Forever is a long time, longer than the careers of NBA players, but not, according to the league, longer than the plays they make, some of the best of which are being highlighted in a 'Forever Is Big — Finals' effort, which started with Dirk Nowitzki's iconic fade-away in the 2011 championship and continues with Kobe Bryant's series-defining dunk in the 2002 Finals. MORE
A new campaign between the NBA and QSR partner Taco Bell puts 42 players, including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, on the outside of special playoff-themed boxes that include such menu items as Doritos Locos Tacos and also ontain special codes that lead to a Web site, which unlocks high-action hoops videos and other content. MORE
In 1985, the last time a Super Bowl was played in Northern California, San Francisco defeated Miami in Super Bowl XIX. In 2013, the San Francisco Bay Area defeated Miami to win the rights to host the NFL's historic Super Bowl 50, which will be played in 2016. MORE
A new multi-year alliance between the league and Microsoft, valued at $400M, will give the company expanded "official" status, provide teams, players and fans access to next-generation technology and move the NFL closer to a future where, according to both sides, innovations would include the ability for coaches and players to view replays on sidelines while providing fans with an "enhanced" game experience. MORE
Two of the most iconic franchises in the history of sports — the New York Yankees and Manchester City — are joining forces to place an expansion franchise, the New York City Football Club, in the Metropolitan area in 2015, a move the commissioner Don Garber said would 'elevate MLS to new heights in this country.' MORE
The hoops-driven NBA Nation Tour 2013 will cover eight cities, more than 100,000 miles starting May 25 and running through mid-July, include sponsors Sprint and Sprite and feature Darryl Dawkins — aka Chocolate Thunder — who will show off his rapping skills and challenge fans to show their best interactive moves, slam dunks and basketball spirit, all supporting and raising awareness for Dribble to Stop Diabetes. MORE
The San Francisco 49ers have signed a naming rights deal with Levi Strauss for the team's new venue, scheduled to open for the 2014 NFL season and a front-runner to host Super Bowl L in 2016, valued at $220M over the next 20 years, which also makes Levi's the official non-sportswear apparel partner for the team and includes other major activation and marketing elements. MORE
The iconic baseball anthem, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" implores people to "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack," but the PepsiCo Frito-Lay brand's new national marketing is decidedly hard core, with a new look, hot flavors and spokespersons including Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, West Coast Customs and Ashley Tisdale — not the High School Musical version but the barely-clad woman who adorns the cover (and inside photo shoot) of Maxim. MORE
David Beckham has made his mark in soccer in the global and U.S. field, but now that he is retiring, don't expect him to leave the marketing field, where his annual earnings put him in the Kobe Bryant-LeBron James-Roger Federer stratosphere via deals that include adidas, H&M and Samsung. MORE
NEWS FROM NBA Playoffs
The owner of the NHL's New York Islanders is relocating the franchise from Long Island to Brooklyn in 2015, and he sat down to discuss the state of the NHL, his dislike of politicians, sharing Barclays Center with the Nets, embracing Brooklyn, riding the Long Island Rail Road and how the relocation is actually a return to his roots. MORE
Even better than watching the NBA Finals is watching them with two men who won titles and were named as two of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. But as Walt 'Clyde' Frazier and Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe celebrate the 40th anniversary of the New York Knicks' 1972-73 championship — for which the long-lost tape of Game 5 has been restored by MSG Network and will air for the first time in four decades — they reveal in this Q&A why they see both blessings and curses in what the NBA and its players have become and how the league is marketed around the world.
NEWS FROM NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
The NHL has taken a lot of hits this year — many self-induced due to a lockout that cost 41% of the season and such jewel events as the Winter Classic and All-Star Game — but the league feels it wlll be back on solid ice with fans and marketers via a multi-media effort breaking this week that anticipates the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning April 30. MORE
The lockout this season cost the NHL 510 games and such jewel events as the outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star Game, but commissioner Gary Bettman and league officials said the Classic, popular with players, fans and marketing partners alike, would be back in 2014 as part of an aggressive push toward future growth. MORE
NEWS FROM MLB 2013
April 1 was the official Opening Day for the 2013 MLB season, but April 12 marks the opening of the bio-pic 42 and April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, and marketers including Walmart, Marriott, Subway and Amtrak are using the occasion to both recall Robinson's greatness and achievements and push their own corporate agendas. MORE
The San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have the most loyal fan bases via stats on social media destinations Twitter and Facebook as well as in-stadium attendance figures, according to a new report from online ticket broker Ticket City, but at the other end of the list are the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros. MORE
Minor League Baseball has long been a hit with players, fans, owners and local businesses, but now MiLB wants to become a hit with companies and marketers at a national level. However, as MiLB CMO Michael Hand explains in this Q&A, even with its popularity — 41 million-plus attendance — more than $700 million in annual revenue and unique promotions ('Free Funeral Night,' 'Farewell to Twinkie Night'), the major challenge is getting Corporate America to buy into the organization's new marketing mantra: '160 Teams. One Brand.'
