BrandDunk

Branding the World of Sports

Archive for the ‘Sports Marketing’ Category

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.

Advertisements

Posted in NFL, Sports Marketing | 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 »

AdAge article on stadium sponsorship lists BrandDunk

Posted by ZA on June 16, 2010

Rich Thomaselli used some quotes from our conversation in his AdAge article (click here) on how the Meadowland landing the 2014 Super bowl might help naming rights deal on that stadium.  I thought Rich had a good angle on this story because those events will help to land bigger naming rights deals for Jets/Giants and Cowboys Stadium.  That is likely one of Jerry Jones ulterior motivations behind bringing these major events to Jerry World.

Posted in Sports Marketing, Venue Naming Rights | 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 »

South Africa turns over keys to FIFA for 2010 World Cup

Posted by ZA on May 17, 2010

A good article from Ad Age that covers the plans major sponsors have to promote their brands during the upcoming World Cup in South Africa.  It also talks about FIFA’s efforts to thwart ambush marketing campaigns from detracting from the 13 official World Cup sponsors.  FIFA claims there were over 3,000 “rights violations” during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, so they are already being proactive to try to limit them at the 2010 World Cup.  FIFA has created new rules to proactively prevent ambush marketing during World Cup matches.  And FIFA’s lawyers have proactively started sending warning letters to brands to deter them from planning marketing events around the World Cup.  One letter to South African airline, Kulula, prompted this humorous response from the airline on twitter:

Oh dear, letter from FIFA’s lawyers says we broke their trademark of the use of ‘South Africa’ and think our non-WC ad was about soccer…Even the use of our national flag was an issue.  It’s absolutely outrageous.  We’ve signed over our country, its symbols and our economy to one [FIFA President] Sepp Blatter. Nasty.

Although Kulula joked about it, the truth is they are not far from the truth.  When your country lands one of these major events (World Cup or Olympics) they are going to be giving away some of their “rights” to FIFA or the IOC until the event is over.  There were murmurs leading up the 2008 Beijing Olympics about the IOC counseling China on human rights issues, presumably to keep those abuses from reflecting negatively on IOC or the Olympic Games.  That comes with the territory for any country granted one of these events; you are willingly taking on a partner who is going to have control on certain issues.  So the people, and businesses, of South Africa better get used to that because they are going to be under FIFA control under July 12 – the day after the World Cup final is played.

Posted in Soccer, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Buy 1 Super Bowl commercial, get 3 free Final Four spots

Posted by ZA on March 4, 2010

CBS aired back-to-back spots during the 2010 Super Bowl that each featured people in their underwear.  The first TV spot was for CareerBuilder and that was immediately followed by a very similarly themed commercial from Levi’s Dockers brand.  The two spots were similar enough that Dockers claims that TV viewers didn’t all recognize that they were from different advertisers.  To make good with Dockers CBS is giving the pants brand with 3 free commercials during the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The lesson to be learned here: If you complain loudly enough, then you are likely to get something free.  I’m sure Dockers executives were feeling the heat when their multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial underperformed.  They turned up the heat on CBS, who then caved and gave Dockers the make goods.  I’d guess that CBS probably also made Dockers commit to additional advertising during the NCAA Tournament, which is what softened the blow of giving away 3 valuable commercial slots.

Personally I think it would be interesting if the TV networks always placed competing brands (or creative, in this case) next to each other during the same commercial break.  Then consumers could decide which spot or brand was clearly better in one-on-one format.  Every time Bud Light airs a spot, Miller Lite follows them up and then the order switches the next time each plays.  Lumping the brands in next to each other would turn up the heat on the companies to produce winning creative each and every time, because no one wants to be responsible for losing the commercial break to their biggest competitor.  I think it would make all of the brands work harder to deliver a better product, because some of them seem to be mailing it in these days (I’m talking to you Taco Bell, on the Charles Barkley spot).

[Assist: Advertising Age]

Posted in CBS, Sports Marketing, Sports Television | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

BrandDunk in Final Four sponsorship article

Posted by ZA on February 21, 2010

Media Life Magazine ran an interesting article, by Diego Vasquez, on the cost and value of sponsorships at the NCAA Final Four.  The article focuses on the value that can be derived by “out of home” sponsorships at events like the Final Four.  And if you read down to the bottom, you’ll see a quote I contributed to the article.

