Best Event Of June 2016 free polls

WNBA 20@20 Presented by Verizon (alphabetical order)

Seimone Augustus  Minnesota Lynx (2006-Current)
Sue Bird Seattle Storm (2002-Current)
Swin Cash Detroit Shock (2002-07), Seattle Storm (2008-11), Chicago Sky (2012-13), Atlanta Dream (2014), New York Liberty (2014-Current)
Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever (2002-Current)
Cynthia Cooper-Dyke* Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2003)
Yolanda Griffith* Sacramento Monarchs (1999-2007), Seattle Storm (2008), Indiana Fever (2009)
Becky Hammon* New York Liberty (1999-2006), San Antonio Stars (2007-2014)
Lauren Jackson* Seattle Storm (2001-12)
Lisa Leslie* Los Angeles Sparks (1997-2006, 2008-09)
Maya Moore Minnesota Lynx (2011-Current)
Deanna Nolan* Detroit Shock (2001-09)
Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks (2008-Current)
Ticha Penicheiro* Sacramento Monarchs (1998-2009), Los Angeles Sparks (2010-11), Chicago Sky (2012)
Cappie Pondexter Phoenix Mercury (2006-09), New York Liberty (2010-14), Chicago Sky (2015-Current)
Katie Smith* Minnesota Lynx (1999-2005), Detroit Shock (2005-2009), Washington Mystics (2010), Seattle Storm (2011-12), New York Liberty (2013)
Sheryl Swoopes* Houston Comets (1997-2000, 2002-2007), Seattle Storm (2008), Tulsa Shock (2011)
Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury (2004-2014, Current)
Tina Thompson* Houston Comets (1997-2008), Los Angeles Sparks (2009-11), Seattle Storm (2012-13)
Teresa Weatherspoon* New York Liberty (1997-2003), Los Angeles Sparks (2004)
Lindsay Whalen Connecticut Sun (2004-09), Minnesota Lynx (2010-Current)
*Former WNBA players


“Here's how I'm going to beat you. I'm going to outwork you. That's it. That's all there is.” — Pat Summitt Jine 14, 1952 - June 28, 2016


$20.99 Asking price for Media Guide 1980 NBA Finals Los Angeles Lakers-Philadelphia 76ers, on eBay
$39.99: Asking price for 1972 NBA Finals Program New York Knicks-Los Angeles Lakers, on eBay
$165.00: Asking price for Bill Russell autographed 2008-09 Topps card, on eBay
$500.00: Asking price for 1960 NBA Finals Game 7 Boston Celtics-St. Louis Hawks, on eBay
$1,549.00: Asking price for autographed Michael Jordan 2006-07 Upper Deck SP card, on eBay

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'Star Trek': Rihanna 'Sledgehammer' (See More Ads Below)

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WIMBLEDON June 27-July 10, London, ESPN, Tennis Channel

NBA SAMSUNG SUMMER LEAGUE Orlando July 2-8 Utah July 4-7 Las Vegas 8-18 NBA TV

T-MOBILE HOME RUN DERBY July 11, Petco Park, San Diego, ESPN 8 PM (ET)

MLB ALL-STAR GAME July 12 Petco Park, San Diego, Fox 7:30 PM (ET)


SUMMER OLYMPICS Aug. 5-21 Rio de Janiero NBC Sports Network


FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME GAME Aug. 7 Indianapolis Colts v Green Bay Packers Canton, OH NFL Network


IOC Fast-Tracks TV
NBC $1B Milestone
USOC Marketing Goal
KT Tape Taps Games

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.

Metallica Suits Up For Global Menswear Campaign

One of the most influential groups in music history knows how to put pedal to the heavy metal when it comes to "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Enter Sandman," "Wherever I May Roam" and other classics, but Metallica is now dressing up the heavy metal genre as spokesmen for Italian luxury menswear line Brioni, which will be supported by a multi-media global campaign inspired by artwork for another iconic rock music song, Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," with print, Internet and outdoor renditions seeking to merge Madison Avenue and music via a touch of merriment. MORE

NBC Eyes Record 6.7K+ Hours Of Olympic Coverage

As the official broadcast partner in the U.S. for the Summer Games, NBCUniversal is counting the days until the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5 and also is counting the hours of coverage it plans to devote to the Olympics, a record 6,755 across its broadcast, cable and online platforms, with NBC alone airing more than 260 hours, NBCSN devoting some 330 hours, Telemundo and NBC Universo broadcasting a combined 273 hours, Bravo and Golf Channel airing about 100 hours each and 4.5K hours live-streaming across and the NBC Sports app. Said Jim Bell, executive producer for NBC Olympics, "The Rio Games will offer the most comprehensive coverage of any event in sports history." MORE

Gatorade Ads Put Focus On Youth Football, Hoops, Soccer

Its roster of endorsers includes such pro athletes as Serena Williams, Cam Newton, Dwyane Wade, J.J., Watt, Bryce Harper, Karl-Anthony Towns and Usain Bolt, but the focus of Gatorade's new 'Incredible Is Inevitable' push is youth and prep sports, with a series of ads putting a spotlight on football, basketball and soccer, respectively, supporting the brand's on-going support of such programs as the Gatorade High School Athletes of the Year. Little League Baseball and Pop Warner, with the spots getting up-close and personal during intense games on the field and strenuous workouts during practice, all of which, fueled by Gatorade, shows how hard work and unwavering dedication tends to win out during competition, if not always in victories, certainly in personal gains and development. MORE

Wimbledon Marketers, Media, Stars, Fans All In For Slam

Great Britain may have opted out of the European Union, but they are inviting everyone in for the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament that runs through July 10, with marketing support from the likes of IBM, Jaguar, Håagen-Dazs, Rolex, Stella Artois, Evian, HSBC and Ralph Lauren; a new multi-platform campaign from first-year lead agency McCann London; increased TV viewership worldwide; rising social media numbers; and story lines involving such players as Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Garbiñe Muguruza, Andy Murray and Madison Keys. MORE

Simmons, Ingram, Rookies Ready To Rock NBA Marketing

The NBA rookie Draft Class of '16 has hit the ground running with endorsement deals, including No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons wearing Nike gear and kicks in new spots for Foot Locker and having his new Philadelphia 76ers jersey and T-shirt front-and-center on the team's Web site; Marquese Chriss and Buddy Hield signing exclusive autograph contracts with Panini America; Kris Dunn and No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram (Los Angeles Lakers) getting advice from Coach Speedman in a Speed Stick commercial; and five first-year players signing with adidas; all of them seeking to follow in the footsteps of 2015-16 Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns and other players who made an impact on Madison Avenue during their NBA freshman year. MORE

