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Posts Tagged ‘Wimbledon’

Wimbledon Whites Wear Thin On Sports Brands

The World Cup isn’t the only major sports tournament happening right now. Yes, folks, Wimbledon is here! It’s that time of year when your favorite tennis stars pull out their best white outfits and head to the majestic grass of London.

While this is the most prestigious tennis tournament of the year, for some sports brands, the Grand Slam event is falling out of favor. Back in 1963, the tournament decreed that players should come to the court dressed “predominantly in white.” Then in 1995, they said players should be “almost all in white.” Now this year, they’ve ruled that headbands, underwear and other accessories should also be white. So in case you don’t get it — white.

The uniform crackdown began last year when Roger Federer was told not to show up again with a pair of Nikes that had orange soles. At the time, a spokesperson for the tournament said that Federer, one of the greatest player of all time, was one of those who committed “minor infringements who were advised to make changes for the next round.”

This year, officials are making it ironclad, even discouraging brand logos on garments. You know sports companies are not happy about this.

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John McEnroe Holds Court on Past Playing Controversies and Time Broadcasting

As a tennis champion renowned for disputing line calls, John McEnroe also draws a sharp line between his time playing and commentating. “I’ve been broadcasting now for 20 years and haven’t used a bad word yet in the booth. But it was harder to control myself on the court.”

McEnroe looks back fondly on his playing days, recalling his rivals’ colorful personalities and varied playing styles. He preferred having fewer on-court rules and the freedom of not touring with a big entourage as players do now. He’s come to terms with his former bad-boy reputation, but his biggest regret isn’t his tirades, it’s not learning another language. And don’t even get him started on his career commentating: he loves it, immersing himself in the game of tennis and in the players’ highs and lows.

McEnroe discussed a range of tennis topics at a TimesTalks event with New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman on Tuesday. They also showed the audience an amusing video of “Johnny Mac” in his heyday, with his trademark headband and curly hair, berating the umpires.

Below are selected interview highlights and comments from McEnroe.

Playing experience: McEnroe’s line call challenges may have sparked criticism, but he had a good eye, and his actions may have eventually led to the player challenge system in place now. But even though fellow tennis star Arthur Ashe used to tell him, “All the calls would even out”, McEnroe clearly didn’t subscribe to that notion:

“I did a terrible job of composing myself. I was a spoiled brat from Long Island who benefitted from the energy of New York. I got a lot of publicity but it steamrolled. Event organizers weren’t used to that kind of behavior, so later they tightened the rules. Sometimes my negativity worked to my advantage, and early in my career it got me going. But you need to understand that you’re not just fighting opponents, you’re also fighting yourself.”

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Second Serving: Serena Williams Shows Paula Deen How to Apologize

REUTERS/Sergio MoraesThe entire country watched in horror this month as Paula Deen’s deep-fried, butter-soaked career came crashing down in a mess of outrageous statements and one of the most painful non-apologies we’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.

Mrs. Deen’s fall was so epic, in fact, that it distracted us from another perfectly served case study in poor media relations. This one came courtesy of clay court champ Serena Williams, who ruined what should have been a complimentary Rolling Stone profile with a few ill-advised comments and a passive-aggressive “apology.”

While visiting a nail salon with reporter Stephen Rodrick, Williams saw a news report about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case that sent two high school football stars to jail and led to a PR fail for CNN when anchors Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley appeared to express more sympathy for the rapists than their victim.

Serena said of the perpetrators: “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know.” Beyond classifying the rape of a 16-year-old girl as “something stupid” and wondering whether the offenders were punished too harshly, Williams also had some less-than-flattering words for the victim:

“I’m not blaming the girl, but…why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? She’s lucky… she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Did she really need to throw a “but” in there?

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Visual Social Content: A Set of Tips and Tools

“Every picture tells a story”: now that Rod Stewart song rings especially true. Use of visual social platforms has become so prevalent that it’s even been eclipsing text based social content. At PRSA’s Digital Impact Conference last Thursday in New York, specialists in visual digital content reviewed core concepts related to this trend along with tips for creating story-telling visuals. It might not be as simple as it looks.

Why? “Visuals are processed far faster by the brain than text”, said Heidi Sullivan, Cision’s SVP of digital content. “Stories with visuals are also more compelling”.

Which? Sullivan shared a few quick facts about the most popular social visual platforms:
• In 2012, Pinterest and Instagram were the fastest growing social networks.
• Instagram has more than 90 million monthly active users.
• Pinterest produces almost as much referral traffic as Twitter.
• The average user spends 88% more time on websites that contain videos, (thanks in large part to YouTube).
Vine users post 12 million videos on Twitter every day.
• By 2016, two-thirds of the world’s mobile traffic will be video.

When? Before embarking on a new visual platform, be sure you can provide frequent updates, Sullivan said. “You need mental and emotional energy to maintain social networks. Otherwise, you don’t want a ghost town with no fresh content. You need to keep users’ interest and find the right tone for the community.”

Who? For Pinterest, it’s all about reaching the right target audience and “finding out how your products and services best fit their lifestyles”, Sullivan noted. “This platform represents an opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality. Create pinboards based on a few keywords. It’s also a prime spot to link to related content and run contests”, she added. For other Pinterest tips, click here. (PRNewser searched Pinterest using keywords ‘Wimbledon’ and ‘fashion’, and found the image shown above)

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Tennis Players Go Viral

In the spirit of Wimbledon, we’ve got a link here from Mashable to the 20 most shared ads featuring tennis players. So what seems to be working? Roger Federer (he’s in seven), flashing some skill (and a little skin, in the case of Rafael Nadal), and humor. We’ve got one here that pulls all that together into one two-minute package. This Head commercial stars world number two, the gluten-free Novak Djokovic.