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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

The NFL Is Now Officially LGBT-Friendly

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We’re all aware that Michael Sam just made history as the NFL‘s first openly gay player.

Beyond the shiny headlines, our own Shawn Paul Wood explained this morning that, while Sam’s signing is unquestionably a significant moment for the league and for pro sports in general, he’s really just a guy who plays great defense…and happens to be gay. Which is how it should be.

Since Fifteen Minutes PR CEO Howard Bragman first organized Sam’s announcement in February, we’ve heard many (anonymous) insiders speculate as to whether owners would take a risk on him. But for the Rams, the question seems to have been “what risk?”

Now we have our answer to a more interesting query: how will the corporate world and the league itself react?

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Michael Sam: The (Gay) Guy Who Could Change the NFL

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Get ready, haters. He’s coming to get your team!

FULL DISCLOSURE: As an avid baseball fan and blogger, I can’t stand the “He’s the Jackie Robinson of [insert this industry or sport].” Yet there is really no other way to describe the addition of Michael Sam to the NFL and the St. Louis Rams.

And before anything is said, can we just kill the noise about Jason Collins? He was a so-so player (at best) despite being drafted by the Nets in the first round. After travelling the continent as part of five different teams, he received attention in the twilight of his career for making an admittedly b0ld decision that still had very little to do with the way he played the game.

Again, Michael Sam is not that man. Let’s learn who he is…

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14 Brands Wanted to Be Picked in the NFL Draft

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Have you ever asked yourself whether any pop-culture event could theoretically make for a real-time marketing moment?

The answer, obviously, is “oh yes.”

See, we didn’t watch yesterday’s NFL draft drama because we didn’t need to: we got all the news from our corporate and celebrity friends on Twitter!

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FIFA Warns Brands to Back Away from World Cup Promo Campaigns…or Else!

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Is he a turtle or a squirrel with a bedazzled forehead?

The FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is looking more and more like the NFL each day.

Just as the gridiron folks will quickly sic their lawyers on anyone bold enough to combine the words “Super” and “Bowl”, this week the world’s top soccer organization issued a statement essentially warning all brands that don’t happen to be official sponsors of the upcoming 2014 World Cup that they will be punished if they use the event for promotional purposes.

While the organization’s spokespeople didn’t get specific, they clearly had a couple of examples in mind…

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Richie Incognito Got Tired of Living Up to His Name via Twitter

NYDailyNews incognitoA long time ago, Miami Dolphin (really effin’) offensive lineman Richie Incognito created a viral poo-poo storm when he blasted his teammate Jonathon Martin on the Twitter when he deemed that he should be worthy of stricken with the worst carpal tunnel in the history of ever with this family-friendly tweet:

“Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f—ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”

Since then, Richie Incognito has been a skosh of legal trouble, sent packing from his NFL job and hired a PR team. He has been advised by everyone in the world to shut up, but meh? A guy’s got to vent right?

And man, did he.

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Behind the Michael Sam ‘First Openly Gay Football Player’ Story

It was the perfect time to break the perfect sports story: one week after the biggest, most boring Super Bowl ever, a young man set to become an NFL pro told the media that he happens to be gay.

Of course it wasn’t just a spontaneous announcement from Michael Sam; it was a PR masterpiece of sorts orchestrated my one Howard Bragman, his agency Fifteen Minutes Public Relations, and many others.

You’ll note that Sam made sure to thank Bragman and Empire Athletes in his second-ever tweet:

Sam reached 50,000 followers faster than any account we’ve seen outside the Vatican—and most of the people who had problems with his announcement chose not to voice their opinions in public.

Now for some backstory behind this historic PR Win.

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Super Bowl XLVIII’s Biggest Loser: New Jersey Transit

One name that definitely didn’t get any good press last night: New Jersey Transit.

Most who regularly commute to the city know the horrors of Penn Station at rush hour. We like to call it a Seventh Circle filled with exhausted professionals boarding standing-room only trains, desperate to return to the relative calm of the suburbs.

Yesterday the service shattered previous records as more than 30,000 people used the system. Most of them did not have a good experience, with delays of up to 90 minutes inspiring many social media complaints and even more creative curse words. Several fans collapsed. We’ll let the riders themselves tell you more:

This morning Gawker and other outlets collected some of the most horrific images—and they’ll make you thankful that you weren’t anywhere near MetLife stadium last night.

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Why PR Firms Should Never Go ‘Incognito’

Nancy Reagan NoYes, yes, NFL lovers. I hope you see what I did there. That bit of brilliance notwithstanding, PR agencies often dredge up the stereotypes in this business by not willing to ever say the classic Nancy Reagan safe word, “No!”

(And for you kids in the audience, Nancy Reagan was an important woman. Look it up.)

Many agencies are whoring out services to people who either don’t deserve the attention or just for esses-and-giggles because the challenge is fun. This time, it’s both.

Ladies and germs, NFL outcast and resident bully bigot Richie Incognito has a PR firm.

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Super Bowl Gives Great PR to a New Jersey Turnpike Road Stop

Despite the fact that everyone refers to Super Bowl XLVIII as the “New York Super Bowl”, it will actually take place in the great state of New Jersey.

The NFL wants to use this fact to further hype the event with an interactive multimedia NY/NJ Super Bowl “experience” page.

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Its virtual tour of pigskin-flavored tri-state landmarks stretches from Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Since this tour includes two states, there’s an additional stop in the Garden State, and it is quite literally a stop: the Vince Lombardi service area off the Jersey turnpike near Ridgefield.

Click through to see the location in all its glory.

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The NFL Wants You to Know That the Big Game Might Just Get Snowed Out

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In the history of professional American football, only one game has been cancelled or delayed due to snow.

Despite this fact, the NFL is telling any sports writer who will listen all about the contingency plans it developed to address the infinitesimally small chance that this Sunday’s game gets cancelled or delayed because of the weather in New Jersey. We’re not into gambling, but if it’s time for ridiculous bets then we hereby declare that no marketing copywriter will try to recreate last year’s Oreo tweet.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports suspects that all these headlines regarding the worst case scenario might just be the result of a little publicity trick played on the public by the NFL.

Could it be?

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