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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

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 Careerbuilder.com “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

Posted in NFL | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in NFL | 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 »

Will Tim Tebow’s beliefs hurt his endorsement potential?

Posted by ZA on January 27, 2010

A good article from AdAge on how Tim Tebow’s appearance in a television commercial for a Christian group might negative affect his long-term potential as endorser.  The communication expert they quote in the article says that appearance will “dramatically shorten the window of opportunity”.  I think it will have little impact on his success as a pitchman.  What will decide whether he is a big endorsement star?  How well he plays in the NFL and what city he winds up playing for.  If Tebow becomes a similar star in the NFL to what he was in college football, then he’ll quickly become one of the top 10 endorsement stars among athletes.  If he is the next coming of Ryan Leaf then he’ll continue to pitch for niche Christian groups and car dealerships in North Florida.  Success on the field will be the deciding factor for Tebow’s NFL endorsement potential.

Posted in NFL | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Who are the best announcers in football?

Posted by ZA on November 20, 2009

The Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily have published their list of the top 25 football announcers for 2009.  The list includes football commentators from both college football and the NFL.  Twelve panelists from the SBJ & SBD rated the announcers to produce the rankings.

Top 25 Best Football Annoucers for 2009:
1. Gary Danielson – CBS
2. Cris Collinsworth – NBC
3. Al Michaels – NBC
4. Phil Simms – CBS
5. Kirk Herbstreit – ABC/ESPN
6. Troy Aikman – Fox
7. Ron Franklin – ABC/ESPN
8. Verne Lundquist – CBS
9. Joe Buck – Fox
10. Jim Nantz – CBS
11. Mike Tirico – ESPN
12. Brad Nessler – ABC/ESPN
13. Brent Musburger – ABC/ESPN
14. Jon Gruden – ESPN
15. Daryl Johnston – Fox
16. Ron Jaworski – ESPN
17. Greg Gumbel – CBS
18. Sean McDonough – ABC/ESPN
19. Todd Blackledge – ABC/ESPN
20. Dan Fouts – CBS
21. Bob Papa – NFL Network
22. Mike Patrick – ABC/ESPN
23. Chris Fowler – ESPN
24. Gus Johnson – CBS
25. Dick Enberg – CBS

Here are the guys that are rated too high:
* Buck – He’s in the top 10 based on his baseball rep.  He’s solidly average in football.
* Gruden – It would be “outstanding” if he could expand his vocabulary.
* Gumbel – Living off his brother’s rep.  He’s okay, but not top shelf.
* Fouts – Top 20, really?  Proves no one is watching those AFC West games on CBS.
* Papa – Who gets to see him broadcast?  Time Warner still doesn’t offer NFL Network.
* Enberg – Great career, but listing him is more of a ‘lifetime achievement award’.

Here are the guys that need to be rated higher on the list:
* Franklin – Could easily be the top college football guy on list.
* Musburger – Polarizing figure, but he’s great for the game.  Getting old, but still comedic gold.
* McDonough – Always solid, would be rated higher if he were more of a “name”.
* Johnson – The panelists not only rate him too low they slight him with “Youtube generation” comment.

Here are some key names that did not make the list:
* Erin Andrews – ESPN (Put a lady on the list)
* Bob Davie – ESPN
* Dan Dierdorf – CBS
* Ian Eagle – CBS
* Bob Griese – ESPN
* Kevin Harlan – CBS  (Should make top 25 in future)
* Craig James – ESPN
* Andrea Kremer – NBC
* Jesse Palmer – ESPN (Should be in top 25 in future)
* Tony Siragusa – Fox
* Dick Stockton – Fox

PS – Could some production assistant at ABC/ESPN do Mike Patrick a favor and get him a better photo?

Posted in CBS, College Football, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL, Sports Television | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Top sports media sites – August 2009

Posted by ZA on September 21, 2009

Who is the top sports media site on the web today? Yahoo Sports according to ComScore ratings (August 2009) of the top sports sites on the web.  Although a large portion of that traffic is due to Rivals.com which accounts for almost 1/3 of Yahoo Sports 29 million number.  So Yahoo seems to be getting some value from the $100 million they spent to buy the Nashville company in 2007.  Rivals has a strong network of college fan communities, although it could be weakening since the top Rivals brass has now exited stage left.  But for now Yahoo is on top of one key internet category, who are the other top sports sites?