“Certainly you’re getting your brand in front of a strong target market. In addition to the fans, there are also a lot of corporate types — a lot of influential people will be there. So if you’re setting up something like a fan experience outside of the arena, you’ll get great traction locally and get exposure among corporations entertaining clients, as well as the fans.” Zach Anderson, a marketer who runs the blog BrandDunk

Posted in College Basketball, College Sports, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

General Motors throws Tiger Woods under the bus

Posted by ZA on February 15, 2010

Bob Lutz, the 78 year old Vice Chairman of General Motors, might know something about designing cars but he’s certainly no expert on marketing.  That is because Lutz recently dropped a verbal jabs on Tiger Woods, the former General Motors pitchman.  Lutz said that GM was not “…too lucky with Tiger…” and that their $50 plus million dollar endorsement deal with Woods did not boost sales for Buick.

My question is if Lutz is going to lay the verbal smack down on someone, shouldn’t it be his own team?  Lutz has been a top executive at GM for the majority of their time with Tiger, so I assume he was aware of the approximately $8 million dollars per year endorsement deal his company had with the golf star.  So why wait until after the deal is done to complain about the effectiveness of it?  Why didn’t Lutz demand that his marketing personnel make changes to improve the effectiveness of the endorsement deal?  Why didn’t Lutz change the way they were using Tiger or change the message Woods was pushing for GM?  Lutz did concede that GM, “…didn’t have him say the right things at the time.” and admits it is “partially” GM’s fault.

Maybe Lutz was the reason that General Motors bailed on their deal with Tiger a year early.  But at that time GM marketing execs were supporting the deal with Tiger by saying “We attribute awareness of our product to Tiger.”  GM claimed the move to end their relationship a year early was “hard to walk away from” but that it was a financial decision to “free up a lot of money for us (GM)”.  So if Tiger was so ineffective for GM and Buick, then why didn’t they cite that as a reason for ending their relationship with the World’s #1 golfer?

I think this is poor form by General Motors and Lutz to criticize Tiger now, more than a year after they dropped him.  With all of the controversy that Woods has been involved in lately, this amounts to Lutz kicking a man while he’s down.  Should you feel sorry for Tiger?  Heck no, because he was paid handsomely by GM.  Plus Tiger is responsible for all of the personal problems that have gotten him into trouble lately.  But I think GM and Lutz need to take a lesson from this situation; that you should speak honestly in parting, not comeback later to blame the other guy when your deal did not work.

Lutz should have kept his mouth shut publicly, something apparently he’s had trouble doing in the past, and shared his feelings on the deal with his own staff.  That might help his company to avoid signing ineffective marketing partnerships in the future, while not offending the top sports endorsement star on the planet.  Oh I know Tiger has fallen way off his perch, but don’t think that Woods will never regain his place at the top of the sports world.  And when he does I’m sure there will be people there to remind Tiger what the top brass at GM said about him.  If I was a competitor of GM, I might enjoy the opportunity to unleash Tiger on his former sponsor someday – because Tiger is a fierce man when he puts his mind to something.  Lutz may learn to regret throwing Tiger under the bus in such a public fashion.

Posted in Endorsement Deals, Golf, Sports Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Nestle turns to YouTube to promote Olympic athletes

Posted by ZA on January 5, 2010

Nestle is promoting its new product by releasing videos featuring Olympic athletes, Shawn Johnson and Apolo Anton Ohno on YouTube.  Johnson and Ohno are shown performing stunts in the videos to earn points for their Nestle team (Team Crispies or Team Chocolate).  The videos have drawn over 1 million views on YouTube.

The Shawn Johnson video shows her doing a backflip over a bobsled as it races down the track.  The video is similar to the Nike video that shows Kobe Bryant jumping over a speeding car.

Shawn Johnson doing backflip over a bobsled

Kobe Bryant leaps over a speeding car

[Assist: Brandweek]

Posted in Olympics, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »