Grand Sports Marketer of the Year 2014 free polls

What Sports Marketers Love About Fall:

• NFL 38%
• MLB 19%
• NHL 15%
• CFB 12%
• NBA 8%
• Nascar 4%
• NY Marathon 4%


The best of today's sports and sports marketing blogs are HERE

Super Bowl 49: Snickers (See More Ads Below)


"I've been through it before. Not the first time I've been through this. It just takes time." — Tiger Woods following his opening round at the WM Phoenix Open, his first PGA Tour even since August, during which he shot a two-over 73 and closed the day 104th in the field

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

SUPER BOWL XLIX Seattle Seahawks - New England Patriots, Feb. 1, NBC  (6:00 PM ET)

AUSTRALIAN OPEN Women's Finals: (1) Serena Williams v (2) Maria Sharapova Saturday ESPN (3 AM ET); Men's Finals: (1) Novak Djokovic v (6) Andy Murray Sunday ESPN (3 AM ET)

BUY The Los Angeles Lakers (13-34) ended their nine-game losing streak last night, defeating the Chicago Bulls (30-18) at home, 123-118, in double OT. Pau Gasol had 20 points, 10 rebounds in his first return to Los Angeles since signing with the Bulls.

SELL The Buffalo Sabres (14-32-3) have now lost 13 consecutive games following last night's 3-2 defeat on the road to the Edmonton Oilers (13-27-9)

HOLD The No. 1-ranked Kentucky Wildcats are now 20-0 after yesterday's 69-53 win on the road against Missouri (7-13)

TOMORROW Finalists for the Class of 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame. The inductees will be named on Jan. 31, the day prior to Super Bowl Sunday, in Phoenix: Morten Andersen, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Don Coryell, Terrell Davis, Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Marvin Harrison, Jimmy Johnson, John Lynch, Orland Pace, Bill Polian, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Kurt Warner, Ron Wolf.

HEAD OF THE LINE Named as NFL head coaches: Rex Ryan: Buffalo Bills, Jack Del Rio: Oakland Raiders, Jim Tomsula: San Francisco 49ers; John Fox: Chicago Bears; Gary Kubiak, Denver Broncos.


$12.50: Asking price for photo autographed by Kurt Warner, QB St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl XXXIV, on eBay.
$125.00 Asking price for helmet autographed by Chuck Noll, four-time Super Bowl winning head coach with  Pittsburgh Steelers, on eBay.
$149.99: Asking price for photo autographed by QB John Elway, Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XXXII, on eBay.
$404.99: Asking price for helmet autographed by 37 members of the Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl XXI, on eBay.
$450.00: Asking price for program from first NFL-AFL World Championship Game (now Super Bowl I), on eBay.

Top Sports Marketers Of 2014: The Best, Nothing Less

Despite the diversity of goals, strategies and achievements this year's Top Ten Sports Marketers of the Year encompass, they have one thing in common: They took the challenge to become the best, and settled for nothing less. They come from all areas of the sports, sports marketing and sports business landscape; touched consumers, fans, viewers, athletes, marketing and media partners, and investors; and left their respective marks during 2014. Now, it is time for the public to vote for the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year from among these ten powerful candidates (in alphabetical order): ALS Association, BBDO Worldwide, BitPay, Daily Fantasy Sports (category), Epix, Foot Locker, LeBron James, Levi Strauss & Co., Under Armour and Upper Deck. MORE

Major Issues Did Not Stop NFL's Marketing, Media Impact

Despite having to face such serious issues as domestic violence, child abuse and the short- and long-term effects of concussions, the NFL continues to generate major revenue for itself and its marketing and media partners and still has significant impact among fans and consumers, who this past season responded in a big way to commercials that ran during Super Bowl XLVIII last February and then to ads that aired during the NFL campaign, with communications platform sharing numbers which, among other things, showed eight companies spending a combined total of more than $640M on marketing in and around football and that a spot from Beats by Dre with the NBA's LeBron James, which broke during NFL programming, was the most impactful spot of the season with more than 10M YouTube views in its first two days. MORE

