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SPORTS MARKETING
AGENCIES/MEDIA/STATS
POLL POSITION
Next Big Olympic Sport For U.S. Marketers
 
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KEEPING SCORE

2014 Grand Marketer of the Year:

• ALS Association 52%
• Upper Deck 14%
• Under Armour 8%
• BBDO Worldwide 8%
• BitPay 5%
• Foot Locker 4%
• EPIX 3%
• Daily Fantasy 2%
• Levis 2%
• LeBron James 2%

WADE BLOGS

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

NBA: Dance Never Ends Westbrook (More Below)

SAY WHAT!

"36 and won." — Twitter response from Devin Booker of Kentucky to Daxter Miles Jr. of West Virginia, who predicted that after last night's March Madness Sweet 16 game that the unbeaten Wildcats would be 36-1. Kentucky won the game, 78-39, to move to the Elite 8

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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
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.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
MARKETWATCH

MARCH MADNESS

ELITE EIGHT March 28  MIDWEST (Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland) Kentucky vs. Notre Dame WEST (Staples Center, Los Angeles) Arizona vs. Wisconsin

ELITE EIGHT March 29 EAST (Carrier Dome, Syracuse) Louisville vs. Michigan State SOUTH (NRG Stadium, Houston) Duke vs. Gonzaga

BUY The Orlando Magic welcomed back former star center Shaquille O'Neal on Friday, inducting him into the team's Hall of Fame and then honoring him during the team's game that night against the Detroit Pistons.

SELL Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder will miss the rest of the NBA season to have surgery on his right foot for the third time.

HOLD The NFL is mining for gold with a pumped-up Draft in Chicago. Full story here.

THOUGHTS GO OUT TO Family and friends of "Hot Rod" Hundley, former college (West Virginia) and NBA player who from 1974-2009 handled broadcasting duties for the New Orleans/Utah Jazz, who passed away on Friday at the age of 80.

TAKEDOWN WWE WrestleMania 31 Levi's Stadium March 29

IN PROGRESS NCAA Women's Div. 1 Basketball Tournament Final Four April 5-7 Tampa (ESPN)

IN PROGRESS NIT Tournament ESPN, ESPN2. Final Four Madison Square Garden, NY March 31-April 2

IN PROGRESS MLB Spring Training

APRIL 30 NFL Draft Chicago ESPN, NFL Network

MAY 2, 2015 Floyd Mayweather - Manny Pacquiao MGM Grand

COLLECTIBLE CORNER

$25.00: Asking price for 1982 NCAA Final Four Program — North Carolina (Jordan, Worthy, Perkins), Houston (Olajuwon), Georgetown (Ewing), Louisville — on eBay.
$59.00 Asking price for NCAA March Madness 2014-15 Upper Deck Hobby Box, on eBay.
$189.99: Asking price for Dean Smith North Carolina autographed March Madness "Press Pass" card, on eBay.
$255.00: Asking price for 1980s UCLA March Madness starter jacket, on eBay.
$1,350.00: Asking price for (2) tickets to 2015 Final Four, on eBay.

March Madness Poll: Dukies No. 1, But Kentucky Is Better

The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team has been declared the most favorite college hoops program in the U.S., according to a new Harris Poll, an honor that coach Mike Krzyzewski's squad has received six years in a row, but in this year's edition of March Madness there is a team that has risen above the rest — the Kentucky Wildcats, which were picked by a whopping 48% to win the national title (with the UConn Women's Huskies picked to take the distaff crown), all of which brings to light Harris Poll numbers showing that college sports, and college basketball in particular, are more popular than ever. MORE

NFL Sees Gold In Season-Long Super Bowl 50 Celebration

The Super Bowl has long been a bottomless pot of gold for the NFL, but the league is taking the gold theme literally with a year-long ramp-up for the game next February in Levi's Stadium, with current and past players and coaches as well as marketing partners activating in a multi-layer platform that will begin at the NFL Draft on April 30, continue throughout the pre-, regular and post-season and culminate at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl 50, including merchandise, ad campaigns, gold highlights on uniforms, balls and on the playing field and celebrations in the cities of previous Super Bowl winners and at the high schools from which players and/or coaches graduated and later played in the Big Game. MORE

