Top 20-Something Marketing Story Of 2015 Will Be: free polls

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%


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

U.S. Open 15: Nas 'We Play' (More Ads Below)


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"Every team is beatable. You never know. The right moment, the right time, every team is beatable." — Happy Birthday Tom Coughlin, b Aug. 31, 1946

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.

NFL SEASON OPENER Sept. 10 Pittsbugh Steelers vs. New England Patriots NBC 8:30 PM (ET)

AUG. 31 - SEPT. 13 U.S. Open Billie Jean National Tennis Center, New York ESPN

MLB POSTSEASON Oct. 10 Playoffs scheduled to begin, Oct. 27 World Series scheduled to begin



HOLD One year countdown until the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5-21


$7.99: Asking price for 1968 U.S. Open Tennis hat, on eBay.
$49.99 Asking price for U.S. Tennis Open ball autographed by Novak Djokovic, on eBay.
$239.99: Asking price for 2003 NetPro Serena Williams RC with autograph, on eBay.
$244.00: Asking price for (4) tickets to 2015 U.S. Open Tennis for 9-7, on eBay.
$25,000.00: Asking price for U.S. Open match-worn Roger Federer shirt with autograph, on eBay.


Q&A: Mondeléz' Oreo Thins In Center Court At U.S. Open

There will be a bevy of new things at the U.S. Open in New York over the next two weeks, including the presence of Mondeléz International — already an official marketing partner with Nascar, NCAA, MLS and U.S. Soccer — whose billion-dollar brands include Cadbury, Nabisco, Tang, Trident and Oreo, the latter of which recently added Oreo Thins, a product, as Stephen Chriss, senior director, North America Consumer Engagement and Marketing Services for Mondeléz reveals in this Q&A, will get multi-platform activation on-site, in social media and on TV to encompass commercials, signage and some 100 thousand free samples to people attending the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Whiskers A Go-Go: Luck Gets Hairy For DirecTV NFL

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck appears in his second TV commercial for DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket — a humorous campaign that also has spots featuring QBs Eli Manning and Tony Romo — this time not playing games with his cats because cable doesn't offer enough football (as he did in an earlier ad) but instead showing how having the NFL Sunday package provides immediate access not only to a plethora of games but also Fantasy Zone channel and quality stats, while having just cable drives you to grow an out-of-control beard in which you can hide your lap top and also use as a shirt. MORE

How Long Would It Take Ronda To Put Down Carl's Jr.

Ronda Rousey's victorious UFC bouts have been lasting about 30 seconds, and we're about to find out if it would take even that long for the champ to defeat — aka eat — a Cinnamon Swirl French Toast Breakfast Sandwich, as Rousey is starring in a multi-media campaign for the menu item, "Winning Combination," with the TV spot explaining that it is "a knockout breakfast with a sweet side," complete with the tag line, "Eat like you mean it." MORE

Skechers Signs As Title Sponsor For L.A. Marathon

Making another inroad into territory generally occupied by its rivals, Skechers has signed a multi-year deal to become title sponsor of what now will be known as the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon, the 31st running of which is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2016 on a "Stadium to Sea" route that begins at Dodger Stadium and ends near the Santa Monica Pier at the Pacific Ocean, with the event to include several world-class runners who also are planning to compete the day before in Los Angeles in the U.S. Olympic Trials for Men's and Women's Marathon as a prelude to the 2016 Summer Games. MORE

Delta Lands Hands-On Deal To Reach College Consumers

Saying it would go beyond traditional stadium signage and other related marketing, Delta Air Lines has signed an alliance with nine universities nationwide, adding to six already on its roster, "to embed the airline and its employees in campus and alumni events, academics and career recruiting" in an effort to reach what it called its "future customers," with Delta having a presence at such educational and athletic destinations as Duke, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio and Ohio State, where activations would include Delta employees helping freshman students move into their dorms, setting up a "Celebration Grill" during college football tailgate events and a similar venue for basketball Midnight Madness games and aligning with local alumni associations. MORE

In The NFL, On MadAve, It Pays To Be Odell Beckham Jr.