Brands Score Big During NBA Season, LeBron's Title Run

The LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers may have scored big in winning the NBA title, but such brands as State Farm, Kia, Samsung, Geico, Verizon, America Express and Taco Bell scored big with consumers during both the regular and post-season, each spending more than $16M on advertising and receiving in return high 'view rates' on TV (people watched the ads) and huge social media numbers, according to marketing and research firm Fabric Media, with State Farm spots anchored by 'The Hoopers' and Kia campaigns fronted by LeBron (K900) and Blake Griffin racking up more than 900M impressions each. MORE

A-B Has Lead Role As Film Festival Spend Hits $878M

Film festivals in such places as Sundance, Cannes, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Telluride generate movie-goer excitement and creative concepts, just as food and wine festivals in Las Vegas, New Orleans, Austin and Washington DC uncover soon-to-be hot consumer trends and ingenious visionaries, strategies being embraced by marketers and brands that are finding a fertile ground for activation in both categories, with a record $878M in sponsorship spend anticipated for 2016, according to research firm IEG, which said leaders include Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Marriott and Starwood Hotels. MORE

Visa Takes Athletes On 'Carpool' To Summer Olympics

Calling it the 'most-global campaign' in its 30-year history of supporting the Olympic Movement, official IOC and USOC partner Visa has unveiled a multi-layered effort, 'Carpool,' that follows nearly half of the athletes who are part of 46-member Team Visa from around the world as they prepare for the Summer Games, using Visa technology and the assistance of such partners as Best Buy, Costco and United Airlines to make the journey more efficient, with marketing to reflect specific participants and their respective regions, led by Team USA stars and hopefuls Carli Lloyd, Kerrii Walsh Jennings, Missy Franklin, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Ashton Eaton and English Gardner. MORE

After Reboot, adidas Soccer Sales Set To Top Record $2.7B

Following what it called a "complete re-start of our football footwear business," and led by deals with Leo Messi, FIFA and Manchester United, adidas Group said that its global soccer sales are expected to surpass a record $2.78B this year, up more than $300M from 2015's sales of $2.45B, with strong gains in key markets, in particular throughout Europe, as well as among key young demographics, moving CEO Herbert Hainer to state, "We spend a load of money on soccer, but soccer sells other products." MORE

NFL, ESPN, Dunkin' Donuts Tops Among Fans, Consumers

A select group of brands and companies are patting themselves on the back after having been named best-in-class in their respective categories in the 28th annual EquiTrend Study from The Harris Poll, including top-ranked sports league NFL, which came out ahead of NCAA college football, MLB and the NBA; top-ranked TV sports network ESPN, which fared better than NBC Sports, Fox Sports and NFL TV; Cabela's in the sporting goods retail category, ahead of Dick's, Finish Line and REI; and other consumer favorites such as Dunkin' Donuts, In-N-Out Burger, Pizza Hut, Delta, Toyota and Sony, with Harris, which rated more than 3,800 brands, saying that those people surveyed felt strong ties to these and other leading companies. "The stronger the brand, the greater the bond," said Harris. MORE

Fantasy Sports Face Highs, Lows, New Challenges

Although under fire by legislators and others across the country, and admittedly in the midst of a "low-water" period, fantasy sports is now reaching more people than ever — 42.8M in the U.S. alone — who are spending more money than ever, with the number of women participants on the rise and NFL and soccer fantasy platforms leading the charge, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Assn., but the national governing body understands that challenges facing DraftKings, FanDuel and other daily sports fantasy sites will have a major impact. "Tough times are here, but so are the customers," said FSTA president Paul Charchian. MORE

Esurance Inks MiLB Deal As League Merch Sales Score

Now in its second season as an official partner with MLB, Esurance has expanded its baseball playing field by becoming the official home and auto insurance partner for MiLB — making the company the only official national partner for MLB and MiLB — complete with multi-platform marketing, activations and deals with several minor league teams, with the alliance coming at a time when MiLB retail sales among its 160 teams topped a record $65.1M in 2015, led by such clubs as the Biloxi Shuckers, Columbus Clippers, Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Oklahoma City Dodgers. MORE

GoPro, A-B, Red Bull Propel Marketing In Action Sports

When it comes to such action sports as off-road auto racing, BMX cycling, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding and skiing, GoPro, Anheuser-Busch, Samsung, Chrysler and Red Bull are leading the charge in sponsorship deals, according to a new report from IEG, with consumer electronics, automobiles, apparel and beer as the most active categories, all of which are reflected in the marketing support for tours and circuits including ASA Action Sports World, Travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus, the Dew Tour, the World Surf League and Street League Skateboarding; but all of which is happening under more scrutiny due to the death earlier this year of iconic athlete Dave Mirra and the subsequent report that he suffered from brain-depilating CTE. MORE

BofA Leads $970M Performing Arts Sponsorship Spend

Sponsorship spending on performing arts is projected to reach a record $970M this year, with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Target leading the way, according to IEG, which said that spend is estimated to increase some $30M over last year and about $80M since 2012 in a category that includes the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, theater companies, visual performing arts venues and groups and other cultural organizations and destinations, with the potential for sponsorship spending to hit or top $1B in 2017. MORE

Commercial Spotlight: Bud Light Equal Pay, Star Trek Beyond, Nike Worth The Wait, Coke J-Spieth Rain


Gronk-Hosted Crashletes Gets Start Date At Nickelodeon

Just because it's the NFL off-season doesn't mean you won't see Rob Gronkowski on national TV, as the New England Patriots' TE kicks off his latest venture, hosting Crashletes on Nickelodeon beginning July 5, with the irreverent show from Rob Dyrdek (Ridiculousness) aiming to focus on the "wildest and most outrageous sports moments captured on camera from amateur athletes who gave it their all but fall short of greatness," with Gronk pointing that out in a humorous way with the help of such guests as Brian Braman (Philadelphia Eagles), Stevan Ridley (Detroit Lions), TV host (and granddaughter of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.) Karsyn Elledge, pro skateboarder Jagger Eaton and even some other members of the Gronkowski clan. MORE

