SCC FFL Current Standings – Challenge #3 Point Distribution

They’re back!  Karen Russo’s sports marketing class at Hinsdale Central HS in Illinois has overtaken Nicole Rusch’s class at Pine Island HS in Minnesota for first place in SCC’s fantasy football sports marketing challenge.  Thanks to a fantastic response to the third sports marketing challenge (community relations), the Omaha Outlaws front office is in great position to defend last year’s championship.

The San Antonio Roughriders, managed by Carolyn Province’s class at Grapevine HS in Texas, currently sits in third place while Andy Rucker’s class at Vista Murrieta HS in California (Honolulu Surf) enjoyed a big surge, jumping from 9th place to 4th.

Overall, ALL of our participating schools have done a fantastic job with this project thus far. The responses to our sports marketing challenges have been incredibly impressive and the league office is looking forward to seeing what the students come up with for the remaining challenges! Follow along via our blog (or @sportsbized on Twitter) for updates as the season rolls along and be sure to encourage and support those schools in your local area!

Points have been distributed for each team’s response to the community relations component of this competition (sports marketing challenge #3). Updated standings are below as well as a few individual “shout outs” for particularly creative and unique community relations strategies…keep up the great work everyone! Continue reading

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. 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.

Evolution of the T-Shirt Toss

Fans love free stuff.  Especially t-shirts that are launched into the crowd.  That’s probably why a “t-shirt toss” has always been one of the most popular promos at sporting events.

However, at the Army vs. Navy college football Bowl game today, Army took things to a whole new level. Before we share that, however, let’s look at the evolution of the t-shirt toss promo.  Originally, we had your basic t-shirt “toss” where tees were thrown to the crowd.

Continue reading

Are athletes role models?

This week, Peyton Manning was in the news for something other than throwing touchdowns or winning football games. In an open letter to the Broncos’ star QB in the Indianapolis Star, it was revealed that Peyton Manning responded to a letter from a fan with stage four cancer by requesting to meet her, flying her and her husband to last weekend’s game in Denver, providing them field passes and spending a few minutes with the couple during pre-game. An amazing gesture that provides an example of how influential athletes and celebrities can be in our culture when they decide they want to help make the world a better place.

Then, the next day, it was announced that P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens (one of the best and highest-paid players in the NHL) donated ten dollars to a local children’s hospital. Yes, you read that correctly. $10 MILLION. Sure, he will make $72 million over the span of his contract, but that’s an incredible contribution that will help make a difference in the lives of many, many children.

Other sports stories making headlines this week? Rutgers suspended their head football coach three games for NCAA rules violations. The UFC banned one of their top athletes for FIVE years after his third positive test for marijuana. One of the NHL’s biggest stars denied any wrongdoing in a sexual assault investigation. Soccer’s International governing body (FIFA) fired a high level executive after allegations of unethical behavior. And in a story that just won’t go away, the NFL filed papers to clear the way for an appeal in the already infamous “deflate-gate” scandal.

The point? Sports CAN provide feel-good stories from time to time. Athletes can and often do have a positive impact on their communities. In an era where it doesn’t always seem to be the case, not all the news needs to be negative…

1993 Nike commercial featuring Charles Barkley

In 1993, NBA star (turned announcer) Charles Barkley was featured in an ad that was at the time deemed to be very controversial in which he declared that he was not a role model. The commercial sparked a fierce debate as to whether athletes and celebrities should be perceived as individuals that children should look up to…that debate has never quite been settled. However, in today’s day and age, with an increase in player salaries, influx of new social media channels and explosive growth in the number of media outlets, athletes are under the microscope now more than ever.

So, ask your students in class:  Should athletes and celebrities should be considered role models?

Leveraging Free Agency (DeMarco Murray Edition)

After withstanding a firestorm of criticism for their free agent moves thus far in free agency, the Eagles made a major splash on the FA market with the signing of rival Dallas Cowboys’ RB DeMarco Murray.  To maximize the publicity generated by the move, the team naturally took to almost all of their social platforms with Murray related posts.  The only omission was Pinterest (screenshot below).

