While I still love the subject matter, I have not found the time to contribute to the blog. So I’m putting BrandDunk on hiatus until I can revamp or shut it down. The content I’ve posted will remain active until I do take the site offline.
Posted by ZA on May 31, 2011
You can add sponsors to the growing list of people who have expressed concerned over the goings on at FIFA, soccer’s world governing body. SportBusiness reports that Adidas and Coca-Cola have both publicly responded to questions about corruption allegations within FIFA. The sponsors say the reports are “distressing” and “neither good for football nor for FIFA and its partners”. What does this mean for FIFA? Nothing yet, but it’s never a good sign when the people helping fund your organization are starting to lob concern grenades through the press. I doubt that Adidas or Coca-Cola cancels their association with FIFA over these allegations, but I’m sure I would have said similar about Gatorade and Tiger Woods a couple of years ago. Sponsors are not going pay to have their brands dragged through the mud, so FIFA needs to get a handle on this situation before they start losing money.
What is the solution for FIFA? They clearly need to offer more transparency into their process. They need to engage an outside organization to help them root out corruption within their ranks, as many that bribery and pay for votes is common place even at their highest organization levels. FIFA probably needs to start over with new leadership because I’m not sure the current administration can be seen as credible in cleaning up FIFA. Sepp Blatter is about to get re-elected to a final four year term. He’s had some success in leading the organization, but he’s not been able to put to rest the corruption allegations. Some of which are coming from the British Parliament. I think major changes within FIFA are the only way to truly start to put these allegations in the past. Will Mr. Blatter step down? Not likely. Will FIFA become more transparent? I’m not expecting changes. Will FIFA continue to be mired in controversy? Most likely. Will sponsors pull out? That remains to be seen, but the first cracks in the foundation have clearly appeared with those statements by Adidas and Coca-Cola.
Posted by ZA on May 10, 2011
FIFA is going to provide almost $30 million dollars to Interpol to setup an anti-corruption unit to oversee soccer. This decision comes after years of match fixing accusations within soccer. Organize crime and the increase in online betting has upped the amount of corruption that occurs within the world’s #1 sport.
In my opinion this is a smart, albeit long overdue, move for FIFA to make. There is no way they can police their own sport, as the top rungs of their organization have long been accused of corruption. Hiring an independent police agency to watch their back is going to have better results than if they decided to handle it internally. The next step is to allow Interpol access to FIFA at the highest levels. They need to root out corruption starting at the top. Although I imagine that’ll never happen as this money seems focused on the growing match fixing issues within soccer.
Read the full article here at SportBusiness.
Posted by ZA on April 7, 2011
The Boston Red Sox are close to an agreement that will allow them to sell hard liquor to all fans at Fenway Park. While I generally support freedom of choice, I don’t agree with this decision. As much as I like the option of a mixed drink, I think they should be limited to suite holders or private club areas (which is typical for most venue and/or sporting events). I think offering beer & wine in main grandstands is sufficient and adding alcohol will only promote additional over-consumption by certain fans. I’m not trying to be elitist in my opinion, but I think there are many fans who won’t show good judgment. I don’t want that guy/gal sitting by me and my kids at the game. The Red Sox & Fenway will profit from this decision, but it could be at the expense of the gameday experience.
Article from Boston.com here.
Posted by ZA on March 17, 2011
United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, voiced his opinion that teams should be barred from March Madness if they do not have at least half of their basketball players on track to graduate. While that opinion is certainly a controversial one, since it could dramatically alter the NCAA Tournament that many of us love. I agree with Mr. Duncan’s opinion, we should put more of an emphasis on academics for these kids who play sports in college.
Now I’m going to contradict my previous opinion, because my heart agrees with Mr. Duncan but my brain doesn’t. College athletics is big business in which “money talks”; many of these athletes are in school to matriculate to professional sports. While many won’t make it to the NBA (or NFL), that is still their goal. They are presented with a good opportunity to get a free education, but they are also asked to maintain rigorous schedules to participate in their college sport. The schools use these sports to gain more visibility and promote their brands, so their focus is typically on winning championships. They all place importance on academics, but I feel that sometimes gets pushed aside when the big money and championships are at stake.
I don’t think preventing schools from participating in March Madness, based on academics, is really a genuine action. I think there is much college athletics can do to put more emphasis on academics, but doing so may greatly change the landscape of college sports. I think a better start would be to focus more on cleaning up some of the cheating that goes on in college sports. At same time start to put into place realistic academic entrance requirements, so kids do have a chance to play college sports and get the academic assistance they need from outset.
Here is the USA Today article that expresses Arne Duncan’s opinion.
[Assist: Sports Business Daily]
Posted by ZA on March 16, 2011
As a sports fan, I’m not happy that the NFL owners and NFL Players Association were unable to resolve their differences through mediation or otherwise. I want them to play football in 2011. As a taxpayer, its a shame that our courts are going to have to spend time to settle the dispute between the Millionaires and Billionaires. Nothing we can do about that now, aside from hoping the two sides come to their senses (not likely) and we get this situation resolved quickly.
If you are wondering about what led to this situation, there are lots of good articles floating around. Here is a good one by Kristi Dosh on why the NFL players walked away from the negotiations. One of my favorites on the current NFL labor situations is the parody The Sports Guy (aka: Bill Simmons) wrote on ESPN’s Page 2. Simmons column titled “Greed is good in NFL labor talks” is tongue in cheek, but does help to show the real issue at play here. NFL owners are concerned their profits will not be growing at the pace they’ve become accustomed to, so they are looking to renegotiate their deal with the NFL players. Take a few minutes and read both, you’ll appreciate that you did.
Posted by ZA on February 7, 2011
Overall the commercials in the 2011 Super Bowl were a major disappointment. The best of the bunch was “The Force” from Volkswagen. Next best was the NFL promotion that featured numerous television icons over the years. I also enjoyed Best Buy’s humorous commercial with Ozzy Osborne and Justin Bieber. I thought the Skechers commercial with Kim Kardashian did a good job of stealing Go Daddy’s thunder (i.e- using sex to sell).
On the other end of the spectrum, I think Coca-Cola lost its mind with the spots its played. High production spots that lacked any redeeming qualities, aside from the production value. Salesforce Chatter also seemed to bet on the wrong pitch persons, the Black Eyed Peas, who couldn’t save a dull commercial concept. Stella Artois spot was boring and went no where, same with Bud’s first spot the “Wild West”.
Overall I didn’t think the 2011 Super Bowl commercials were very memorable, aside from a few. I also failed to notice much cutting edge in-terms of integration of social media. I expected someone to push the envelope there. Madison Avenue – what are you guys waiting on to put out some good television commercials?
“The Force” by Volkswagen was best commercial in 2011 Super Bowl
Posted by ZA on January 28, 2011
AdAge is conducting a poll to find the “Worst Super Bowl Ad Ever”. While there are some dousies on AdAge’s list, I think they missed including the worst Super Bowl commercial of all-time. That distinction goes to the Careerbuilder.com “Follow Your Heart” commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLII in 2008.
The CareerBuilder spot had a decent message, but the presentation was awful. No one wants to see a heart pop out of a ladies chest. The shot of her sitting at her desk with the hole in her sweater is just plain bad; that alone should have gotten this concept left on the cutting room floor. Watch the commercial below and give me your feedback – do you like it or is it disgusting?
CareerBuilder “Follow Your Heart” Super Bowl commercial
Posted by ZA on January 27, 2011
I never thought I would utter those words, but I do agree with his take on the disagreement between NFL players and owners. Cromartie said, “You don’t get no information about nothing from the union or the owners…they need to get their damn minds together and get this (expletive) done and stop (complaining) about money.”
I might have chosen different words, but his sentiment is correct. The money both sides are negotiating is significant, enough for everyone to make out really well. But in typical fashion for negotiations, both sides are doing a lot of posturing and not really presenting their case. They believe that a strike or lockout is the best way to get the other side to cave in to their needs. Rather than I’d like to see them lock the NFLPA leadership and NFL owners in a room, then not let them out until a deal is struck.
So Cromartie is right on in my opinion, at least on how the two sides should negotiate. I don’t agree with Cromartie when he threatens to “smash ur face” to Seahawks QB, Matt Hasselbeck. But Hasselbeck did insult him, so that’s between the two them.
Posted by ZA on January 19, 2011
The FCC may have just unleashed the most viable option to compete against “the Worldwide Leader”. NBC Universal and Comcast have the resources to go compete with the boys in Bristol. But rather than me telling you about it, go read this excellent blog post from Dan Shanoff on how NBC Sports Network is setup to try to challenge ESPN.
If NBC Comcast is able to do some of the things Shanoff suggests, then we as fans win. Because as great as ESPN is, they’ll be much better with competition. They are “the Worldwide Leader” but I want to have a second option that is just as good. I want to see Sunday Night Football quality broadcasts brought to more sports. Now that NBC and Comcast are rolling up their sleeves, that might come very soon.