sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2013 11:28 AM
Soccer fever is running high across the globe as FIFA officials gather in Brazil today to draw names from a series of pots to decide what teams will face eachother in the first round of next summer’s World Cup.
The 32 teams that have earned a berth will not only find out how skilled their opponents are but also discover the schedule and locations of their first-round games. As the New York Times points out, Brazil could fit the four countries that have hosted the last three World Cups—South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Germany—inside its borders, which means that some teams are going to be traveling far distances between games and playing in very different environments while others will get the lucky draw of playing all their first-round games in a much smaller area. England coach Roy Hodgson predicts that the travel for some teams could be more difficult than the actual opponents on the field.
When the names start getting pulled out of the pots to decide the eight groups of four, expect all of the World Cup official partners—Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai/Kia, Emirates Air, Sony, Visa—to be on high alert.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 11, 2013 06:04 PM
Adidas announced lackluster third-quarter results last week, with hopes for a fourth quarter sprint to put things right. “Sales were down 7%, with operating profit 6% lower,” Reuters reported. Archrival Nike, meanwhile, has been on a rollw. When it revealed its fiscal first-quarter numbers back in September, revenue had risen 8% over the same period in the previous year.
That's why Adidas is hoping that its official sponsorship role for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil will help revive sales just as its connection to the London 2012 Olympic Games and European Championships did last summer.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2013 05:51 PM
Twitter is going full steam ahead this week as it puts final touches on its IPO, now priced between $23 and $25, pushing its potential market value to $13.9 billion.
With its Thursday market debut looming, Twitter is showing no signs of weakness, continuing an aggressive push to boost the value of the microblogger. Careful to not have a 'Facebook moment,' Twitter still intends to sell 70 million shares in its debut, but with strong demand for its stock after its road show, the company even plans to close its books on Tuesday, a day ahead of schedule. The move is on point with bullish reports from Wall Street, most indicating a strong support and outlook for the company.
“If you’ve got a social strategy, Twitter is one of the most effective ways to activate that,” Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research, said in an interview, according to the New York Times. “What they’ve got is unique and not replicable in any sense.”
And analysts are only looking up. Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research, indicated that he sees Twitter's revenue growing from $636 million this year to $1.1 billion in 2014, and $2.7 billion in 2016. “We expect a lot of growth ahead in advertising and Twitter ad products," he told the Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Kristen Van Nest on October 29, 2013 07:07 PM
Earlier this month, Under Armour introduced a completely different retail concept to the Chinese sporting apparel market—a market that has proven hard to crack even for the most seasoned retail veterans, including Nike and Adidas. But Under Armour's new Shanghai retail theater experience aims to do much more than just sell clothes and sneakers.
Located in the Jing An Kerry Centre, the store features a 270-degree screen that covers 90 percent of the relatively small boutique, encapsulating store-goes in the sights, sounds and experiences of athletic training—a truly foreign concept in China and greater Asia.
In China, especially, working out is not a common activity. Seeing joggers is a rarity and oftentimes in the gym, Chinese are seen wearing jeans or leather shoes as opposed to sporting apparel. Sports participation is also low due to lack of time, the single child policy, and limited governmental support to popularize sports. But, there is still huge market potential; after the Beijing Olympic Games, there has been dramatic growth in sporting brands.
Still, the market has proven difficult, with Nike, Adidas, and others struggling to localize their retail approach to fit the unique needs of Chinese consumers, both young and old. In fact, Nike and Adidas have spent much of their time in the country with a hard focus on building a lifestyle brand around young consumers, capitalizing on consumer trends towards creativity and self-expression. Still, Nike recently saw a three percent decline in its China sales while it experienced an increase in all other geographic locations.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2013 01:42 PM
While Brazil is readying itself to be inundated by world-class sporting events, as the World Cup will arrive in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, brands are doing their share of preparing, too.
Subway Restaurants is thinking ahead of the game and has announced the signing of Brazilian soccer legend Pele as its newest brand ambassador, an athlete who is seemingly synonymous with happy fans (and disappointed opponents). Pele will likely be featured pretty prominently in both the World Cup and Olympic events.
Don’t think Subway is the only one the Pele ball. P&G and Volkswagen have also signed him on as a brand ambassador in the last nine months.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2013 07:20 PM
Brazil is all about dancing and beaches, beautiful women, the annual Carnival in Rio and the 98-foot statue of Christ atop Corcovado Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Life’s a party, right?
Well, not recently. In the last week or so, more than a million people have taken to the streets to protest the government’s ineptness and the incredible outlay of public cash to prepare the country for the World Cup next summer and the 2016 Olympic Games. The protests have gotten so large that they have threatened to possibly cause the cancellation of soccer’s Confederations Cup, the games played one year before the World Cup as kind of a test drive for the location.
Coca-Cola, a sponsor of both the World Cup and the Olympics, doesn’t want to focus on the bad news. The company would rather turn its attention to becoming “the icon of happiness through telling more stories,” according to Neil Bedwell, the brand’s global digital chief, The Drum reports. The plan is to take the next 300 days and tell real-time stories in order “to engage with consumers during the buildup and course of the World Cup," (and hopefully quell the public outcry).Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2013 10:31 AM
Audi is feeling its oats as a brand, with steadily growing ambitions that now encompass expansion in South America in addition to North America, as Volkswagen's luxury brand attempts to beat out BMW for worldwide premium-segment leadership.
China has been Audi's strongest foreign market for a while. But with luxury-brand competition growing there and European luxury buyers strapped by the continent's recessionary economy, Audi executives have been casting their vision increasingly to the Western Hemisphere for growth. They already have managed to score impressive gains in the US market in terms of sales and brand prestige—but only in America does Audi significantly trail BMW, and Mercedes-Benz for that matter, in actual unit volumes.
Aiming to change that, Audi executives joined local and federal officials in Mexico over the weekend in laying the foundation stone for a $1.3 billion plant that will begin turning out a new version of the Audi Q5, its best-selling crossover, in mid-2016.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 25, 2013 10:30 AM
The fight against childhood obesity is a global one, and McDonald's is being reminded of that fact by a surprising fine by a Brazilian consumer-protection agency over the chain's promotion of its Happy Meals.
It seems that Procon, an agency in Sao Paolo, didn't appreciate McDonald's 2010 promotion of Happy Meals that leveraged toys from the movie Avatar as well as a local television series, according to a lawyer for Procon who talked with Reuters. "This is not an isolated case," he told the news service. "There's no need to appeal as they do to children without the maturity or rationality to enter the market as consumers."
The lawyer, of course, forgot to mention "parents," who are supposed to provide the "maturity" and "rationality" to supervise their children. But such trivialities haven't made much of a difference in do-gooders' global attacks on McDonald's for offering food that parents want to buy for their children, including Happy Meals.Continue reading...