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Archive for the ‘Apparel & Shoes’ Category

FIFA sponsors express concern over troubles within organization

Posted by ZA on May 31, 2011

You can add sponsors to the growing list of people who have expressed concerned over the goings on at FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.  SportBusiness reports that Adidas and Coca-Cola have both publicly responded to questions about corruption allegations within FIFA.  The sponsors say the reports are “distressing” and “neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners”.  What does this mean for FIFA?  Nothing yet, but it’s never a good sign when the people helping fund your organization are starting to lob concern grenades through the press.  I doubt that Adidas or Coca-Cola cancels their association with FIFA over these allegations, but I’m sure I would have said similar about Gatorade and Tiger Woods a couple of years ago.  Sponsors are not going pay to have their brands dragged through the mud, so FIFA needs to get a handle on this situation before they start losing money.

What is the solution for FIFA?  They clearly need to offer more transparency into their process.  They need to engage an outside organization to help them root out corruption within their ranks, as many that bribery and pay for votes is common place even at their highest organization levels.  FIFA probably needs to start over with new leadership because I’m not sure the current administration can be seen as credible in cleaning up FIFA.  Sepp Blatter is about to get re-elected to a final four year term.  He’s had some success in leading the organization, but he’s not been able to put to rest the corruption allegations.  Some of which are coming from the British Parliament.  I think major changes within FIFA are the only way to truly start to put these allegations in the past.  Will Mr. Blatter step down?  Not likely.  Will FIFA become more transparent?  I’m not expecting changes.  Will FIFA continue to be mired in controversy?  Most likely.  Will sponsors pull out?  That remains to be seen, but the first cracks in the foundation have clearly appeared with those statements by Adidas and Coca-Cola.

Posted in Adidas, Soccer | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Tiger Woods doesn’t get it…

Posted by ZA on November 22, 2010

…but this article in AdAge does.  It hits on exactly where Tiger is going wrong in his efforts to rehab his image and what he could do to improve.  I totally agree that everything Tiger is doing right now seems to be scripted by IMG.

I asked a friend of mine, who is a huge Tiger fan, if he listened to the radio interview last week.  His response was, “You can be a bland d*ck and still be wildly popular (as long as) you win everything.  But finishing 11th and ‘granting’ interviews like this is boring…and a little insulting.”   I agree with my friend and I agree with the experts quoted in Rich Thomaselli’s article.

For Tiger to truly win back some of us, he either needs to start dominating on the golf course again or he needs to be more authentic.  Since I personally don’t think Tiger has it in him to be more authentic, I think Woods needs to just win. The question now is can Tiger Woods get back to that same level of domination?  Can he dominate the golf scene in the coming years the way he did in the past?  I think that’s a challenge for Tiger, because there are a lot more talented golfers these days.  And there is not the same fear of Tiger Woods that once existed on the PGA Tour.  A lot of these younger players and foreign golfers want to challenge Tiger and have the games to do it.

So if I’m Tiger Woods, I would quite these lame attempts to personify himself to the public.  Instead I would go radio silent again and thrust all his energy into getting back to dominating on the golf course.  Then fans like me can just appreciate him for being the best golfer on the planet, instead of his agents trying to get us to like Tiger the person.

Tiger Woods' latest PR attempts are too programmed

Posted in Golf, Nike | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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

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

John Wall signs $25 million deal with Reebok

Posted by ZA on June 10, 2010

John Wall, the University of Kentucky standout, who is likely to be the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft has signed an endorsement deal with Reebok.  The endorsement deal is reported to be a 5-year deal worth approximately $25 million dollars ($5 mil per year).  The deal reported includes two signature shoes that will be designed by Reebok for the young basketball star.

This deal by Reebok is a huge step up from what recent draft picks have received from shoe endorsement deals.  It signals that Reebok plans to make John Wall the centerpiece of their basketball marketing efforts.  In 2009, the top NBA Draft pick, Blake Griffin signed a reported $400,000 per year annual deal with Nike.  In 2008, Chicago Bulls top pick Derrick Rose signed with Adidas (who owns Reebok) for an undisclosed sum that was likely in the $1+ million per season range.  Which means the last deal for a top pick that was on par with Wall’s deal was the $8+ million per year deal that 2008 #2 pick Kevin Durant signed with Nike.

The deal that Durant signed with Nike in ’08 was much larger than the deal that #1 pick Greg Oden received from Nike.  Nike has made Durant one of their top endorsement stars over the past few years, which is a pattern that Reebok is sure to repeat with John Wall.  Reebok’s other top NBA endorsement stars include Allen Iverson, Yao Ming & others.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in Apparel & Shoes, College Basketball, Endorsement Deals, NBA, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Nike won’t compromise brand for Women’s footwear

Posted by ZA on June 7, 2010

AdAge article about  the strong growth that Skechers and Reebok are seeing from their marketing of toning shoes to women.  Both Reebok and Skechers grew their market share of women’s shoes close to 200% in the past 12 months.  During that same period Nike and Adidas market share in that category declined (Note: Reebok is subsidiary of Adidas).