Interesting to note that the team now carries three explosive running backs on the roster and they parlayed that into the hashtag “Legion of Zoom”, a spinoff of the nickname for the Seattle Seahawks defense who is dubbed the Legion of Boom.  At the time of this blog post, that Instagram image alone had already received 28,500 likes and nearly 1,500 comments.

All in all, pretty well measured campaign to cap off an exciting free agency for the Eagles as they continue to overhaul the entire team…they have easily been the most talked about NFL franchise in the last week…both in the media and through social channels.  Check out the gallery below for more…


Leveraging Free Agency

How are teams leveraging their moves in free agency to generate excitement with their fan base?  Look at the Bills’ trade for LeSean McCoy as an example.  Look how many times these posts have been favorited and shared.  Notice the push to sell jerseys already.  No doubt they’ve seen an uptick in ticket sales as well, depending on available inventory.  Curious to see how other teams respond after a wild first day of free agent signings…


The Latest Viral Dance Craze

Today’s post comes courtesy of Griffin Booth, Sports Career Consulting’s blog manager.  CONGRATS to Griffin for being accepted into Major League Soccer’s sales academy.  I know you will do very well and would like to wish you the best as you continue to pursue your dream job!

Back in August, SCC featured a blog post about how the song “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jespen took over music entertainment. Her video became so catchy and popular that many athletes imitated the musician’s performance by creating video parodies. The commercial success generated by the video resulted in success within many social media outlets. Another song recently went viral on social media and took the world by storm. However, the latest trend has gotten even more viral then “Call Me Maybe” and even taken out “Gangnam Style”. Yes, we are talking about “Harlem Shake.”

Once the Harlem Shake hit the Internet scene in early February, its popularity and growth in social media markets has been exponential. The song itself reached the number one spot in the US billboard top 100, as well as reaching the number one mark in both Australia and New Zealand. While there are many different parodies of the Harlem Shake video, I want to primarily focus on how it has affected the sports scene. From NBA to NASCAR, the Harlem Shake has had an impact many segments of the sports industry. Here are a few examples of this video has crossed over to the sports world.

Continue reading

Call Me Maybe

I think it is safe to say Carly Rae Jepsen has taken the world by storm.  Her hit single, Call Me Maybe, enjoyed the top spot on both The Billboard and Canadian Hot 100 and went to number-one in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom.  It has also sold nearly 7.5 million copies to date.  The song’s video has over 225 million views on YouTube.

While the pop star’s success is nothing to sneeze at, it also isn’t something we haven’t seen before.  Plenty of artists have enjoyed commercial success on par with Jepsen.  I’m not so sure, however, that we’ve seen the sports community gravitate to a song like this, particularly from a social media perspective.

Consider all the places “Call Me Maybe” has popped up in recent months.  Back in July, the USA swim team’s parody of Jepsen’s video quickly went viral just two days before the London Games, amassing more than 3.5 million views in just a few short days (including 600,000 views in just 24 hours). As of this posting, the video has been viewed almost 8 million times.  The Harvard baseball team’s rendition of the video has been viewed nearly 16 million times and the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders’ version has over 11 million views.  The mascots of the Big 10 conference have a parody of the video on YouTube, so does Finland’s women’s basketball team.  Even the Pittsburgh Steelers released a version of the video during training camp.  Based on the viral success of all these videos, it is safe to assume the tributes won’t stop anytime soon.

The question is, who benefits most from all the parodies?  The athletes/teams from all the publicity or Jepsen?

Olympic Sponsors Facing Criticism…

At what point does sponsorship of a mega-event like the Olympic Games yield diminishing returns if the brand’s image receives a significant amount of negative publicity? 