Tiger Eyes Healthy '15, New Challenges, Marketing Deals

Although his endorsement income is not as formidable as the $110M annual figure it once was, Tiger Woods, claiming to be healthy after an injury-plagued 2014, is signing new alliances — including Sol Republic headphones and speakers and Full Swing Golf training technology, a recently signed $30M pact with Hero motorcycles and new signature shoes from Nike Golf — and is back on the course, where fans, TV viewers, media and marketing partners that support him to the tune of about $65M annually want him to be. The challenge, however, is can Woods stay injury-free, reclaim his top status and drive golf into the 2015 PGA Tour season. MORE

Brosnan, Bridges Will See Action During Super Sunday

Pierce Brosnan has played Bond, James Bond in such movies as Goldeneye, Die Another Day and The World is Not Enough; Jeff Bridges has been nominated for six Academy Awards — winning as best actor for Crazy Heart. But in new campaigns anchored around Super Bowl XLIX, Brosnan is faced with a unique challenge for Kia's Sorento that tests his action and comedy skills and Bridges gets to show off his esoteric side for Web platform firm Squarespace in an effort that features Sleeping Tapes, an album 'of relaxing sounds, guided meditations and stories designed to lull you to sleep,' created and recorded by Bridges. MORE

Survey: Millennials Trend Best In Response To Super Ads

A new report from global communications company Burson-Marsteller offers some insight for marketers that have spent upward of $4.5M for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl XLIX broadcast on NBC, with 69% of those surveyed saying they enjoy watching at home versus being at the game in person, that more than half consider it to be an entertainment event and a time for social gatherings and that Millennials — the demographic in the age range of 18-35 that comprises about one-third of the U.S. population — respond well to commercials, are motivated into buying action and are most likely to share game and marketing information with others via social media. MORE

New Commish Paints Bright Picture For MLB Fans, Game

In his first official message as the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Robert Manfred spoke in an open letter to fans, players and marketing partners and said that the game is strong but that there would be even better times ahead, pinpointing his interest in growing baseball by 'honoring the game's history while bringing in new people,' including more activations involving kids, making it more accessible to people in underserved and urban areas where teams and ball fields are harder to find, continuing to build on and emphasize technology that will move the game into the future and supporting today's core of stars such as Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Felix Hernandez, Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen. MORE

Seattle's Sherman Hits Phoenix By Bus, Gets 'Disruptive'

In an alliance that was initiated via Twitter, Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman has signed a deal to represent T-Mobile in a campaign that is intended to 'shake up the status quo' and  'disrupt the game' — not the Super Bowl, but the telecommunications category with an effort that will include print, digital and social media and which was activated in Phoenix with the arrival of three buses that were wrapped with images of Sherman touting a 'Data Stash Dash' promotion offering tickets to the Big Game. MORE

NHL Eyes Outdoor, World Cup Games As '16 Jewels

Although the 2014-15 season is just past the midway point and the Stanley Cup playoffs are still months away, the NHL has revealed plans for the 2015-16 campaign, which will see three marketing-laden games outdoors — the Bridgestone Winter Classic and two matches under the Coors Light Stadium Series banner — plus a return and reboot of the World Cup of Hockey, with six national teams from the U.S., Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic plus and two teams of European and North American players competing for a trophy in a tournament that could take the place of the NHL and NHL Players Assn. sending its athletes to the Olympics. MORE

Survey: Super Bowl Catalyst For Highs In Fan, Ad Spend

While Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and their respective teammates will be competing on the field for the Lombardi Trophy, marketers will be competing for the on-air attention of more than 100M viewers watching Super Bowl XLIX on NBC, which according to the National Retail Federation — an association representing some 1.6M businesses worldwide — will drive record spend among consumers not only buying food and drink for Big Game parties but also such items as TVs, sports apparel, footwear and other goods for Super Sunday. MORE