NFL Joins With Disney To Bring Magic To Pro Bowl

Criticized for being dull, unprofessional and generally not worthy of the time and effort that has been put into it, the Pro Bowl is getting another makeover by the NFL, including expanded and enhanced marketing and activation for the Jan. 29, 2017 game (on ESPN), to be played in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, a move that enables Disney, brought in by the NFL to boost the game's profile and potential impact, to flex its substantial muscles in the region to support an extended Pro Bowl Week, with events and activations scheduled for Disney World, Disney Springs and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; plus other moves that include a significant tie-in with the USA Football National Conference, a return to traditional AFC-NFC team rosters and a new ticket system. MORE

SB LV Will Raise Naming Rights Cost For L.A. Stadium

If the Disney Co., Farmers Insurance, Live Nation or any other multi-dimensional company based in Southern California is considering making a move for naming rights to the NFL stadium being built in Inglewood, the incentive got juicier — but so did the cost, to as much as $1B — when the league awarded the venue hosting duties for Super Bowl LV in 2021, with the Los Angeles Rams, and potentially a second team, welcoming the football and sports marketing world to its $2.6B home, putting a price tag of as much as $20M a year for naming rights and more than $40M annually from top-tier sponsors, who also might get global exposure if Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics. MORE

NFL 'TNF' Deal Gives Twitter More Than 140 Characters

Roger Goodell, commissioner for the NFL, has 485K followers on his Twitter account despite the fact that his last tweet was in September 2014 — until today, when he unveiled via the 140-character platform a new alliance that gives Twitter the ability to stream live ten NFL Thursday Night Football games beginning this season, joining CBS, NBC and NFL Network as broadcast partners on that night and following last season's first regular season live stream NFL game via Yahoo!, part of the league's strategy to boost ad options and "serve fans around the world live NFL football." MORE

CBS: New NFL 'TNF' Package Not The Deal We Wanted

The new pact unveiled this week by the NFL for its Thursday Night Football package was good for the league with a two-season value in excess of $900M, good for NBC — which joins with a five-game schedule — and good for NFL Network, but not everything that CBS wanted, as CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus reveals, with his network expecting to return with an eight-game schedule it had during each of the past two seasons but having to accept a five-game slate, albeit with certain needs that appear to have been fulfilled, because "that's what the NFL wanted." MORE

Will Naming Rights To L.A. Venue Hit $1B?

With $2.4B In Revenue, Super Bowl Is NFL Gold

NFL Books Mexico Trip, Adds To UK In 2016

A-B, Gatorade Push NFL Revenue To Record $1.2B

Harris Poll Finds NFL Twice As Popular As MLB

Cam Tops Peyton, Wilson As NFL's Most Marketable



State Farm Scores Top Spot With NBA Sponsorship Spend

It must be 'The Hoopers,' because State Farm, whose multi-platform campaign starring Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett and Damian Lillard, this past season has replaced Anheuser-Busch as the NBA's most active sponsor, according to research firm IEG, which also said that overall league sponsorship deals hit a record $799M and that the most active partners also included FanDuel, MillerCoors, Coke, PepsiCo, Geico and Kia Motors, while the most active categories were insurance, QSR, non-alcoholic beverages, medical and retail. MORE

NBA, Partners Prepare To Get 2016 Draft Party Started

Even as the dust from the just-concluded season settles, the NBA and its official marketers are kicking up a storm to support the 2016 Draft, scheduled for June 23 in Barclays Center and airing live on ESPN, with State Farm in place as presenting partner; associate partners for the event Anheuser-Busch, Gatorade, Mtn Dew and Verizon; multi-level activation such as TV — with spots featuring draftees Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield and others — Internet, social media, merchandise, fan experiences and in-arena also coming from adidas, American Express, BBVA, Cisco, Foot Locker,  Harman, SAP and Spalding; and team Draft Day parties, including one being hosted by the Philadelphia 76ers, with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft (barring a trade), which is gathering its own roster of marketing partners, fans and such former stars as Allen Iverson to celebrate the occasion. MORE

NBA 2016 Draftees Get Advice From 2015 Rookies

If Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray or any other of the members of the incoming Class of '16 want to know how to act, what to expect or who to kiss and hug at the NBA '16 Draft on June 23, they only need ask Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, Jahill Okafor or any of those who were at last year's event, or they can watch 'Draft '16,' a new spot under the league's 'This Is Why We Play' marketing umbrella, which shows how draftees reacted when commissioner Adam Silver called their names, and goes back even farther to show how youth leagues, playgrounds, family and friends helped to mold these athletes. MORE

Nike, Smoove: Jordan 'Flu Game' Nothing To Sneeze At

Was it the shoes? The anchovies? Germs dancing on his tongue? Those are some of the theories in a new campaign from Nike to remember the 'Flu Game' during the 1997 NBA Finals, in which Michael Jordan played with either the flu or a case of stomach poisoning, scored 38 points and led the Chicago Bulls to a Game 5 win over the Utah Jazz, all of which is humorously feted in a series of spots starring comedian/actor J.B. Smoove, who envisions scenarios in which Jordan could have been exposed to a virus or bad pizza toppings prior to that night and even brings in former Jordan teammate Scottie Pippen to verify (or falsify) some of the facts, ultimately deciding that 'Greatness overcomes.' MORE

Ghostbusters Calls On NBA, Spike Lee To Fight Ghouls

When it comes time to fight ghosts, who ya gonna call for marketing and activation? In this case, the rebooted Ghostbusters movie has tapped such NBA players and legends as Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, 'Clyde' Frazier and Kristaps Porzingis, as well as New York Knicks fan and film director Spike Lee; plus a bevy of brands including Hostess Twinkies, Madame Tussauds, Stern Pinball, Dave & Busters and Papa John's to help generate consumer and moviegoer awareness. MORE

Survey: NBA Teams Find Fan Loyalty Is More Than Winning

A sports adage claims that "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing," but teams in NBA are seeing that winning is only part of the equation to developing loyalty among fans, building awareness and creating impactful marketing deals, according to research firm Brand Keys, which in its just-released NBA 2015-16 Sports Fan Loyalty Index shows that authenticity, fan bonding and tradition have helped to put atop the list of  teams with the 'most -loyal fans' the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers, while the 'least-loyal fans' are those of the Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. "Winning adds to the loyalty bond, but you need the complete package," according to Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff. MORE