Top 10 Sports Media Sites (August 2009)
1. Yahoo Sports (includes Rivals.com)
2. ESPN
3. NFL Internet Group (includes all team sites)
4. Fox Sports (includes Scout.com)
5. MLB.com (which counts traffic from all team sites)
6. Fantasy Sports Ventures
7. CBS Sportsline
8. Fanhouse
9. Sports Illustrated sites (includes FanNation)
10. Stack Media
Honorable Mention: NBC Sports (includes Pro Football Talk)

Posted in CBS, ESPN, Fox, Internet, NBC, Sports Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The NFL is too focused on controlling their brand

Posted by ZA on September 2, 2009

The NFL has the largest television contract among the four major U.S. professional sports leagues.  In-fact the paid media rights to the National Football League are surely the largest in the World, along with the Olympics and Premier League.  So there are a lot of dollars at stake for the NFL, which means they are extremely vigilant about how their product is distributed.  You’ve probably heard their “This broadcast cannot be redistributed without the express written permission of the NFL…” warning at the beginning of football games so often that you hardly notice it anymore.  But that pre-game warning is just part of the NFL’s strategy to protect their marks.

Now the NFL is expanding their protection to include a ban against social media.  The NFL is restricting players, coaches, league personnel or media from engage in social networking during games.  The purpose is to prevent a media member from twittering the activity on the field, which would be a form of redistribution that potential violates their television rights deal.  As if a reporter in Cleveland posting something on his Facebook page is going to ruin the entire Browns/Steelers broadcast for CBS.

I mean come on, isn’t this taking things a little too far?  I personally think it would be a more enjoyable experience if while watching the game on TV (on an NFL sponsor network) I was also able to read Peter King or Chad Ochocinco’s thoughts on the game.  Maybe Chris Cooley or his wife would post some scoop from the locker room that would totally enhance the game watching experience.  But that is exactly what the NFL does not want.

The NFL does not want some practice squad player posting from the New England Patriots locker room that Tom Brady was injured during a meaningless preseason game with the Washington Redskins.  They want to control the message and feel that’s the only way to protect the integrity of the game and their (high paying) media partners.  Which is dead wrong in my opinion.

The world today is too wired to try to control the message all the time.  Twitter, Facebook, etc. are meant to be means of distributing information to the masses.  The internet is the great equalizer in that it makes it easy to quickly spread information.  True, often that information might not be correct.  But to try to control that message to inhibit people from sharing their thoughts, ideas or opinions isn’t going to work.  It’s like trying hold a gallon of sand in your hand; it’ll first start to slip through your fingers and then eventually come pouring out.  The NFL would be better served to realize this now and refrain from trying to restrict entirely the information, but perhaps rather limit the information (e.g.- no distribution of injury related information).  They’d stand a much better chance of achieving their objective if they started with a reasonable goal.

I personally cannot wait until Ochocinco twitter’s after his first touchdown of the season.  It’ll be great to see how the league tries to penalize him.

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

Dolphins stadium naming rights deal model for future?

Posted by ZA on May 5, 2009

From the buzz going around it sounds like the Miami Dolphins will enter into a one-year stadium naming rights agreement with Anaheuser Busch product, Land Shark Lager.  How does Land Shark Lager have the clout to pull off a major venue naming coup like this?  Landshark beer is part of the marketing arsenal of legendary performer and South Florida native, Jimmy Buffett.  Buffett promotes Landshark Lager under the flag of his “Margaritaville” products.

A Land Shark Lager deal with the Dolphins would be historic for a couple of reasons:
1) It would be the shortest length of time ever cut for an NFL venue naming rights deal.
2) The deal would include an in-kind component, when these venue naming rights are typically just cash.  Jimmy Buffett would play two concerts at the newly named stadium; the team/venue would receive the majority of the profit from these shows as payment on the naming rights deal.

I imagine the one-year deal will be extended if successful.  Of course Land Shark might only want this year when both the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl will bring significant exposure to the South Florida venue.  But it is the fact the team is willing to do trade out on their stadium name that is truly amazing.  The team probably does not have many other suitors willing to step up, so doing this deal insures them revenue in the short-term.  While still keeping open their options for a long-term venue naming rights deal when the economy turns around.

