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Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Why the NFL Owners & NFLPA are fighting?

Posted by ZA on March 16, 2011

As a sports fan, I’m not happy that the NFL owners and NFL Players Association were unable to resolve their differences through mediation or otherwise.  I want them to play football in 2011.  As a taxpayer, its a shame that our courts are going to have to spend time to settle the dispute between the Millionaires and Billionaires.  Nothing we can do about that now, aside from hoping the two sides come to their senses (not likely) and we get this situation resolved quickly.

If you are wondering about what led to this situation, there are lots of good articles floating around.  Here is a good one by Kristi Dosh on why the NFL players walked away from the negotiations.  One of my favorites on the current NFL labor situations is the parody The Sports Guy (aka: Bill Simmons) wrote on ESPN’s Page 2.  Simmons column titled “Greed is good in NFL labor talks” is tongue in cheek, but does help to show the real issue at play here.  NFL owners are concerned their profits will not be growing at the pace they’ve become accustomed to, so they are looking to renegotiate their deal with the NFL players.  Take a few minutes and read both, you’ll appreciate that you did.

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Best Super Bowl 45 commercial was Volkswagen

Posted by ZA on February 7, 2011

Overall the commercials in the 2011 Super Bowl were a major disappointment.  The best of the bunch was “The Force” from Volkswagen.  Next best was the NFL promotion that featured numerous television icons over the years.  I also enjoyed Best Buy’s humorous commercial with Ozzy Osborne and Justin Bieber.  I thought the Skechers commercial with Kim Kardashian did a good job of stealing Go Daddy’s thunder (i.e- using sex to sell).

On the other end of the spectrum, I think Coca-Cola lost its mind with the spots its played.  High production spots that lacked any redeeming qualities, aside from the production value.  Salesforce Chatter also seemed to bet on the wrong pitch persons, the Black Eyed Peas, who couldn’t save a dull commercial concept.  Stella Artois spot was boring and went no where, same with Bud’s first spot the “Wild West”.

Overall I didn’t think the 2011 Super Bowl commercials were very memorable, aside from a few.  I also failed to notice much cutting edge in-terms of integration of social media.  I expected someone to push the envelope there.  Madison Avenue – what are you guys waiting on to put out some good television commercials?

“The Force” by Volkswagen was best commercial in 2011 Super Bowl

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What is the worst Super Bowl commercial of all-time?

Posted by ZA on January 28, 2011

AdAge is conducting a poll to find the “Worst Super Bowl Ad Ever”.  While there are some dousies on AdAge’s list, I think they missed including the worst Super Bowl commercial of all-time.  That distinction goes to the “Follow Your Heart” commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLII in 2008.

The CareerBuilder spot had a decent message, but the presentation was awful.  No one wants to see a heart pop out of a ladies chest.  The shot of her sitting at her desk with the hole in her sweater is just plain bad; that alone should have gotten this concept left on the cutting room floor.  Watch the commercial below and give me your feedback – do you like it or is it disgusting?

CareerBuilder “Follow Your Heart” Super Bowl commercial

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I agree with Antonio Cromartie

Posted by ZA on January 27, 2011

I never thought I would utter those words, but I do agree with his take on the disagreement between NFL players and owners.  Cromartie said, “You don’t get no information about nothing from the union or the owners…they need to get their damn minds together and get this (expletive) done and stop (complaining) about money.”

I might have chosen different words, but his sentiment is correct.  The money both sides are negotiating is significant, enough for everyone to make out really well.  But in typical fashion for negotiations, both sides are doing a lot of posturing and not really presenting their case.  They believe that a strike or lockout is the best way to get the other side to cave in to their needs.  Rather than I’d like to see them lock the NFLPA leadership and NFL owners in a room, then not let them out until a deal is struck.

So Cromartie is right on in my opinion, at least on how the two sides should negotiate.  I don’t agree with Cromartie when he threatens to “smash ur face” to Seahawks QB, Matt Hasselbeck.  But Hasselbeck did insult him, so that’s between the two them.

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Will Groupon be successful advertising at Super Bowl?

Posted by ZA on January 10, 2011

AdAge reports that Groupon made a big media buy in the pregame of the 2011 Super Bowl.  Groupon’s goal is to introduce their brand to a more mainstream audience.  The Super Bowl has an audience of over 100 million people (106 million for 2010 game) which is about 4x the number of customers that Groupon has in North America today.  So the Super Bowl offers big potential, but is it a good move for Groupon?

My rule of thumb is that Super Bowl advertising should be for established brands that already spend heavily in television throughout the year (e.g.- Budweiser, Coke, Verizon, etc) and avoided by those just looking to make a splash.  But in this case I think it is a good move for Groupon because they are already bringing in significant revenue and can use the Super Bowl as an opportunity to give more mainstream credibility to their brand.  Groupon may be able to get some of those people who have heard of them to sign up and buy.  Call it success by association – Groupon will benefit from their exposure right next to mainstream brands. So I give thumbs up to Groupon on this Super Bowl ad buy.

While I think this move helps bring in more revenue for Groupon, the bigger challenge for them remains to offer relevant promotions.  Groupon is the it product for local advertisers and some national (i.e.- Gap).  But Groupon is going to have to continue to offer quality deals, from top merchants, to keep people using their site.  If the quality of the offerings from Groupon slips (which I think it does eventually) then their millions of users will stop buying and eventually stop subscribing to their daily emails.  That imo is the biggest challenge Groupon faces in 2011.

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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.

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NFL legal battle could change sports sponsorships

Posted by ZA on May 26, 2010

The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling against the NFL that could open the door for a land grab among brands that want to sponsor the league.  The court ruled that the NFL is not a single business, which means they are not covered by antitrust laws.  This AdAge article explains that the ruling means that Reebok’s leaguewide sponsorship might be in jeopardy if American Needle wins their case in Federal Court in Chicago.

My take is that the change (should American Needle win their case) will usher in an era where corporations will compete to attach their brands to the marquee teams in the league.  No longer will league wide sponsorship deals rule the day; they will still exist but won’t be prohibitive to competitors like they are today.  It means Nike & Adidas will line up the top teams and throw a lot of money at them.  Whichever company misses out on top teams will then likely strike deals with the next rung down of teams.  Which will leave the least successful teams (the small market teams in some sports) with last pick among the sponsorship deals.

But this potential change will also mean that new companies can bring into the sponsorship game for major professional leagues (think Jones Soda at Qwest Field, instead of Coke or Pepsi).  That variety will be good for the teams and ultimately provide a more competitive, balanced marketplace for team sponsorship deals.  So the Supreme Court decision was a step in the right direction, now let’s hope the court in Illinois agrees so we can open up more sponsorship opportunities.

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NFL to become even bigger business in coming years

Posted by ZA on April 6, 2010

Football is a sport that is watched by millions of Americans every weekend in the Fall.  At the NFL level it is much more than a sport, football is a big business that brings in over $6 billion dollars per year in revenue.  The league and its teams employee over 3,000 people and pay out over $3 billion each year in payroll.  Now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has decided to take that strong business and kick it up a notch.

Goodell has set a goal for the NFL to reach $25 billion in revenue in the next 20 years.  That means the NFL will need to add approximately $1 billion in additional revenue each year during that stretch.  Goodell has already expanded the business of the NFL by pushing into new markets, like games in London, England.  In order to get the NFL to the $25 billion in annual revenue mark the league will need to continue to put a strong product on the field and continue to pioneer ways to generate new revenue off the field.  Emerging technologies on the internet and in the mobile space will likely play a big part in increased revenues.  So too will be the increased price that networks will pay for broadcast rights and that sponsors will pay for sponsorship deals.

Can the NFL get to $25 billion? Yes, but they’ll need to be as willing to innovate on the field as they are to diversify off the field.  All of the new avenues that global expansion will open up won’t matter if fans grow tired of the action on the field.  So my first advice to the NFL is to loosen the reigns a bit on how they are controlling their players on the field…fans might eventually tire a bit of the NFL becoming the No Fun League.

[Assist: SportBusiness]

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Top 10 ads from 2010 Super Bowl

Posted by ZA on February 10, 2010

The 2010 Super Bowl has come and gone, now all we have left is to breakdown which commercials we liked. Personally I thought there were a few good spots this year and a lot of weak attempts at humor.  I think the two brands that stood out the most to me from their commercials and/or sponsorships were: Doritos and Bridgestone.  They both spent heavily to get my attention, but at least it worked.  On the flip side I think that Anheuser-Busch & GoDaddy spent heavily and missed the mark, both companies need to revamp their approach the Super Bowl because their same schtick (they’ve been doing for years) just isn’t getting it done.

The 3 commercials in the 2010 Super Bowl that made the biggest impression on me:
* Audi – Green Police
* Doritos – Man in Casket
* Homeaway – The Griswolds

Nielsen rated the top 10 Super Bowl commercials, here are their “best liked”:
1. Snickers – Betty White
2. Bud Light – Asteroid
3. Doritos – Shock collar
4. Budweiser – Human bridge
5. Bud Light – Beer can house
6. Doritos – Boy slaps man
7. Budweiser – Clydesdale races Bevo
8. Denny’s – Chicken’s screaming
9. Doritos – Man attack at gym
10. Doritos – Man in casket

AdAge has more here on the best liked and best recalled 2010 Super Bowl commercials.

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Sneak preview: TruTV Super Bowl commercial

Posted by ZA on February 2, 2010

TruTV released a sneak preview of their television commercial that will air during the 2nd quarter of the 2010 Super Bowl.  The commercial is a promotion for TruTV’s new series, NFL FULL CONTACT, which will debut the Monday after the Super Bowl.

It’s appropriate that TruTV released the spot today because the Superbowl commercial has a Groundhog Day theme to it.  It features NFL player Troy Polamalu as Punxsutawney Phil (the famous groundhog), who gets pulled out of his stump by his famous hair and then does see his shadow.

Click here to see the TruTV commercial.

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