Not only is the 2014 Rookie of the Year and All-Pro wide receiver with the New York Giants becoming one of the top offensive players in the NFL, he also is a rising star on Madison Avenue, where this week alone he added to his endorsement roster deals with Head & Shoulders, Roar Beverages and Lenovo, which join Nike, Foot Locker and Exos, and also saw the release of EA Sports' Madden NFL 16 for which he is the cover athlete, with more alliances predicted to come. MORE

Mercedes Adds Another NFL Stadium To Its Roster

Calling it the biggest sports-related partnership in its history, Mercedes-Benz signed a 27-year deal, valued at $12M annually, for naming rights to the new stadium that in 2017 will become home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, giving it two-such league alliances along with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, putting the automaker — which recently moved its U.S. headquarters to the area — another venue that is in the rotation to host Super Bowl events, NCAA championships and possibly FIFA World Cup games. MORE

It's Epic. It's Eclectic. It's Madden NFL 16 The Movie

What do you get when you combine tough guys, sexy women, a T-Rex, motorcycles, explosions, ninja warriors, Colin Kaepernick channeling Al Pacino, other NFL players including Rob Gronkowski and Julio Jones, coach Rex Ryan playing a character known as Lil Pepper, WWE diva AJ Lee and actors Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse? In this case, a five-minute 'epic' promo trailer to herald the launch of Madden NFL 16, appropriately titled Madden: The Movie, which supports the release of the game on Aug. 25 and, in turn, according to EA Sports, "serves as the unofficial kickoff to the 2015 NFL season." MORE

Burn Notice: truth x Vans Push Takes On Teen Smoking

When it comes to cigarettes and teenagers, the American Legacy Foundation will have none of it, and neither will action sports lifestyle and youth culture brand Vans, which have joined forces for a new multi-platform campaign, truth x Vans, to take the problem head-on by combining elements of the iconic "truth" campaign, limited-edition apparel and footwear from Vans and national sports and entertainments tours to empower people to "end tobacco use" among teens, anchored by a TV spot, "Weapons of Mass Ridiculousness," which offers 100 things to do instead of smoking. MORE

Commercial Spotlight: Cam Newton Champions, Get Lost, Dairy Queen Bakes, Head & Shoulders Odell



Historic ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Returns To MLB

One of the most impactful cause-marketing campaigns of 2014 — and in recent memory — was the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised more than $220M worldwide to find a cure for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge is back, driven by co-founders Pete Frates and Pat Quinn (both of whom suffer from ALS), the Boston Red Sox, MLB and The ALS Assn., which will have an event in Fenway Park that then will move to every MLB team, which will spur fans on to take the Ice Bucket Challenge and spread the word via a multi-platform campaign anchored by a social media call-to-arms: #EveryAugustUntilACure. MORE

How Esurance Helped Drive MLB, ASG To A New ERA

When Esurance, the online division of Allstate, signed on in April to become the official auto insurance sponsor of MLB and title sponsor for the first-time all-digital Esurance All-Star Game and Final Ballot process, it marked not only the start of a partnership but a new era for MLB. And even just months into the alliance, as Chris Lee, director of brand partnerships and social engagement for Esurance, explains in this Q&A, the pact has already proven to be a success in brand awareness and beyond as seen by the record number of ballots cast, the response to supporting marketing led by a "Sorta You" ad starring San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Esurance's presence at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, key elements in Esurance's sports sponsorship strategy with its U.S. Open tennis alliance coming to an end.