The concerts that are part of the deal is unique, but mostly because an entertainer has never been involved in stadium naming rights.  Payments in kind have been used in many stadium deals, but they are typically only a small portion of the deal or for signage in the stadium, not the entire venue naming rights.  For example the New York Yankees agreed to a deal to include the Casio brand on the outfield wall in exchange for service.

How many other professional sports venues might look for a similar type deal?
Lots of them.  A short-term deal that gives them some cash now, but doesn’t block their ability to sign a more lucrative long-term partnership in near future is attractive to a lot of teams.  The current economy has put a freeze on naming-rights deals, which are a huge source of revenue for many teams.

The downside of these type of short-term naming rights is over exposure.  The risk to teams is that by renting their stadium name for a year they could scare off potential long-term partners who don’t want their company name associated with a revolving door.  The home of the San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park) changed names three times in six years due to acquisitions in the telecom industry, so many fans still refer to it with the original Pac Bell Park name. Corporations could shy away from venues where they think their brand association will be hard to connect due to frequent name changes.

But for teams without stadium naming rights deals the upside of these short-term deals could be too lucrative to pass up.  I’m sure many of them will be watching closely to see how the Dolphins fare in their deal with Land Shark beer.  As I’m certainly many corporations will be eyeing the success of the deal from a brand building perspective.  That is what makes this Land Shark Lager and Miami Dolphins partnership such a historic endeavor in venue naming rights spectrum.  Success will breed a lot of imitation, failure could end it for everyone.

Posted in NFL, Stadium Signage, Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Idiotic quote on 2009 NFL Draft from Dallas Cowboys VP

Posted by ZA on April 28, 2009

The 2009 NFL Draft was barely 24 hours old and the Dallas Cowboys were already in full spin mode about the players they picked.  While justifying their picks a team executive uttered one of the most stupid things, that someone who relies on fans to support their club, could say.  Is it the dumbest quote by an NFL executive? It is certainly in the running.  When asked about the draft by reporters, team owner Jerry Jones’ son had this to say:

Our fans may not be excited, but we aresaid Stephen Jones, Vice President of the Dallas Cowboys.

Okay maybe I’m being a little hard on Jerry’s son, I’m sure he gave dozens of other soundbites that were much more positive.  But why even say what he did?  Why acknowledge that your fan base is unhappy with the decisions being made by the team.  Openly admitting you know of their displeasure only furthers the now widespread perception that the Cowboys fumbled the 2009 Draft.

Worse yet, it is an arrogant position to take to separate yourself from your fans.  I feel like Jones was reacting to the criticism by saying that the team has a more important opinion on the matter than Dallas Cowboys fans.  Is the team management more seasoned in making NFL personnel moves than their fans?  Of course.  But many of their fans have been with the team before Jerry and Stephen arrived, so its foolish to downplay their opinion on the team.

The right way to deal with it?  I would either stay focused on the positives and not even bother to address the issue.  Or if I felt compelled, then I would address it in a less divisive manner.  I would not risk alienating the players I just drafted by admitting their new fans don’t care for them.  I also don’t want to put down my paying customers by saying my opinion on the matter is above theirs.  Stephen Jones did both in my opinion, which was a boneheaded admission on his part.

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DirecTV renews NFL deal at $1 billion per year

Posted by ZA on March 24, 2009

There are two times a year that I notice an abundance of DirecTV advertising; around March Madness and during football season.  The NFL is one DirecTV’s major selling points because you can sign up for their NFL Sunday Ticket to see every game.  In addition to their subscription fees, DirecTV typically charges $200 to $250 for a whole season of the NFL Sunday Ticket.  That program obviously has been lucrative to DirecTV because they just announced a renewal to their NFL deal.

nfl_logo

The new deal between DirecTV and the NFL has the satellite television giant paying $300 million more dollars per year than their current deal.  DirecTV signed a four-year NFL deal that will pay the league $1 billion dollars per season, up from $700 million per year.  A 40% increase in this tough economic climate is huge for the NFL, which once again proves they are the top league within the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S.

(Assist: Sports Business Daily)

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