National Dew NBA 3X Tour Hits With Media, Marketing

The NBA said it is planning a multi-platform campaign to support its initial Dew NBA 3X, a three-on-three national hoops competition with title sponsor Mountain Dew, planned to hit five cities beginning in May before culminating with the championship event this October in Los Angeles, which all will be supported by TV (with Dew spokesmen Russell Westbrook and Jimmy Butler), print, a dedicated Web site, social media and activation in each city, plus Hall of Famer Gary Peyton as tour ambassador and other NBA players and legends scheduled to make appearances. MORE

Jersey Score: NBA Eyes $100M+ With Player Billboards

Boldly going where Nascar and soccer have gone before, the NBA will start to sell brand logo space on player jerseys beginning with the 2017-18 season, with a three-year pilot program anticipated to generate more than $100M in annual revenue for teams, which comes in addition to the new Nike deal, which also begins that year, a $1B pact allowing the official apparel provider to put its 'Swoosh' on jerseys and possibly have its Jordan Brand logo on the uniforms of the Charlotte Hornets, majority owned by Michael Jordan. MORE

NBA, GE Healthcare Seek To Reduce, Prevent Injuries

WNBA's Breanna Stewart Hits Shoe Biz

Movie Deal Puts Spotlight On Kobe Post-NBA



Posey Catches Renewed, Expanded Under Armour Pact

The all-star catcher for the San Francisco Giants does such a good job for Under Armour that Buster Posey has been asked to do even more, signing a multi-year pact with the sports apparel and footwear company that he has endorsed since his rookie year in 2008, which includes appearing in marketing and other activations, wearing Under Armour Baseball gear and now adding a role as the face of UA's exclusive baseball collection in collaboration with Dick's Sporting Goods. "Under Armour Baseball has always provided me with the best gear to perform at the highest level," said the three-time World Series champion Posey. "That's not going to change anytime soon." MORE

Q&A: B-Dubs Serves UFC, eSports, Big Papi To Customers

Buffalo Wild Wings has been the 'official hangout of March Madness' since 2013, but more recently the casual-serve sports-themed restaurant has been serving other options to its customers in more than 900 locations nationwide, including an extensive alliance with UFC leading to the milestone 200 event this July in Las Vegas, a Blazin' Wings promotion with Rob Gronkowski, signing as a marketing partner for Turner Sports' just launched E-League and a B-Dubs Alive Event in which David 'Big Papi' Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox confronted fans of the New York Yankees. But as Bob Ruhland, vp-marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings reveals in this Q&A, the challenge is not just to bring sports and athletes to people but  "to find a way to communicate the benefits of your product and do it in a way that will resonate and break through the clutter."

Posey Back To Catch Esurance MLB, All-Star Game Pitch

In 2015, when Esurance became the official auto insurance partner for MLB and title sponsor for the All-Star Game ballot, it brought along brand ambassador Buster Posey, and now the catcher for the San Francisco Giants returns in a multi-platform campaign for the online insurer that includes humorous 'Smart People Get Esurance' TV spots, a series of 'What Would Buster Do?' online vignettes, Internet, social media, a sweeps and activation prior to and during All-Star Game events this July in San Diego. MORE

MLB Continues To Drive With Renewed Chevrolet Deal

Not wanting to break the spirit of the classic ad that rattled off the good things about America — "Baseball. Hot Dogs. Apple Pie. And Chevrolet" — the automaker has renewed its alliance with MLB, extending the current alliance that dates back to 2005 as the official vehicle of MLB and the presenting sponsor for the All-Star Game and World Series MVP awards, but also enhancing it as the official auto partner for MLB and USA Baseball's Pay Ball platform, all to be supported via multi-platform marketing and in-stadium activations. "Chevrolet's partnership with MLB is a natural fit and allows the brand and our dealers to connect with generations of Americans on a personal level," said Paul Edwards, the car company's vp-marketing. MORE

MasterCard Gets Prime All-Star Placement With MLB

MLB and MasterCard, which have partnered on numerous initiatives since airing a Priceless commercial in 1997 and including support for Stand Up To Cancer, have extend their alliance with a multi-year deal that would see MC become presenting sponsor of the All-Star Game this July in San Diego as well as All-Star Games for the duration of the new pact, enhanced activation leading up to and then on-site during All-Star Game events and more opportunities for MasterCard to "deliver advanced payment technologies to fans and consumers." MORE


Now Batting For Harman JBL: Alex Rodriguez

Under Armour Ups Harper Deal To Match Curry, Spieth

Snyder's Puts Baseball Twist On National Pretzel Day



Turner eLeague Takes eSports, Marketing To Next Level

The plan for an eSports competition unveiled by Turner Broadcasting and WME | IMG this past September — a strategic move into the burgeoning category that has a global viewing audience of motre than 225M and revenue expected to top $765M by 2018 — finally has a play date, with the two media companies saying that its eLeague would make its debut on May 24 featuring Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offense, including planned ten-week coverage of the event to include a regular season, playoffs and Global Championship, with Turner expected to support with such multi-media marketing as TV, tie-ins with Turner Sports properties NBA on TNT and Inside the NBA, ads during NCAA Men's Div. 1 basketball March Madness (which Turner airs on TNT, TBS and truTV in alliance with CBS), Internet and social media. MORE

EA Dives Into eSports With Platform For Madden, Battlefield

Following in the footsteps of competition such as Activision but calling it a "groundbreaking opportunity," veteran video game company EA has unveiled a strategy to build its first eSports platform, the Competitive Gaming Division, which will be overseen by EA COO Peter Moore and position such titles as Madden NFL, Battlefield and FIFA in the burgeoning category — expected to approach $300M in revenue this year and growing — with EA CEO Andrew Wilson proclaiming, "This is the latest step in our journey to put our players first and enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises." MORE


IOC Fast-Tracks Olympic Channel Debut For '16 Games

With 27 international sports federations on board, and more to come, the Olympic Channel, under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, is eyeing a launch date to coincide with the Summer Games in Rio, which begin Aug. 5, when it will support the live broadcasts by partners worldwide with news, updates, athlete information and profiles and other Olympic-specific platforms as part of a plan to cover the category 24/7, 365 days a year. "Through innovative partnerships with International Federations, we will have live event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news and original programming," according to the IOC. MORE