Bryant, Bumgarner, Posey Pace MLB Jersey Sales

It certainly pays to be a member of the World Champion San Francisco Giants if you want to have a top-selling MLB jersey, but it doesn't hurt to be part of the Chicago Cubs' youth movement, either, as three members of the Giants — Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence — and Cubs teammates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo all placed among the top sellers for the first half of the 2015 season based on two sets of stats released, respectively, by MLB and the Baseball Hall of Fame, which also included among their hottest movers the jerseys of Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper of the Los Angeles Angels and veteran David Ortiz, who has worn a Boston Red Sox jersey since 2003. MORE

Poll: Even Sans Jeter, Yanks Top MLB As Fan Favorite

Despite the retirement of Derek Jeter, a man who arguably is considered the most popular player in team history, not making the playoffs for two years and last winning the World Series in 2009, the New York Yankees remain the favorite team in MLB, according to The Harris Poll from Harris Interactive, coming out ahead of rival Boston Red Sox, the surging (in popularity) Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers, but the sport itself has taken a hit — dropping from 37% to 32% as being favored among people. MORE

New Commish Paints Bright Picture For Game, Fans

The Hartford, Miller Lite Join MLB Lineup

Catcher In The Cards: Buster Posey Tops At Topps

Why Mike Trout Is On 'Most Dangerous' List

Coldwell MLB Campaign Gives Players Home Field Advantage



Q&A: How Surface Pro, Russell Wilson Boost Microsoft-NFL

Microsoft was built on technology, but it can also get up-close and personal with consumers and fans in the NFL, where the company, in the midst of a five-year, $400M alliance with the league, this season will use Surface Pro 3 on the sidelines and input from such players as Russell Wilson and Drew Brees to enhance the in-game experience of players and coaches and expand on its strategy to boost the at-home experience by giving people faster access to more and better quality stats, videos and information. But as Jeff Tran, director of sports and alliances for Microsoft, relates in this Q&A, this is a crucial season for Microsoft in technology, business and consumer relations as well as for the NFL, which is dealing with serious on- and off-field issues even as it builds toward an historic Super Bowl 50.

Wrangler Unites Brees, Earnhardt Jr., Favre For Fall Effort

Having Drew Brees, Brett Favre (in his prime) or Dale Earnhardt Jr. leading your team would be a best-case scenario, but Wrangler Jeans has all three and is bringing them together for the first time in the same seasonal campaign for one product, Wrangler Advanced Comfort Jeans, in a multi-platform strategy that includes TV, print, Internet, social media and POP — with a bonus appearance by Brees' wife Brittany and their kids for good measure — offering that the three sports stars "represent the principles and values that make Wrangler one of the greatest authentic and iconic American brands." MORE

NFL's Manning, Romo Go All Rob Lowe For DirecTV

In the world of DirecTV, it takes a team of NFL quarterbacks to replace Rob Lowe, whose humorous campaign for the subscription cable provider featuring several inferior versions of the actor — awkward, creepy, scrawny arms — was pulled at the request of the Better Business Bureau when rivals complained about it, but DirecTV has re-energized the concept to promote its NFL Sunday Ticket, with Eli Manning (New York Giants) and Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) playing off their hackneyed selves and the promise of more such ads to come starring Eli's brother Peyton (Denver Broncos) and Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts). MORE

Old Spice Pits Crews Vs. Mustafa During NFL Season

Procter & Gamble, an official NFL partner, will hit the coming season with a campaign for Old Spice, "Smellimitment," which unites for the first time the brand's two iconic marketing spokesmen — Terry Crews and Isaiah Mustafa — who square off in series of ads, the first breaking Sunday on NBC during the Hall of Fame Game and then continuing throughout the year, which add even more eccentric and absurd elements to the Old Spice landscape (think skeletons, chickens, active volcanoes, axes and a multi-seat motorcycle) as they seek to convince men and the women who buy grooming products for men to choose from among three of Old Spice's best-selling scents. MORE

Marketers, Politicians, Fans Support NFL Growth In U.K.

