Branding the World of Sports

Archive for August, 2008

Tiger Woods walks on water for EA Sports

Posted by ZA on August 27, 2008

Just when you think you’ve seen everything possible from Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, he goes off and does something that you cannot fathom.

The latest “miracle” from Tiger?  Mr. Woods can walk on water.

The youtube was produced by EA Sports to promote their new “Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’09” video game.  No word yet on whether Tiger Woods actually walked on water to make the video.  Would you surprised if Tiger did walk on water?

Posted in Golf | Leave a Comment »

Olympics Wrap Up: Who’s Brand Reigned Supreme?

Posted by ZA on August 24, 2008

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing are finally done.  It was three weeks of interesting stories from China, but what stories are the biggest leaving these games?  Who’s brand was most positively impacted by these Beijing Olympics?  How did the sponsors, who paid mega endorsement dollars, fare during the 2008 Beijing Olympics?  Below we take a look at these questions and analyze who’s brand reigned supreme in Beijing. 

1. Speedo
– Their LZR Racer suit has been the dominant brand at the Watercube.  Athletes wearing the Speedo suit accounted for 90% of the medals won in swimming and broke 23 world records in Beijing.

2. Nike – Outfitted many of the top US athletes at the Olympics.  Got great exposure from the “Redeem Team”, the US track and soccer teams.  And who didn’t see the photos of darlings of beach volleyball, Misty May and Kerri Walsh, wearing their Nike bikinis as they posed with President Bush.

3. Li-Ning – They outfitted many of the countries that US athletes competed against.  Great exposure having their namesake light the torch to kickoff the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

4. Puma– Sponsorship of the Jamaican track team and their star, Usain Bolt, paid huge dividends.  They didn’t have to shell out the same dollars that Nike and Li-Ning did, but still shared the spotlight with them.

5. Coca-Cola– Their spot with LeBron James and Yao Ming was the most interesting commercial I saw during the Olympics.

6. McDonald’s– If I heard once, I heard it a thousand times during the Beijing Games that McDonald’s supplied all of the food on the Olympic Green and to the media.  They squeezed a lot of mileage out of their sponsorship dollars and some free McNuggets.

7. Lenovo– Nice product shot of a Lenovo Think Pad sitting on the desk as Jim Lampley and Bob Costas talked about the action at the Olympics.

1. Michael Phelps – The Golden Boy of the 2008 Olympics.  Phelps is going to be in endorsement deal heaven after his 8 gold medal feat at the Summer Games.  Look for him to increase his net worth about ten times over with new endorsements.  The bigger question now is how does he top this performance in London in 2012?

2. Usain Bolt– Jacques Rogge might not like Usain, but the rest of the World does.  Assuming he stays clean of all doping/drug scandals (sad I have to say that, but this is track & field) and he’s going to be the biggest track star since Carl Lewis. 

3. Misty May & Kerri Walsh– They hit all of the right notes at the ’08 Games on their way to collecting a second straight gold medal.  Athens put them on the map, and Beijing should make them households names around America.  The question now is what they do with their new found fame, as they’ve both stated they want to take some time off to start a family.  Their brand is on the rise, but it’s to be continued…

4. “Redeem Team”– They came, they saw, they conquered.  It was Kobe, LeBron and DWade leading this team on the court, but the true credit for “Redeem Team” should go to Jerry Colangelo and Coach K.  They got the megawatt NBA stars to buy-in and put on a great show on and off the court.   


* China/BOCOG – How did China’s brand fare?  They put on a spectacular show that impressed the entire World.  Behind the scenes their government was up to the same old tricks, like restricting protests and limiting access to information.  Even with all of the evil government actions, overall these games was a huge boost for China’s brand.  We got to get a peak behind the Great Wall, and even though much of it was staged, it was still a great first step to exposing the Chinese to the rest of us.

* The IOC– How did the IOC’s brand fare? They got pushed around by the Chinese government and BOCOG.  Jacques Rogge put his foot in his mouth regarding Usain Bolt.  The positive was an Olympics that was not marred by doping issues, but the issue of these games is underage athletes which the IOC ignored for the most part.  Their brand took a hit on these games, I think most people in the World now see them for the greedy corporation that they are.

* NBC– They paid a truckload and were blasted by many people for delaying their broadcast of certain events so they could be shown during prime-time.  Overall, I thought NBC did a better job with the Beijing Games than any others in recent memory.  They eased off on some of the sappy human interest stories and didn’t over-expose Bob Costas.  Their brand got a nice boost from Beijing Olympics 2008.

Goodbye to Beijing 2008…hello London 2012.

Posted in Apparel & Shoes, NBC, Olympics, Sports Brands | Leave a Comment »

London Olympics broadcast rights top $1 billion

Posted by ZA on August 22, 2008

What does it cost to broadcast the Olympics? The 2012 Olympics in London, England are the first Olympic Games in history to cost more than $1 billion dollars in U.S. broadcast fees.  NBC agreed to pay over $2 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, which includes certain global sponsorship rights.

Below is a look at the cost for Olympic broadcast rights across the history of the Olympic Games. The fees were originally just television but now include TV and online.  The amounts listed are for the U.S. broadcast rights provided by USA Today.

Year Olympics Location Network Broadcast Fee Paid
1896 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece
1900 Summer Olympics Paris, France
1904 Summer Olympics St. Louis, Missouri
1908 Summer Olympics London, England
1912 Summer Olympics Stockholm, Sweden
1916 Summer Olympics Berlin, Germany
1920 Summer Olympics Antwerp, Belgium
1924 Summer Olympics Paris, France
1924 Winter Olympics Chamonix, France
1928 Summer Olympics Amsterdam, Netherlands
1928 Winter Olympics St. Moritz, Switzerland
1932 Summer Olympics Los Angeles, California
1932 Winter Olympics Lake Placid, New York
1936 Summer Olympics Berlin, Germany
1936 Winter Olympics Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
1940 Summer Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1940 Winter Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1944 Summer Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1944 Winter Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1948 Summer Olympics London, England
1948 Winter Olympics St. Moritz, Switzerland
1952 Summer Olympics Helsinki, Finland
1952 Winter Olympics Oslo, Norway
1956 Summer Olympics Melbourne, Australia
1956 Winter Olympics Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
1960 Summer Olympics Rome, Italy CBS $              394,000.00
1960 Winter Olympics Squaw Valley, California CBS $               50,000.00
1964 Summer Olympics Tokyo, Japan NBC $           1,500,000.00
1964 Winter Olympics Innsbruck, Austria ABC $              597,000.00
1968 Summer Olympics Mexico City, Mexico ABC $           4,500,000.00
1968 Winter Olympics Grenoble, France ABC $           2,500,000.00
1972 Summer Olympics Munich, Germany ABC $           7,500,000.00
1972 Winter Olympics Sapporo, Japan NBC $           6,400,000.00
1976 Summer Olympics Montreal, Canada ABC $         25,000,000.00
1976 Winter Olympics Innsbruck, Austria ABC $         10,000,000.00
1980 Summer Olympics Moscow, Russia NBC $         87,000,000.00
1980 Winter Olympics Lake Placid, New York ABC $         15,500,000.00
1984 Summer Olympics Los Angeles, California ABC $       225,000,000.00
1984 Winter Olympics Sarajevo, Yugoslavia ABC $         91,500,000.00
1988 Summer Olympics Seoul, South Korea NBC $       300,000,000.00
1988 Winter Olympics Calgary, Canada ABC $       309,000,000.00
1992 Summer Olympics Barcelona, Spain NBC $       401,000,000.00
1992 Winter Olympics Albertville, France CBS $       243,000,000.00
1996 Summer Olympics Atlanta, Georgia NBC $       456,000,000.00
1998 Winter Olympics Nagano, Japan CBS $       375,000,000.00
2000 Summer Olympics Sydney, Australia NBC $       705,000,000.00
2002 Winter Olympics Salt Lake City, Utah NBC $       545,000,000.00
2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece NBC $       793,000,000.00
2006 Winter Olympics Torino, Italy NBC $       613,000,000.00
2008 Summer Olympics Beijing, China NBC $       894,000,000.00
2010 Winter Olympics Vancouver, Canada NBC $       820,000,000.00
2012 Summer Olympics London, England NBC $     1,181,000,000.00

All amounts are in US Dollars.

Edit: The 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer were mistakenly left off list above. CBS paid $300 million to broadcast the ’94 Games.

Posted in Money, NBC, Olympics, Sports Television | 9 Comments »

Jacques Rogge issues apology to Usain Bolt

Posted by ZA on August 21, 2008

Jacques Rogge issues apology to Usain Bolt.

I’m hoping that line above is the headline in the newspaper tomorrow, because Mr. Rogge committed a huge faux pas when he ripped Usain Bolt for his Olympic celebration.  Rogge was quoted as saying, “You can’t do that.  That’s not the way we perceive being a champion.”

Rogge was commenting on the post race celebration that the Jamaican sprinter embarked upon after winning the 100M and 200M races, setting new World Records both times.  Bolt raised his arms in celebration and fell to the track, he then took a traditional post-race victory lap with the Jamaican flag draped around his shoulders.