Panasonic Puts Neymar Jr. On Offense For Olympic Games

With the Summer Games just about ten weeks off, Panasonic is ramping up its efforts as an official partner with the IOC, including a multi-platform global campaign, 'Sharing The Passion,' that features Neymar Jr., who will appear in TV and online ads and drive an initiative encouraging people to connect with the soccer star, as well as onsite activations in Rio de Janeiro anchored by the company's Stadium of Wonders, where visitors will find interactive exhibits and a history of the Olympics. MORE

Microsoft, ESPN Lead Players For '18 Special Olympics

Following the success of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey and the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles last year — and in anticipation of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria next year — Seattle has been named as the host city for the 2018 USA Games, with hometown Microsoft already on board as premier partner, ESPN this week signing a deal with Special Olympics to remain as lead broadcast partner (through 2019) and other brands such as Coca-Cola (a Special Olympics founding partner), KPMG and Starbucks also preparing for an event that is anticipating 3,500 athletes, 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and some 50,000 spectators. MORE

Finding Dory Hits Olympic Waters With USA Swimming

In what can be described as a liquid organic alliance, the upcoming Disney/Pixar animated film, Finding Dory, has teamed with USA Swimming — the sport's governing body in the U.S., including overseeing the national team for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — for a multi-platform campaign to tout the movie as well as to "encourage parents to consider swimming as an option for their children," with the effort to include print, Internet, social media and co-branded material between Disney/Pixar and USA Swimming targeting more than 300K member homes and 3K registered swimming teams. MORE

Kellogg's Unboxes Road To Rio Push With Athletes, Cereal

An official partner with the USOC and supplier of breakfasts nationwide, Kellogg's has launched a multi-layered effort leading to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, including a roster of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls on Team Kellogg's who are led by 12-time Olympic medal swimmer Dana Torres, marketing anchored by a TV spot under the theme, 'What Gets You Started,' and special-edition boxes featuring their brand ambassadors on Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes and Special K. MORE

USOC, NBCU, Brands Goal: 100 Days Until Games

Having already counted more than 1,300 days since the end of the 2012 Summer Games in London, the USOC, NBCUniversal, official marketing partners, athletes and fans have another figure in mind — 100 days until the Opening Ceremonies on Aug. 5 and the start of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro — which will be celebrated on April 27 with a multi-platform 'Road To Rio' event in New York's Time Square featuring a roster of marketing partners, athletes and Olympic icons, as well as the launch of NBC's multi-media campaign — creative that will run in addition to the network's more than $1B (and counting) in advertising — with brands continuing to ramp up efforts though the Games, lending credence to the USOC's claim that the upcoming event will be "the most marketed Olympics ever." MORE

IOC Launches 'Together' Effort For Summer Olympics

With just about 100 days to go until the Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Games (Aug. 5), the International Olympic Committee has unveiled a multi-layered global effort, under the umbrella theme, 'Together We Can Change the World,' which involves athletes and Olympic hopefuls, creative celebrity efforts including Uma Thurman and Questlove and a platform encompassing TV, Internet, social media and fan activation that seeks to bring to people the Summer Olympics' vision of "building a better world through sport " and, as IOC president Thomas Bach said, "Sport always builds bridges, it never erects walls." MORE

NBC Hits Olympic Milestone With $1B Ad Sales

Participating in the Olympics means going for the gold, and NBC, the official network for the Games, is doing that and more, unveiling figures that show it has reached the lofty $1B mark in ad sales in what it said is record time, some four months before the event in Rio de Janeiro, which bested the record it set in 2012 when the mark was hit just two days before the Opening Ceremony, with NBC saying that there is still inventory to sell on network, cable and digital and that "the market is very bullish on the 2016 Summer Games." MORE

At Special Olympics, Breaking Barriers A Game-Changer

The Special Olympics began more than five decades ago under the leadership of Eunice Kennedy Shriver to help level the playing field for people with intellectual disabilities, and in 2016 the movement to break down barriers is still going strong. But as Kirsten Suto Seckler, CMO for Special Olympics, reveals in this Q&A, even after successfully staging the World Games Los Angeles last summer — with athletes, coaches, supporters and fans from around the world — and helping to raise the visibility for the city in its quest to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, the people who work for Special Olympics worldwide and the athletes and people who are impacted by it still face tremendous challenges and hurdles in trying to build the momentum to secure inclusion, respect and value for all.

KT Tape Expands Role In '16 Summer Olympics

Following its recent deal to become a partner with the U.S. Olympic Committee, KT Tape has built its presence heading toward the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro by aligning with several national sports governing bodies as the official kinesiology tape, including USA Cycling, USA Gymnastics, USA Track & Field, USA Rugby and USA Wrestling, adding to a roster that features U.S. Soccer and such athletes as three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, NBA All-Star James Harden and Kerri Strug, who won a gold in gymnastics at the 1996 Olympics as part of the 'Magnificent Seven,' all part of KT Tape's goal to "drive awareness" and to help "all athletes train longer so that they can finish stronger." MORE

Chocolate Milk Swims With U.S. Olympians Clary, Hardy

The people at the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) enjoy the taste of chocolate milk, but they also feel it is a good way for athletes to refuel after workouts and competition, which is why the 'Built With Chocolate Milk' effort has brought into the fold U.S. swimmers and Olympic gold medalists Jessica Hardy and Tyler Clary — both of whom will try to repeat the successes they had in the 2012 London Summer Games at the upcoming Rio Olympics — with the pair starring in a multi-platform effort anchored by TV, print and digital, joining on the Chocolate Milk roster Winter Olympics speedskating icon Apolo Ohno, Kevin Love of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, USA Swim Team and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. MORE

Despite Issues, '16 Games Will Be 'Most Marketed Ever'

Putting strong emphasis on its athletes and the competition, but also paying close attention to such issues as water pollution and the Zika virus, the U.S. Olympic Committee — which just formed an Infectious Disease Advisory Group to assist the USOC and its athletes to identify problems and offer solutions — said that the upcoming Summer Games would be the "most watched and most marketed Olympics ever," with some 39 sponsors and broadcast partner NBC hard at work on their promotions, moving USOC CMO Lisa Baird to state that they each have something special planned, with many efforts being jump-started on April 27, which will mark 100 days to the Games in Rio. MORE

En Route To '24 Olympics, L.A. Says 'Follow The Sun'

