Posted by Dale Buss on October 14, 2013 11:07 AM
As injuries continued to take a horrific toll on more NFL players over the weekend, both stars and scrubs alike, major brands also were taking stock of their losses from associating with the most popular violent sport in America—because their spokesmen are leaving the big stage of game-day action to go nurse their wounds, sometimes for the rest of the season.
Visa was one of the latest brands to suffer a snake-bit association with an NFL star who fell to injury, and its timing was about as bad as could be. Just as Atlanta Falcons star receiver Julio Jones was emerging in the early season as the league leader at his position, he was badly injured and declared out for the season last week.
A new TV spot from Visa for its social media- based "personalized NFL fantasy" campaign stars Jones—regarded as one of the league's best at "touchdown dances"—receiving inspiration for a new dance from a local fan. The dance becomes a hit around the world, with everyone from Bollywood actors to Jones' character in the EA Sports Madden 25 video game doing the new dance.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 30, 2013 01:53 PM
NBA teams are generally not lacking in celeb star power, but the Toronto Raptors haven’t elicited a lot of excitement in the team’s 18-year history. That all is about to change today as the team announced that rapper Drake will assume the multi-faceted role of brand ambassador, consultant, and business partner for the ball club, according to the Toronto Star.
The news comes just as the NBA announced that Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star Game—the first time that the game will be played outside of the Lower 48. And Toronto could use the publicity.
Toronto was the worst team in its division last season, though certainly not the worst in the league (we’re looking at you, Orlando). While it made some personnel changes this summer, as Sports Illustrated notes, it doesn't seem as if any new talent has been brought in. So despite the excitement generated around the All-Star game and the addition of Drake, the brand boost won't go very far if the team can't get some W's.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...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 2, 2013 11:01 AM
In the future, all advertising will be based on the Old Spice Guy. The sooner we accept it the better. The latest entry into the field is Kraft Dressing's Zesty Italian salad dressing line with, wait for it, "The Zesty Guy."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 4, 2013 03:37 PM
Soccer fans in China were recently dealt a nasty blow when news came out of just how rigged the system has been there. Close to 60 Chinese soccer officials, including two former heads of the Chinese Football Association and the nation’s most-respected referee were recently banned from the sport for anywhere from five years to life for fixing games.
In addition to the corruption scandal, Chinese football has also just lost two of its biggest stars—the Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba and France’s Nicolas Anelka—long before soccer fans in the country expected them to leave.
What’s the most-populated nation in the world to do? Hire the world’s most well-known soccer player under the age of 40 to help shift its image, of course. The 37-year-old David Beckham, who is now on the roster of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club in France’s Ligue 1, has signed on to be the brand ambassador for Chinese football, the BBC reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 20, 2013 10:29 AM
When Gold Medal skier Lindsey Vonn's uplifting Facebook post from rehab carried the Instagram/Twitter hashtag #givesyouwings, it was just the latest example of how injury has become another opportunity for athlete spokespeople to service their brands.
Vonn posted the positive message alongside a picture of herself working out her abs as she is recovering from knee surgery after a brutal injury. The picture included her Red Bull water bottle. (She later tweeted a graphic picture of her post-op knee).
Yes, Red Bull is a Lindsey Vonn sponsor, but the fact that the four-time World Cup champion might not strap on skis for another six to eight months isn't stopping her endorsement duties. In fact, as many brands are learning, there may be as much to gain from a sponsor's thrill of victory as there is from his or her agony of defeat.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 01:53 PM
Oscar Pistorius was a man once known for being the fastest double-leg amputee on the planet. Now that the so-called Blade Runner has been charged with murder for the shooting death of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early Valentine’s Day morning, his sponsors, who pay out about $2 million to Pistorius annually, are moving just as quickly as Pistorius to figure out how to deal with the sudden PR nightmare.
Nike’s attachment to Pistorius was compounded by the fact that an ad featuring the Olympian used the tagline, “I’m the bullet in the chamber.” It was pulled from Pistorius’s website on Thursday, Ad Age reports. The victim's tweets before her murder also created a social media nightmare for anyone or any company attached to the paralympic athlete.
"Nike extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to all families concerned following this tragic incident," his sponsor said in a statement. "As it is a police matter, Nike will not comment further at this time." Two other sponsors, Oakley and BP Global, both used the word “shocked” in their statements on the issue. Thierry Mugler fragrances had nothing to say other than it was waiting to see what happens with the investigation.
British Telecom, better known as BT, also went the “appalled” route with its statement: "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. Given the ongoing legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 4, 2013 03:02 PM
Harley-Davidson is a modern-day symbol of rebellion and anti-authoritarianism. But over the 110 years of its existence, that hasn’t always been true. Thousands of Harleys were sent along with U.S. troops to World War I and World War II, for instance.
But somewhere along the way, in the rise of outlaw motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angels, the Harley picked up a brand of rebelliousness — and over time, the company has milked that for all it's worth.
This year, as the company marks its 110th anniversary, it's partnered up with Kid Rock, whom it calls a “legendary musician and ‘American Badass.” For starters, the brand is serving as the sponsor of Kid Rock’s 60-city Rebel Soul tour, which began over the weekend.Continue reading...