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The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 11.18.13 – 11.25.13


This week’s top news in the #SportsBiz includes a major sponsorship extension between Adidas and FIFA that not only benefits the business of soccer, but also developing soccer countries around the world.  Other news includes ESPN rebranding its mobile app, the Aereo dispute, funding of the Vikings new stadium and a list of the top honors at the PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards.  Quench your #SportsBiz news thirst below.

Sports Sponsorship

Adidas and FIFA partner through 2030

Adidas renews FIFA sponsorshipSince 1970, the partnership between Adidas and FIFA has been one of the most successful in sports marketing history.  Thus, a sponsorship extension through 2030 seems natural.

The new deal grants Adidas the Official Partner, Supplier and Licensee rights for the FIFA World Cup.  FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil explained why the partnership means so much to both entities:

“Without the support of long-term partners such as Adidas, it would simply not be possible for FIFA to host global spectacles such as the FIFA World Cup and to continue our work to develop football worldwide.  Adidas is an integral part of the FIFA World Cup story, quite literally featuring at the heart of the action at every tournament since the 1970 FIFA World Cup. We are delighted that this long-term strategic partnership will continue until at least 2030 and we are looking forward to writing new chapters of football history together.”

Not only does Adidas get the opportunity to supply the official match ball for the FIFA World Cup, but they provide soccer balls to developing football countries around the world.  Through the FIFA Goal program, more than 150,000 FIFA Goal balls have been given away.  Additionally, the Football for Hope Adidas Exchange Program organizes workshops and coaching seminars specifically targeted to the needs of community-based organizations.

Herbert Hainer, CEO of the Adidas Group, explained the natural fit between the two companies:

“Over the last 40 years, Adidas and FIFA have worked closely together to develop football worldwide. Therefore, it was a natural step for us to extend one of the most successful partnerships in the history of sports marketing.  We are happy and proud that our close relationship with FIFA will continue. This unique partnership and our extensive presence at all FIFA World Cups will help us to expand adidas’ position as the leading football brand worldwide.”

You can read more here.

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Sports Marketing

Results from the PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards

PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing AwardsPromaxBDA is a member association representing more than 10,000 companies and individuals from major media organizations, marketing & advertising agencies, research companies, strategic & creative vendors and technology providers around the globe. The goal of the Association is to lead the global community of those passionately engaged in the marketing of television and video content on all platforms, inspiring creativity, driving innovation and honoring excellence.

That being said, the annual Sports Media Marketing Summit is the global conference venue where marketing, promotion and design executives gather as a community to share ideas, learn the best techniques, develop the right tools, get insight on the latest technologies and be inspired by the brightest of luminaries in the sports marketing industry.

The goal behind the PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards is to acknowledge and reward  finalists in more than 50 creative and marketing categories, representing outstanding work in sports media marketing through entries submitted from around the world.  Silver, Gold and the coveted Titanium awards are given to the winners.

Jonathan Block-Verk, president and CEO of PromaxBDA International, explained:

“The sports marketing community consistently creates innovative campaigns that entertain and engage audiences and fans.  This night is an occasion to honor their efforts by showcasing the best work out there, demonstrating the unique role that marketing plays in this specialized field of media. We are thrilled to honor the Titanium Award winners – and all the winners – for all of their stellar work in 2013, especially the outstanding achievements of George Bodenheimer and Red Bull Media House, our 2013 Lifetime Innovator and Game Changer Award winners.”

The Lifetime Innovator Award was given to ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer for his continued contribution to sports media marketing.  Red Bull Media House was presented with the Game Changer Award, which shows their commitment to and innovation of marketing through technology, applications and business models.

A few of the other top awards are as follows:

Titanium Awards for 2013:


Leon Sandcastle
NFL Network

Leon Sandcastle
NFL Network

NBA Regular Season on TNT – NBA Knicks / Nets Spike Lee Promo
Turner Sports

Atlanta Falcons Rise Up
Atlanta Falcons

Play 60
National Football League

For the full look at the award recipients, click here.  You can also read more about the awards here.

