Archive for the ‘Advertisement’ Category

Space for Rent: Advertisements on NBA Uniforms

They’re on the sideboards in hockey, the outfield walls in baseball, and more recently they’ve shown up on the field goal nets in football.

Kevin Durant isn't leaving Oklahoma City, but he could be sporting a new uniform next season.

Advertisements are everywhere in sports — everywhere in life when you think about it — and they’re not going anywhere. The only place they’re not are on uniforms, at least for the four major pro sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL). That might soon change in the NBA, however.

On April 12, the league’s owners will meet in New York for their annual board of governors meeting, the first since the lockout which delayed this season’s start until Christmas Day. According to some reports, the league is struggling mightily and lost $300 million last season, with 22 of its 30 teams losing money.

In an effort to generate revenue, a topic likely to be brought up is placing advertisements on uniforms. According to a study by Horizon Media, the NBA could make more than $31 million  by placing ads on jerseys.

NASCAR has been placing ads on drivers like they were magnets on a refrigerator, and the WNBA began the practice in 2009. Soccer clubs, both domestic and international, adorn their uniforms with ads as well.

Some owners have been vocal about making the additions to uniforms. Most notably, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been pushing his fellow owners and commissioner David Stern to get advertising on jerseys.

“I’ve been trying to tell [the NBA]. If someone wants to give us $10 million, I’ll make it happen,” Cuban was quoted as saying last week.

An issue with adding advertisements would be splitting the revenue money among all teams. It stands to reason that popular teams like the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls would generate more revenue via ads than less popular teams such as the Charlotte Bobcats or New Jersey Nets. The same goes for superstar players like Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant, who attract a host of attention by themselves.

The question of tradition is also at play. Teams like the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks have recognizable uniforms that have never been altered, and some fans would likely be upset to see this tradition replaced.

The general consensus seems to be the idea is a good one, but needs specific guidelines and boundaries so as to be beneficial to all teams and not disrupt a classic look.

Photo (cc) by Keith Allison and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

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Turning the Tide: Fire and Rain at NASCAR Race Creates Advertising Boom for Laundry Detergent

You don’t need to be Ricky Bobby to know that the Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s biggest annual race, the Super Bowl of stock car racing. In 2011, 30.1 million watched the race on TV while more than 165,000 watched from the Daytona grandstands.

And the checkered flag goes to...Tide?

This year Mother Nature intervened with showers on Sunday, forcing the race to be postponed until Monday for the first time in its 54-year history. Suddenly the race was in a weekday primetime TV slot.

During a caution lap of the race, driver Juan Pablo Montoya spun out and collided with a jet dryer truck which was on to help dry the track of rain. Jet dryers hold up to 200 gallons of fuel, and the crash ignited a large fire.

As safety crews scrambled to extinguish the flames, an unlikely hero emerged: Tide laundry detergent. Tide detergent was used in clean-up, helping to separate the oil and grease molecules and speed up the process. After a two-hour delay, the race was back on.

Though Matt Kenseth eventually won the race, the real winner was Tide. The brand used to be an official sponsor of NASCAR but currently is not affiliated with the sport. Even without sponsorship rights, the company received over $1 million in free advertisement from having its product on during cleanup. Add to the fact that the primetime slot made the race one of the most-watched in NASCAR history and it’s easy to see why financial experts predict big things for the company’s sales.

Not surprisingly, Tide is trying to capitalize on its new-found fame. Parent company Proctor & Gamble has been hard at work on social media to update the story, while Tide updated its Facebook photo.

Yet another example of what product placement –combined with two days of torrential rain and a fiery auto crash — means in terms of sports business.

Photo (cc) by turtlemom4bacon and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

From the Gridiron to the Diamond, It’s All About the Money

In its purest form sports is all about competition, just athletes performing against the clock or one another in a test of athletic prowess. But even the sports world cannot escape the clutches of business influence, advertising, sales, marketing and promotion. In other words, even sports comes down to the money.

Don’t think this is true? Here’s a question for you: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time? Michael Jordan, right? The highlights don’t lie, Jordan could fly. Seeking to capitalize on MJ’s incredible talent, companies such as Nike, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Wheaties and a host of others used him as their poster boy to sell products. Jordan’s presence in these ads enhanced his image not only as a celebrity, but may have made him seem like an even better player than he already was. Check out Douglas Kellner’s take on the “spectacle” of Jordan and then pretend if you never saw a Jordan ad. Still think he’s the best baller? You might, but it definitely makes you think harder.

The influence of money is obviously ingrained in professional sports, but don’t think amateur athletes don’t get caught in the web as well. The enormous popularity of college football and college basketball has allowed schools to make huge sums of money off their 18 to 22-year-old players, who receive scholarships but don’t get a piece of the pie. Just last year, the NCAA granted a $2,000 stipend to players, a proposal that is already being reworked. Considering the tenuous system of college athletics, Charlie Pierce believes compensation is just the first step in an entire reconstruction of the college athletic model.

These are just of the examples of business and the bottom line’s influence on sports. Through this blog I hope to explore some of the major topics at hand in sports that have major money consequences. CNBC’s Darren Rovel does great work studying this through his Sports Biz blog, as well as sites such as Sports By Brooks, Sports Media Watch and others. My hope is that this blog will spark discussion of not just X’s and O’s, but expenses and cash flows.