World Series MVP Bumgarner Now Pitching For Carhartt

When he is not on the mound with the San Francisco Giants, with whom he has won three World Series championships over the past five seasons and was named MVP of the 2014 Fall Classic, Madison Bumgarner gets down and dirty on his 100-acre family farm in North Carolina, which is where we find him in a new effort from Carhartt, known for its durable work apparel, as the 25-year-old cuts trees, moves lumber, mends fences and undertakes other sweat-inducing chores, with the multi-media campaign also spotlighting such backbreaking jobs as firefighters, oil riggers, search-and-rescuers and construction workers. MORE

Louisville Slugger, Bat To Ruth, Jeter, Changes Hands

Wilson, the official glove of MLB, and Louisville Slugger, the official bat of MLB, have been joined as tools of the trade for decades, but now they will hit the field as business siblings as Wilson Sporting Goods has acquired from Hillerich & Brandsby for a reported $70M the brand that has sold more than 100M "sticks" since 1884 and has been used by more than 8,000 pro players, including Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter, Ken Griffey Jr., Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, Prince Fielder, Nelson Cruz, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Jones. MORE

NCAA, IMG Extend, Expand Alliance In Multi-Billion Dollar College Playground

With sales of college merchandise topping $4.6B annually and still on the rise, its pays to stay with the people who helped to get you there, which is what the NCAA had done by signing a ten-year extension with IMG and such divisions as IMG College and CLC, which will see the global marketing, sponsorship, ticketing, publishing and representation firm, an NCAA partner since 1975, continue to expand its strategies across the board in the college landscape and open up new areas to "strengthen programs and activations." MORE

Core Power Inks NFL's Romo, NHL's McDonagh To Challenge Sports Energy Drinks

In a move intended to take on such sports energy drinks as Gatorade, PowerAde and VitaminWater, as well as the burgeoning coconut water category, Core Power high protein milk shakes has signed a roster of players to reach core athletes and weekend warriors, led by NFL QB Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, Kemba Walker of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and NHL New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh, who will appear in a multi-layered campaign, "Everyday Awesome," promoting the theme that "Awesome happens every day and is worthy of recognition." MORE

WWE, NBCU Tag-Team For 'Hero In All Of Us' Push

In what is being described as an 'unprecedented' collaboration and its most extensive marketing campaign to date, WWE has joined with Comcast's NBCUniversal for the first time to launch 'For The Hero In All Of Us,' which will encompass broadcast, cable, Internet, social media — including a "#MyHeroIs element asking people to submit stories about acts of heroism — fan activation at WWE events and other consumer touch-points, with the effort also being used to offer advertisers opportunities built around such upcoming tentpole events as Wrestlemania and "The Slammy Awards," with unique access to WWE superstars and divas for customized initiatives. MORE

With adidas Out, Will Nike, UA Eye NBA Jersey Deal?

The ears of executives at Nike and Under Armour are burning this week with the news from adidias that it would not renew its alliance as the NBA's official jersey supplier when the contract, which dates back to 2006, expires after the 2016-17 season, a decision that coincides with adidas falling to third behind Nike and UA in U.S. retail shoe and sportswear sales, a search on-going for a successor to CEO Herbert Hainer and two of the company's top hoops endorsers, Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, spending more time on the injured list than on the court, but will it be the firepower of Nike and division Jordan Brand — which together cover the feet of such high-profile players as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan himself — or the hard-charging UA, which brings a b-ball roster led by Stephen Curry to the table, that will be able to woo the NBA and win the next contract? MORE

Fighting The Good Fight: ALS Association Named 2014 Grand Sports Marketer Of The Year