Was Bolt’s celebration excessive?  Not in my eyes, I think a guy deserves to show some emotion when you accomplish something as spectacular as Bolt did.  Not only was his the first sprinter since Carl Lewis to win both the 100M and 200M in the same Olympics, but he also set World Record times in both races.  Setting new World Records in both is an accomplish that no other man or woman in history has accomplished.  So come on Jacques, maybe Usain deserves a little bit of leeway to celebrate that.

Apparently Usain Bolt’s competitors agree with me, American sprinter Shawn Crawford said, “I don’t feel like he’s (Bolt) being disrespectful.  He deserves to dance.”

Maybe Rogge just doesn’t get today’s athletes, maybe he doesn’t know know that most successful sprinters are a little bit cocky, or maybe he was just having a bad day when he ripped Bolt’s celebration.  Either way, Mr. Rogge is the head of the IOC and must be held to a higher standard.  Jacques Rogge owes Usain Bolt an apology.

Dan Wetzel from Yahoo Sports wrote a great piece on Rogge versus Bolt, saying that perhaps Rogge should focus on getting his own house in order (the corrupt IOC) and not on criticizing the athletes that make his job possible.

Posted in Olympics | 6 Comments »

Miller Lite dusts off a classic “great taste, less filling”

Posted by ZA on August 21, 2008

Miller Lite is going back to their roots to help boost sales of their classic beer; Miller will bring back their classic “great taste, less filling” tag line.  The famous tag line made its debut in 1974 and propelled Miller Lite into the national limelight.  The ads, designed by McCann Erickson Worldwide, featured groups of ex-jocks arguing over what is the secret behind Miller Lite; its “great taste” or “less filling”.

Here is one of those classic Miller Lite “great taste, less filling” spots:

It’ll be interesting to see if this classic tag line can help to revive the Miller Lite brand.

Posted in Random Stuff | Leave a Comment »

100M Final to run after midnight at 2012 Games

Posted by ZA on August 20, 2008

I go out walking after midnight
Out in the moonlight just like we used to do
I’m always walking after midnight searching for you

They might need to change the words for that famous Patsy Cline song from “walking after midnight” to running after midnight because NBC is supposedly pressuring London 2012 organizers to schedule the Men’s 100M Final so that it will air live in primetime in the United States.  In order to show the 100M race live for American viewers it would have to be run at 1AM to 2AM London time, which would be 7PM to 8PM Eastern Standard Time.

NBC won the rights to broadcast the 2012 Olympics by bidding a record $1.18 billion dollars, a 32% increase from the $894 million NBC paid for Beijing 2008.  The 2008 Olympics NBC has sold well over a billion in advertising, a figure they should easily surpass for the games in London.  Therefore, the peacock is keenly interested in making sure the marquee Olympic events are scheduled so that NBC’s sponsors get primetime exposure.  Doing so means arranging start times for events so they bridge the 6 hour time difference between London and New York City (12 hours difference for Beijing and NYC).  That means Londoners are going to have to get used to staying up late during the 16 days of the Olympics.

How will the late start time affect the athletes participating?  It should not have much of an affect as the athletes at the Olympics are already used to retuning their bodies to adjust for time changes.  Athletes from North America, Europe, etc. arrived early in Beijing to adjust for the time difference.  They will do the same in London, and those that have late night start times for their events will simply recalibrate their sleep schedule so 1AM is as normal to them as 1PM.

Posted in NBC, Olympics | Leave a Comment »

CBS pays SEC over $800 million for TV rights

Posted by ZA on August 19, 2008

CBS and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) agreed on a deal that will pay the SEC an average of $55 million per year.  The 15-year deal is an extension of their existing partnership which expires at the end of the 2008-2009 season, will now pair these two giants until 2023.  The value of the contract extension is almost double what the previous 8-year contract was paying the SEC, and the highest for any conference.

The agreement allows CBS to cherry pick the SEC football “Game of the Week”, as well as, plan to show a select number of SEC doubleheaders throughout the Fall season.  During basketball season CBS will broadcast approximately 14 games per year.  CBS will have the right to start streaming SEC games on their web site in 2009.

The SEC is still negotiating with ESPN to continue carrying their cable rights, and possible pickup their syndication rights from Raycom.  Expect the SEC to make another cash haul once the ESPN deal is finalized, it won’t be as big as the CBS deal but still lucrative.

The driving force behind this record deal is SEC football, which is widely considered the premiere college football conference in the country.  It is amazing how strong the SEC football brand is right now, you cannot talk college football without bringing up the SEC.