The road to hosting the Olympics is long and arduous, as Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest are finding out, but these four candidate cities seeking the 2024 Summer Games are moving ahead, each submitting required paperwork in the next step of the process with the IOC, and the LA 2020 Bid Committee, working with the USOC, unveiling its official logo, tagline — 'Follow the Sun' — marketing and a more detailed plan for venues in the region, including the $3B stadium being built for the Los Angeles Rams and such iconic places as the Rose Bowl (soccer), Staples Center (basketball), Pauley Pavilion (volleyball) and the Los Angeles Coliseum (Opening and Closing Ceremonies). MORE

Super Bowl, Olympics Drive $60B Global Sponsor Spend

The coming year will see a series of unique sports events with global impact, including the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the NHL-led World Cup of Hockey in October and the NFL's historic Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, which will combine with such factors as more companies moving toward global expansion and finding more opportunities to align with rights' hodlers to raise worldwide sponsorship spend to a projected record $60.2B — the biggest growth in three years and a jump of $9B versus 2012, according to research, marketing and consulting firm IEG, with sponsor spend in North America alone reaching record heights with a 4.5% growth over 2015 to more than $22B. MORE

Security, Money Priority For LA 2024 Bid

USOC, NBC, Marketers Begin Olympic One-Year Countdown

Visa Unveils Team Of Athletes Eyeing 2016 Olympics

LeBron, Melo Eye History With Olympic Hoops Team

With Eye On Summer Games, UA Evolves 'Rule Yourself'

Q&A: KT Tape Measures Growth With Olympics, Athletes



Will Marketers Net Tennis' Garbiñe As The Next Maria?

Already a celebrity in Spain and a rising star on the WTA circuit, Garbiñe Muguruza's Grand Slam win in the French Open over Serena Williams, which moved her from No. 4 to No. 2 in the world behind Serena, could now propel her to another level on the global marketing landscape, with the 6-foot, 22-year-old poised to add to her small but impressive endorsement roster — which includes adidas Tennis and adidas Barricade outfits by Stella McCartney, Babolat racquets and BBVA bank in Spain, as well as several appearances in top fashion magazines— with potential categories including health & beauty, audio, music, electronics, food & beverage and jewelry, putting her on a road that has seen Maria Sharapova, now suspended due to the use of a banned drug, earn more than $20M annually in endorsements and Serena top $15M. MORE

Q&A: Tennis Channel Savors Taste Of Serena, Garros

 Despite a lot of rain and the absence of such stars as Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki, Tennis Channel still has the game's most captivating player in Serena Williams, the world's No. 1 ranked man in Novak Djokovic and a bevy of players on both sides seeking to win a Grand Slam at the French Open. But as Robyn Miller, svp-marketing for Tennis Channel, relates in this Q&A, covering Serena's historic quest for her 22nd Grand Slam is significant, but only part of the overall marketing support and broadcast coverage being put into the tournament at Roland Garros in Paris. "This is our most important event of the year and we definitely have pulled out all the stops."

Tennis Channel Swings French Open, Serena Marketing

In what should be an historic run in its tenth season of French Open coverage, Tennis Channel is all-in with a multi-media marketing effort that includes TV, print, outdoor, live activation and airport and retail network media buy that includes McDonald's, Sam's Club and airports across the nation, tying in not only to Tennis Channel's expanded coverage — some 110 hours of match play, more than 300 hours overall — but Serena William's quest to win her 22nd career Grand Slam, which would tie her with Steffi Graf and put her just two behind all-time leader Margaret Court. MORE

Court Testers: When Andy Met Luol, Competition Followed

On his court, tennis star Andy Murray knows how to win Grand Slams and Olympic Gold; on his court, Luol Dang of the NBA's Miami Heat knows how to shoot and handle a basketball. When the two met, as part of a multi-platform campaign from Standard Life, the result was Murray, a long-time Heat fan, learning some hoops skills from Dang, and Dang, a member of the 2012 Great Britain Olympic team with Murray, picking up some trick tennis-shot tips and both sharing their love for Arsenal FC; with other elements in the campaign taking people behind the scenes with Murray, where he learns to speak Mandarin and reveals that if he were to come a super hero, his No. 1 power would be invisibility. MORE

Sharapova Faults, Waits For Tennis Ban To Be Served

Stating that 'I made a huge mistake . . . I take full responsibility," tennis star Maria Sharapova said she failed a drug test during the Australian Open for a drug she had used under a doctor's care for ten years but which was banned on Jan. 1, putting her future on the court in jeopardy, her participation in the Summer Olympics in doubt and causing potential major rifts among her marketing partners, including Nike, Porsche, Tag Heuer, Avon and Evian, which bring in more than $23M in endorsements, the most among all female athletes in the world. MORE

WTT Adds New York To Busy Olympic Summer Sked

Mylan World Team Tennis, co-founded by sports icon Billie Jean King, is in a New York state of mind, adding the New York Empire to its six-team league (replacing the defunct Boston Lobsters) for its Summer schedule, which will run for two weeks during a period that will also see the Wimbledon Grand Slam, the U.S. Open and the Olympic Games in Rio, with the Empire set to be coached by Patrick McEnroe and led by Andy Roddick — which motivated singer Elton John to post on his Twitter account, "Excited to see WTT in New York this summer" — and WTT bringing to center court such partners as Mylan, Geico and Wilson. MORE

Serena, WTA A Perfect Match For Record TV, Ad Numbers

The Year of Serena Williams and her quest for a calendar Grand Slam drove tennis, media, marketing and the WTA to realize rising — and in some cases historic — numbers regarding attendance, TV viewership, digital and online visits and marketing deals, with Williams — whose accolades include Sports Illustrated Athlete of the Year and the WTA Player of the Year — taking in some $13M in endorsements (not including investments in her own and other companies) and close to $12M in earnings while bringing more attention to women tennis players and athletes worldwide, moving WTA CEO Steve Simon to state, "The depth of the playing field in our sport is unprecedented, the competition outstanding (with) growth continuing in the future." MORE


Mission Sees The Good, Bad, Sweaty In Sports, Marketing

In May, Mission AthleteCare gathered its roster of athlete endorsers, in this case led by Dwayne Wade, Reggie Bush and David Villa, for a multi-layered effort to support the launch of VaporActive, a line of products that uses a version of thermal technology developed by 37.5 to help keep athletes cool and dry; a perfect counterpart to ThermaCool towels and accessories designed to keep athletes cool and wet. But as Josh Shaw, CEO and founder for New York-based Mission AthleteCare reveals in this Q&A, the company's efforts to improve the physical well-being of athletes will be accomplished not only by using modern technology, but by continuing to reinforce among consumers that its brand ambassadors are also involved in the research, development and testing of its products.