Countless people are working endless hours to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, widely known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The ALS Assn. has been at the forefront of this fight since 1985, but in 2014 garnered national and international attention with two key campaigns — the 75th Anniversary of Gehrig's "Luckiest Man Alive" speech (with extensive support from MLB and the New York Yankees) and the Ice Bucket Challenge (inspired by Pete Frates) — which raised awareness and funds worldwide. For these and other efforts, the ALS Assn. has been named the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year for 2014 based on votes cast by the readers of NYSportsJournalism. There is as yet no cure for ALS and the battle continues, with the ALS Assn. and such groups as Project ALS, ALS Therapy Development Institute, ALS Society of Canada and the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. among those front-and-center. For those battling ALS, every step is a good step. And, according to the ALS Assn., "Raising awareness is a crucial step in generating support for the efforts to find treatments and a cure for today's faces of ALS." MORE

Commercial Spotlight: NBA March Madness The Dance Never Ends: Lowry Horford Harden Pierce

   

 

NEWS FROM NBA 2014-15

Can Stephen Curry Become NBA's Manning Of Marketing?

For several years, it appeared as if NFL QB Peyton Manning was in every commercial, not far from the truth considering his deals have included Nationwide, Papa John's, DirecTV, Buick and MasterCard, and in the NBA the two players with the most commercial air time have been LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who each have a bevy of partners that garner them millions in annual endorsements. But is the mantle of marketing maven now passing to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who is about to play in his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game and is a legitimate MVP candidate? Curry currently has ad campaigns running with the likes of State Farm, Degree, Muscle Milk, Zamst and Backyard Sports; is about to star in national efforts for Under Armour (to support his first signature shoe) and Express; and can also be seen in spots for ESPN's This is SportsCenter, the NBA on TNT and regionally for the Warriors. And there potentially could be more to come if the Warriors and Curry continue to light up the league and stake their claim in the post-season. MORE

BBVA Compass Push Points To AmEx, Harden, Durant

The official bank of the NBA continues to enhance its alliance with the league, now offering a BBVA Compass NBA American Express credit card, the first to bear the NBA logo, which can be personalized to represent individual teams and comes with an array of exclusive benefits such as a rewards program and access to NBA merchandise and events, all supported by a mutli-platform campaign anchored by national TV spots with Kevin Durant and James Harden and regional spots with Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks) and Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs). MORE

Why Adam Silver Sees Europe, Jersey Ads In Future

Surely You've Heard About Kareem, Wisconsin

Kevin Love Doubles Rebounds With Chocolate Milk

NBA Players, Fans Get Carded By Panini, Modell's, MTA

Mt. Dew Kickstarts Activation With Russell Westbrook

 

NEWS FROM NHL 2014-15

Samsung Eyes Tech-Savvy Fans With Exclusive NHL Deal

With the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge about to be released, Samsung has signed a multi-layered alliance with the NHL making it the first exclusive partner in Canada in the mobile, tablet and hardware category, which encompasses marketing support on TV and online and fan activations that will see Samsung Canada become presenting partner of "Inside the NHL Situation Room" and the "Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge," with Samsung and the NHL working together to offer exclusive content to fans on such Galaxy devices as the S6, S6 Edge, S5 and S4 and Note II. MORE

ESPN Back On Ice With NHL, 2016 World Cup Of Hockey

The self-proclaimed 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' has not shown an NHL game since 2004 but ESPN is getting back in a big way, signing a deal with the NHL and NHL Players' Assn. for exclusive U.S. broadcast, radio and other rights to the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will feature teams representing eight nations — including the U.S., Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, plus All-Star teams from North America and Europe — complete with marketing and media support. 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

NHL Using Marketing, Media At Full Strength

Fans Get An NHL Mouthful With P&G Alliance

Honda Deal In Next Gear With NHL ASG, Canada

NHL Heats Up Outdoor Games With Epix Efforts

 

