• Martzke Says He's Been A Fan Of Gus Johnson's From Early On

    Gus Johnson
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Fox Sports announcer Gus Johnson has faced his fair share of criticism this year, his first doing play-by-play for European soccer games. But former USA Today sports TV columnist Rudy Martzke, who earned a reputation handing out “Dreaded Glitch” and “Oops” awards, said he wouldn’t be piling on Johnson if he still wrote his column. Martzke, who I wrote about in this week’s issue of SportsBusiness Journal, described himself as a fan of Johnson’s from the time Johnson was a backup sportscaster for the Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C. “When he got to the national stage of the NCAA tournament that CBS has carried all these years, the fans went nuts for him,” said Martzke. “To me, it was a small minority that thought he was too much. I was a little disappointed when Gus went over to Fox. He’s done well over there. But I’ve kind of missed him on the NCAA tournament.”

    Another Martzke favorite is ESPN’s Dick Vitale. Martzke said he recognized early on that Vitale would be a top-tier broadcasting talent, even if Vitale didn’t know it yet. “I was driving Dick back to his hotel in Bristol after watching a night of early-round NCAA tournament games in the early 1980s,” said Martzke. “Dick was complaining to me. He said, ‘Rudy, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve got two kids growing up, and they’re paying me $1,000 an event, and I’ve got a contract for 60 events per year. That can’t make it for me.’ I said, ‘Dick, you’re very good at what you do. Just keep at it, and things will happen for you.’ Sure enough, he’s not only got a lifetime contract with ESPN, but he makes several million a year.”

    Tags: Fox, Europe, Soccer, NCAA, CBS, ESPN, DC, NTRA, TRAC
  • Video Highlights: Featured Presentation by Coca-Cola's Scott McCune

    Day 2 of the 2013 Intersport Activation Summit included a featured presentation from Scott McCune, vice president of global partnerships and experiential marketing for Coca-Cola. Click the video to see highlights of the presentation, and be sure to read our report on the discussion.

    Tags: Videos, OTG Video, In The Studio
  • Video Highlights: Featured Interview with Subway's Tony Pace

    Subway's head of global marketing, Tony Pace, was a featured interview on Day 2 of the 2013 Intersport Activation Summit. Click the video to see highlights of the interview, which was conducted by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Editor-at-Large Terry Lefton, and be sure to read our report on the discussion.

    Tags: Videos, OTG Video, In The Studio
  • Video Highlights: Experiential Marketing

    SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Executive Editor Abraham Madkour moderated a panel on experiential marketing to open Day 2 of the 2013 Intersport Activation Summit. Click the video for highlights from the panel, and read our report on the discussion.

    Tags: Videos, OTG Video, In The Studio
  • Microsoft, MLS Show Off Windows 8 App At Red Bull Arena

    Microsoft's John Daugherty
    Microsoft and Major League Soccer celebrated their new multiyear agreement this past weekend, with events on Sunday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. While the Red Bulls played the L.A. Galaxy on the pitch, Microsoft and MLS showed off a Windows 8 app for the league to fans on the stadium’s concourse and to guests in an executive suite.

    Before and during the game, 100 “brand ambassadors” displayed the product to fans, utilizing Microsoft’s Surface tablets. At halftime, executives from both parties to the deal spoke about the partnership and
    SUM President Kathy Carter
    showcased the app. Those speakers were John Daugherty, director of marketing for Windows at Microsoft; Kathy Carter, president of Soccer United Marketing, MLS’s commercial arm; and Chris Schlosser, vice president of MLS Digital.

    “Everybody wants information that’s easily digestible, and they want a deeper and richer experience,” Daugherty said. “MLS has made an effort to be the smartest sports league. Intelligence is a big part of soccer, and we provide cutting-edge technology, so it’s a perfect match.”

    Among the other MLS executives in attendance were Commissioner Don Garber, President Mark Abbott and CMO Howard Handler.