Why NBA Commish Sees Jersey Ads, Europe In Future

As he nears the one-year anniversary of succeeding David Stern as commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver was in London prior to the final match-up of this season's Global Games and talked about adding sponsor logos to team jerseys, why the NFL is ahead of the NBA is putting a team in Great Britain, adding a European division with four or more franchises, reorganizing the playoff format and the status of the Brooklyn Nets. MORE

Super Bowl Commercials: T-Mobile Chelsea Handler, Rob Riggle, Victoria's Secret, Toyota Sorento Brosnan 



Solo, Bond, Ant-Man Add Star Power To Super Sunday

While athletes on the field will be seeking to win Super Bowl XLIX, aliens, mutants and other-worldly beings will be vying for attention during the broadcast on NBC as numerous movie trailers get air time amidst beer, car and snack spots, anticipating a landmark year for Hollywood that will see the latest action from such iconic franchises as Star Wars, Terminator, Avengers, Jurassic Park/World, Hunger Games, Fast & Furious, Mad Max and Bond, James Bond — as well as highly anticipated first-timers led by Marvel's Ant-Man. Here is a Baker's Dozen of films destined to get seen on Super Sunday. MORE

Poll: NFL Takes A Hit But Remains No. 1 Among Fans

Although experiencing a slight drop in popularity after a season of dealing with serious issues such as domestic violence and child abuse, the NFL remains the favorite sport in America, according to a new Harris Poll, which lists baseball No. 2 and college football a strong third, aided by the recent overwhelming success of the College Football Playoff and championship game, with hockey, hoops, auto racing and golf also in the Top Ten. MORE

Super Bowl Marketing, Media, Metrics Reach New Heights

Between 2005-2014, more than 130 marketers spent about $2.2B in advertising during the Super Bowl, with a record $332 million during the Fox broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII, according to a new report from Kantar Media, but even that figure could be topped during Super Bowl XLIX with NBC charging upward of $4.5Mm for a 30-second spot and as many as 15 first-time brands or companies joining the roster of veteran advertisers that are led by Anheuser-Busch — which heads up all spenders with a total of $152.5M between Super Bowl XLIV and last year's Big Game —  and PepsiCo (which again is the sponsor for the half time show), with more companies than ever using online, social media and hashtags elements as the core of their campaigns. MORE

In The Bag: Doritos Has Ten To Crash The Game

A-B Super Plans: Puppies, Clydesdales, Whatever

Eagles' Kelly Gets Chippy For Tostitos Crown

Q&A: State Farm Pumping Up NFL With Rodgers

Super Survey: TV, Web, Selfies Will Rule

Toyota Takes Kurt, Amy, Ali, Dads On Road Less Traveled


En Route To Super Bowl 50, NFL Renews CBS' TNF Deal

After declaring its first season of programming a tremendous success, CBS has been given the option by the NFL for a second platform of Thursday Night Football, which will again see CBS produce a slate of 14 games and have its lead analysts in place for the full year, share the first eight games with NFL Network — which then gets exclusive broadcast rights for the games leading to the post-season — and support with multi-media marketing plus new elements to include programming and other initiatives across CBS and NFL networks, all leading to CBS' broadcast of the historic Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. MORE


Barkley, Shaq, Superman, Flash Save The All-Star Game

For the second year, Turner Sports' on-air crew from the NBA on TNT — Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson — have been turned into comic book stars, teaming with DC icons Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash as part of TNT's multi-platform marketing push to support its broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game and related festivities next month in New York, with an adventure that sees the TV guys team with the superheroes in a race from Barclays Center to Madison Square Garden in which they encounter a series of challenges that must be resolved before the games can begin. MORE

