Big name sports stars have been some of the biggest drivers of the ongoing Twitter explosion. Now, fans can follow their favorite celebrity sports Twitterers all in one place.
The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, the world’s first anti-bullying foundation, today announced it has issued its 50th grant, coinciding with the organization’s third anniversary. The Foundation is a registered 501c3 grant-making non-profit in the United States and a registered charity in the United Kingdom. The 50 grants have been given across both countries.
The sports highlight is extremely predictable by now: an amazing play, sequence or moment is replayed from one or more angles, while a news anchor or announcer recaps what happened. Sometimes the video runs along with its original play-by-play audio, or maybe with the live radio call. But, in the age of social media permeation and mobile video proliferation, this is no longer enough, according to UNITE.
The lifeblood of college football fandom is changing. The painted faces crammed into the student section of stadiums nationwide have turned away from newspapers and talk radio toward social media to get stats, scores and even messages from coaches and players in real time. As social media infiltrates stadiums and clubhouses, teams are scrambling on and off the field to reach students and young alumni
Two years after launch, Bloomberg Sports is rapidly expanding its offering of data-driven technology tools, signaling the growing demand for advanced analytics by fans and teams alike as the digital capability to deliver such content matures.
With such high stakes, brands should assess their fit with the Olympic Games before jumping into the arena. Not all players are a perfect match. Brands that are compatible with the Games, in both product offering and Ideal, can expect greater impact on their equity.
Adidas will embed its miCoach data tracker in uniforms worn by players competing in the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25. The “professional soccer team tracking system” riffs on the miCoach Speed Cell introduced last year, and Adidas says it will provide coaches with real-time data about player position and performance.
As both an avid golf fan and a curious marketer, I’ve noticed a renewed enthusiasm for the premier professional ladies golf tour, the LPGA. To learn more about the LPGA’s turnaround, I had a conversation with the organization’s CMO, Jon Podany.
Fantasy Football now entertains 27 million people, playing an average of 9 hours a week, in an industry valued at around $800 million. (All numbers are pretty much surmise. See references below.) It reminds me of the Dole plantation story. Apparently, Dole would create a lot of juice while canning pineapples, and then just through the juice into the ocean. Someone had the wit to say, "er, could I have that?" Mixed drinks and the International House of Pancakes were never the same.
The big news for sports fans this week is the redesign of the Pacific 10 Conference (Pac-10) logo, which I must say looks pretty good. The logo was launched with appropriate fanfare in New York City on Tuesday by being projected on a raining wall of mist in the Whiskey Blue, a popular midtown Manhattan bar in the W Hotel.
Time Warner Inc.'s Turner cable-television networks have forked over billions of dollars to air big-time sporting events, but they haven't matched the stature of ESPN. Now Turner is roping a corporate sibling into the chase. To beef up and better compete for digital advertising and buzz with ESPN, Turner's sports division is set to take control of the Web business of Sports Illustrated, owned by Time Warner's Time Inc. magazine unit. The partnership will combine Sports Illustrated's SI.com and Golf.com with a stable of websites managed by Turner Sports, such as NBA.com, Nascar.com and PGA.com.
This is one of those occasions where — and let me show my cards early here — the rebranding effort is so poor it is hard to know where to begin. For those that may not follow the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Golden State Warriors have been in California, and more specifically in the Bay area, since moving out here in 1962 from Philadelphia. The current redesign marks the first rebranding effort by the team since 1997.
The older I get, the more I become convinced that the average person in our "sound byte society" has the attention span of a gnat. Worse, I fear that in making this assertion, I may be describing myself. I've traditionally been a bit of a cynic for the latest fads. My elders drilled it into me that you "stick with something that works." Yet despite being the immediate past president of the Marketing Research Association (MRA) and a staunch advocate of classical marketing research methodologies, I'm actually starting to buy into some of the "buzz du jour" about social media as a viable tool for measuring fan sentiment.
A year ago, ESPN started going local. For an empire devoted to conquering the United States and the world on its multitude of media platforms, Web sites focused on major cities offered a way to fulfill its manifest destiny. First came the site in Chicago, then debuts in Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles. And at midnight on Thursday, ESPNNewYork.com was scheduled to make its debut.
A couple of years ago, a business-development guy at Bloomberg named Bo Moon was getting crushed in his fantasy-basketball league. So while commuting from New Jersey into Bloomberg's Manhattan offices, Moon and a car-pool colleague, Jay B. Lee, started wondering what would happen if the company applied its core expertise, the supply of real-time financial analytics to Wall Street traders, to sports statistics. (And while spending hours stuck in New York City–area rush-hour traffic, they had plenty of time to ponder.) After all, in many ways fantasy teams are similar to stock portfolios, with players as the assets. If Bloomberg could analyze a stock via every imaginable statistic and performance graphic, why couldn't the company do the same for athletes? With fantasy sports now a $4.5 billion industry, wouldn't there be demand for a Bloomberg product geared toward that market?