    Tags: Microsoft, MLS, Christopher Botta, Soccer
  • Coca-Cola's Scott McCune on leveraging global partnerships

    McCune: “It boils down to local market activation.”
    David Durochik

    Scott McCune, vice president of global partnerships and experiential marketing for Coca-Cola, gave a featured presentation at the SBJ/SBD Intersport Activation Summit, where he discussed how the soda giant leverages its global partnerships in some 200 countries around the world. He specifically outlined Coke’s “Move To The Beat” campaign created for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

    Coke began its London Games marketing in 2007 and created its “Move To The Beat” campaign as an effort to attract a younger demographic of Coke drinkers. “The debate was whether teenagers are really engaged in the Olympic Games,” McCune said. “There was a challenge there. How do we create branding content experiences that are so compelling that consumers are sharing it and buying it?”

    Coke relied heavily on music to drive brand interest around the Olympics, creating some 60 pieces of content around its campaign, including a 30-minute Beat TV show aired every night of the Olympics. The company also created concerts tied to the torch relay.

    “We found that [teenagers] were more interested in the social side than what was happening on the track,” McCune said. “As opposed to just a TV commercial, we created a concert.” Coke also partnered with Live Nation for a concert in London held the day before the opening ceremonies. But tying the campaign to the 100 countries that activated around the company’s Olympic marketing program was key to driving sales. “It only works from a scalable standpoint if we can network it together,” McCune said. “Not in a silo, but in that they are totally networked together. It boils down to local market activation.”

    So how successful was Coke’s Olympic campaign in drawing a younger group of Coke drinkers? “We didn’t recruit the teenagers as much as we had hoped to,” McCune said. “A lot of the volume we had did not come from teenagers. 

    They are not following the Olympics like their parents’ generation.” But McCune sees a better outcome in attracting a younger audience as it activates around the FIFA World Cup in 2014. “The biggest difference is consumer passion,” McCune said, adding that outside the U.S., soccer ranks only behind music in consumer passion. “The number two passion is [soccer]. The number three passion is [soccer] and the number four passion is [soccer].”

    Tags: Coca-Cola, Olympics
  • One-Minute with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opened Day 2 of the 2013 Intersport Activation Summit by touting the developing sports scene in the city. Click the video for highlights from the speech, and read our report on his visit.

    Tags: Videos, OTG Video, In The Studio
  • Subway's Tony Pace on authentic athletes, Super Bowl ads and sports vs. entertainment

    Pace: “I've often said to people, 'If you want the biggest check, don't talk to us. That's not the business we are in."
    Photo by David Durochik

    Subway Global Chief Marketing Officer Tony Pace was a featured interview at the SBJ/SBD Intersport Activation Summit in Chicago on Thursday and talked about how the brand has made "sports a long-term part of our brand strategy." Among the highlights:

    On working with athletes: “We don't want to talk about what we are peripherally involved in. We want to be involved with people who are involved in our brand on a regular basis.”

    What he looks for in brand endorsers: “The screen for athletes is they truly are a brand [consumer] of Subway. [Boxer/Subway endorser] Mike Lee told us that every time he gets off the scale after a weigh in, he gets a foot-long turkey sandwich from Subway, saying, 'My Dad gives it to me.' The athletes also have to have a media magnetism to them.  .... That' s one of the things we very much look for.  You have to have people that are media savvy and good with the media, and that's important to us.

    On athletes faking it: “You'd be surprised with how many athletes and their people have approached us who told us they loved our product. But after talking to them and asking them questions, at the end of the day, I didn't believe they were eating at Subway on a regular basis.”

    On Subway’s philosophy: “I've often said to people, 'If you want the biggest check, don't talk to us. That's not the business we are in. But if you want a pretty decent check, and you want the exposure and see a lot of activation, you should work with us.' .... I've had people now come up to me and say, 'You don't have to pay me anything, I just want the exposure that you provide your athletes.'  I haven't done a deal like that because I don't feel comfortable with that situation. I think people should get paid for the work they do.”