If you have tuned in to watch the Games within the past four years, you have likely seen (or heard) the slogan “Visa: The Only Card Accepted at the 20XX Olympic Games” being advertised in one form or another.  Visa has long been one of the biggest supporters of the Games (since 1986) and, as part of their relationship with the organizing committee as a sponsor, is the exclusive credit card of the Olympic Games.

As such, anyone without a Visa might find themselves in a bit of a bind when it comes to making an Olympic purchase.  The official ticketing website of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games states “In recognition of Visa’s longstanding support of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, only Visa (debit, credit and prepaid) can be used to purchase tickets.”  In other words, if fans want tickets to see the beach volleyball competition, they will need a Visa to make the purchase.  Same goes for anyone buying a t-shirt to commemorate their experience at the Games.  And anyone thinking they can circumvent the system by visiting an ATM and paying with cash better think again because if their debit card does not feature a Visa logo, they’ll be hit with a hefty “convenience” charge.  Visa will have a near-monopoly on ATMs at event facilities.

Granted, organizers need to create value for sponsors paying millions in sponsorship fees to justify the spend, but one has to wonder if consumers become turned off to the brand as a result of the exclusivity (for more perspective on Visa’s exclusive deal and how it impacts consumers in London, check out this blog post from  Visa isn’t the only one generating headlines for something other than their Olympic loyalty either.  McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, two long-standing partners of the Olympic Games (who have spent billions over the years supporting the event and even waived their right to using the Games as a tax exemption) have received a lot of criticism from advocates of healthier eating.  It will be interesting to see how everything plays out following the Games from a publicity perspective.  Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, hasn’t exactly rushed to the side of two of the Games top sponsors either, suggesting there had been a “question mark” hanging over aligning with them for the London Games.  Of course, Rogge pulled a 180 the day after making the statement, saying he’s “proud to be associated with them.”

It remains to be seen if any of these brands will pull back on their support, but if the criticism becomes widespread and the risk of damaging the brand becomes real, well, you never know…

Around the Horn: April 17th

Groundbreaking news from the racing world:  Announced today, the Ford Focus will become the first ever electric car to lead the field as the pace care at a NASCAR event during the April 28th Sprint Cup race in Richmond.  The decision drives homes NASCAR’s continued emphasis on green initiatives, but Ford has the most to gain by showcasing an electric model and educating a large number of consumers about new technologies.

Today a Kenyan runner won the men’s division of the Boston Marathon, marking the 19th time in 22 years that a Kenyan has won the prestigious race.  A Kenyan runner also finished first in the women’s race, the 3rd time that has happened in the previous 5 years.  The big winner, however, is the city of Boston.  According to estimates from the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (via, the race was expected to bring in over $137 million to the Greater Boston area, an economic impact roughly equal to that of a Final Four.

With 22 million hits already, I must be one of the last to see this TNT viral video…however, if you are like me and hadn’t seen it yet, you should definitely check it out.  The stunt provided a brilliant means for building buzz surrounding the launch of the station in Belgium…

Did the Planned Parenthood PR debacle back in January really result in a significant drop in participation rates for Susan G. Komen for the Cure events as USA Today is reporting?  If so, that’s the sad end result of a botched crisis management effort, providing a perfect example of why the “all publicity is good publicity” theory isn’t exactly spot on…

Last night, the world of entertainment marketing gave us one of the most innovative things we’ve seen in a while after a performance at the Coachella music festival managed to create a frenzied buzz among fans all over the Internet.  During a Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg concert, a 3-D hologram of Tupac Shakur (who died 15 years ago) created the illusion of the legendary rapper performing live.  As a testament to the stunt’s overwhelming popularity, 2pac’s HOLOGRAM had nearly 3,500 followers within 12 hours after his “appearance” on stage…

The Twitterverse (via @msament) presents this week’s installment of Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm:  “Misplaced priorities? KY public colleges fund subsidize athletics by $50M while state cuts school funds by $105M..”