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FCC Says ‘Redskin’ Is Not Profane

FCC redskins

Daniel Snyder? Paging Daniel Snyder? We have the FCC on line one serenading you with their contemporary take on “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

For a while there has been a movement by Native Americans to tell the NFL that they are people … not mascots.

They have made commercials that would make Iron Eyes Cody from the old pollution days stop his sad face and open a can of whoop @$$ in the heart of Washington D.C. They have picketed the team. There have been surveys. We’ve heard radio ads for the kiddos. The team even hired a big PR firm for counsel.

The point, of course, is that lots of people think the name is racist…and the FCC would like to tell all of those people that they’re wrong.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

University of Michigan Hired Edelman to Back the Blue


For the ardent college football fan, this isn’t news. However, for others who may enjoy their Saturdays for other things, the University of Michigan is in a bad way.

Aside from the total amount of suckage that has been on display in “The Big House” for the past few years, U-M has not handled a few crucial PR items with delicac lately. In fact, the school has treated them like a back-up quarterback with alligator arms, blundering the whole thing.

And since U-M can’t count on its own in-house PR practitioners, they called upon Edelman to do their bidding.

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Pittsburgh Penguins Broadcaster Jokes About ‘I Can’t Breathe’

penguins i cant breathe

(Photo Credit/Screen Grab via Deadspin)

People protest for various reasons. Most of them are good.

Today, thanks to the power of national TV, social media, and a little bit of merchandising, sociopolitical or economic causes can take on a whole new life. Most recently, the death of New York native Eric Garner – who died after an NYPD officer applied a chokehold to restrain him — inspired more than 25,000 to march in Manhattan this weekend.

The line “I Can’t Breathe” has been seen everywhere as a result, and a local sportscaster thought it was fair game for a bad joke. Read more

Baylor Hired a PR Firm for BCS Championship Awareness


(Photo Credit: Tim Sharp/AP via Bleacher Report)

The NCAA has given football fans and fantasy acolytes alike what they requested — a real college football playoff. Okay, maybe it’s more of playoff-ish, but it’s a start.

Last night, the latest rankings put a certain Fort Worth, Texas college at Number 3 (holler!) but left another North Texas institution out in the cold.

Baylor University has had a great season, and they even beat TCU in a glorious game earlier this year. But instead of working on a defense as porous as a block of Swiss Cheese, the team has decided to devote its money and energies to another cause: self-promotion.

Yes, the football team hired a public relations firm.

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Reebok Becomes the Official Brand of the UFC


The UFC has entered into a big time brand partnership with Reebok, making the sports apparel company the official provider of the league. The company says it’s the biggest “non-broadcast” contract in its history.

“The announcement is a landmark in mixed martial arts and the first of its scope in combat sports. The deal will eliminate independent sponsorships in the UFC’s Octagon, which athletes have long relied upon to supplement fight purses,” says ESPN. All fighters will be outfitted in Reebok with the initial profits of the deal going directly to the “500 rostered athletes.” Other financial info about the deal is undisclosed. The contract goes into effect July 15, 2015.

Many of us can remember a time when the UFC and MMA in general was kind of like Fight Club, an underground thing that a few seeming outliers were into. Now, it’s more and more a part of the mainstream airing on television and getting play on various reality shows. And nothing says mainstream like a deal with a major clothing and accessories brand.

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Give Thanks for Richard Sherman’s Rant Against NFL Media Relations ‘Hypocrisy’

Anyone who still doubts whether Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is a sharp dude should check out this “press availability” he scheduled with fellow Seattle player Doug Baldwin yesterday.

He hits the NFL on several points regarding its hypocrisy:

  • The NFL sued Marshawn Lynch $100K for refusing to talk to the press but won’t allow players to discuss their own sponsorships
  • The league doesn’t allow players to sign deals with alcohol companies despite the fact that such companies are its own biggest sponsors
  • The league talks a good game on concussions but clearly doesn’t place the health of its players atop its priorities list

Unsurprisingly, the NFL had no response…but the Internet did!

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Reporters Line Up to Quote Katy Perry

This morning we were shocked and disappointed to learn that the NFL’s official press release announcing Katy Perry as the halftime performer for Super Bowl XLIX did not include a single Katy Perry quote.

Others didn’t disappoint, though: Reuters led with “Will Katy Perry be a firework at the Super Bowl? Will she show them what she’s worth? Will she let her colors burst?”

CNN chose “Get ready to hear that voice, hear that sound — like thunder gonna shake the ground.”

For the record, we’ll go with the New York Post“The worst kept secret in the NFL is finally out.” Here’s Perry’s promo video in case you missed it last night:

Three questions:

1) What was crazier, Perry here or Taylor Swift at the AMAs?

2) Will this appearance help sell more Pepsi?

3) Most importantly, who’s paying whom?

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SURVEY: 80 Percent of Americans Wouldn’t Call a Native American ‘That Word’

Redskins FailWhile many Americans now enjoy the sights, sounds and PR crises of the 21st century, the entire board of directors and ownership of the NFL team in Washington refuses to remove their collective nose from another, older time.

ICYMI: The “Washington Redskins” have a few PR hurdles to overcome if they want to stick with a name dripping in history (the racist kind). The latest nail in the coffin would be an enlightening survey that finds: “four in five Americans would be uncomfortable calling a Native American a ‘r*dskin.’”

Daniel Snyder (or even Mr. “No Means No“): please pick up the white courtesy phone.

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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Automate Your Social Media Responses

The good people at Cision asked an important question last night:

We’d like to flip it a bit: how can social media managers PREVENT a crisis?

First of all — as Bill Cosby, Robin Thicke, JP Morgan, Dr. Oz and any number of others can tell you — don’t schedule an open-ended Q&A on Twitter or anywhere else if there is anything approaching a controversy surrounding your business or personality.

Second, as the New England Patriots showed us last night: don’t automate your responses unless you are damn sure your “filter” works perfectly.

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Skittles Finds a Way into Your Fantasy Football League

Here’s a quick case study demonstrating how to make sure a client’s brand plays a part in a conversation that has absolutely nothing to do with its business.

First, Skittles decided it wanted to become an official NFL sponsor this year for some still-mysterious reason. It all started with this pre-season ad in which Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch literally works out with candy.

Fun, but the brand integration got a bit more personal this weekend.

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