• Don't Try To Turn An Aircraft Carrier On A Dime
    Amidst marketers' continued obsession over everything Millennial, I've seen a number of brands looking to find lightning in a bottle by attempting to recast themselves as hip, trendy or too cool for school. Alignment with athletes or properties that personify that desired positioning is often among the marketing mix elements that rise to the top of the list of those seeking this re-polishing of an old apple. While such efforts are far from new, it strikes me that there are more than a handful of instances where this approach is doomed to failure, and that's unfortunate because the mistake could ...
  • The Key To MLS Success? Striking A Balance
    Last year at this time, I wrote an article for MediaPost about Major League Soccer's significant growth. The focus was on how the league's increasing success in attracting world-class talent earlier in their careers and developing domestic players through the Homegrown program, has improved the quality of the players on the field each year, ultimately, driving up the league's rights value and popularity.
  • 'Selling Fun' To Sports Fans In The Digital Era
    The goals of successful major league sports franchises are simple: win games and win fans. Yet, over the last decade, the scoreboard-to-seat sale relationship has become significantly more complicated.
  • When Athletes Can't Join 'Em, They Try To Beat 'Em
    During Super Bowl XLIX, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks showed his displeasure at answering questions from the media by repeating during his Media Day appearance, "I'm just here so I won't get fined" (which could have been as much as $500,000 by the NFL for not appearing) and then, at his next required press conference offering, "You all shove cameras and microphones down my throat. I ain't got nothing for you all ... You all will sit here doing the same thing. I'm here preparing for a game."
  • The Chase For ROI In Sports
    We can't fault you; we've all been trained to do it. In every business, large or small, we continue chasing it. When will we realize what we might be looking for, might not be there?
  • A Renewed Focus On 'Connection Planning'
    Every industry has buzzwords, though it has often struck me that sports, marketing and advertising over-index for the phenomenon. Since we live in a world where "internet years" make a decade ago feel like a half-century ago, I feel like I'm reaching back into the stone ages of marketing vernacular to surface the term "connection planning."
  • Can Stephen Curry Become The Peyton Manning Of The NBA?
    For several years, it seemed as if Peyton Manning appeared in every commercial on TV, including Nationwide, Papa John's, Gatorade, DirecTV, MasterCard and Buick. That impression was not too far from the truth, enabling the Denver Broncos quarterback to earn upward of $13 million annually from endorsements, the most among NFL players.
  • The Reign Of Real-Time
    Only two days removed from Super Bowl XLIX and there are a few things we all learned: Pete Carroll made the wrong call, Tom Brady solidified his legacy, and more brands than ever are making a bigger push to join the online, real-time conversation on social media.
  • A Few Things To Ruminate On In The New Year
    It's January, and I actually succeeded in finding a little airplane time over the holidays to escape and think those deep thoughts that one is supposed to stew over when not plugged into the office 24-7. Sure, I was still contemplating the relationship between consumer insights and successful sports marketing, but these brief interludes do sometimes allow me to further connect the dots across our disparate projects and varied conversations with other folks that think about similar things on a regular basis. While far from epiphanies, here are a few quick themes that we'll continue to think about in the ...
  • The College Football Pay-off
    It is safe to say college football fans have entered 2015 more excited than ever before. Why? Because the college football gods had heard for years their cries and moans, and finally answered. This was the year that a playoff would finally crown the best team in the nation. After suffering through the BCS, and computer calculations of which was the "supposed" best team in the nation, the college football-crazed masses would now have a fair and logical end to their season.
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