SportsBiz Madness Case Study Competition: On to the Championship Round!

Thanks to our Judges!

An extra special thanks to Audible Design, an ad agency in Portland, for evaluating the Final Four round of our case study competition entries.  Leaning on the expertise of industry veterans with a long track record of success to evaluate this round of entries was invaluable.  Their feedback (read the post below for more) provides fantastic context for not only the four teams remaining in our competition, but also the students and teachers following along in their own classrooms. 

Great stuff, thanks guys!

“Final Four” Competition Recap

After receiving over 100 entries for Sports Career Consulting’s inaugural “SportsBiz Madness” high school case study competition, we are left with just two teams.  The championship round is set.  

In the Final Four round, our competitors were tasked with the development of an advertising campaign for BodyArmor, a sports performance beverage that is quickly gaining ground on Gatorade.  Teams were given a budget and a “rate card” (list of costs associated with each advertising medium), then asked to develop a promotional campaign to promote the brand.

Each of the teams did a fantastic job meeting the evaluation standards for this particular case, demonstrating a clear understanding of sports business concepts like niche markets and distribution.  

The case we distributed for the championship round challenges students from an event marketing perspective.  Our teams will be required to create an event (like a Tough Mudder or a “Superhero 5K”) and develop a marketing strategy to support the race.  We can’t wait to see what they come up with! Continue reading

Rio 2016: Fun Facts by the Numbers

The lead up to the Summer Games in Rio generated arguably more publicity (both good and bad) than any other Olympic Games in recent memory.  Now that they are finally underway, here is a quick look at “the numbers” behind the Games…

1 – Number of times a South American city has hosted the Olympics

12,000 – Number of Olympic torchbearers that carried the Olympic flame

4,800 – Number of performers and volunteers that took part in the Opening Ceremony

10,500 – Total number of athletes competing in the 2016 Summer Games

206 – Total number of countries represented in Rio

4,924 – There are a total of nearly 5,000 medals up for grabs in this summer’s competitions

2 – This year, two sports will be making a comeback as golf and rugby return as official Olympic Sports in Rio

112 – It has been over a century since golf was last an Olympic sport

92 – It has been nearly a century since rugby was last an Olympic sport

37 – Athletes will be competing in 37 different venues at the Summer Games (32 in Rio and 5 in co-host cities)

$5,700,00 – Brazil’s Ministry of Health invested nearly $6 million to insure the well being of athletes and spectators attending the Games due to zika concerns

32 – More than 30 tons of dead fish were removed from the lagoon where the rowing and canoeing competitions will take place

85,000 – The number of security personnel staffed for games, more than double the number present in London for the 2012 Summer Games thanks to Brazil’s high crime rate

$1.2 B – The amount NBC Universal invested in the broadcast rights for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio

$1 B – The amount NBC Universal has reportedly generated in advertising sales in the US (both television advertising and digital)

26.5 M – Nearly 27 million viewers tuned in for NBC’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony

35% – Ratings for the Opening Ceremony broadcast declined by 35% compared to coverage during the 2012 Summer Games in London

307% – Viewership of Day 1 of Olympics coverage on NBC’s digital platforms enjoyed a 307% increase from Day 1 of the 2012 Games in London

1,200% – On Spotify, streams of the song “Girl from Ipanema” rose 1,200% after it was played during the Opening Ceremony

7,000 – Number of hours of programming produced by NBC Universal this year (TV and digital) in coverage of Olympic competitions

3.6 B – NBC Universal is expecting 3.6 billion viewers to tune in to Olympics coverage

85% – The number of viewers expected to use a “second screen” for Olympics coverage

7.5 M – Organizers of the Rio Games made 7.5 million tickets available for purchase to various Olympic events

$60-1400 – The face value of tickets to the opening ceremony

$6 – $365 – The face value for various events

240,000 – The number of Rio Olympic tickets being given to underprivileged children

$425 M – According to Rio organizers, sales of tickets to Olympic events have generated $425 million

500,000 – The number of foreign travelers expected to visit Rio for the 2016 Summer Games

1M – The number of tourists that visited Rio last year for their popular annual Carnival celebration

6M – The number of residents in the city of Rio

90% – Rio’s  hotel rooms are close to capacity with over 90% booked for the Summer Games

$261 – The approximate value of the gold contained in an Olympic medal

1.2% – An Olympic Gold medal barely contains more than 1% actual gold

Sources:

WalletHub
Rio Times
thedailybeast.com
CBC Sports
International Business Times
Fortune
USA Today
Associated Press
Adweek 

 

Infographic: How are sports marketers targeting the female demographic?

Lately sports marketers have not been shy in their efforts to target female fans and for good reason.  Women now constitute at least 30% of the fan base for all of the “big four” professional sports leagues in the U.S. and 46% of Super Bowl viewers were female.

To provide a closer look, the fine folks at UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Business School put together a fantastic infographic offering a quick look at ways brands are working to engage female fans.  For more analysis, check out this story on forbes.com from Kristi Dosh (and follow her on Twitter @sportsbizmiss).