The NFL has a long-term plan to enhance and build its place in London and the U.K. — with the strong potential of putting a franchise as well as staging a Super Bowl there — the newest move being a ten-year deal that will see at least two games a year played in a new stadium that beginning in 2018 will be the home of soccer powerhouse Tottenham Hotspur, adding to the annual three-game schedule of NFL games now played in Wembley Stadium, all of which is being supported in the U.K. by the likes of Anheuser-Busch, Jeep, Visa, Pepsi, Microsoft and Papa John's, all of whom are targeting a local fan base of more than 13M (and growing). MORE

Hyundai In NFL Driver's Seat En Route To Super Bowl 50

The NFL has switched cars for the upcoming season, signing Hyundai Motor America as its official partner, replacing General Motors, via a four-year deal valued at $200M that will see the carmaker activate year-round during the NFL Combine, Draft, pre-season, Kickoff, playoffs and Super Bowl, where Hyundai already is among the top spenders over the past six years. MORE

$20M Yahoo Deal Makes Bills-Jags First NFL Live Stream

The NFL is adding another platform to its plethora of options available to fans, consumers and marketers who want to connect with the league, signing what industry analsyts said is a $20M deal with Yahoo! to deliver free to a global audience the first exclusive live stream of an NFL game — the Buffalo Bills against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Oct. 25 — that will ultilize platforms including Yahoo, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Screen and Tumblr spanning desktop mobile, tablet, connected TVs and set-top boxes. 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 particiapting Big Game players and coaches graduated. MORE

Wilson, Manning, Brady Top NFL $1.4B Sales

DirecTV Adds QBs Luck, Romo To Marketing

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

En Route To Super Bowl 50 NFL Renews CBS TNF Deal

Beckham Makes Another Catch On Madden NFL 16 Cover



Sean Jean Campaign Stars Sons Of LeBron, Carmelo

The high-octane fashion line run under the auspices of Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Sean Jean, is tapping into NBA bloodlines for its new 'Dream Big" multi-media effort, featuring LeBron James Jr. and brother Bryce along with Kiyan Anthony — the sons of NBA stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, respectively — for the "Little Dreamers" segment of its campaign, calling them "a great fit for the Sean Jean Boys brand (because they) truly represent the next generation of big dreamers." MORE

Nike's Global Eight-Year, $1B Deal Puts 'N' Into NBA

Nike is living large in the NBA, and not just thanks to endorsers who include LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving and its Jordan Brand division. The company of the 'Swoosh' has signed an eight-year deal valued by industry analysts at $1B to replace rival adidas as the league's official on-court global apparel provider beginning with the 2017-18 season, an alliance that will also see Nike become the official category partner of the WNBA and NBA D-League, with marketing and activations to include such jewel events as the All-Star Game, NBA Draft, Global Games and the playoffs and NBA Finals. MORE

Marriott Thinks Global, Acts Global With NBA Alliance

Hotelier Marriott International has more than 4,200 destinations worldwide, and it can now put them into play after signing a deal naming it the official hotel for the NBA, specifically as the first league partner that will activate behind international games on five different continents, beginning at the NBA Africa Game on Aug. 1 and then continuing during the Global Games and Canada Series, with Marriot set to support via multi-platform activations. MORE

Nike, Ford, Others In-Play For 'Historic' NBA Africa Game

A group of marketing partners have come on board as the NBA prepares for what the league is calling an historic event — its first game in Africa — including Nike, Ford, South African Airways, telecom company Econet Global Limited and media partners SuperSport (TV) and 947 (radio) — bringing marketing and activation to the exhibition pitting NBA players in a Team Africa vs. Team World format and surrounding events to aid the likes of SOS Children's Villages of SOuth Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. MORE

NBA Extends Space On ABC For 2015-16

The league has added games and supporting preview air time to its alliance with ESPN and ABC, unveiling an eight-game schedule to run as a Saturday Night on ABC programming block beginning in January, along with NBA Countdown, giving ESPN-ABC four nights of hoops next season — Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday —  in addition to ABC remaining the home for the NBA Final. MORE