NEWS FROM March Madness 2015

Road Trip With Charles, Spike, Samuel L. Heads To Indy

You know you have an excellent driving adventure in progress when Samuel L. Jackson is behind the wheel and Charles Barkley and Spike Lee (who also directed the spots) ride shotgun, which is the scenario in a new campaign from NCAA Corporate Partner Capital One that includes five spots, March Madness Bracket Challenge, FanFest and Final Four MusicFest sponsored by the financial firm, but things go a bit off-the-road en route to Indianapolis when Charles makes a hundreds-mile miscue and tries to pitch a movie script to his two actor friends. MORE

Q&A: McManus, Levy Talk March, Madness, Marketing

For the fifth consecutive year, under a $10.8B deal signed in 2010 that runs through 2024, CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting will beginning this week combine to air all 67 games of the NCAA Men's Div. I Basketball, with increasingly added support coming from such platforms as March Madness Live and the March Madness YouTube Channel, all of which is enabling official marketing partners including AT&T, Capital One, Coca-Cola, Allstate, Buffalo Wild Wings and the recently signed Microsoft Bing to reach a legion of dedicated fans and consumers. But as McManus, chairman for CBS Sports, and Turner president Levy explain in this Q&A, the challenge is making certain that production quality remains high, the needs of fans are addressed and innovations are on-going to 'keep things from becoming stale.'

AT&T Goes Old School In New  Hoops Tourney Campaign

Going back to the future to support its "strongest 4G LTE signal" mantra, NCAA Corporate Champion partner AT&T has gathered four men who had stand-out collegiate careers before becoming NBA legends — Julius Erving, Shaquille O'Neal, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner — in a campaign that comes to life through numerous platforms throughout March Madness, including a series of humorous commercials in which the four men share their thoughts and experiences on such topics as nicknames, brackets, Cinderella teams and the pecking order among players who have won championships; as well as a separate effort for AT&T's U-verse app, which enables people to watch basketball tournament games on their computer, tablet or smartphone and not miss history — here depicted as a No. 16 seed finally taking down a No. 1. MORE

March Madness Marketers On Tap To Spend $1.2B

Official corporate partners of the NCAA will be in the spotlight for the next month and they plan to take full advantage of the situation, with companies anticipated to spend some $1.2B in marketing and activations, which would top the record spend of $1.14B set during March Madness last year, and also surpass last year's record of $1.5M for a 30-second spot, according to a new report from marketing and consulting firm Kantar Media, led by General Motors, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and Capital One, with just-signed Microsoft's Bing bringing new money to the Big Dance. MORE

CDW Push: NCAA, Barkley, Pippen, Round Mound Pound Cake

Awesome, Baby: Dickie-V Hoops Up Oberto

Buffalo Wild Wings Shares Hoops, Wings, Wisdom

Bo (Ryan) Knows Hoops, Badgers, Zip Lines, Wisconsin

Bright Lights, Financial Highlights Drive Future Final 4 Cities

NCAA Drives March Madness With YouTube Destination

Report: College Merch Market Hits $4.6 Billion

 

NEWS FROM MLB 2015

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

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


NEWS FROM BostonSportsJournalism.com

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

 

NEWS FROM SanFranciscoJournalism.com

Zappos Hits The Ground Running With Bay To Breakers

Already a top online destination for shoes and style, Zappos.com, a division of Amazon, is ready to walk the walk and run the run as the title sponsor for the San Francisco Bay To Breakers race, a 7.46 mile event first competed in 1912, which this May will take some 50K participants through the city with marketing partners that also include Under Armour, Geico and Hyatt Regency and a Zappos activation that is encouraging runners and spectators to try to set more than 40 race-related world records such as selfie photo taking, sourdough bread eating and garlic fry tossing. 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

NHL '15 Outdoor Stadium Series Game Inside Levi's

 

NEWS FROM LosAngelesJournalism.com

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


MORE NEWS ...

