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• Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell received 855,539 total fan votes to lead all NFL players in balloting for the 2018 Pro Bowl, as announced on NFL Network. Fan voting ended on Dec. 14. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (833,481 votes) was second.  The Top 5 also includes Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown (832,446 votes), Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (829,174 votes, injured and out for the season) and New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (743,355 votes). The 2018 Pro Bowl rosters will be revealed exclusively live on Dec. 19 live on NFL Network 8 PM ET). The 2018 Pro Bowl on Jan. 28, will be televised live from Camping World Stadium on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC (3 PM ET).
• In conjunction with the official grand opening of its Americas headquarters, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and the Nashville Predators unveiled an additional five-year extension for the naming rights agreement for Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, thru 2025.
• Research, marketing and consulting firm NewZoo, San Francisco, has increased its estimate of the market size for global games for 2016-20 “based on an even stronger performance than anticipated in the first three quarters of the year. NewZoo now says that the global games market would generate $116 billion in game software revenues, $7.1 billion higher than previously estimated and nearly 11% growth vs. 2016. The firm now estimates that the category will hit $143.5 billion in 2020.

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Top-Selling NBA Jerseys Dick's Sporting Goods (Season to Date)

1. LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors

4. Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder
5. Joel Embid Philadelphia 76ers
6. Kristaps Porzingas New York Knicks
7. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks

8. James Harden Houston Rockets
9. Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers
10. Isaiah Thomas Cleveland Cavaliers
11. Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs
12. Gordon Heyward Boston Celtics
13. Kevin Love Cleveland Cavaliers
14. Karl-Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves
15. Al Horford Boston Celtics

SOURCE: DICK'S SPORTING GOODS

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Athletes
1. Floyd Mayweather
2. Gordon Hayward
3. Aaron Boone
4. Paul George
5. Tony Romo
6. Aaron Judge
7. Gonzo Ball
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Sergio Gracchia
10. Isaiah Thomas

Professional Sports Teams
1. New York Yankees
2. Houston Astros
3. Boston Celtics
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Atlanta Falcons
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. New England Patriots
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Houston Rockets
10. Philadelphia Eagles

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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
Saturday
Oct222016

MetLife Sends Snoopy And His Peanuts’ Friends To Doghouse In Brand Makeover

Special to NYSportsJournalism

October 21, 2016: Calling it the “most significant change to the brand in over 30 years,” MetLife has decided to end its relationship with Charles Schulz’s Snoopy, the animated dog, and other friends that inhabit the world of Peanuts.

The MetLife-Snoopy alliance dates back to 1985.

The insurance firm said it is seeking to "remove the complexities traditionally associated with insurance" by "moving away from a traditional product-development model to one driven by customer insights," Steven Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO for MetLife, Inc. said in a statement.

The strategy is led by a new global brand platform, "MetLife. Navigating Life Together."

MetLife said it would "phase out its use of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang," which has been used on TV, in print and online, as well as via highly visible MetLife blimps named "Snoopy One," "Snoopy Two," and "Snoopy Three."

Earlier this year, New York-based MetLife said it would "pursue the separation of a substantial portion of its U.S. retail segment" to focus on its group life and employee benefits divisions.

"To adapt to our changing world, we are re-thinking how we do business," Steven Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO for MetLife, Inc., said in a statement. "We are moving away from a traditional product-development model to one driven by customer insights.

"Our new brand reflects our company's transformation and differentiates us in the marketplace, ultimately driving greater value for our customers and shareholders,"  said Kandarian.

The change also includes MetLife's new visual branding, adding green to the company’s traditional blue “in a symbol of partnership to form an M for MetLife.”

In addition, the colors reflect the company’s naming rights deal at MetLife Stadium, home for the NFL’s New York Jets, whose main color is green, and New York Giants, whose main color is blue.

An eight-foot Snoopy statue was placed outside MetLife Stadium in 2012 in conduction with the naming rights, and a pre-season game between the Giants and Jets had been dubbed “The Snoopy Bowl.”

MetLife said it would be rolling out the new brand globally through 2017.

Initial marketing will hit mobile, social and Web properties. Print ads will appear in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Washington Post beginning Oct. 21. TV will break in December.

Additional advertising is running in Mexico, Korea and Japan.

"We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable at a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant."

All sans Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts crew.

According to Esther Lee, global chief marketing officer of MetLife, "We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant. Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time.

"We are embarking on a journey to upend the long-entrenched norms of the insurance industry. We are focused on humanizing our industry and designing every customer experience to reflect the modern company we're becoming," said Lee.

Even with this, the Peanuts brand will have plenty of work.

Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, but his estate this year is expected to have an income of $48 million, second among deceased celebrities only to Michael Jackson ($845 million), according to Forbes.

Peanuts, despite being more than 65 years old, is still popular in modern culture. It is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — with McDonald’s among its partners.

Peanuts characters have appeared in ads for Dolly Madison snack cakes, Chex Mix, Bounty, Cheerios, A&W Root Beer, Kraft Foods, Ford and an array of products for Hallmark Cards, an on-going alliance that dates back to 1960.

The assets are owned by Peanuts Worldwide, LLC, a joint venture of the Iconix Brand Group (whose  portfolio also includes Umbra, Starter, Jay-Z’s Rocawear, Pony, London Fog, Zoo York, Ed Hardy and Joe Boxer) and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates.

"We have great respect for these iconic characters. However, as we focus on our future, it's important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers," said Lee.

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