It may be that Tiger Woods's name has not suffered as much as we might have thought it would only a month or so ago. This week Forbes reports that his name still holds the top spot among athletes with a value of $82 million. This is still more than the following huge sports names make combined, reports The Street, "David Beckham ($20 million), tennis player Roger Federer ($16 million), NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($14 million) and NBA stars LeBron James ($13 million) and Kobe Bryant ($12 million)."
The multiyear partnership deal McDonald's signed last week with basketball star LeBron James is an early sign that the Tiger Woods debacle hasn't put marketers off celebrity endorsements altogether. But it does indicate that the landscape is subtly changing. McDonald's said Thursday that its new relationship with Mr. James will kick off with his appearance in a Super Bowl XLIV pregame commercial. The ad is a remake of "The Showdown," an iconic 1993 Super Bowl spot in which National Basketball Association legends Larry Bird and Michael Jordan sought to outdo each other with seemingly impossible shots to win a Big Mac.
We’re still almost two weeks away from the Super Bowl – and all of its wannabe viral commercials – but at least one yet-to-be-seen ad is already capturing the imaginations of the Web: a pro-life spot featuring college football star Tim Tebow.
After years of bidding up fees for the rights to televise sports, U.S. media companies are putting on the brakes. Richard Carrion, a member of the International Olympic Committee's executive board, said the organization is seriously considering delaying until next year the bidding for the U.S. media rights for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics because of the ongoing struggles of broadcasters hurt by a rocky advertising market.
On Monday, the National Football League announced that it will now limit use of social media and networks during the season. Players, coaches, officials, personnel, third-party representatives, and even the media are prohibited from updating their status, blogging, or tweeting 90 minutes before a game until post-game interviews are completed. You can bet that the NFL will pay particular attention to Chad Ochocinco, who recently boasted in a personal Ustream chat that he plans to circumvent the rules and tweet while playing – even if it’s through a representative or strategic social operative. I do find this interesting as I understand the NFL’s intent – I honestly do. But, in reality this is an untenable strategy and therefore not worth fighting.
If you want to understand how ESPN went from a two-story building surrounded by satellites in 1979 to the world's largest sports-media brand, spend a day at the company's campus in Bristol, Conn. On the eve of ESPN's 30th anniversary, MediaWorks took a trip up north to the company's Media Workshop, where dozens of sports-media reporters and bloggers convened for a detailed tour of what makes the Walt Disney Co.'s top-grossing cable property tick. Here are some highlights from the day's sessions.
A key reason sports brands are so successful is the relationship they have with each of their consumers, or fans. Being a sports fan—and loving a team brand—transcends a person’s job, family or social status. “Fans experience pleasure and satisfaction with successful teams,” writes Baylor University marketing professor Kirk L. Wakefield in his book, Team Sports Marketing, “but, they also experience feelings of delight or excitement that deeply resonates within the identity of the individual fan, such that the effects are likely to be long-term. … Sports teams develop a faithful fanatical following primarily due to high levels of identification…”
The National Football League has an official drink and an official wireless headset. Now, in a sign of how far sports leagues will go to find revenue in the recession, it has official toiletries. The NFL, the biggest U.S. sports league by revenue, on Wednesday will announce a sponsorship deal with Procter & Gamble Co., maker of everyday household items such as soaps and shampoos. The multi-year pact, which P&G says is the costliest in its history, lets it slap a newly designed "Official Locker Room Product of the NFL" label on products including Old Spice deodorant and Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo.
It's interesting to me that marketers are cutting back on their investment in sports during this economic downturn. Putting aside some of the political elements that influence certain of those decisions, I can't understand why cutting one's investment in sports is a smarter choice than curtailing the use of other marketing elements, where the results are less tangible, less targeted, and providing lower ROI.
Nascar might just have an answer to the soft economy that's hurting TV ratings, live attendance, and sponsor recruitment: Danica Patrick.
It should come as no surprise that the entire sports world is reaching out to fans with social media tools. But just how engaged are these groups with the latest in communications technology? Because the National Basketball Association (NBA) is in the thick of its playoffs, we’ll use them as a guinea pig.
Imagine getting hit with a food or drink craving while you're sitting in your seat at a sporting event. The seat cost you close to a left lung, so you don't want to waste a lot of time walking to the concession stand (and dealing with all of your fellow sports fanatics). So you text your order on your phone, and it appears before you a short time thereafter.
Each April, the National Football League holds the spring Draft, an annual event during which it recruits new players (mainly from colleges) to join its teams. In the past, this selection process was an “institutional event,” where football fans knew the drill and creating buzz around the event was not as necessary. In the age of Twitter, Facebook and mobile technology, however, the NFL is changing up its game.