NBA 2K16 Gets Spike In Interest From Curry, Harden, Lee

2K Sports has added some new wrinkles to its next NBA game, creating three covers with All-Stars Stephen Curry, James Harden and Anthony Davis, respectively, and putting Spike Lee into the game action — where he wrote and directed the MYCAREER mode — as well as marketing, for which the director of such films as He Got Game and Mo' Better Blues has written, directed and stars in a TV spot, 'Story is Everything,' that will anchor a multi-media campaign to support the release of NBA 2K16. MORE

Curry Continues March As NBA, Marketing, Fan MVP

Newly minted NBA MVP Stephen Curry has added to his roster of endorsement deals, signing a multi-year pact with official league partner Harman International to represent their JBL audio brand in a marketing platform that will feature TV, Internet, social media and consumer activations, as well as General Mills' Wheaties, extending Curry's reach among sports and music fans and bolstering his status as one of the league's most marketable players with alliances that also include State Farm, Under Armour, PlayStation, Degree, Express, Foot Locker, Kaiser Permanente, and Muscle Milk. MORE

Kyrie Slips Into PSD Underwear As Endorser, Investor

With many NBA players as fashion conscious off the court as they are skilled on it, it is no surprise that such stars as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade and Stephen Curry have added clothing and accessory lines to their business and endorsement portfolios, and the latest to join that roster is LeBron's Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, who has signed with premium underwear brand PSD as an endorser, designer, "trend-setter" and investor, joining a team that also includes NBA and NFL players James, Marshawn Lynch, Mike Miller, Chandler Parsons and Steve Johnson. MORE

Why Adam Silver Sees Europe, Jersey Ads In Future

Pepsi Sees Net Gains In New Deal With NBA

NBA Jumps At Shot To Be Part Of Disney Springs Complex

NBA's Most Loyal Fans? Chicago, S.A., L.A. (But Not Lakers)



NHL Signs 'Groundbreaking' $1B Deal With MLBAM

In what was heralded as a new era for the NHL, the league has signed a six-year agreement with MLB Advanced Media — the interactive media and Internet company of MLB — under which MLBAM will operate, club Web sites and apps; have exclusive rights to distribute out-of-market games; work with the NHL to continue to build the interactive experience for fans; and develop statistical, fantasy and player platforms; with MLBAM paying the NHL $100M and the NHL getting a stake in MLBAM, all to the tune of a valued $1.2B. MORE

Bridgestone Extends Pact With NHL, Winter Classic

Outdoor hockey is coming to Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL's New England Patriots, via the 2016 Winter Classic, which will see the hometown Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 1 and Bridgestone return as title sponsor through a new deal that ensures the brand's presence in the jewel event, which began in 2009, will now remain unbroken for another five years, and Bridgestone also planning to enhance its status as the official tire of the NHL and the NHL Players' Assn. with marketing activations both league-wide and at team levels. MORE  

Marketers Drive NHL Sponsor Revenue To Record $447M

The NHL, in the midst of a Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning that is drawing strong viewership numbers on NBC, has another significant reason to celebrate: Sponsorship spending in 2014-15 on the league and its 30 teams is on pace to set a record at $447M, up $60 million (9%) from last season and nearly $100M more than 2001 ($356M), driven by the likes of new and returning partners such as Reebok, Enterprise, Discover, Geico, Toyota, Honda, PepsiCo, MillerCoors, P&G, DraftKings and Samsung; and paced by category leaders in QSR, automotive, financial, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, according to the just-released IEG Sponsorship Report: NHL. MORE

NHL, Discover Financial Deal New Marketing Cards

While hickey fans are focusing on the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, the NHL and Discover are looking ahead, signing a pact that extends their current alliance through 2019 and enhancing it with the launch of an NHL Discover Card that offers members exclusive access, discounts and other amenities related to the league, while maintaining the firm's status as the official credit card and payment services partner for the NHL, title partner for the NHL on NBC's Thanksgiving Showdown Game, sponsor of the league's float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and other marketing and activation support. 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 As '16 Jewels

Samsung Eyes Tech-Savvy Fans With NHL Pact

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



Will Gronk, Big Papi Deliver Dunkin' Donuts To Your Door?

The CEO for Dunkin' Donuts said the brand in currently testing mobile apps for ordering food and drink and could soon follow with a test of home delivery, but is it possible that celebrity spokesmen such as Rob Gronkowski of the New England patriots and David 'Big Papi' Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox might be going door-to-door with sweet treats and coffee? The pair are the focus of a new humorous push for summer to support Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee, "Summer Chill," which finds them singing about the joys of the product and taking people on a ride that includes TV, Internet, social media, in-store and a dedicated Web site where visitors can download songs by the duo and share other eclectic elements. MORE

Olympics, Trials, Brands Put $182M Focus On Marathon

Adidas Finds 800 Lb. Guerrilla Marketing In Boston


Giants' 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

Zappos Hits The Ground Running With Bay To Breakers

Already a top online destination for shoes and style,, 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

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

Q&A: DNA For Levis, Niners Growth Is In The Jeans



Marketers, Supporters Start 100-Day Olympics Countdown

It is now 100 days and counting until the Opening Ceremony for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles, which will see some 7,000 athletes, 3,000 coaches and 500,000 spectators taking part between July 25-Aug. 2, with the milestone date giving marketing and media partners including Toyota, Coca-Cola, Toys R Us, Bank of America and ESPN — as well as supporters such as singer Avril Lavigne — the opportunity to ramp-up activations for what organizers are calling the "single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics." MORE

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


NBC, USOC, Marketers Activate For Olympics Countdown

The Summer Olympics are one year away, scheduled to start on Aug. 5, 2016, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, broadcast network NBC and marketing partners are taking advantage of the occasion by giving fans and consumers a sneak peak of what's to come, with the USOC activating behind a roster of brands and athletes and NBC unveiling a TV spot and other platforms that will be seen across its array of TV, digital and other outlets, motivating Seth Winter, evp-sales for NBC Sports, to say, "Our expectations are that we will exceed the 2012 Summer Games in London," during which NBC had more than 219 million viewers and took in $1.3B in ad revenue. MORE

Jimmy Kimmel Talks Trash In New Foot Locker Effort

Spouting such smack lines as "My crossover is dirtier than a coal miner's loofah" and "I'm like propane — I'm going to be in your grill all day," late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel channels his inner Basketball Jones as Bobby Butter, the focus of a humorous campaign from Foot Locker that follows Butter, who had game on the court but no fashion sense (aka a lack of new gear and kicks from Foot Locker), which according NBA players Damian Lillard and Andrew Wiggins, who also star in the effort, meant he could never become a pro athlete. MORE

Under Armour Continues Global Assault On Nike, adidas

Apparel and footwear company Under Armour includes among its roster of endorsers the NBA's Stephen Curry, pro golfer Jordan Spieth and globally renowned dancer Misty Copeland, each of whom had 'historic performances and accolades' over the past few months, according to company chairman and CEO Kevin Plank, key reasons that the Baltimore-based brand was able to realize such powerful 2Q financial figures as a 29% increase in net revenue, a 23% increase in its apparel unit and a whopping 40% jump in footwear — driven by Curry's MVP and championship performances in his Under Armour signature shoes — all of which has UA looking ahead and rivals looking back over their shoulders. MORE