Super Bowl 50 #SportsBiz Recap

While the majority of football fans today will discuss the possibilities of Peyton Manning riding off into the sunset, favorite commercials and the halftime performances, marketers are busy analyzing the overall impact on brands.  So, which brands won the Super Bowl?  Here is a recap of what the experts are saying about the performance of advertisers, sponsors and social media campaigns…

 

Ad Winners & Losers

Adweek’s top 5 commercials from Super Bowl 50:

  1. Jeep
  2. T-Mobile
  3. Audi
  4. Heinz
  5. Doritos
AdWeek also examined which Super Bowl ads “resonated” with viewers.
Click here to see which spots created the most chatter.

USA Today’s “AdMeter” winners:

  1. Hyundai “First Date”
  2. Heinz “Weiner Stampede”
  3. Doritos “Ultrasound”
  4. Doritos “Dogs”
  5. Hyundai “Ryanville”
More from USA Today AdMeter…click here to see the voting for most underrated spots from Super Bowl 50, the top five worst ads and much more.
Postano.com tracked the “performance” of the Super Bowl commercials and offers a fantastic breakdown (and some cool graphics) of Sunday’s ads.  Click here to view the analysis as well as every single ad from the big game.

Super Bowl 50 by the Numbers

You just have to love the Super Bowl, especially if you teach sports marketing!  The “Big Game” creates such a fun environment for teaching some of the fundamental marketing principles that drive the business of sports and entertainment.

Looking for a current and relevant way to illustrate the concepts of supply and demand or economic impact? Need a discussion starter on the concept of ambush marketing or sponsorship?  How about advertising, ticket sales or merchandising?  Endorsement?  Promotion?  This look at the Super Bowl “by the numbers” has you covered.  Enjoy the “Big Game”!

$35 Million

According to moneynation.com, estimates put Cam Newton’s career endorsement earnings thus far at $35 million.  Newton’s endorsement portfolio includes brands like Under Armour, L’Oreal, Dannon, Beats By Dre and Carolinas Medical Center (among others).

$12 Million

Peyton Manning earned $12 million in endorsements last year alone.  According to Forbes, Manning was the NFL’s top pitchman in 2014 thanks to partnerships with companies like Buick, DirecTV, Gatorade, Nationwide and Papa John’s.

Continue reading

NFL Draft Marketing

You have to give credit to ESPN and the NFL.  A little more than thirty years ago (the original plan to broadcast the draft was hatched in Bristol back in 1980), most people thought televising the draft was a crazy idea.  Critics suggested the draft was unwatchable, especially as an all-day event.  Even those who supported the idea did so with little confidence.  Fast forward to today.  This year, ESPN will spend three days covering the draft, much of it during prime time. The NFL Network will also be broadcasting the event live.  The NFL Network set a draft viewership record last year, averaging nearly 570,000 viewers for its three-day coverage while ESPN averaged nearly 3 million viewers during the same span, according to the Sports Business Journal.  But here’s the thing…the NFL and ESPN are no longer the only brands looking to cash in.

Given the competitive nature of the shoe and apparel business, the number of fans tuning in for the draft provides an excellent platform for footwear and apparel companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Under Armour to showcase their brands.  Notably absent this year, however, will be the Reebok logo on the hats worn by players as they take the stage when their names have been called.  Reebok’s deal with the NFL recently expired and New Era becomes the official on-field cap for the league.  New Era hasn’t wasted any time leveraging the partnership with the league, recently rolling out newly designed draft day caps on the company Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Nike will take over the exclusive uniform rights.  The news of tweaks to uniform designs and fabric technology came with much fanfare, and the company’s “reveal” event created a lot of chatter.  However, the brand announced at the event that new jerseys would not be available for purchase until draft day.  Nobody generates buzz and manufactures demand like the ever opportunistic swoosh.

Never one to stand idly by, long-time Nike rival adidas invested in a lucrative endorsement deal with this year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III.  RG3, as he’s also known, is expected to go second overall in the draft to the Washington Redskins (the Indianapolis Colts have reportedly already told Andrew Luck they plan to select him with the number one pick).  You can bet adidas will be doing all they can throughout the draft to maximize the brand’s exposure via their relationship with the popular QB and that of Ryan Tannehill (from Texas A&M), who adidas also recently signed and is expected by many to be the third quarterback selected.  A commercial featuring RG3 is already posted on YouTube…expect to see it many times during draft coverage.

Under Armour, recognizing the potential challenges in gaining prominent exposure for the brand during the draft, focused its efforts to gain consumer attention by building buzz at the NFL combine.  To do so, the brand developed an extensive social media campaign to support its sponsorship of the event.  That strategy allowed the Maryland-based company to effectively promote the brand without getting lost in the draft-day hype of Nike’s new uniforms or the adidas relationship with RG3.

Coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 26th at 8:00 ET on ESPN and on the NFL Network (Verizon Wireless users will also be able to tune in on their mobile device).

Side note:  Click here to see footage of the 1981 NFL Draft on YouTube…it really is amazing to see how far the event has come.