The article attributes much of Reebok and Skechers growth to the successful launch of shoes that focus on toning. Skechers shoes have an uneven sole that is supposed to tone legs and butt while you walk in them.  Reebok has recently started pushing similar toning shoes with an aggressive marketing campaign that focuses solely on women’s butts and legs.

While those two brands are enjoying the new toning category, Nike is sitting it out.  Nike says it will “compromise…performance” in their shoes and has not indicated they will release any shoes in these category to compete with Skechers or Reebok.  Instead Nike pointed to a new line of women’s training shoes they will release this Fall.

While I appreciate Nike’s unwillingness to chase a fad, I think they are missing an opportunity here.  I’ve seen lots of women I know wearing the Skechers toning shoes.  Why couldn’t Nike developing something in the space and market it as a lifestyle shoe, thus not “compromising” their standards on performance or training footwear.  Nike needs to be careful here because they might wind up giving up more than just this one (toning) category of shoes, they may wind up conceding a large piece of market share in women’s footwear and apparel.

Can Reebok overtake Nike?

Posted in Adidas, Apparel & Shoes, Nike, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Nike soccer spot is captivating

Posted by ZA on May 21, 2010

Nike recently debuted their new soccer spot which features a few of their top football stars from around the globe (Rooney, Ribery, C. Ronaldo).  It’s a great commercial that really makes you think about the influence that sports has on our lives.  Great work by Nike.

Write the Future – by Nike

Posted in Nike, Soccer | Leave a Comment »

Nike looking to gobble up competition

Posted by ZA on May 6, 2010

Nike announced that they have targeted annual revenue of $27 billion by 2015.  Nike plans to achieve that growth through expansion into developing markets (China & Eastern Europe), by expanding their existing line of products and by pursuing “acquisitions and partnerships”.  That target is a big increase (near 50%) from Nike’s 2010 revenue projection of $19 billion, so to achieve their goal the Swoosh is going to have to be very aggressive.

This announcement only solidifies my opinion that Nike will try to acquire rival Under Armour.  Under Armour reported 2009 revenue of just under $900 million dollars, which should put UA in the $1 billion annual revenue range in 2010.  So Nike not only gobbles up a strong competitor and gains ground in the performance sportswear category, they would also be adding $1 billion plus dollars in revenue towards their bottom line.  That billion plus in extra revenue is more than Nike is receiving from their current subsidiaries; Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley and Umbro.  So Under Armour has to look attractive and I think Nike buys them this year.

Posted in Nike | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Did Nike commercial end Tiger Woods’ marriage?

Posted by ZA on April 16, 2010

In a word, no.  But AdAge takes an interesting look at that topic here because apparently some of the mainstream media is using that story line to drum up business.  Even if Elin Nordegren didn’t like the Nike ad, a television commercial was not the breaking point in their marriage.  So to even suggest that the ad played a role (and not Tiger’s 18+ affairs) is insulting to Elin.

Posted in Golf, Nike | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Tiger Woods commercial for Nike

Posted by ZA on April 7, 2010

Nike Golf launched their first Tiger Woods commercial since his scandal broke.  The commercial features the voice of Tiger’s deceased father, Earl Woods.  Tiger doesn’t speak in the commercial, he just stares into the camera with a concerned look on his face.  Tiger’s wearing a Nike swoosh on his hat & sweater vest, which is the only brand or messaging in the commercial aside from a plain Nike swoosh that briefly appears on the screen at the close.

I don’t personally care for this commercial.  I know Nike feels like they had to address the elephant in the room with Tiger, but using his late father’s voice seems to be a cheap tactic.  Nike will surely get lots of exposure for this commercial because it is a major source of controversy.  But I’m not sure mentions on NBC Nightly News and across the blogosphere is going to translate into business for Nike.  I think Nike Golf should have kept the focus on Tiger’s play on the course and not try to touch his off-course issues.


Tiger Woods commercial for Nike Golf

Posted in Golf, Nike | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Under Armour signs Michael Phelps

Posted by ZA on February 19, 2010

Michael Phelps will need to be strong to haul around all of the checks from sponsors

Under Armour has signed swimmer Michael Phelps to an multiyear endorsement deal.  The deal will have Phelps endorse Under Armour products that he wears to train “outside-the-pool”.  It was structured that way because Phelps already has a lucrative endorsement deal with Speedo, whose swimsuits he wears during competitions.

This is a bold move for Phelps and Under Armour and appears to be a win-win.  Under Armour picks up one of the most marketable, young athletes in the World for a pretty fair price (note: figures on the deal were not disclosed, but one expert estimated the deal at $5 million).  Phelps insures that Under Armour will get plenty of coverage at the Summer Olympics, an event that has traditionally been dominated by Nike, Adidas and even Puma.  This deal is also a great move for Phelps who already has the richest swimwear contract that Speedo has ever signed.  It is like Phelps gets to double dip, by having two sponsors in the same genre.

[Assist: Sports Business Daily]

Posted in Endorsement Deals, Olympics, Under Armour | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »