There is an understandable frenzy of media buzz every January about Super Bowl commercials. This is mostly driven by gimmicks and celebrities rather than advertising that pulls its weight for brands. But one sporting event is often overlooked and actually does deliver an excellent opportunity to advertisers: the NCAA's March Madness.
Three summers ago, the U.S. Men's National Team had something of a coming-out party. They were drawn into that year's Group of Death with sneaky-deadly Ghana, early contending favorites Portugal and eventual champions Germany. Hopes of their advancement were low, outside of the truest of believers. Of course, they did advance, and in doing so triggered another round of "here comes soccer, finally" speculation.
With The Masters fast approaching and Tiger Woods still seeking to reclaim his relevancy among such players as Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, golf has very much been in the news.
When 7-year-old Joseph Perez asked Tom Brady at Super Bowl LI Opening Night "Who is your hero?" he probably wasn't expecting the veteran quarterback to tear up in response. But in one of those moments that's just too good to be scripted, that's what happened.
On a day where we are supposed to recognize and appreciate what makes our loved ones special, it strikes me that sports marketers should pause to do the same for their clients or properties. Hopefully, we all subscribe to the truth that a fundamental strategic function of sports marketing is to properly align brands and properties that "fit together."
We're now two days removed from the Super Bowl. The confetti has been swept away, the recaps have been capped and re-capped and capped again. With Tom Brady's legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time more or less sealed (depending on who you ask), much of the conversation has inevitably turned to the other grand and spectacular tradition of the game - the marketing.
Ah, the Super Bowl-the annual arranged marriage between sports' most-viewed event and TV's single-most expensive ad slot. While brands are guaranteed an audience at least 10 times larger than any other televised event, the debate persists as to whether the current $5 million price tag outweighs the value, with costs continuing to grow year after year.
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.