Harden Assists Bloomingdale's For NBA All-Star Game

Based on voting, point guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets will be in the All-Star Game in New York in February, but a deal with Bloomingdale's has solidified his presence during lead-up festivities, with Harden working with GQ Magazine to serve as a fashion guru for fans and customers as well as also directing people to the retailer — which will have 16 NBA-related pop-up sections in its Manhattan and other nationwide locations selling merchandise and memorabilia — with marketing support that will Internet, include social media and an auction offering All-Star Game tickets and VIP experiences. MORE

Surely You've Heard About Kareem, Airplane!, Wisconsin

Yes, and don't call us Shirley. From the creators of the 1980 irreverent hit, Airplane!, comes the latest leg in a marketing campaign for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, starring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as Roger Murdock, Robert Hays as Ted Striker and Otto the inflatable auto-pilot, with content handled by Airplane! writers/directors and Wisconsin natives David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrams, which sees Kareem — who won an NBA title in 1971 with the Milwaukee Bucks — doing his best to keep his plane and co-pilot level while enjoying and sharing with a national target audience the wonders of the Badger State. MORE

Q&A: How Turner Is Driving People To NBA

adidas Puts Swingmen Howard, Lillard, Noah Into Play

NBA, WNBA Stars, Legends Assist State Farm Effort

NBA Gets $24B To Extend, Enhance With ESPN, TNT

San Antonio Spurs Display Supermarketing Skills

H&R Block Seeks To Max, Not Tax, NBA Deal



NHL Is Using Marketing, Fans, Media To Full Strength

Despite four lockouts since 1991 and coming precariously close to losing its status as one of the four major pro sports in North America, the NHL said it is strong, getting stronger and experiencing growth among fans, marketers and media equal to or better than at any time in its history, with COO John Collins pointing to such events as the Bridgestone Winter Classic, the Coors Light Stadium Series, All-Star Weekend and media deals with NBC Sports and Rogers Communications that have given fans unprecedented access to the league and presented marketing partners with an array of platforms to grow their brands, their alliances with the NHL and the sport of hockey. MORE

Go West: NHL '15 Outdoor Game Inside Levi's Stadium

The NHL will stage an outdoor game in California for the second consecutive season when the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series hits Levi's Stadium, the new $1.2B home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, in February, with the nearby San Jose Sharks hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, but there will be several firsts, with this being the first outdoor game in Northern California, the first outdoor game for the Sharks and also the first NHL outdoor game to be played in a venue that will host the Super Bowl (historic Super Bowl 50, scheduled for February 2016). MORE

NHL Heats Up Outdoor Games With Epix Advertising Efforts

With the annual Bridgestone Winter Classic coming Jan. 1 and the Coors Light Stadium Series following Feb. 15, the NHL is ramping up marketing efforts for its crown-jewel events, anchored by a campaign including TV, print, outdoor and Internet and a multi-media push to support two four-part reality-documentary series for the Classic and Series games, respectively, airing on cable network Epix and also being made available to fans and consumers at both the NHL's and Epix' Web sites, on Facebook and via apps, all in an effort to reach what the league said is 60 million fans. MORE

NHL Fans Get A Mouthful With P&G Alliance

NHL, Honda Deal In Next Gear With ASG, Canada


NEWS FROM March Madness 2015

Panini Goes To Head Of Class With IMG-CLC Deal

Trading card and collectibles company Panini America, which already has deals that include the NFL, NBA, FIFA and MLB Players Assn., is taking college sports by storm, signing an exclusive alliance with IMG College's College Licensing Company to work with CLC's nearly 200 university partners, adding to the more than 200 colleges already aligned with Panini via recent pacts with Licensing Resource Group, Fermata Parnters and a number of individual institutions, all enabling Panini to release beginning this spring trading cards featuring current and former pro athletes in their respective college sports uniforms, including the likes of Tom Brady from his Michigan days (pictured), with a target audience that includes, but is not limited to, the more than 190M people who are fans of college sports. MORE

