sporting brands

LeBron James Teams With Old Pals Nike and Samsung for NBA Season Opener

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 28, 2013 06:33 PM

The NBA season kicks off Tuesday night with the defending champion Miami Heat versing the Chicago Bulls, and if LeBron James' latest Nike ad has anything to say about it, it seems that James is feeling pretty carefree heading into another season.

The new TV commercial, titled "Training Day," follows James riding his bike through the streets of Miami, all along collecting a troupe of neighborhood kids like a scene out of Rocky II.

James, wearing his new LeBron XI shoes, is seen heading to the arena to practice some shots, the beach for a swim, and ending at the playground to play some pickup with the kids.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Team USA Kicks Off Road to Sochi With Brand Sponsors in NYC's Times Square

Posted by Dale Buss on October 28, 2013 05:32 PM

NBC already has indicated it will enjoy a record haul for US TV advertising during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But the job for brand sponsors of the Games and athletes has only begun on their path to the opening of the games on February 7.

Top-tier marketers including Coca-Cola, P&G, Target, and Kellogg's are signing up to sponsor Team USA athletes as well as trying to navigate the increasingly icy waters around Sochi regarding the tendency of the Russian government to violate human rights and LGBT rights.

On Tuesday, the US Olympic Committee will kick-off a 100-Day Countdown campaign featuring Team USA in Times Square in New York, hoping to recreate the excitement of 2012's Road to London event (at top) with the Liberty Mutual-sponsored Road to Sochi (#RoadtoSochi) tour.Continue reading...

Taco Bell, NBA Renew Cross-Platform Sponsorship Deal with New Video Twist

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2013 12:57 PM

When the Chicago Bulls take on the champion Miami Heat on Oct. 29 for the NBA season opener, viewers can be sure to have a hankering for a beefy, crunchy burrito or a sweet churro before the final buzzer sounds.

Taco Bell has been the official QSR partner of the league for the last four years and now the pair have announced an extension of that deal that includes prominent placement during telecasts and online through all of the NBA, WNBA, and D-League platforms.

The multiyear deal will also include a new digital/social media program on NBA.com and other platforms dubbed "Buzzer Beaters" that will aggregate video of game-winning shots, according to Ad Age.Continue reading...

sip on this

Gatorade Sets Itself Up for Major European Exposure

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2013 07:12 PM

Maybe it’s the increased exposure that Premier League football is getting in the United States through NBC’s new deal, but Gatorade is showing some extra interest in Britain’s top soccer teams this month. The brand, which got its start at the University of Florida in 1965, is now sold by PepsiCo in 80 countries—and will soon be found inside the coolers of some the world's top soccer teams. 

Gatorade just announced two three-year deals with Liverpool F.C. and Arsenal F.C., KamCity.com reports. The Liverpool deal will net some serious exposure for the brand since the sports drink will be imbibed in the team's locker room and on the field, while the Arsenal deal only includes the club's under-18 and under-21 development squads.Continue reading...

sporting brands

From Matthews To Mayo, NFL Stars Shoot for Marketing Fame

Posted by Dale Buss on September 6, 2013 07:05 PM

It's another NFL season, meaning there's another cast of muscle-bound marketing idols attempting to cash in on their athletic achievements in what can be short careers.

Some of the players that brands are featuring most this year have been on the rise for awhile. Clay Matthews, for example, the highest-paid linebacker in the game for the Green Bay Packers, is the new "Mama's Boy" for Campbell's Chunky soup in the latest rendition of a campaign that is entering its 16th year. It's always what the brand described in a release as "a tough and focused competitor on the field, who becomes a Mama's Boy off the field."

Eli Manning doesn't quite have the true acting chops of his older brother, Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning, but the New York Giants signal caller keeps managing to roll up more endorsement traffic. This season, for example, he's continuing his promotional partnership with Dunkin' Donuts. It includes a sweepstakes in which customers get a chance to join Manning at a training center this fall.Continue reading...

ad watch

E-Cigarettes' Airtime May Be Short-Lived if US Feds Decide to Regulate

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 02:38 PM

It’s been more than 40 years since Big Tobacco aired a commercial on television, but they're back with their billions to convince consumers to try a confounding new product: e-cigarettes. 

But the industry's answer to public smoking bans may not have that long to sell themselves on televison. USA Today reports that the US government is making moves towards regulating the devices, which are purported to be a better alternative to regular cigarettes. 

The battery-powered devices made to resemble real cigarettes use nicotine but don’t create smoke or ashes that can be offensive to others. The devices are predicted to bring in $1.7 billion in revenue this year and at least $10 billion by the end of 2017.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

Lindsey Vonn Supports Sponsor Red Bull While in Rehab

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2013 10:29 AM

When Gold Medal skier Lindsey Vonn's uplifting Facebook post from rehab carried the Instagram/Twitter hashtag #givesyouwings, it was just the latest example of how injury has become another opportunity for athlete spokespeople to service their brands.

Vonn posted the positive message alongside a picture of herself working out her abs as she is recovering from knee surgery after a brutal injury. The picture included her Red Bull water bottle. (She later tweeted a graphic picture of her post-op knee).

Yes, Red Bull is a Lindsey Vonn sponsor, but the fact that the four-time World Cup champion might not strap on skis for another six to eight months isn't stopping her endorsement duties. In fact, as many brands are learning, there may be as much to gain from a sponsor's thrill of victory as there is from his or her agony of defeat.Continue reading...

brand ambassadors

'Blade Runner' Sponsors Nike, BT Shocked, but Sticking with Oscar Pistorius, For Now

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 01:53 PM

Oscar Pistorius was a man once known for being the fastest double-leg amputee on the planet. Now that the so-called Blade Runner has been charged with murder for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early Valentine’s Day morning, his sponsors, who pay out about $2 million to Pistorius annually, are moving just as quickly as Pistorius to figure out how to deal with the sudden PR nightmare.

Nike’s attachment to Pistorius was compounded by the fact that an ad featuring the Olympian used the tagline, “I’m the bullet in the chamber.” It was pulled from Pistorius’s website on Thursday, Ad Age reports. The victim's tweets before her murder also created a social media nightmare for anyone or any company attached to the paralympic athlete.

"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," his sponsor said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time." Two other sponsors, Oakley and BP Global, both used the word “shocked” in their statements on the issue. Thierry Mugler fragrances had nothing to say other than it was waiting to see what happens with the investigation.

British Telecom, better known as BT, also went the “appalled” route with its statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."Continue reading...

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