Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2013 03:12 PM
As ESPN prepares to coronate him as the greatest NFL coach of all time, it's only appropriate that today is the centenary of the man. Vince Lombardi was born on June 11, 1913, 100 years ago, and he's still considered the best leader of men the game has ever seen as well as an exemplar of effective leadership and accomplishment overall.
Because of his rock-ribbed consistency, reputation as a disciplinarian, charismatic personality, testimonials of his former players (11 of whom are in the NFL Hall of Fame)—and record of success, taking the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships over nine years in the Sixties—Lombardi rose to iconic status soon after his untimely death from cancer in September, 1970. Then-commissioner Pete Rozelle renamed the Super Bowl trophy the Vince Lombardi Trophy within days of his death.
Since then, there has occurred a revival of his beloved Packers franchise; the publication of David Maraniss's fine book on Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered; a recent successful run on Broadway for a play about Lombardi; and word that a biopic film is in the works that could star Robert DeNiro.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2012 03:41 PM
So far early in this National Football League year, the league seems to be writing The Tale of Two Seasons. It truly is the best of times in some ways — and the worst of times in at least one huge respect.
As every gridiron and sports fan is aware, the negative was highlighted throughout last weekend, the third weekend of play this fall, as substitute referees blew a handful of significant calls, made many other questionable calls, and overall threw so many flags at the players and teams that the pace of play was severely disrupted. All of that came down as team owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell continued to stand firm against the contract demands of the permanent referees and kept them off the field as a result of the labor dispute.
Then, to end the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football last night, the Keystone Cops refereeing crew made a call in the endzone that gave Seattle the winning touchdown as time expired — and immediately ranked as one of the most badly botched calls in the history of professional football.
Remarkably, after reviewing the play on Tuesday, the NFL came out and officially refused to utter a mea culpa on behalf of its replacement referees. In fact, the league upheld the call and is "holding firm" as the negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association continued today.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 25, 2012 02:02 PM
When your sports league has lost Rob Lowe, you're in trouble. When your sports league loses ESPN, you're really in trouble.
That's what happened Monday night to the NFL. The sports TV giant, a Disney-owned channel that will cheer loudly and despite any fan criticism for anything even resembling a sport — like spelling bees — turned on the NFL Monday after a debacle of a game that was more or less an inevitability. With the NFL using replacement referees during labor disputes with its regular officials drag on, the game that everyone eventually expected happened between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
The next 48 hours could very well come to be taught as a case study in crisis management at every MBA school in the nation. A case study in brand power.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on September 5, 2012 05:02 PM
Are you ready for some football? Big brands surely are. The National Football League may be a marketing and TV-programing juggernaut, but it is carrying more weight for more major brands than ever.
Take auto advertisers, for instance. Despite football telecasts that already were slated to be crowded with other car brands, Audi decided to use tonight's kickoff game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys for the marketing launch of its crucial new 2013 S Models. These performance nameplates (S6, S7 and S8) and the "S" brand are fundamental for Audi to move to the next phase of its positioning in the U.S. market, as a provider of exciting, luxurious and well-designed automobiles.
And so the NFL gets the call tonight to host the first Audi ad under its new tagline, "Heighten Every Moment," featuring the Audi S8. The 60-second spot (watch it above) will run in the first break after kickoff. Audi also announced that it will appear in the Super Bowl game in February, its sixth consecutive advertising appearance in the big game.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 3, 2012 09:11 PM
Old Spice is following up on last week's viral hit — an interactive "muscle music" video with former NFL player Terry Crews — with a new campaign featuring a current NFL player who's preparing for life off the football field: the Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings. Check out the first of seven spots featuring Jennings above.
The wide receiver, a 2006 Super Bowl champ who played with Brett Favre and has been trying his hand at acting, has fun touting Old Spice's Champion line of "man freshening" products — which were previously promoted with an Olympics-themed spot and a sand car commercial with the tagline, "Believe in your smellf."Continue reading...
brand and bottle
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 11, 2012 04:58 PM
Maybe the most telling thing about the story of the Three Fat Guys wine label is that the trio of Green Bay Packers linemen behind the label did it "with the help of Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, who has his own wine label, 'TwentyFour.'" Packers icon Brett Favre's wine has, of course, long been available in Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay varietals. ($24; "… shipping to WI address only.")
Winemaking is the new vanity undertaking for celebrities unwilling to launch their own "scent." Even thrash metal rock band Slayer has announced it will release its own wine. It is named "Reign In Blood." Yes, the wine party has come to an end. It was fun. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 19, 2011 01:40 PM
Tim Tebow and even the Green Bay Packers lost games on Sunday, but the National Football League just continues to ride one big long winning streak overall — and America's TV networks and by association their key brand-marketer advertisers have agreed to go along for the ride for the next decade.
As anticipated, TV viewership for Sunday evening's game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, and quarterbacks Tebow and Tom Brady, was the most-watched NFL game so far of a very much-watched season. It also gave CBS its best overnight rating for an NFL regular-season game in four years, during which the NFL and big advertisers such as Ford, Anheuser-Busch, Verizon and State Farm Insurance have come to dominate U.S. TV ratings each year even before the end-of-the-season Super Bowl.
The kind of results they got on Sunday are why broadcasters were willing to agree to fork over about 60 percent more on average to air NFL games from 2014 to 2022 in a pact reached with the league last week.
Football remains one of the few DVR-proof programs that still draws tens of millions of viewers who watch it live, the Wall Street Journal notes, while most of the rest of the TV audience is fragmenting among hundreds of channels and alternative viewing options including the internet.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2011 05:05 PM
Fans and admirers of the Green Bay Packers have inundated the team's phone lines and website (which redirects to packersowner.com) today to order up to 250,000 "shares" in the Super Bowl champion's latest sale of "stock" for $250 apiece.
The catch — well understood by everyone who snapped up the stock certificates — is that the shares aren't actually worth anything, including any scintilla of true ownership in one of the National Football League's oldest most storied franchises. The ultimate helm of the not-for-profit entity is held by an American Legion post in Green Bay in a complicated matrix of "public" ownership that is too long to be explained in most stock prospecti.
The bottom line is that the stock sale, the team's first since 1993, is entirely symbolic, a chance for the so-called Packer Nation of fans to express appreciation and support, mainly. But the proceeds are very real, and the team expects to raise at leaset $20 millon that will go toward a $143-million expansion plan for Lambeau Field including a new sound systrem, new videoboards and the addition of as many as 6,700 seats.Continue reading...