In LeBron James' career full of highlights, one play stands above all others: The Block. The basketball star's full-court chase-down and rejection of Golden State's Andre Iguodala in game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals helped the Cavaliers win their first-ever title, ending Cleveland's 52-year championship drought. The play has its own Wikipedia page. Even Iguodala recently tipped his cap to LeBron, calling it a "great play" and saying he hears about it all day on social media.
Over the next six weeks, some of the biggest events in sports will take place: The NHL All-Star Game (Jan. 29), Super Bowl LI (Feb. 5), the NBA All-Star Game (Feb. 19), the Daytona 500 (Feb. 26) and NCAA men's and women's basketball March Madness.
Have you experienced a fan festival or any number of sports activations taking place in and around the stadium? Chances are, if you've seen one, you've seen them all.
In today's world, we are inundated with incessant chatter, be it social media rants by friends, celebrities or athletes on Instagram or Twitter, or even special interest media outlets. By choosing to follow specific individuals, brands, or news stations, we are apt to surround ourselves with others whose opinions are similar to ours. These "echo chambers" can reverberate and reaffirm what we believe, and it's easy to lose oneself in the perception that these opinions are surrogate for those of a larger and more representative population.
This week, 21 years ago, on Microsoft's website Bill Gates wrote an essay - we didn't call them blogs back then, did we? - with a headline destined for countless textbooks to come. Titled simply "Content Is King," Bill's essay asserted that, just like with broadcast and radio technology before it, money that would be made on the Internet would not be in the manufacturing of hardware - but, instead, in the creation of content.
Some athletes when they retire take up quiet lives of solitude. Others begin new careers that, while successful, keep them far from the public spotlight.
The world, especially the sports world, lost an icon on Thursday in Craig Sager. The garishly dressed NBA sideline reporter captured the hearts of many for his valiant battle with cancer, but more importantly, captured the respect of many for what he did better than anyone else in his profession: ask the right questions.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of my job is that I get to see a lot of onsite sports marketing activations from multiple perspectives. As a researcher, I have the privilege of observing the "rubber hitting the road" on these programs through my own eyes as well as through the lens of the target audience. Efficacy testing is an important element of any sponsoring brand or property's ROI/ROO measurement.
Sports have always been associated with emotional exchanges. Whether you're a player, fan, or just know someone who is, you know how it goes: conversations about a certain player's intensity, a sour illegal play and even about what piece of equipment works best in a particular setting can go from friendly discussion to heated banter in a matter of minutes.
It happens all the time in sports marketing - planners and buyers craft intricate media plans to reach the exact right consumer, using sports as the unparalleled platform of interest that it is, but they lose them in the messaging. In any vertical, but especially in sports, it's important to not only reach consumers on the correct channel, but to tell the correct story for that channel as well. If you're reaching Gen Y women in the Midwest who love college football with your media, but you aren't reaching them with your story, you've missed the point.