sporting brands

MLS Looks to Inspire Homegrown Pride with New Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2014 02:57 PM

Hoping to ride the World Cup's coattails, Major League Soccer has launched a new campaign to attract more fans to the sport in the US, where pro-soccer sits in a far-off fifth place behind the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. The campaign, “MLS: For Club and Country,” will launch in conjunction with the league's March 8 season opener.

Soccer is "very different from, say, football or baseball when you have one team and one team only. In soccer, you root for club—and country," said MLS CMO Howard Handler, who learned his trade while working for the NFL and Madison Square Garden, according to Ad Age.

The campaign hopes to remind soccer fans where some of their favorite national team players come from—a message that is more timely this year as more than a dozen of the players slated to represent the US at the World Cup this summer play in MLS. That wasn't so during the last Cup in South Africa, where only four of the national team's players hailed from the US league, while all others played for international leagues.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

adidas Pulls Back World Cup T-Shirts as Brazil Tries to Curb Sex Tourism

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2014 08:14 PM

Could there be such a thing as "too hot" for Brazil? 

If you're adidas, apparently so. As the South American country finalizes preparations for this summer's World Cup, local government is trying to curb any sex exploitation that is likely to come with such a big sporting event that draws hundreds of thousands of tourists. Most recently, Super Bowl organizers launched a large campaign to prevent sexual tourism and its byproduct, sex trafficking, in the New York metro area during the event.  

adidas, a major sponsor of the World Cup, apparently took Brazil's sexualized reputation a little too literally with some of its World Cup-branded apparel. The company sold T-shirts that featured a bikini-clad woman on the beach with the words "Looking to Score," and one that read "I ♥ Brazil," but the heart looks, according to Reuters, like “the upside down rear of a woman wearing a thong bikini.” 

Brazilians were not amused.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Boeing, Volkswagen, Adidas and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 27, 2014 09:28 AM

In the News

Boeing designs self-destructing "Mission Impossible" smartphone.

Volkswagen cuts European worker bonuses on slump in demand and recalls almost 600,000 vans. 

Adidas to stop selling sexually-suggestive World Cup T-shirts after outcry. 

Barnes & Noble swings to profit on cost-cutting. 

Best Buy posts sales decline but returns to profit with cost cuts. 

Bitcoin falls in crosshairs of nations' regulators. 

eBay leads $133.7 million investment in Indian shopping site Snapdeal. 

European Union bans e-cigarette ads. 

Ford gets Mustang tie-up to Need for Speed and improves convertible top to take on German rivals. 

GM now faces federal investigation of its handling of recall.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Mobile World Congress, Honda, Barnes & Noble and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 24, 2014 09:14 AM

In the News

Mobile World Congress gets underway in Barcelona, as Nokia unveils its first Android phone, Samsung drops Android for its new smartwatch, Mozilla promises to deliver a $25 smartphone and Sony tries to crack smartphone market.   

Honda appoints first woman to its board and starts making Fit cars in Mexico.

Barnes & Noble sees conditional acquisition offer. 

Apple and Samsung fail to settle US patent case.

Best Buy and JCPenney will be reporting earnings this week, hoping to show signs of turnaround.

Brahma finds unique way to merge soccer and beer in Brazil.

Budweiser launches special-edition World Cup bottle.

CNN pulls the plug on Piers Morgan primetime show.

Ford reportedly swaps Microsoft for BlackBerry in Sync.

Glanbia may be trying to acquire Muscle Milk parent CytoSport.

Jaguar Land Rover presses dealers for customer data.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Bud Brings World Cup Together, Diageo Boosts Youth Employment and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2014 07:52 PM

Bud Unveils Rise as One World Cup Campaign

World Cup soccer can be pretty divisive. In fact, professional soccer fans are some of the most rowdy in the sports world, with some groups of fans even being banned from attending World Cup games. 

But Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the Cup in Brazil this summer, wants to instead focus on how soccer brings people together through its Rise As One campaign, which will run from March through July. The unique campaign will attract even more attention because it is in black and white.

"Budweiser has purposely taken the color out of it to just focus on the people and their emotion,” said Jennifer Anton, Budweiser UK marketing manager. "In a sea of color, you will see a black and white campaign which is very unusual. Budweiser will stand out with this."

Along with the campaign, Budweiser will launch a Budlocator app that allows consumers to locate the nearest bars or eateries that serve Bud’s products. A limited-edition gold aluminum bottle featuring the World Cup trophy has also been released to celebrate the upcoming tournament.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Facebook, Sbarro, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2014 09:20 AM

In the News

Facebook sees growth anxieties drive WhatsApp purchase.

Sbarro closes 155 company-owned units.

Walmart offers weak forecast and plans to accelerate rollout of small stores.

Aereo suffers a defeat in court.

Audi gives TT Roadster a fresh look.

Budweiser unveils World Cup teaser.

ConAgra seeks to revitalize Healthy Choice brand.

Fiat gives buyers an iconic track experience.

Ford splits with TV pitchman Mike Rowe.

FCC plans to overhaul rules to rescue net neutrality. 

Gap announces voluntary minimum wage boost.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Brazil's Endangered Armadillo Will Get Boost from World Cup Supporters

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 12, 2014 06:02 PM

World Cup mascots aren't generally cause for outrage, unless you're one of the many football fans that believe there's no place in the game for oversized, anthropomorphic animals. But since 1966, when England introduced Willie the lion, the friendly figures have been a part of the games

When Brazil introduced Fuleco, the three-banded armadillo, as the mascot for this summer’s big event, there was more motivation behind the decision than just adding a friendly face to the month-long tournament. The armadillo was chosen after the Caatinga Association environmental group and the US-based Nature Conservancy campaigned for it to be the mascot in hopes that it would draw attention and dollars to the endangered species.

"One of the key objectives is to use the event as a platform to communicate the importance of the environment and ecology,” said FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke upon the introduction of Fuleco, a combo of the Portuguese words for football and ecology, according to the BBC. “We are glad to be able to do so with the help of a mascot.”Continue reading...

ad watch

Super Bowl Who? FIFA's World Cup is the Biggest Ad Game in the World

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2014 06:39 PM

America's biggest ad derby may be the Super Bowl, but the entire globe has the World Cup, an event, as Ad Age puts it, that is like "having the Super Bowl every day for an entire month.” 

Ad deals related to the Cup are bringing in enormous amounts of money—much more than the $4 million-per-spot price tag of this year's 30-second Super Bowl ads. Brazil’s largest TV network, Globo, which has exclusive broadcast rights for the Cup, has struck deals with eight major companies—AmBev, Coca-Cola, Banco Itau, Johnson & Johnson, Hyundai, Nestle, wireless business Oi and local retailer Magazine Luiza—that will see the companies pay out a combined $600 million in order to occupy “451 thirty-second TV commercials, hundreds of quick mentions with visuals when announcers talk about World Cup games, and 359 5-second commercials created by Globo that feature four marketers at a time and run at the beginning and end of soccer games and other programming, and during commercial breaks,” Ad Age reports. 

And that’s just what Globo is getting. Networks across the world are getting nearly as big a piece of the ad pie. After all, at least 1 billion people watched the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and 3.2 billion caught part of the Cup at some point during the month.Continue reading...

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