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Volume 21 No. 2
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Michael Neuman, Scout Sports and Entertainment

Scout Sports and Entertainment Managing Partner Michael Neuman has been leveraging brands with sports and entertainment properties for more than 20 years. He’s now learning to do so within the framework of technology that has changed everyone’s life.

How sports, brands and media engage consumers and help them make choices relative to them pursuing a healthier life is a vital area of growing importance.

On development of mobile activation: Smartphones have gone from third screen to first screen quickly, so mobile activation is a space to watch. I’ve seen a live TV show in development that will allow viewers to use smartphones and be incorporated not only into the voting process but literally incorporated into the show itself. That kind of integration is really astounding.

Thoughts on this year’s NYC Super Bowl:
I’m both optimistic and pessimistic. It’s a great honor for the city, but there are challenges. Within MetLife Stadium, it will be “A Tale of Two Cities”: Those who spent $450,000 for a suite, and those sitting outside in the stadium. Activation plans from longtime NFL business partners, like DirecTV and Anheuser-Busch, sound exciting, but I’m not certain how fans will respond. Clients are still trying to figure whether enough noise can be made or if it’s a better marketing investment elsewhere. Only a few brands will be able to spend the significant money it will take to make a dent in the chaos New York will be that week.

State of NASCAR, from a marketing perspective: NASCAR is going through a recalibration, but this has always been an industry of cycles. Brands are starting to understand that to really stand out in NASCAR, you need to spend at levels that far exceed other pro sports. The other thing is how different some NASCAR race markets are. One locale might be extremely interested in an upcoming race, but just 100 miles north, it can be totally different. I like the ability to own one car or race that fits perfectly with my client’s targets.

Stories to watch in 2014: I will be looking at whether Sochi can successfully host a Winter Olympics free of infrastructure problems and tragedy; how the U.S. competes in Brazil’s World Cup; how weather will affect the New York Super Bowl; how the A-Rod situation plays out; and how all the changes in college conferences affect college bowl sponsors.

— By Terry Lefton