Posted in College Basketball, College Football, Sports Television | 2 Comments »

Beijing officials deny all protest applications at Olympics

Posted by ZA on August 19, 2008

In news that should not come as a surprise to anyone, it was reported that Beijing security officials did not approve any applications for protest during the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.  The Chinese government Beijing security bureau already limited the locations that people could protest to parks on the outer limits of Beijing, which are miles from the Olympic green and venues.

They also required that any group that wanted to protest must submit an application.  Now comes word that of the 77 protest applications that were submitted, all of them were denied by Beijing officials.  74 were withdrawn because the issues people wanted to protest on were supposedly addressed by government officials, two of the applications were listed as incomplete and returned to the people who submitted and only one application was directly refused by Beijing security officals because it was in violation of China’s laws on protests and demonstations.

So much for freedom of speech in China during the Summer Games.  The Chinese government once again found a way to sequestor people’s voices, thereby avoiding any negative exposure while the entire World’s eyes were focused on their country.

Posted in Olympics | Leave a Comment »

Where are all of the crowds in Beijing?

Posted by ZA on August 12, 2008

We’ve been hearing about all of the excitement in Beijing for what has become the most expensive Olympic Games of all time.  The venues are supposed to be jam packed and tickets are expensive if you can even find them.  So where are all of the people at the 2008 Olympics?

The Guardian reports that BOCOG admits to using “volunteers” to fill empty seats at the Olympic venues.  This practice has been particularly necessary for the non-marquee events like beach volleyball where a handful of matches have been played in-front of thousands of empty seats.  There have been huge crowds at the swim center, but many of the other events aren’t packed.

BOCOG has said that all 6.8 million tickets were already sold out, but there have been ticket releases throughout the first week of the Games.  I suspect that some of the $40 billion in estimated costs for the 2008 Beijing Games was put towards making sure that all seats were sold.  A sell out puts off the image that the events are in-demand and is a sharp contrast to Athens in 2004 when many tickets remained unsold for all but the top events.  BOCOG wants these games to be viewed as the greatest of all-time, so a sold out house that is packed with fans is part of the formula.

There has also been a lot of complaints from Olympic sponsors about poor turnout of fans to the Olympic Green where those sponsors have spent millions on outdoor brand builders.  P.T. Black pans the setup of the Olympic Green in Ad Age, suggesting that a poor layout and lack of food options are just two of the problems that plague the sponsor’s brand zone.  Black compared his experience at the Beijing Olympic Green to “being inside a teenager’s running shoe — hot, damp and unspeakably dirty”.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement for one of the premier outdoor events at the Summer Games.  Although Black does go on to say that the sponsors activations are “interesting”.  Now if those sponsors could only get a few more people there to see what they have to offer.

Posted in Attendance Figures, Olympics | Leave a Comment »

Where to attend college if you want to be rich

Posted by ZA on August 12, 2008

Most kids grow up dreaming about being an astronaut, doctor, fireman or policeman.  Many kids grow up dreaming about being rich.  Now Forbes Magazine has put together a list of the top colleges to attend if you do want to be rich.  Forbes based their study on the median salary for graduates of each school in the years after graduation.

The top school in America was Dartmouth University where graduates earned an average salary of $58,000 in their first five years out of school.  That number jumped up to $134,000 for Big Green graduates with ten to twenty years of experience.  Top earners who call Dartmouth their alma mater earned an average of more than $321,000.

Below is a complete list of the top 20 schools to attend if you want to get rich.  Since not everyone can afford, or can get into, the top universities in the country beneath that are the top 20 public colleges to attend if you want to get rich.

Top Colleges for Getting Rich by Forbes
1. Dartmouth
2. Princeton
3. Stanford
4. Yale
5. MIT
6. Harvard
7. Penn
8. Notre Dame
9. New York Polytechnic
10. Worcester Polytechnic
11. University of Chicago
12. Cal Berkeley
13. Carnegie Mellon
14. Bucknell
14. Georgetown
14. Rice
14. Cornell
14. Renssalaer Polytechnic
19. Brown
20. Colgate

Below are a list of the top 20 public colleges to attend if you want to get rich.

Top Public Colleges for Getting Rich by Forbes
1. Cal Berkeley
2. Virginia
3. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
3. Cal San Diego
6. Cal Davis
7. Colorado
8. Cal Irvine
9. University Illinois Urbana-Champaign
9. Texas A&M
11.  SUNY Binghampton
12. Missouri University of Science & Tech
13. San Jose State
14. Cal Santa Barbara
14. Maryland
16. University of Texas
17. Michigan
18. SUNY Stony Brook
19. SUNY Albany
20. Rutgers

Posted in Money | 1 Comment »