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The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 10.14.13 – 10.21.13

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Top news in the #SportsBiz this week features Formula E and their plan to market to youths.  Other news includes Taco Bell and the NBA going social, Mexico’s soccer conundrum, a street soccer TV series from Xbox, and the NHL’s strong ticket sales.  For all your #SportsBiz news, read on!

Sports Marketing

Formula E markets to youths

Formula E MarketingFormula E is, if you don’t know, is like Formula 1 racing except the cars are all electric.  Everything about Formula E is a bit skewed and different.  Their marketing plan falls right in line with those categories.

With the launch of Formula E coming in 2014, the series has decided to market the races toward…10-14 year olds.  Why?  Series CEO Alejandro Agag told Sports Business Daily that children need to be attracted to electric cars if they want to buy them in the future.

Perhaps Formula E thought that F1 racing fans will have little interest in watching cars that sound like scooters race.  But for the marketing team to target 10-14 year olds seems like a stretch.

The series does aim to be different though.  The “push-to-pass” feature of Indycar has been uniquely adopted to Formula E.  Push-to-pass in Indycar allows a driver to press a button on the steering wheel for a temporary increase in horsepower.  Agag said in the same SBD report that potentially, a driver who receives the most Twitter hashtag mentions during a race could be afforded an extra push during the race.

That is different to say the least.  It also seems to follow in-line with its younger target market.  Whether or not Fomula E will be successful or not remains to be seen.

You can watch the trailer for Formula E below and be sure to read more here.

Photo credit – autoevolution.com

Sports Business

Mexico backs into playoff with New Zealand to avoid losing financially

Mexico vs Costa RicaWith the World Cup quickly approaching, teams are making last stitch efforts to qualify.  There is a chance that Mexico may not make the tournament for the first time in 23 years.  In order to avoid a $600 million loss, the team must beat New Zealand in a playoff.

Mexico made its way into the playoff with New Zealand because the US had beaten Panama.  Had that not occurred, Mexico would be out for losing to Costa Rica.

A win against New Zealand, however, is the only thing standing between Mexico and $600 million.  If the team fails to qualify for the World Cup, the $600 million would be lost in TV, merchandise, sponsorship and other revenue, according to DreaMatch sports marketing expert Rogelia Roa.

Televisa and TV Azteca paid a reported $100 million to broadcast the tournament in Mexico.  Even television networks in the US could take a hit from Mexico missing out, as Univision paid $325 million to broadcast the ’10 and ’14 tournaments in Spanish throughout the United States

For the last U.S.-Mexico qualifier in September, ESPN set a record with 2.2 million average viewers. But an average of 3.5 million watched the game in Spanish on Unimas.  This means that if Mexico misses out, so do others.

Mexico and New Zealand play on November 13 or 14, as well as November 20.  The world waits to see what fate awaits Mexico.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – espn.go.com

Sports Media

Xbox Entertainment Studios sheds light on street soccer

317fae92ef57f609ec73ee610595f95fBecause soccer is one of the world’s most popular sports, it’s no wonder that Xbox Entertainment Studios is looking to produce a series based on a street version of the game.  Every Street United is an unscripted show based on street soccer players in eight countries.

The production is said to be Xbox Entertainment Studios’ first green lit series.  Every Street United  is headed up by some big-time names in the sports documentary field, such as Mike Tollin, Jonathan Hock and Peter Gruber.  Mike Tollin produced Coach Carter and Varsity Blues while Gruber produced Rain Man and The Color Purple. Gruber is also the co-owner of the Golden State Warriors and the MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers.  Also, Jonathan Hock, director of The Best That Never Was on ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary series, will reportedly help direct part of the series.

A final episode is said to consist of a four on four game that will take place at the 2014 World Cup.  The two teams will be comprised of a top player from each of the eight countries involved.  Those countries include the U.S., Spain, Holland, France, Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, and South Korea.

Each episode in the series is slated to be 30 minutes long.  The only real evidence of video games comes from the popularity of EA Sports’ FIFA soccer game.  Although, the series is said to feature some interactive enhancements.

While a lot of the details seem to still be up in the air, the combination of idea and production seems to make the series look promising.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – africandigitalart.com

Sports Sponsorship

The NBA and Taco Bell ‘Live Mas’ on social media

Taco Bell and NBA Live MasSince 2009, Taco Bell has been the offical quick-service restaurant partner of the NBA.  The two brands look to further their reach this year by integrating their social media channels.

In a better effort to reach Millennial consumers, Taco Bell is looking to promote their ‘Live Mas’ campaign by utilizing social media to showcase the NBA’s last second shots and buzzer-beaters.  Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer for Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell, explained why the partnership makes sense:

“We’re really trying to become a lifestyle brand, and there’s no sport like the NBA that is so influential on lifestyle.  It influences music and fashion, and it’s the No. 1 sports property talked about on social media. To the extent we can amplify those conversations with some Taco Bell stories, it’s a perfect fit for us.”

While TV commercials will still be evident in the partnership, both brands know how important it is to reach out to fans on social media.  Taco Bell is putting a big emphasis on the video side of things, as Brandt explains:

“We don’t have a TV plan; we have a video plan.  Viewers aren’t necessarily watching things just on TV. It’s imperative that brands aren’t on just one screen, but across all of them. It’s a subtle change, but a meaningful one.”

While ‘Live Mas’ looks to be a major focus of the plan, the two brands are also looking beyond that.  As part of the NBA All-Star Jam session and the title sponsor of All-Star Weekend’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Taco Bell and NBA Cares will award college scholarships through the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens.

The partnership only looks to be gaining momentum as the two companies move forward.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – mediapost.com

Sports Ticket Sales

NHL has surprisingly strong ticket sales

colorado-avalanche, sports ticket salesThe World Series is just around the corner, the NBA is tipping off shortly, and football is in mid-season form.

Is there room left for the NHL?  After looking at ticket sales, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

According to Marta Ault at online ticket marketplace BuyAnySeat.com, ticket sales are looking very strong for the NHL:

“On top of all of this sports activity, NHL Hockey took the ice just over two weeks ago on October 1.  NHL ticket sales are surprisingly strong, however, with seven teams ranked in the Top 25 sports ticket sellers this week.”

The NHL has undergone a realignment this season, narrowing the league’s six divisions to just four:  Atlantic, Pacific, Central, and Metropolitan.  While the forecast for the season has the usual teams predicted for the Stanley Cup, fans will get their fair share of great hockey.

Overall, hockey has the smallest total fan base of the four leagues, the smallest revenue from television, and the least sponsorship – although it is the most popular of these four major sports in Canada.  With a strong start from quite a few teams this year, Ault is excited to be part of the equally strong ticket sales thus far:

“That’s why we’re proud to offer sports fans the most comprehensive and continuously updated selection of sports tickets online, with a worry-free guarantee to protect their purchase,”

With hockey appearing to take a backseat to the other ‘Big Three’ sports in the US, perhaps a revolution is looming in the sports world.

You can read more here.

Photo credit – forbes.com

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