    On the success of the Super Bowl: Pace talked about the brand's return to advertise around the Super Bowl during last February's game on CBS. He said he previously didn't feel the need to be involved in Super Sunday because of the costs and surrounding noise, but this year, he was pleased with the result from the ad buy. Pace said Subway’s spot ran twice - once right after the blackout and then again because officials weren't sure if the ad got national play. "I swear to God, we didn't pull the plug," Pace said with a laugh. "We got one [ad] for free." But Pace was impressed by all the pre-game attention the Subway spot received. "The interesting thing about the Super Bowl is, because the build up has become so great before the game, you get a lot of attention above and beyond the Super Bowl spot. I always thought, from the media valuation standpoint, the Conference Championships were some of the best value in the world. But it's got to the point, and the NFL deserves great credit for this, the NFL has brought big, significant brands back to the Super Bowl. And when you have significant brands there, the event has more stature, and you want to be among the big brands." Even considering all of that, though, Pace said he has not made a decision whether Subway will return to advertise on Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox next February.

    On sports vs. entertainment: Pace said he sat in on the recent network upfront presentations but that primetime entertainment viewership continues to decline despite what he called good network programming. "So sports is more important than ever, because you're getting the viewership," he said. In looking at the brand's sports and entertainment spending, he forecasted, "I think our sports versus entertainment balance will still steer toward sports because that's where the numbers are. But there's a nice balance there. You have to pick good properties in entertainment. That's more difficult than sports, because in sports, you can do a pretty good job handicapping success. But when we support a film, we try to get all the [promotional] value before a movie launches."

    On one under-the-radar challenge of Super Bowl in New York/New Jersey: Pace said one of the most underreported stories affecting the success of Super Bowl XLVIII at Met Life Stadium is that there will be a new mayor in New York City at the time of the game.  "You are going to have a change in mayor, and the mayor won't be Bloomberg,” he said. “And the [Super Bowl] is happening about 30 days or so after a change in the administration and a new mayor being sworn in. I think, 'Oh, my God, please be aligned on all these events.' Because there could be a real challenge with a new administration, especially if they are not up to speed on everything. In terms of just overall media coverage, on a local basis, it's going to be pretty difficult, because you're going to have everyone and his brother trying to get media attention there. So we haven't fully figured out our plans yet."

    Tags: Subway, Super Bowl, Media
  • Kentucky Derby Case Study: Ram trucks and Stella

    Kentucky Derby Sponsor Activation

    Corey Christanell, Anheuser-Busch
    Marissa Hunter, Chrysler Group
    Kristin Warfield, Churchill Downs

    Four years ago, Chrysler had a problem with its Ram truck brand in the Kentucky market. It’s market share lagged far behind Ford, and its trucks struggled to get consideration from horse trainers, jockeys and others who use trucks every day.

    Chrysler took a big step to correct that problem in 2010 by signing a deal with Churchill Downs and activating against the Kentucky Derby. In the negotiation, Chrysler secured space for its brand on jockey pants and branding in the winner’s circle at the Derby and stables at Churchill Downs.

    The brand launched a new campaign around the 2010 Derby using the tagline, “Guts. Glory. Ram.” In subsequent years, it added a “Horsemen’s Lounge” staffed by Ram Truck ambassadors who served owners, trainers and jockeys. This year, it added a Ram Longhorn truck on the red carpet and loaded it with red roses, which made it a popular photo opportunity for spectators.

    Marissa Hunter, head of Chrysler Group’s Ram Truck brand communications and advertising, said local dealer leads grew more than 350 percent as a result of the Churchill Downs sponsorship.

    “This for us is a huge win,” Hunter said. “Louisville has long been Ford country. We basically had no presence there. From a marketshare standpoint… that place has been owned by Ford for years and years and years. So we’re very excited that what we’re doing there at Churchill Downs seems to be paying off.”