Misty Copeland Continues Breakout Endorsement Deals

Seiko of America has signed two high-profile spokespersons to appear in upcoming multi-media marketing: Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson and Misty Copeland, soloist for the American Ballet Theatre, who also is the face of Under Armour's women's brand alongside Lindsey Vonn and Gisele Bündchen and has other deals that include Payless and Blackberry, showing that she can be as energetic and creative working with global companies as she is making her mark in the challenging world of ballet. MORE

Living Legends Are Living Large With Marketing Alliances

Unlike Babe Ruth, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson, celebrities can be well past their greatest achievements — but still be alive — to sell merchandise, attend sponsorship events and appear in ad campaigns, as witnessed by a group of elder-statesman and iconic figures that includes Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Pelé, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Joe Montana and Bo Jackson, each of whom has been in commercials over the past couple of years and/or have lent their time and likenesses to endorse such brands as Under Armour, Subway, AT&T, Papa John's, Emirates Airline and Toyota, as well as driving the efforts of their own products and philanthropic endeavors. MORE

Q&A: For InStadium, Fans Give Brands A Big Ad-Vantage

Back in the 1950s, Abe Stark's Brooklyn clothing store had on the outfield wall of Ebbets Field an advertising sign that offered a free suit to any player who could hit it, a challenge that helped Stark sell clothing, become a political figure in New York and earn a spot in baseball folklore. From humble beginnings has come stadium and arena marketing that takes advantage of such innovations as jumbo HD screens, LED lights and Dolby sound, which are among the powerful tools that InStadium uses to connect such brands as Lexus, Disney, Google and HBO with nearly 500 teams and leagues nationwide via multi-platform activation. Last year, the Chicago-based company added InStadiumTV, which goes beyond traditional 30-second spots to bring brand-sponsored fan-participation videos to life, and in January expanded InStadiumTV to more than 65 NCAA basketball arenas (and a bevy of NBA venues) in time for March Madness. As Barrett Davie, EVP and founder of InStadium, relates in this Q&A, all of this has helped to redefine the category, enhance fan experience and bring solid ROI to companies.

McIlroy New Face Of $770M EA PGA Tour Franchise

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

Brands Jump-Start NFL Marketing With Winston, Mariota

Dick's Asks Young Athletes: 'Who Will You Be?'

MLS Orlando Deal Takes Fans To Magic Kingdom

'Ambitious' Asics Campaign: 'Big World. Go Run It'

 

Toyota Goes For Gold As New Global Olympics Partner

With the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo looming on the horizon, Toyota Motor Corp. has signed a deal to become an exclusive TOP worldwide partner with the International Olympic Committee in the newly created "mobility category" (vehicles, mobility services and solutions), which begins in 2017 and runs through 2024 but starts immediately in Japan, enabling the automaker to feature its Toyota, Lexus and Scion nameplates in marketing and other activations supporting the Olympics sustainability movement. MORE

Audi Drives Into Spring With A6 Campaign, MLS Alliance

Audi of America is hitting Spring in a big way, including a multi-media campaign highlighting the technological advances of its A6 sedan and what the automaker is calling a "landmark" multi-year deal as the official car company of Major League Soccer that begins with significant presence throughout the league's historic 20th season and such jewel events as the All-Star Game and MLS Cup playoffs, marketing via league broadcast partners as well as in-stadium, player appearances and fan-centric activation. MORE

Super Bowl, Oscars, March Madness Drive U.S. Ad Spend

With the Super Bowl, World Series, March Madness, Oscars and Grammys among the most sought-after commercial slots of the year, and with the Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup also in the mix last year, it is little surprise that that companies spent some $181B in marketing in the U.S. in 2014, which translates to a global-leading $567 per person, according to the just-released Global Advertising Market Forecast Outlook from consulting and marketing intelligence firm Strategy Analytics, which also reports that TV spend accounts for 43% of the ad dollars in the U.S, a figure that put into perspective means ad spend per TV household in the U.S. is 46 times larger than that in India and ad spend in North America is twice that of Western Europe. MORE

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

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

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