Bright Lights, Financial Highlights Drive March Madness

The 2015 Final Four is still months away, but the NCAA has jump-started March Madness for the next seven seasons, returning to some venues and naming some new ones to host the NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball semi-final and finals games, with Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Indianapolis all laying claim to bragging rights, national spotlights and monetary highlights — with host cities claiming $70-$200M in March Madness revenue — through 2021. MORE

Report: College Merchandise Retail Market Hits $4.6B

There are 190 million fans of college sports and many of them love to spend money to support their team, this past season to the tune of $4.59B on univeristy-licensed merchandise, according to CLC, the college licensing division of IMG College (which represents 200 schools nationwide), with the Texas Longhorns leading the way for the 9th consecutive year, Florida State having jumped up from No. 21 to No. 8 due to its BCS success, Nike leading the apparel category (as it has every season since 1999 except for two) and EA Sports again topping the non-apparel category. MORE

CFB Officials Real Serious About Title Game Counterfeiting 

Monday night brings the first National Championship under the new College Football Playoff system, with Oregon facing Ohio State in AT&T Stadium, but comes with a problem that long has challenged college and pro sports: counterfeit merchandise. Officials from the NCAA, CFP, the universities of Oregon and Ohio State and licensing firm College Licensing Company, which has official deals with nearly 50 brands, have been paying close attention to the situation — during the two recent CFP semi-final games they seized some $30K in unlicensed goods — especially with so much attention being put on the game, so many people interested in goods and memorabilia and so much money changing hands in what has become a $4.6B licensed college retail category. MORE


Buick Keeps Sales Ball Rolling With Soccer

General Motors brand Buick has signed on as the title sponsor for the upcoming friendly match between two iconic soccer clubs, Liverpool and AS Roma, and the automaker intends to keeps its recent upswing in sales and consumer profile high via 'Buick Football At Fenway' on JUly 23, an event that will air on NBC Sports and is being conducted under the auspices of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, the latter of which also includes minority interest owner LeBron James, who just might make an appearance at the game due to his alliance with FSG and its marketing arm, Fenway Sports Management. MORE


Q&A: DNA For Levi's, NFL, 49ers Growth Is In The Jeans

In 1853, Levi Strauss founded a company that eventually would change the world of fashion forever, giving birth to blue jeans and other clothing that are worn by people at work, play and sporting events — the latter of which ties in perfectly with a 20-year, $220M naming rights deal that Levi's signed for the new $1.2B home venue for the San Francisco 49ers. In this Q&A, Stacy Doren, head of Levi's marketing for the Americas, reveals why the deal happened, how the company is using Levi's Stadium and its alliances with the NFL and 49ers (including a new campaign with Niners TE Vernon Davis, pictured) to grow the brand, the role of technology and social media in reaching fans and consumers and what plans might be in store for such upcoming events as Super Bowl 50 (in 2016) and the NHL Coors Stadium Series (in February).

BMW Joins Gold Rush To 49er's Levi's Stadium

United Airlines On Board As Niners, Levi's Partner

P&G's Duracell Powers Seahawks-Niners Rivalry



L.A.'s Kershaw Is Now Most Valuable Pitchman

Three-time Cy Young winner and NL MVP Clayton Kershaw has added another accolade to his resume, signing with Subway as a Famous Fan endorser on a roster that includes AL MVP Mike Trout, with both men appearing in a print ad that touts their awards and favorite sandwiches (Turkey & Swiss and Spicy Italian, respectively), and Kershaw also getting congratulatory nods from other companies on his marketing team, such as Under Armour, Muscle Milk and Wilson; while his own non-profit group, Kershaw's Challenge, unveiled an MVP 14 T-shirt with proceeds going to support underprivileged kids around the world. Analysts say Kershaw, who earns about $3M in endorsements, could easliy double that during the off-season. MORE



