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Archive for July, 2010

TaylorMade-Adidas with “world’s longest job interview”

Posted by ZA on July 27, 2010

TaylorMade-Adidas have come up with a unique promotion to find their next Social Media Catalyst.  The promotion is actually a job interview in which the two finalists for the position travel around the globe playing golf.  Their assignment is to chronicle their journey via social media; whichever candidate gets the buzz will land the position at TaylorMade-Adidas.  I think this is a great idea by the company to generate some inexpensive buzz.  Also its the kind of thing that will get them a lot of attention from talented workers who may want to join such a progressive company.  My prediction is TaylorMade-Adidas probably winds up hiring them of the candidates competing for Social Media Catalyst.

Read the full story here at AdAge.

Adidas is the parent company for TaylorMade, they acquired them in 1997.  The TaylorMade-Adidas combination generated over $800 million in sales in 2009, which was down a bit from previous years. TaylorMade-Adidas generated over $1 billion in revenue as recently as 2006.  TaylorMade manufactures clubs & golf balls, while Adidas sells golf apparel and shoes.

Some of the more notable professional golfers who endorse TaylorMade-Adidas are:
Paula Creamer (LPGA)
Jim Furyk
Sergio Garcia
Retief Goosen
Dustin Johnson
Kenny Perry
Justin Rose
Mike Weir

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Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Golf, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More beer commercials during NFL games this season

Posted by ZA on July 26, 2010

Expect to see a lot more Miller Light & Coors Light beer commercials during games in the upcoming NFL season.  MillerCoors is coming into their last year as the official beer sponsor of the NFL, they will be replaced as official sponsor by Anheuser-Busch in April 2011.  So I expect that Coors Light and Miller Light will both crank up production of their marketing to try for one last grab of market share from the NFL audience.  I also expect that Anheuser-Busch’s marketing folks are already working on how they plan to make a big splash in 2011.  So the next two NFL seasons should be historic in-terms of how much beer rhetoric we (as fans) are exposed to.

A-B is going to be paying $200 million dollars per year to be the exclusive beer category sponsor of the NFL, so Bud & Bud Light will be working overtime to grab back NFL fans who might be drinking Coors Light or Miller Light now.  I wouldn’t even be surprised to see A-B start to introduce more beers from the InBev line to NFL fans.  Becks, Michelob and Rolling Rock might be positioned as the beer of choice for the NFL fan with a more discerning taste.

So get ready to watch the beer wars spill over onto our TV sets in the coming years.  I expect this sponsorship transition to produce more beer tug of war than the old Miller Light “Tastes Great vs Less Filling” commercials.

Posted in NFL, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What’s wrong with this picture? LeBron

Posted by ZA on July 9, 2010

Why is LeBron James the only one in the photo who isn’t smiling? I know that image has been photoshopped, but its ironic that they pictured the smiling Dwayne Wade and grinning Chris Bosh next to a sullen looking LeBron because I think King James really is unhappy.  I think this entire free agency process, James decision to leave Cleveland and now the backlash are weighing heavily on LeBron’s shoulders.

I think LeBron is probably second guessing a lot of the decisions he’s made lately.  James isn’t going to change his mind on playing in Miami, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he would like a mulligan.  LeBron clearly never expected this decision would make him a villain, something that I think is eating away at LeBron inside.  He was clearly anxious last night at having to deliver such a tough message (bye bye Cleveland) on national television, but I expected King James to lighten up after announcing his decision.  James never did lighten up and instead seemed distracted and upset.  There was a lot going on, but I think LeBron realized for the first time yesterday that this transition is going to change who the public’s opinion of him.  He’s always been Lovable LeBron and now he’s the guy that NBA fans are going to root against.  And he can’t even “go home” because he’s now public enemy #1 in Ohio.

What should LeBron have done?
* Stayed in Cleveland to try to win a Championship.  Or go to New York City and revive that franchise by winning a Championship.  I thought the competitor in James would drive him to beat guys like DWade and Bosh, not team up with them.

* Met with the Cleveland ownership face-to-face to thank them and tell them that he was leaving.  I would hope that if James didn’t have sense to do that, at least one of his well paid agents would have made sure that happened.  My opinion of Maverick Carter could not be lower after watching how he’s handled the last few weeks of LeBron’s free agency circus.

* Not schedule a one-hour television special to announce his decision to the world.  There is a reason PR people exist in this world and this was the perfect time to use one.  Don’t play the “I’m bigger than everyone else” game by going on live TV to tell them where you are going to make your next $100 million.  Write a $1 million to charity (anonymously), met with Cleveland ownership, call other teams to deliver the news, turn over a statement to a publicity to release and then hop on your private jet for a vacation.

I think much of this will blow over in a few weeks and LeBron will be happy with his decision.  And I do think that James and company will win rings in Miami, but I don’t think this trio will last long-term in Miami.  James is 25 & DWade is 28; in 3-4 years the Miami Heat might have to make a decision who they want to resign.  I think they’ll choose LeBron due to age which will cause a rift that sends Wade packing for Chicago (his hometown, where he is still welcome).  LeBron might idle in Miami a couple of more seasons, but then eventually I think LeBron finishes his career in New York (Knicks or Brooklyn Nets).

Posted in Athletes, NBA | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

LeBron’s brand is on the line with his NBA decision

Posted by ZA on July 2, 2010

Now is the time for LeBron James.  This is one of those moments that will shape his legacy.  It won’t be “the moment” which will presumably happen the next time(s) he is playing for an NBA Championship.  But his decision this Summer on free agency will set the path for the next stage of his basketball career.  Will King James stay in Cleveland?  Will LeBron jump to the Bulls, Clippers, Heat, Knicks, Nets or other?  No one knows right now, probably not even LeBron.  So for now we are all witnesses to LeBron’s free agency frenzy.

One key aspect of LeBron’s decision that I feel deserves more attention is: how will LeBron’s decision shape his public image?  LeBron is not just a basketball superstar, he is a global brand.  So he, and his team, have to think bigger than basketball in this decision.  They need to think about which option will give him the best chance to win on the court, but they also need to consider what will help promote his brand and how the public will react to his decision.

I think Michael Rosenberg nails the public perception part of this decision in his CNNSI commentary.  Rosenberg’s comparison of LeBron’s decision to those of other sports superstars Shaq and A-Rod is quite shrewd.  Alex Rodriguez went to New York and won a ring, but the public will always see these Yankees teams as Derek Jeter’s team.  If LeBron goes to Miami to play with Dwayne Wade, then he becomes A-Rod to Wade as Jeter.  Rosenberg goes on to detail why James going to Chicago would cause similar issues for how he’s viewed by sports fans.  Rosenberg basically concludes that the best option for LeBron’s brand image is to stay in Cleveland and win.  I agree, and think this is a must read article.

Posted in NBA | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »