The Best In #Sportsbiz This Week is a collection of articles curated by Sports Networker’s Online Marketing Intern – Holly Koski
Nike Inc. (NKE), the world’s largest sporting-goods company, tumbled the most in four years after fourth-quarter profit unexpectedly declined for the first time since 2009 as marketing costs increased and sales growth slowed.
Nike fell 11 percent to $86.29 at 10 a.m. in New York and earlier slid as much as 12 percent for the largest intraday decline since June 26, 2008. The stock had gained 0.5 percent this year through the end of regular trading yesterday.
Why this article is a must-read: This is big news considering that Nike has long been considered the giant in the sporting goods industry. But with too much inventory and the floundering Cole Haan and Umbro brands will the brand continue to suffer?
As Lebron James appears on CBS’ Late Night with David Letterman Tuesday and his @KingJames Twitter account has passed 5.1 million followers after he ended his break from tweeting, James seems ready to regain something that once seemed lost: his marketing mojo.
After the PR fiasco two years ago that was James’ televised “decision” to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and his disappointing performance in last year’s NBA Finals, LeBron James wasn’t a hot product pitchman-aa although he still makes and estimated $30 million annually from endorsements for Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and State Farm, among others. And, says Forbes, he’s the highest-earning athlete in team sports.
Why this article is a must-read: The greatest basketball player on the planet usually gets the biggest and best sponsorship deals. Now that the king has his ring, it will be interesting to see if he cashes in on taking his talents to South Beach.
In a first, the Seattle Web giant on Wednesday said it would financially back professional skateboarder Andy Macdonald. Amazon noted Mr. Macdonald has collected the most skating medals in X Games history and that he’ll recommend products on Amazon’s site and give skating tips.
Why this article is a must-read: Amazon looks to compete with retail giants such as Zumiez and Pacsun by endorsing one of the most famous X Games athletes. But are they too late to the extreme sports game?
Both sides stressed that the partnership’s close is the result of separately evolving digital strategies and emphasized that the decision to conclude business was part of a collaborative process.
Why this article is a must-read: PGA Tour will directly control all sales operations, meaning that suddenly Turner’s digital sports footprint has begun shrinking considerably. While the departure allows Turner freedom to pursue new multiplatform digital strategies and continue its partnerships with organizations like the NBA and NCAA, the PGA Tour will be free to experiment with some new autonomy in the space.
Sports Social Media
The proliferation of social networking hubs in the past decade has spawned an industry in a constant state palpitating fragmentation and product integration. Whereas Myspace and subsequentlyFacebook promised a basic connection-station for people and organizations, other new companies have sought to provide a more focused approach to social: think about LinkedIn, BlackPlanet, Classmates, Pinterest, FourSquare, and others bringing a slightly more niche-oriented flavor to the social table. Upstart, FanCru, is seeking to make a dent in the world of sports, offering fans of major pro sports a place to connect, and teams and venues a potentially valuable marketing platform.
Why this article is a must-read: FanCru is a place where sports fans can talk to other sports fans about their teams, get listings of sports bars and restaurants in which to watch games and generally exchange info. This could be big in terms of bringing people together to watch games and add to the social nature of sports.
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group today announced the formation of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties. This division brings together the BNQT action sports properties and several recent acquisitions, including MMAjunkie.com and its associated UFC and mixed-martial arts properties, and the Big Lead Sports mainstream sports properties.
Why this article is a must-read: The result is one unified collection of premium sports inventory that allows advertisers to reach sports enthusiasts at scale while providing unique and extensive targeting opportunities.
The BBC has unveiled a Facebook application that will allow users of the social networking site to stream live coverage of the Olympics and the Wimbledon tennis championships.
The broadcaster said the application would feature up to 24 different streams of Olympic events and will include several social elements from Facebook such as the ability to ‘Like’ broadcasts so friends can show one another what they are watching.
Why this article is a must-read: Broadcasting Olympic events and Wimbledon on Facebook is just another way to disseminate the BBC brand and allows for the Games in particular to become more ‘social’. This could be the start of other live streaming sporting events on Facebook as well.
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Why this article is a must-read: Breaking into the sports industry is pretty difficult. Gaining hands on experience is one way of making yourself stand apart and this internship provides just that.
Is there anything we missed this week in the world of sports business? Let us know your in the comments below or tweet us and please feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!