    When Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs came up for renewal in 2011, the company decided to shift its brand from Budweiser Select to Stella Artois.
    It was a leap for the brand, which historically sponsored film festivals and food festivals and avoided sports. But Anheuser-Busch marketers saw a fit for the brand with the Derby that they believed could boost sales and brand affinity.

    “The beautiful people, the beautiful horse, the beautiful facility – all of that lends favorably to the brand image of Stella Artois,” said Corey Christanell, director of sports and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch.

    The fit was so right, Christanell added, that Stella, which uses the tagline “She’s a thing of beauty” in advertising, was able to sub out the image of a woman serving one of its beers in print ads with the image of a thoroughbred coming down the front stretch.

    But it took more than a print campaign to boost Stella sales and make the sponsorship pay off in 2012 and 2013. Anheuser-Busch marketers added a series of events in 2013 to boost Stella’s visibility and sales at the event. It partnered with GQ to host a Derby Style party on Friday night with model Chrissy Teigen. It signed on as the presenting sponsor of a Taste of the Derby event in which 18 high-end chefs served some of their best dishes to 1,500 guests. And it partnered with NBC to create a sweepstakes on NBCSports.com that awarded winners a Derby party at their home catered by Stella-endorsed Chef Daniel Joly. The party was featured during NBC’s Derby broadcast.

    Collectively, the efforts helped boost share during the week of the Derby by 1.8 percent, Christanell said. It also helped the brand go from serving 42,000 chalices at track and in market in 2012 to 65,000 chalices this year.

  • Experiential Marketing panel: Plan well, stay true to your goals

    The Future of Experiential Marketing

    Erik Bahr, Facebook
    Will Bortz, Taco Bell
    Shannon Dan, Intersport
    Greg Skasko, AT&T
    John von Stade, USA Today Sports Media Group
    Eric Winter, Yahoo! Sports and Entertainment

    Experiential marketing is more sophisticated and complicated today than it was only a few years ago, and it’s important not only to have a solid plan, but to be true to your goals, said a group of panelists on Day 2 of the 2013 Intersport Activation Summit.

    “You used to do a pop up and throw out some balls and allow consumers to interact with the brand and sample,” said Facebook Client Partner Erik Bahr. “Experiential in the digital age is everywhere. It’s caused us to be more creative and be more intuitive with how we drive back to this experience.”

    USA Today Sports Media Group VP/Properties John von Stade talked about the changing nature of the relationship between brands and the agencies they hire to activate their digital platforms. “In today’s experiential, you’ve really got to make sure that both the client and the multiple agencies that are working on these brands have some understanding.” AT&T Sponsorships Director Greg Skasko took that a step further to stress the need to have a plan in place far in advance, especially in the case of real-time activation. “It’s best when you set up a task force,” he said, “an onsite war room, to say we’re going to attack this thing together and have the conversation with each group internally.”

    Will Bortz, Taco Bell senior manager of brand partnerships and sponsorships, added, “Whether you’re a brand or an agency or a league or another entity, stay true to what you want to do and follow that principle in how you engage that audience. If you’re trying to force fit it, you might not get the return or you may get some backlash.”
    Bortz, on responding to mobile callouts: “It’s a simple gesture back, personifying the brand and making it more of a one-on-one discussion and that you’re an actual person on the end of the other line is a powerful connector for anybody’s brand to be able to engage. Something very small can become something big.”

    Skasko, on having a plan and taking a risk: “A lot of times if you’re too contrived, then you’re missing out on these intimate relationships, these intimate moments that can be important.”

    Bortz, on interacting socially with consumers: “Be witty. Be fun. Ask questions back to them. Make it open ended. Don’t close down the conversation. Choose to respond to some stuff – some negative stuff, some positive stuff – and then leave some positive and negative stuff open. Let the community organically facilitate itself.”

    Intersport VP/Digital Shannon Dan, on getting the message out: “Distribution and making sure that that content you’re spending so much money on and time on, making sure that the distribution is right and getting to the right audience on the right platform, is often overlooked. We need to make sure that that’s at the forefront of our strategy.”

    Tags: Facebook, Media
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