Around the Horn: April 6th

Remember the two-foot-long hotdogs being sold at Rangers stadium this year (aka the “boomstick”)?  ESPN reports they sold 191 of those monsters on opening day.

Brewers fans will see a familiar face in many of the team’s TV spots this season.  Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Brew Crew will feature Packers’ star QB Aaron Rodgers in several of the ads…interesting decision to bring a sports hero from a different local professional team into the team’s marketing plans.

From the Twitterverse (via @TVSportsratings): “Swamp People (4.5 mil viewers) had a larger audience than The Masters, both NBA games on TNT, 2 MLB games on ESPN2, NHL on NBCS.“  Am I the only one surprised by this?

First it was Tebow Mania, then Linsanity…now apparently three Giants fans are competing for the trademark rights to “Tim-Sanity.”  Sure seems like overkill to me but not sure Tim-Sanity will catch on anyway…wishful thinking perhaps?

Vanilla Ice performed at half-time of a recent Minnesota Timberwolves game…still trying to figure out if the game sold out but love the effort from the Wolves’ staff to attract a crowd.  Attendance at the Target Center is up over 13% on the season, best in the NBA.

Around the Horn: March 16th

I love the new “Brackets by six-year-olds” campaign from AT&T.  It taps into the March Madness hype on so many levels and offers a ton of opportunity to extend the campaign.  AT&T brackets by six-year-olds campaign is sheer genius, so much they can do with it too (not to mention the fact that my six year old did in fact fare much better than I in last year’s bracket challenge)…

Overall tournament attendance hit a five-year low last year…from what I’ve seen during telecasts of this year’s games, attendance may even be lower this year.  What’s to blame?  Lack of interest?  Economy?  Combination thereof???

Buffalo Wild Wings did $63 million in sales of wings last year and $30 million during March Madness alone in 2010.  That’s a lot of wings!  I’m interested to see the figures from this year’s tournament.

From the Twitterverse (via @nikebasketball): “Hey @UMGRIZZLIES_BB fans, click the link to deck out your Twitter and Facebook with Grizzly pride #RiseAsOne http://gonike.me/6015rDjF.”  Yet another great example from Nike on how to engage consumers via social media…

Last time Harvard was in NCAA tourney, gas was 21 cents per gallon!

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, nearly 5 million brackets have been filled out on CBSSports.com…I would also be curious to see how many participated in the Yahoo! Sports bracket challenge…wonder if anyone is still alive in the “perfect bracket” challenge for the $5 million prize?

A recent survey suggested 33% of managers said March Madness activities should be banned from workplace.  Sound like a place you’d like to work?

Bad news for the Georgetown Hoyas‘ mascot, George the Bulldog…sadly, he has been ruled out of the tournament with dog equivalent of a torn ACL.

For those inquiring minds who want to know, looks like there are just four teams in the field without a mascot presence at games: Michigan Wolverines, Indiana Hoosiers, Harvard Crimson and Mississippi Valley State…

Around the Horn: Feb 24th

No real surprise here with news that TNT’s broadcast of last night’s Heat vs. Knicks showdown in Miami drew impressive ratings.  According to Bloomberg, the game was watched in 4% of homes in the top 56 U.S. television markets (via Turner Sports).  The Linsanity story has been a real boon for NBA ratings this year…I’m sure the league is thanking their lucky stars the Harvard phenom dropped into their laps (in the NYC market no less) in a strike-shortened season.

Speaking of the NBA, All-Star Weekend tips off tonight with the “Rising Stars Challenge” game.  The game will feature two players that have dominated headlines in the past two seasons in Jeremy Lin and Blake Griffin.  With interest in Slam Dunk contest waning more and more every year (event sponsor Sprite can’t be too pleased about that), the NBA seems to be placing more emphasis on this game.  I like the idea of involving two of larger-than-life personalities (Shaq and Charles Barkley) in the contest in an effort to create a more entertaining event…just wonder whether it will translate to more interest/viewers.

For a great example of how video games have evolved over time, look no further than the NBA2K franchise.  In 2009, 2K Sports introduced a “Living Rosters” feature, allowing for the game maker to constantly update player ratings and tendencies in an effort to provide the most realistic (and current) gaming experience possible.  Never before has the feature been as necessary as it is now with the rapid emergence of Jeremy Lin.  In an interesting story, Forbes reports that, for the first time in the game’s history, a player was upgraded twice in the same week.  When the Knicks‘ star gaurd was first added to the 2K12 game, he had a rating of 56.  After being upgraded to a 69 just a few short days ago, his rating was again bumped to a 75…

In Major League Soccer news, the Portland Timbers are running another outstanding grassroots, fan-focused billboard campaign.  Two of the team’s new billboards feature the arms of two devoted fans who pledged their allegiance to the franchise with tattoos.  Taking it a step further, the team recently announced a promotion encouraging fans to submit Timbers inspired tattoo ideas.  The winner of the “Kids 17-and-under” category will receive $100 to spend at the adidas Timbers Team Store while the winning adult will get their tattoo paid for.