The Fast and the Furious Back In First Gear For 15th Fete

As Vin Diesel, playing Dom Toretto, said in 2001's The Fast and the Furious, "Let's go for a little ride," and Universal Pictures is doing exactly that by re-releasing the original film on the same day, June 22, it was released 15 years ago, not only anticipating the eighth movie in the franchise scheduled to hit theaters in April 2017, but also paying homage to the first seven, which have earned a cumulative worldwide box office total of $4.7B and brought to life characters played by Diesel, Paul Walker (who died in a car crash in 2013), Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez. MORE

Q&A: At 90, The Harlem Globetrotters Still Got Game

In 1926, Buster Keaton starred in The General, Babe Ruth hit 47 homers and had 153 RBI for the Yankees, RCA-GE-Westinghouse formed NBC and The Harlem Globetrotters, then known as the Savoy Five, were introduced to the world. Now celebrating their 90th anniversary, with a history that includes such iconic players as Meadowlark Lemon, Curly Neal, Goose Tatum, Marques Haynes and Wilt Chamberlain, they are as entertaining and innovative as ever. But as team president Howard Smith reveals in this Q&A, the challenge is to maintain the team's tradition while introducing new concepts and players and embrace the social media world to keep the Globetrotters on top of the world. 

Metallica Powers To Top Of Summer Concert Tour Sales

The Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to open their new U.S. Bank Stadium with an exhibition game on Aug. 28, but the smoke might still be settling and the venue might still be shaking from a Metallica concert scheduled for Aug. 20, the iconic band's only live performance of the summer, but one in such demand that online ticket broker StubHub said the event is outselling on its site the next highest performers, Pearl Jam, by 400% and is also hotter than such summer tours as Radiohead, Coldplay and Guns N' Roses; with StubHub also revealing that Adele's summer tour is No. 1 in total ticket sales, having taken that position from last summer's queen, Taylor Swift. MORE

Last Dance: Sports Authority Going, Going, Gone

Considered for years among the top sports retailers in the nation, Sports Authority is officially on its last legs, with "Going Out Of Business" signs posted in brick-and-mortar locations as well as at the company's Web site and A&G Reality Partners given the task of selling some 320 locations in 34 states, including 50 in California, 48 in Florida and 27 Colorado, with bids due in late June and merchandise scheduled to be gone in late August; although the fate of a naming rights deal to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, home to the NFL's Denver Broncos, remains uncertain. "It is with great sadness that we are intending to close all of our stores. It has been a pleasure to serve you and your family," company CEO Michael Foss wrote in a letter posted online. MORE

Reebok, A-B, Geico Drive NHL $477M Sponsor Spend

Thanks to increased activation from such partners as Reebok, Anheuser-Busch, Geico, Toyota and DraftKings, the NHL is projected to see a record $477M from sponsorship spend this season, according to research firm IEG, which would be up nearly 7% from last season and a rise of more than $100M from 2012, with QSRs, auto, medical, insurance and beer the Top Five most active categories, all of which IEG said "reflects the growing popularity of hockey as a marketing platform." MORE

Mnt. Dew Takes People For A VR Ride With Dale Jr.

Not content to get such products as Baja Blast and Pitch Black into the hands of consumers, Mnt. Dew is using a virtual reality platform and gaming.CGI softwear to give consumers a hands-on driving experience with its Nascar team of drivers — Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Casey Elliot — as part of its new DEWcision 2016 campaign, with users able to drive two challenging race courses and employ a 360º option to avoid obstacles and view unique scenes not just in front of the car, but also behind, on the sides and over the vehicle, with Dale Jr. and the others providing running commentary and driving advice, plus additional elements involving Shazaam, Facebook and experiential activation this week during JR Motorsports Fan Days. MORE

Steiner Sports Scores Deal For The Beatles Collectibles

Already known for offering memorabilia, collectibles and other items linked to such current and legendary players as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Ron Gronkowski, Steiner Sports Marketing has signed a deal to offer products featuring The Beatles, including collages of their U.S. and U.K. album covers, respectively, and canvas images of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as a group and on album covers such as Abbey Road, with future plans to expand the collection to include images of such iconic releases as Revolver and Sgt, Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as celebrating upcoming anniversaries of the Fab Four. MORE

Red Bull, GoPro Take Action On Global Partnership

In a deal that could have wide-ranging impact in the action/adventure sports category, Red Bull and GoPro said they would take their current alliance to a new level with a global multi-year partnership that includes content production, distribution, cross-promotion and product innovation; gives Red Bull an investment stake in GoPro; names GoPro the exclusive provider for Red Bull 'point-of-view imaging technology for capturing immersive footage'; and provides GoPro more access to Red Bull's multi-media platforms — such as Red Bull TV, and The Red Bulletin — than ever before. MORE

B-Dubs Spices Up UFC 200 With TV, Sweeps, Athletes

As hot and spicy as things are in the UFC, Buffalo Wild Wings plans to make them even hotter and spicier via a multi-platform effort to support UFC 198, UFC 199 and the showcase UFC 200 event this July in Las Vegas, including a spot with middleweight champion Luke Rockhold and legend Forrest Griffin (with a guest appearance by UFC president Dana White), a sweepstakes offering a trip to see UFC in person in T-Mobile Arena, a limited takeout package for people who plan to watch on PPV and broadcasts of the UFC showdowns in B-Dubs locations nationwide. MORE

Days & Amused: Survey Shows Time We Run, Sleep, Text

As a follow to the launch of its campaign, '25,915 Days,' Reebok has unveiled a survey that shows how much time the average person will exercise in their lifetime (about 180 of the 25,915 days Reebok says people are allotted), how much time they will spend sitting (7.7K days), engaging with computers and other forms of technology (10,625 days) and, to balance it out, the distance the average person will travel in their life (45 times up Mt. Everest or 1,657 times to the top of the Empire State Building). MORE

Reebok: You Live 25,915 Days, Use Them To The Max

Reminding people that they have a "finite amount of time to push their limits, overcome every obstacle and to honor the body that they have been given," Reebok has unveiled a multi-media campaign, aptly titled '25,915 Days' — approximately 71 years — under the brand's umbrella 'Be More Human' platform, which includes TV, Internet and social media and encourages everyone to live to their full potential while seeking to change the way they perceive and experience fitness. MORE

