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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jordan’

Niche Marketing Sends Nike Sole Searching

Chances are you, or someone you know, owns a pair of shoes. Now consider there are currently about 7.078 billion people on earth. That’s how big and lucrative the shoe industry is, and for decades Nike has been at the forefront of shoe sales.

But times changed.

Nike’s original young demographic grew up and had its own kids. Spokesman Michael Jordan retired… twice. Competing brands gained influence. Technology turned the world inside out, and the public began consuming information a la carte instead of off the menu of mainstream television networks and newspapers.

Instead of being a lumpy, amorphous, loosely-defined mass of humanity, the public became a collection of niches. This may be a welcome development if you sell horse magazines or pirate-themed paper plates, but for Nike this changing reality is a big challenge. To reach customers Nike must exploit every channel from Twitter and Facebook to Youtube and traditional television, and it must do it in a way that resonates with the various sensibilities of different niches of people.

That’s hard to do.

Instead of courting famous athletes like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong (look how well that turned out), Nike should exploit the new niche reality by going directly to its source: customers. The future of Nike’s brand shouldn’t focus on how far someone can jump from the free throw line, but on health, competition and style—the core interests of its dynamic target demographic.

Or it should go back to selling the original Air Jordans. Those are timeless.

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When Should Brands Drop Celebrity Spokesmen?

Image courtesy of European Pressphoto AgencyToday brought the completely unsurprising news that Nike has suspended its contract with Olympian “Blade Runner” and accused murderer Oscar Pistorius in order to “protect the brand”. Of course, the company also dropped Lance Armstrong last month after he confessed to being a cheater and a general jerk. Other athletes, however, have fared far better even after their bad behavior created PR problems for Nike. Remember the awful Tiger Woods/James Earl Jones commercial? Remember how Nike stuck with A-Rod after he admitted to using steroids?

We also find it a little strange to note that Nike still has a very cozy relationship with its biggest spokesman, Michael Jordan, who not only admitted to being a serial adulterer but supposedly taught Tiger how to follow in his footsteps. (Both Tiger and Kobe Bryant, another famous cheater and homophobe, have new Nike campaigns on the way. Tiger’s is titled “apologies.”)

Here’s what we take from this development:

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Sports Stunts Mix Viral Video With Advertising

This new viral video from Pepsi (h/t to PR Daily) turned up on the Pepsi YouTube channel late last week (it’s already gotten more than 1.5 million views) with an invitation to viewers to check out the Diet Pepsi Facebook page for “more behind the scenes action” from Beckham’s advertising shoot for the soft drink. Clever way to drive traffic. And David Beckham is quoted saying that the stunt was real, so there’s the residual media coverage that also came with the clip.

The video follows in the footsteps of last year’s Gillette viral video starring tennis champ Roger Federer, who, while filming an ad for the company, smashed bottles off of the head of a crew member. Pepsi one-ups Gillette by actually having Beckham drink a Pepsi on-camera.

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The Music Industry Won the NBA All-Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game brought together the biggest names in basketball over the weekend. This year’s game had the highest ratings  since 2003 when Michael Jordan played.  But all anyone can talk about are the celebrities in general, and Justin Bieber specifically.

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