had it there since 2003), according to PGATour.com.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 30, 2012 10:29 AM
PepsiCo is doing everything it can to try and convince the 1.2 billion people of India that they might want to try a Pepsi. Or maybe a Mountain Dew?
The beverage giant has just signed on as the title sponsor the Indian Premier League, a major cricket tournament that will be called the Pepsi Indian Premier League for the next five years. And the naming rights only cost about $72 million, twice the amount that the previous five-year sponsor, realtor DLF, shelled out.
Nasdaq.com comments that PepsiCo “has quite a lot invested in the country with a range of snacks (Lay's and Kurkure being the flagship brands) and its usual line of beverages.” That kind of investment has the company trying to protect its place in India as local companies and others try to unseat them. As a CNBC report in the market asked this week,
While the beverage and food multinational is already a big sponsor of cricket, the IPL investment is reportedly its biggest investment in the game so far. But is the IPL association worth so much money, given that the last edition of the tournament saw viewer ratings at their lowest and given that the BCCI continues to have a volatile relationship with team owners?
India's Economic Times notes that Kurkure and Lay’s, which are the leaders of India’s snack market, are losing market share to such local snack makers as Balaji, Yellow Diamond and DFM Foods' Crax. And new competitors are likely to spring up since the salted-snack market in India has grown 25% annually.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2012 03:55 PM
It’s been about two and a half years since nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil was dumped into the Gulf of Mexico as the result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the owners of that particular well – BP – would love it if the world would just forget about the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.
Now a key piece has been settled with its $4.5 billion fine, the energy giant is returning to full-on “advertising (in the UK) next year with a campaign showcasing the contribution the company makes to society,” as Marketing Magazine reports. The corporate citizenship-themed push will note its cultural partnerships with the London Royal Opera House and the British Museum as well as its sponsorship of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Even while the oil was gushing into the Gulf, BP spent nearly $100 million on advertising, CNN reports, three times the amount of cash it had laid out in the same time period the previous year. BP claimed that the increase was partially due to ads it bought in the Gulf Coast region to inform people there about the recovery effort.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2012 01:04 PM
It's nice to be the world's most popular soccer team.
Footie powerhouse Manchester United, which is currently undefeated and in first place in both the English Premier League and its Champions League grouping, is starting to really flex its financial muscle to score a premium for its brand. ManU listed itself on the New York Stock Exchange back in August and it has been extremely busy in its first quarter. The team’s massive debt load dropped 18% down to $570 million, the AP reports. ManU also had a big influx of cash recently from an agreement with Comcast to broadcast all of its games in the United States over the next three seasons for $250 million, which is much better than the deal worth $80 million for three years that the team just had with Fox, which reaches fewer American homes than Comcast.
The club signed 10 new sponsorships during the quarter, according to SeekingAlpha.com. One new deal was with the largest telecommunications company in Azerbaijan, Bakcell, which will allow more than 2.5 million consumers to watch ManchesterUnitedTV there during the next three years. And if you’re looking for the team’s official soft drink in Japan, look no further than fruit and veggie drink specialist Kagome. The most notable deal, though, was a pre-IPO arrangement with General Motors, which agreed to pay $559 million to have Chevrolet’s logo grace the front of the team’s jerseys.
The team also just broke up with a sponsor, DHL, which had agreed to pay $65 million to place its logo on the team’s practice jerseys. Now its management team is eager to wring more cash from uniform supplier (home and away) Nike, which gets to push its swoosh next to jersey sponsor AON as part of a 13-year, £303m ($480.3 million) contract with ManU that ends in 2015. That’s a measly $36.9 million a year!Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2012 12:07 PM
The removal of Lance Armstrong’s name atop the winners list of seven straight Tours de France has also meant the removal of tens of millions of sponsorship dollars for the once-beloved cyclist.
One of those organizations that split from Armstrong has been sponsoring him since before he even was diagnosed with testicular cancer and even helped pay for some of his treatment: Oakley sunglasses. Well, Oakley apparently isn’t just disgusted with the whole sport of cycling, even though Armstrong clearly isn’t the only pro in recent years who has been nabbed for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
According to Bloomberg, after 12 months of negotiating, Oakley has signed on to be a sponsor of the Tour de France itself rather than any team or individual rider. That certainly seems like a safer way to go, though plenty of sponsors, such as Rabobank, have decided to leave the sport behind for now. The move comes as the Tour looks to rehabilitate its scandal-tarnished brand ahead of its centenary next year.
“I would like to see that the sport be what it once was,” Oakley CEO Colin Baden told Bloomberg. “It’s unfortunate what we’ve all experienced. It would be really nice to get back to the place where it’s admired, respected and understood.” It appears that getting to that point may take some time, but the Tour at least has one sponsor that will stick around and help the sport get through.
One thing Oakley also isn’t abandoning is Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation. “My wife’s a cancer survivor,” Baden told Bloomberg. “My belief and hope is that the foundation can continue its mission. Only time will tell, but it’s something we as a brand will still stand behind and we believe strongly that fighting cancer is a worthy cause.”
[Photo credit: Marc Pagani Photography / Shutterstock.com]
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 7, 2012 01:08 PM
Japanese technology giant Softbank's $20 billion takeover of Sprint is already proving to be an uphill battle. Sprint reported that it lost 423,000 U.S. subscribers from July 1 to Sept. 30, while only gaining 19,000 non-contract subscribers, the smallest number in over three years. That churn contributed to Sprint losing $767 million in the quarter, compared to a $301 million loss for the same period a year ago.
The downward spiral for Sprint was even more obvious in comparison to its two main competitors, Verizon Wireless, which added 1.8 million subscribers, and AT&T, which added 228,000 subscribers. In addition, Verizon Wireless and AT&T saw a spike in iPhone 5 sales while Sprint's activation of iPhones in Q3 was flat. Ironically, the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index ranked Sprint first among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 U.S. industries, during the last four years.
In an attempt to shore up its flagging business, Sprint is acquiring PCS broadband spectrum and customers in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio from smaller wireless competitor U.S. Cellular for $480 million. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse stated that "Acquiring this spectrum will significantly increase Sprint's network capacity and improve the customer experience in several important Midwest markets including Chicago and St. Louis." Even though U.S. Cellular is exiting the Chicago market, its brand name will remain on the city's U.S. Cellular Field stadium and it will maintain its corporate headquarters in the market.
Being acquired by Softbank means Sprint, meanwhile, will officially shed the Nextel part of its corporate name.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 5, 2012 02:22 PM
Plenty of folks are unhappy with Lance Armstrong, the once beloved American cyclist who has recently been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories due to damning evidence and eyewitness accounts that he took performance-enhancing drugs. The whole fiasco has cost Armstrong tens of millions in sponsorship dollars, with some donors even asking Armstrong's Livestrong foundation to return their money.
So what else can happen to the guy? Well, a few villagers in the UK took a 30-foot-tall effigy of Armstrong and burned it as part of the annual Guy Fawkes bonfire celebration, the Daily Mail reports. The effigy features Armstrong wearing a bike helmet and a yellow jersey and holding a sign that said, “Racing bike for sale no longer needed.”
UCI, the international governing body of cycling, is also feeling the heat. It's being sued by Swiss-based sportswear company Skins for $2 million, as it claims that the Armstrong doping scandal has hurt its brand. The company never sponsored Armstrong or UCI but has sponsored riders and cycling teams in the past few years.Continue reading...