NEWS FROM BostonSportsJournalism.com
More than 30 companies have activated or soon will unveil marketing to support the iconic ballpark reaching the century mark, including JetBlue, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Dunkin' Donuts and L.L.Bean. MORE
NEWS FROM ChicagoSportsJournalism.com
The iconic Wrigley Field will turn 100 in 2014 and the Chicago Cubs have started the party by asking people to create a logo that would be used for the entire celebration. But can that bring enough good karma to break an infamous streak in which the team has not won the World Series since 1908? MORE
MORE NEWS ...
Beginning with the 2014 NCAA Div. I men's hoops tournament, Final Four semi-finals games will head to cable on Turner's TBS, and starting in 2016 the madness of March continues when the Final Four and national championship game will all air on TBS for the first time, then alternate between network and cable with CBS starting in 2017 and through 2024, the lenght of the current contract with the NCAA. MORE
Last year's rookie class included Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and Russell Wilson, each of whom starred on the field and quickly became acclimated with the business side of the National Football League, which is a $10B entity that could grow to $25B by 2025. This year's crew features Eric Fisher, Geno Smith, E.J. Manuel, Manti Te'o, Matt Barkley and others who also must learn their playbooks and the rules of corporate NFL. But as Keith Gordon, president of NFL Players Inc., relates in this Q&A, the biggest lesson rookies must comprehend is that being a player in the NFL is not the same as making as career out of being an NFL player.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova is ranked No. 2 in the world (behind Serena Williams) but is No. 1 among women athletes with about $20M in annual endorsements after signing a three-year deal with Porsche to become the automaker's first global brand ambassador, which includes appearing in multi-media marketing that will target both male and female drivers. MORE
Liionel Messi is regarded as the best soccer player in the world, and his prowess on the pitch has boosted his annual income to more than $41M, split almost evenly between his contract with FC Barcelona and such endorsement deals as adidas, Pepsi, Turkish Airlines and EA Sports. But even with global recognition, Messi still has a lot of work to do to raise his profile as a pitchman in America, as Pele and David Beckham have done. MORE
In the 1970s and 1980s, the North American Soccer League boasted the likes of Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, George Best, Johan Cruyff and other soccer icons. But over-expansion and bad financial moves caused the league to fold in 1985. Now, a brand new NASL is seeking to kick its way into the hearts and minds of soccer fans and the inner sanctums of marketers and companies nationwide. But as NASL commissioner Bill Peterson reveals in this Q&A, the challenge facing the new NASL is both embracing and distancing itself from the successes and failures of the old NASL.
Reebok has a desire to perspire, which goes back to its origins more than 115 years ago and has been re-energized with recent marketing campaigns 'The Sport of Fitness' and 'Live With Fire.' But there has been a price to pay, such as losing its official alliance with the NFL and watching a once-strong union with the NBA and its players being taken over by parent company adidas. Yet, as Yan Martin, Reebok's director of global brand marketing explains in this Q&A, the challenge facing Reebok is to become tougher via its CrossFit Games and title sponsorship of Spartan Races while building confidence among consumers that its fitness strategy can outmuscle the competition.
With such endorsers as Dwyane Wade, Serena Williams, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, David Wright and Sergio Garcia — who also are equitly partners and active participants in R&D with products that touch athletes and consumers on a regular basis — alliances with the NBA and MLB and products in more than 20K retail locations, MISSION ATHLETECARE has earned a place as the most innovative, impactful and authentic company of 2012. And as president Josh Shaw relates, there is more to come. MORE