Why Trout Is On 'Most Dangerous' List With Ruth, LeBron

Mike Trout joined an esteemed list of athletes last season when he won the AL MVP award, but his growing fame has also put him on another more dubious list — most forged autograph on memorabilia — alongside the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, LeBron James and Tiger Woods, as well as a list of celebrities whose John Hancocks are faked the most that includes The Beatles, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and the cast from The Walking Dead, all according to PSA/DNA Authentication Services, which says that working with respected companies will get you the real deal but warns, "There's less than a 50% chance that autographs of current and former celebrities and sports stars on the marketplace are authentic." MORE

Tiger's Impact On Golf Marketing Has It Pros, Cons

Tiger Woods has been off the PGA Tour for much of 2014 and has not won a Major since 2008, but his status as a golf personality and endorser still has a resounding effect worldwide, which is part of the reason why golf sponsorships worldwide in 2014 will top $1.6B, more than the NFL, MLB, NBA and tennis — with such companies as BMW, Bank of America, MasterCard and Coca-Cola leading the way — but failed to reach expectations, according to a new report from IEG Research, which is a reflection of people leaving the sport and many more golf courses opening than closing for the eighth consecutive year. MORE

Andy Murray Swings Over To UA In $23M Alliance

Under Armour has landed one of the top-ranked tennis players in the world via a four-year deal with Andy Murray estimated to be worth $23.6 million, with Murray — who had been with adidas for the past five years — joining a roster that includes Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Buser Posey, Stephen Curry, Michael Phelps, Sloane Stephens and Misty Copeland and scheduled to appear in multi-media marketing, wear the brand's apparel and footwear on-court and take part in global training and tennis activations. MORE

Djokovic Ready For Closeup At Australian Open

Report: Ad, Sponsorship Spend To Top $57B In '15

MLS Builds Healthy Alliance With AdvoCare

College Football Bowl Name Game Is In Play

Hilton Amplifies Music With Live Nation Alliance


Boston Gets USOC Bid, Begins Journey For IOC OK

Following a months-long process to outlast Los Angeles, San Francisco and D.C. to gain the bid from the U.S. Olympic Committee to represent the U.S., Boston now undertakes what will be a marathon rather than sprint to the finish line in 2017 when the International Olympic Committee will decide from among several global destinations which city will host the 2024 Summer Games, a daunting and expensive task that, if successful, would put the Summer Olympics on U.S. soil for the first time since 1996 in Atlanta and make Boston only the third American city ever to host the Summer Games. MORE

Don't That Beat All: Ringo Starr's Drumming For Skechers

The man who was the drummer for arguably the most iconic and influential band in music history, The Beatles, and who has been making music ever since (and is currently on tour with his own group), is taking his sticks and skins to a new gig as spokesman for athletic and lifestyle shoe brand Skechers, where Ringo Starr will star in a multi-media campaign launching in Spring 2015 to include TV, print, Internet, social media and POP to support the Relaxed Fit line, joining a lineup of endorsers that also features Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Pete Rose and Mark Cuban. MORE

How Ohio State's CFB Championship Earned AT&T $46M

In 2013, when AT&T signed a naming rights deal for Cowboys Stadium valued at upward of $19M annually, the telecommunication firm was banking on ROI from high-profile events that would attract attention nationally and internationally, which accurately describes the first National Championship Game under the new College Football Playoff system that was played in AT&T Stadium Monday night and broadcast on ESPN and its network siblings to a record 34M viewers, which translated to more than $46.7M in media value for title game presenter and stadium naming rights holder AT&T via exterior and interior signage, on-air visuals, graphics and verbal mentions. MORE


Cancer is an aggressive disease that impacts mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and co-workers. The best way to beat it: Be even more aggressive in finding a cure. That is the heart of the strategy that drives STAND UP TO CANCER, which along with key partners MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL and MASTERCARD used in 2013 multi-media marketing and platforms that reached consumers and corporations to support an overarching plan of empowerment to get funds directly to doctors, scientists and hospitals to hasten research to end cancer. MORE