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Sports Media

ESPN rebrands its mobile app

Sportscenter appFor the first time, the number of unique mobile users has surpassed the number of visitors of ESPN’s desktop website, with 47.4 million people using ESPN’s mobile offerings and 46.1 million visiting

That being said, ESPN has recently revamped and rebranded its mobile app.

With so many TV viewers turning to a second screen to enhance their experience, The Mothership has taken to rebranding their ScoreCenter app to fall in-line with SportsCenter.  With 50 million app downloads, the sports network is trying to ensure that realigning the app with their signature show was the correct move.

The redesign features new enhancements too, such as the news and analysis that SportsCenter is known for.  A Twitter feed from ESPN employees and anchors is now available to help users keep an eye on the latest updates. They have also taken a more root-driven approach by allowing smaller, niche-style leagues to be added as a favorite sport, such as German Bundesliga.

This movement also furthers the belief that the app is not just about SportsCenter fans, but fans of sports in general.  ESPN wants to provide fans the ultimate place to seek out sports information, regardless of which network their game may be airing on.  The new app has made it easier to share content across social platforms as well, further enhancing the app’s reach.

You can read more here.

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Sports Media

Aereo may be the end of ‘free network’ sports

Aereo legality mapAereo is a subscription service which allows users to watch live broadcast TV on Internet-connected devices, or record shows to watch later. Occasional viewers can buy a $1 day pass (recordings are stored for 10 days), while heavier users can purchase an $8 or $12 monthly package or an $80 annual subscription.

It sounds great for those who want a more a la carte cable experience right?  But here is the problem:  The NFL and MLB warned in a legal brief that if Aereo isn’t shut down, they could be forced to air games on cable channels like Disney-owned ESPN or TNT – instead of the free networks – “where Aereo-like services cannot hijack and exploit their programming without authorization.”

A huge controversy has begun, revolving around whether or not Aereo needs the broadcaster’s permission to pull off such a service.  Aereo claims the system works like digital video recording devices (DVR), while broadcasters claim the company should be paying to retransmit the content.  Chet Kanojia, owner of Aereo, expected this kind of reaction:

“We expected it to be controversial, but we went in with an open kimono, and explained what we were doing. Some were appreciative. Some were more, ‘Hmm. I wonder what this means for us.’ And some were in disbelief, saying we were lying or exaggerating about what we created.”

Disney, NBC Universal and Twenty-First Century Fox have all filed lawsuits against the streaming content company.  The NFL and MLB are now in support of the broadcast companies, claiming that the Aereo service may be a hinderance to rights holders.

Is it possible we are seeing a change in the cable landscape?  Would it make sense for cable companies to offer their own a la carte services to combat services like Aereo?  It’s certainly possible.

You can read more here and here.

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Sports Business

Vikings stadium plans rise above estimates

Vikings News StadiumThe Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium is set to commence construction next week.  A total cost of the project is still within the $975 million estimate, which includes land acquisition, related infrastructure expenses and consulting fees.

But the stadium itself that was estimated to cost $738 million will now cost around $763 million. Even though the construction climate is back on the rise, the bids for the subcontractors working on the stadium were higher than expected.

In a change of plans, the Vikings have now committed a $26.4 million line of credit — up from $13.1 million before — as a contingency to help ensure certain design elements are included in the project.  The only way the extra money from the team will be used, however, is if the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority first exhausts its contingency budget of $30 million for other unanticipated costs.

It has been feared that the Vikings would be unable to foot their portion of the stadium bill, due to a prior legal dispute over involving the Vikings’ owners Mark and Zygi Wilf.  NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman explained:

“We continue to have full confidence in the Vikings and the stadium project, and are gratified that the Authority appears to be coming to the same conclusion.”

As construction is slated to begin Monday, the legal issues appear to be no hinderance to the project.

You can read more here.

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2 Responses to The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 11.18.13 – 11.25.13

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