Q&A: At Dick's, Why Sports Matter Beyond The Game

Dick's Sporting Goods wants to have both an immediate and long-term impact in sports and beyond, not just as a national retailer — with more than 600 locations in 46 states and growing — and as a rookie partner with the U.S. Olympic Committee, but in the way it connects with students and athletes, a goal anchored since last year by Sports Matter, which has engaged coaches, athletes, celebrities and the pubic to help raise funds for and awareness regarding budget cuts in school sports, which reached $3.5B between 2009-2011. But as Ryan Eckel, vp-brand marketing for Dick's Sporting Goods, reveals in this Q&A, although the company is getting its message out via a strategy of personal story-telling in marketing; documentaries including Hell Week and We Could Be King; The Contenders program assisting Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls; and alliances with Jon Gruden, Carli Lloyd, Kerri Walsh Jennings (pictured) and others, the challenges facing school sports, athletes and students are enormous.

Boston Fails To Medal, L.A. Eyeing Gold For '24 Games?

Seven months ago, Boston topped Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC as the U.S. Olympic Committee's choice to carry the U.S. bid to the IOC to host the 2024 Summer Games, but finances, politics, logistics, lack of local support and other hurdles have ended that opportunity, with the USOC and the Boston bid group saying they mutually decided to make the move, which leaves the USOC with less than two months to meet the IOC's official deadline — and the bid committee in Southern California saying that it is ready, willing and able to step in. MORE

Golden Gloves: Mayweather, Pacquiao Top Paid Athletes

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fought in May and collected a combined $400M (and counting), which was a major reason that the two boxers were No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the list of 100 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World as compiled by Forbes, with their combined annual total of more than $460M from winnings and endorsements higher than the combined total of the next seven athletes on the list: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. The down side: Only two women athletes made the Top 100: Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. MORE

Showtime Starts Search For Missing Sports Artifacts

Sports is about the athletes who play the games and the fans who watch them, but it also is about the balls, bats, sticks, gloves, shoes, trophies and other items that help to define memorable sports moments, many of which reside in Halls of Fame or private collections but a vast number of which have gone missing, which is a situation that Showtime will try, in part, to resolve with a new docu-series on Smithsonian Channel, Sports Detectives, in which a team of experts — including writer/producer Brian Biegel, whose Miracle Ball book depicted his extensive search for Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round The World" ball — will try to locate and authenticate such iconic (and reportedly missing) artifacts as Muhammad Ali's gold medal from the 1960 Olympics, the American flag that goalie Jim Craig draped over his shoulders after the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" victory, Kirk Gibson's game-winning home run ball from Game 1 of the 1988 World Series and the football from Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" catch. MORE

Global Sales Of Sports, Celeb Logoed Goods A $241B Biz

Are consumers really influenced to purchase products that have names, logos or likenesses on them of pro and collegiate sports teams, cartoon characters, celebrities and musicians? Yes, in a big way, to the tune of a record $241B in 2014, according to a new study from LIMA, a leading trade organization for the global multibillion-dollar licensing and branding industry, which in its just-released LIMA Annual Global Licensing Study says that the dominant category is Character & Entertainment ($107B in worldwide sales), followed by Corporate ($53B), Fashion ($29B), Pro Sports ($26B), Publishing ($12B) and Collegiate ($4.6B). MORE

Amid Changes, Topps Tradition Builds Business

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Taylor Swift Croons For Keds, Trainor Sings With Skechers

Turner Tunes Into iHeart Radio Awards, Final Four

Gruden, Marshall Build Support For Dick's Sports Matter

EPL '15: Is Wayne Rooney Still ManU's Money Man?


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

Businesses, Hollywood, Sports Eye Cosmos In Cuba

The match on June 2 between the NASL's New York Cosmos and the Cuban National Team was more than a friendly game, it was a step in helping to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, a process that is moving forward after more than 50 years of conflict, coming with support from a growing number of U.S. companies such as American Express, MasterCard, Netflix and Airbnb — which recently established themselves in Cuba — Hollywood and TV executives already filming or planning to do so in the country and sports leagues including the NBA and MLB tapping into the region as a hub for top prospects. 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