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Sports

FIFA Tells Beats Headphones To Beat It With Ban From World Cup

beats fifaEverywhere you look across the sports world, you see athletes wearing Beats headphones. Everywhere except at the World Cup in Brazil.

Due to a licensing deal with Sony, FIFA has banned Beats by Dre headphones from the pitch at the World Cup. Sony, the company with a marketing deal for the games, distributed free pairs of its own headphones. But, as Reuters notes, they don’t seem to have the same ubiquity as Beats.

Beats, which was just acquired by Apple for $3 billion, made a big impression at the London Olympics in 2012 when they sent free headphones to competing athletes, sidestepping sponsor, Panasonic. Athletes happily wore them. Since then, they’ve only become more popular.

At this point, trying to distance Beats from the World Cup is like trying to un-ring a bell. Beats are now tied to sports in the same way that an apparel company like Nike or a drink like Gatorade is.

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U.S. Patent Office Kills Washington Football Team’s Trademark Status

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Washington RedskinsThe unofficial “People vs. Daniel Snyder” case continued its devolution today with news that the U.S. Patent Office had withdrawn the registration belonging to They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

This means that the team no longer has exclusive rights to its name or trademark (pending appeals that will probably never end).

So even if/when Snyder’s team bows to popular pressure and changes the name, some “Dukes of Hazzard” types will be able to produce and profit from related merchandise without suffering under the full force of the law. We look forward to calling them “bootleggers.”

The board’s bold statement after the jump.

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10 Brands That Had the US Team’s Back During Its World Cup Win

shutterstock_179029337Last night we saw Delta get a bit carried away by its enthusiasm over the American team’s 2-1 victory over Ghana and forget that not all African countries include giraffes.

It was your average Twitter gaffe, really–but quite a few consumer brands and other public entities had more appropriate responses to the game and the eventual victory on social.

You’ll find them after the jump.

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The Dockers ‘Dad Pants’ Campaign Works on a Few Different Levels


Father’s Day might be over, but the awfulness of dad pants lives on. To help remedy that, Dockers has its #StopDadPants campaign. And even better, the brand has chosen a big-name football couple — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his wife Sarah — to serve as the face of this effort.

This campaign is a great example of a marketing and PR effort that brings it all together — spokespeople, sports, hashtags, advertising, etc — to speak volumes about the brand and reach its audience.

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Brazil’s Image Shifts As Protests Surge During World Cup’s First Day

brazil world cup street artRight now on Univision, Brazil and Croatia are on the pitch, kicking off the first day of action for the World Cup 2014. Out in the streets near the stadium, the scene was much less jovial with protesters expressing their anger. According to The New York Timespolice were on the scene using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Protesters, who numbered in the hundreds, seemed “stunned” by the force used to quiet the crowd. “Several protesters and journalists were injured in the tumult, including a producer for CNN,” the NYT says. Last year, a crowd that was reported to be in the millions came out to push for better public services. Images of the swarms of people traveled around the globe.

Protests and worker strikes have been taking place in Brazil over the fact that the country has spent $11 billion over seven years on a sporting event while people struggle.

At this point, much like in the lead up to the Sochi Olympics, we’ve also heard stories about the last-minute preparations for the games, with a scramble to finish public transportation channels and stadiums.

If that isn’t enough, you have Brazilians who would like to see a match but say the sky-high prices make it cost-prohibitive.

This is much different from the usual pictures of care-free, samba-dancing, beautiful people on beautiful beaches that we’re all accustomed to seeing out Brazil.

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Anti-Redskins Spot to Air on NBA Finals Tonight

It’s tough out there for Daniel Snyder: no matter how many political strategists you hire to convince the public to get over your team’s name and mascot, history keeps coming back to bite you in the ass.

And the controversy won’t die down anytime soon. Tonight, during the Heat/Spurs NBA finals game, this spot will run in seven cities:

The most interesting part of this story: the above ad isn’t new. It first hit YouTube almost six months ago, described as “the #BigGame commercial the NFL would never air.”

But a 60-second version of it will run during the game thanks to a “significant” ESPN/ABC ad buy by The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation of California. It’s all about raising awareness of the ChangeTheMascot.org campaign, and it’s already gone super-viral on Reddit, etc.

We’re thankfully not advising Mr. Snyder at the moment, but if we were we’d say that he needs to do something substantial to help his “Washington Professional Football Team” recover the fumble–and soon.

Dan Marino: ‘Sue the NFL? Not Me!’

Dolphins Dan Marino

Even the greats need crisis comms help. 

Poor Dan Marino. Poor, hapless, no-Super-Bowl-ring-earning, Hall-of-Fame-jacket-wearing, no-clue-having Dan Marino.

I sure hope all that tackle football didn’t mess with his head like it did to his former colleagues in the class-action lawsuit brought against the NFL. According to court documents filed last week in Philadelphia, Marino joined 14 other former players in filing the newest federal case.

Upon hearing the news, Dan Marino quickly disputed his status as poster boy for the suit, which alleges that the former players never got the facts about concussions in the NFL.

To wit, he said, “Count me out, bro.”

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Another Donald Sterling Lawsuit: Different Chick; Same Shtick

Donald Sterling

I’m fat and happy. Thanks, NBA!

Just when you thought the world would leave accused serial bigot, philanderer and new billionaire Donald Sterling alone comes this report (from TMZ, no less).

Apparently, Donald Sterling has a history of racist commentary and sexual harassment.

It feels like only yesterday when one V. Stiviano adopted the persona of a Daft Punk backup dancer, recorded Sterling re-enacting a scene from ‘American History X’, and proceed to help the NBA  make him rich beyond his wildest dreams force him to sell the LA Clippers. That was a forced hurl off the cliff into a sea of prejudicial despair.

But, as we hear in game shows, there’s more…

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California Chrome Has A Shoe Deal with Skechers

skechers california chromeSkechers, the makers of Fit Flops and the debunked Shape-Ups “fitness shoes,” has signed a marketing deal with California Chrome, such that the brand will be the apparel of choice of the thoroughbred’s handlers, will appear on California Chrome’s blanket, and will make its way to the winner’s circle if the horse wins the Triple Crown on Saturday. Sources say it’s the largest deal since UPS spent major bucks on a deal with Big Brown in 2008.

“We’re spending a couple bucks to the roll the dice and if this horse wins it all, we’ll be part of it,” said Skechers CEO Robert Greenberg. He said the company will spend about $175 million on marketing this year.

If California Chrome wins, it’ll be the first time in 36 years that a horse has taken the Triple Crown. For a company that expects to take in $2.2 billion this year, this is a gamble on history that is worth taking.

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Donald Sterling’s Apology Tour Swings by an Historically Black L.A. Church

Sterling ABC

Pic via ABC 13

The latest version of Donald Sterling‘s attempt to extend his period of infamy to twenty full minutes might strike the average reader as a bit misguided: the soon-to-be-former Clippers owner showed up at the predominately Black Zion Baptist church in downtown Los Angeles yesterday armed with a full film crew and a couple of bodyguards who resembled slightly less intimidating versions of The Mountain.

Those dudes weren’t there to break skulls, though. They simply wanted to help their boss enjoy the “warm welcome” he received from the congregation at the “beautiful” service.

Your short, painfully awkward video after the jump.

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