Toon In: NBCU Nets DreamWorks, Home To Shrek, Panda

Calling it a move that would give it access to a broader-reaching audience in the highly competitive kids and family film and TV entertainment space, Comcast's NBCUniversal has acquired DreamWorks Animation, founded more than 30 years ago by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and which has created such franchises as Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Monster vs vs. Aliens, with the value put at $3.8 billion and NBCU planning to align it with other divisions to form DreamWorks New Media. MORE

NHL's Red Wings Keep $130M Naming Rights Pact All In The Family

The Detroit Red Wings did not have to look too far for a naming rights deal for their new arena, with Little Caesars pizza chain signing a 20-year deal at an average of $6.25M per year for the right to call the venue Little Caesars Arena, scheduled to open for the 2017-18 season as part of a larger 50-block downtown renovation that could bring more than $2B into the area, with the driving force behind the naming rights pact being Mike and Marian Ilitch, whose company holdings include the Red Wings and Little Caesars. MORE

Can T-Mobile Arena Move Pro Sports To Roll Vegas Dice?

With the grand opening of T-Mobile Arena this week, Las Vegas is preparing for more high-profile entertainment such as Nicki Manai, Ariana Grande, Guns n' Roses, The Killers and Wayne Newton — and that's just the first week — but the venue was designed to house sports, with WWE, UFC, PBR and middleweight bout Alvarez vs. Cano already booked, an open invitation for the NHL to come in and incentives for the NBA and others to make it a regular stop. MORE

Led By 101K Fans, Shaq, WrestleMania 32 Sets Marks

It must be the Snickers, the Texas BBQ or Shaquille O'Neal, but all three played a role in helping WrestleMania 32 presented by Snickers in AT&T Stadium on Sunday to set numerous WWE records, including event attendance (101,763), WWE highest-grossing live event revenue ($12.6M), WWE Network subscribers (1.8M), video views (65M) and social media engagements for an event (10.9M), with Shaq on hand as part of the 3rd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, leading WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon to say, "We are thrilled that we made history at WrestleMania 32, further cementing its place as one of the top sports and entertainment events in the world." MORE

Nascar, F1, IndyCar Get Green Flag $5.5B Sponsor Spend

Companies are going the distance and going for speed this year as global sponsorship spending on motorsports sanctioning bodies such as Nascar and F1, teams, drivers and tracks is projected to reach a record $5.58B — up 2% from 2015 and more than $2B from 2011 — according to research firm IEG, which said that Toyota, GM, Sprint, Coca-Cola, Ford, Lowe's and Go Daddy are the most active Nascar partners and that the most active categories are automotive aftermarket, retail, and automakers; with Philip Morris Pirelli, Fiat, Daimler, Honda and Diageo the top partners with F1 and the Verizon IndyCar Series partnering with such non-endemic companies as Avis, New Era, Sirius XM, Sherwin-Williams and Tag Heuer. MORE

Under Armour Hoops It Up In The Garden

In an effort to broaden its presence in college basketball, Under Armour has signed its first deal with New York's Madison Square Garden to become the official partner of college hoops during regular-season games in the 'World's Most Famous Arena,' an alliance that will be supported by multi-level marketing and anchored by 'Reunion,' a planned annual double-header scheduled to begin in December that will see South Carolina play Seton Hall and Auburn take on Boston College — all four squads being part of Under Armour's partnership roster and all four having ties to The Garden or their opponent, including SC's NIT title-winning game there in 2006 and a 1974 victory over Seton Hall in the venue, Seton Hall's regular presence as a member of the Big East Conference and Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl's history at BC, his alma mater and site of his first hoops job as an assistant coach. MORE

Amid Global Woes, FIFA Adds Wanda Group To Top Tier

Claiming that "We will attract new partners, new sponsors . . . we have financial challenges but we will overcome them quite easily," FIFA has signed just its sixth top tier partner — commercial, cultural and retail conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, headed by the richest man in China — to join adidas, Coca-Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai-Kia and Visa as companies that have worldwide alliances with the beleaguered governing body of soccer, which is seeking to recover from a scandal that saw now ex-president Sepp Blatter and other key executives face criminal investigation, lose more than $100M in 2015 and come under public scrutiny for its on- and off-field actions. MORE


Marketers Lace Up For World Cup Of Hockey 2016

Q&A: Does Heavy Lifting With Brains, Brawn

A-B, Gatorade Power $118M Endurance Sports Market

NASL Gets More Ground-To-Air Time With beIN Sports

Marketers Kick U.S. Soccer Sponsor Spend To Record $330M

With Help From Elvis, Ali Honored In U.K. Exhibit


Q&A: How UFC Marketing Is Moving Beyond The Octagon

The Ultimate Fighting Championship was formed in 1993 as a pro MMA group and acquired in 2001 by Frank Fertitta III, his brother Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White for $2M, which under the corporate auspices of Zuffa LLC now produces more than 40 live events, runs UFC GYM and is broadcast in more than 129 countries, a growth aided over the past year by the presence of such fighters as Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Conor McGregor and Chris Weidman. But as Garry Cook, former executive with Nike and Manchester City and since 2014 the UFC's chief global brand officer, reveals in this Q&A, the challenge of growing the UFC among core fans while attracting casual and non-endemic fans and marketing partners — the latter of which currently includes Reebok, Anheuser-Busch, Topps and EA Sports — means being authentic, building an interactive and vibrant platform that addresses domestic and global needs and keeping fighters up-close and personal.

Let Me Be Brave In The Attempt: Special Olympics Named Grand Sports Marketer Of The Year

The Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles this past summer successfully hosted 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, 30,000 volunteers and an estimated 500,000 spectators — organizers definied it as the "single biggest event in L.A. since the 1984 Olympics" — with such partners as AEG, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Mattel, Microsoft, the NFL, P&G, Toyota, Toys R Us, Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney and WWE, all of which played a significant role in the U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to select Los Angeles as the city to bid for the 2024 Summer Games. It was, of course, all about the athletes, who came from around the world to compete in 25 sports. For these and other reasons, Special Olympics has been voted as the GRAND SPORTS MARKETER OF THE YEAR for its work at the World Games and the year-round, on-going dedication of its people to support what ESPN called "the most extraordinary sports stories and athletes you will ever see." FULL STORY HERE