Seattle Seahawks trade in Papa John’s for Pizza Hut

The National Football League’s (NFL) Seattle Seahawks have announced an exclusive multi-year partnership with Pizza Hut less than a week after terminating a similar deal with its controversy marred rival Papa John’s.

The deal comes in the wake of the fallout following last week’s revelations of racist comments made by Papa John’s owner John Schnatter in a May conference call. The new agreement sees Pizza Hut become the official pizza sponsor of the Seahawks. Although the company became the official pizza of the NFL in February, the contract with the Seahawks marks Pizza Hut’s first local NFL team partnership.

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Nick Foles, Backup Quarterback, Named No. 1 in Player-Branded NFL Merchandise Sales

As if the Eagles winning the Super Bowl wasn’t already enough to increase Philadelphian craniums ad infinitum, it’s been reported that backup-quarterback-turned-hero Nick Foles currently leads all NFL players in apparel and officially licensed merchandise sales.

Coming in second—though he comes in last by every standard here in the city of brotherly love—was all time great quarterback and wannabe Bond villain Tom Brady. Carson Wentz, despite injury and a lack of Super Bowl-related hype, managed to come in third place for merch sales.

According to the NFL Players Association, player-branded merchandise includes jerseys, bobbleheads, socks, pet products and even cake decorations, to name only a few examples.

Here at Promo Marketing, we’ve known Nick Foles to be a first class merch mover for a while now. Before the big game even happened, demand for a Nick Foles bobblehead managed to drive prices up by 900 percent, reaching a total of nearly $300 per item.

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NBA Summer League Breaks Attendance Records In Most Successful Year Yet

Fans streamed into the Thomas & Mack Center in anticipation of a marquee Saturday afternoon game. While many were decked in purple and gold—the Los Angeles Lakers were playing later that evening—they were there to watch the Phoenix Suns take on the Sacramento Kings. During the regular season, a matchup between two bottom-feeding franchises wouldn’t elicit much interest. At Summer League, however, it’s a headliner featuring the top-two picks in this summer’s NBA Draft, DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III. Star rookies aside, the swelling crowds were a daily occurrence at this year’s event and are indicative not only of Summer League’s increasing popularity but also that of the NBA.

Last year, the 12-day NBA Summer League, held on the campus of UNLV, set attendance records in both total attendance and single-day attendance at 127,843 and 17,500, respectively. This year, attendance surpassed last year’s high mark on the 11thday and ended with 139,972 total attendees. It also featured the second sell out in Summer League history, matching last season’s 17,500, on the second day of the tournament when Ayton and Bagley met. Naturally, where the fans go, the networks follow.

ESPN and NBA TV broadcast all 82 Summer League games this year. The networks split their coverage between the two courts at the Thomas & Mack Center with ESPN covering games inside the main arena and NBA TV broadcasting inside the smaller Cox Pavilion. Setting up for the duration, they also brought some of their signature shows with them. “The Jump,” ESPN’s hour-long midday NBA show, filmed inside Thomas & Mack while NBA TV broadcast “The Starters” live on the concourse. ESPN’s broadcasting of the games often led its nightly staple, “SportsCenter,” to start the show with Summer League highlights.

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Notable NFL players who suffered the Madden Curse

On Wednesday, it was officially announced that Antonio Brown will grace the cover of Madden NFL 19. Brown will look to avoid the Madden Curse, a curse that dates back to 2001, when the video game started putting current players on their cover.

Here is a list of notable Madden cover athletes who experienced some bad luck after appearing on the cover.

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Steelers, Kennywood deal mutually beneficial to Western Pennsylvania icons

Call it the Immaculate Collaboration.

That’s the consensus of sports marketing professionals reacting to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ recently announced partnership deal with Kennywood Park. The deal includes creating a themed area at the West Mifflin amusement park called Steelers Country that features a new megacoaster called The Steel Curtain.

“It’s two Pittsburgh institutions. It ties those positive brands together and solidifies the community,” said John Clark, a sport management professor at Robert Morris University in Moon.

Clark said the union makes business sense for both sides, and it also may signal a future trend for professional sports franchises looking to capitalize on their brands beyond the sports season.

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To Win in Sports Marketing, Give Fans What They Want

Sports marketing has evolved, and brands must continue to change their game plans, as the stakes grow higher than ever.

Gone are the days where a brand’s top goal was to put its logo in the face of as many people as possible, as often as possible. Eyeballs are no longer enough. Fans are consuming, following and experiencing sports differently.

It’s hard to imagine feeling more pressure than an athlete at crunch time in a championship game, but brands that are investing millions in sponsorships have just as much on the line.

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How 5 underdog brands are scoring at the World Cup without an official sponsorship

In a tournament that will be remembered for its upsets — host nation Russia’s shootout defeat of Spain! Croatia’s improbable run to the finals this Sunday against France! — underdog teams at the FIFA World Cup weren’t the only ones with inspired game.

Underdog brands also brought their A-games, according to sports PR pros.

These brands are not official World Cup sponsors, and compared with the big boys in Russia, they’re mostly working with modest budgets. They also faced a unique challenge with the 2018 World Cup: for the first time in more than three decades, the U.S. Men’s National Team failed to quality for the event.

“For U.S.-based brands, brands for which the U.S. is a major target market, and USMNT official sponsor brands, it requires a significant pivot in strategy,” says Joe Flores, EVP at MWWPR and co-leader of the firm’s sports and entertainment practice.

One brand that successfully turned that challenge into an opportunity was DNA testing company 23andMe, he contends.

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Why are big names signing with the Buffalo Beauts? It’s all about professionalism

The initial reaction was surprise leaning toward shock.

Did the Buffalo Beauts really just sign Shannon Szabados, the best goaltender in women’s hockey and one of the sport’s most recognizable names?

But soon, the shock turned to no-brainer, at least for Jacquie Greco. The 27-year-old Buffalo native who also signed on for her third season with the Beauts saw the rush of big-name signings by Buffalo as part of the natural growth of professional women’s hockey.

“I realized, no this shouldn’t be a shock. This is what Buffalo is about – getting the best players in the world to come and play in Buffalo,” Greco said. “We want these world-class players in our league.”

And the world-class players want to play in Buffalo.

Szabados was the head turner, but the Beauts have added mega-talent in goaltender Nicole Hensley and forward Dani Cameranesi, who both won gold at the 2018 Olympics with Team USA.

But why Buffalo?

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NFL Mascots Gather In Indy

In 2016, Colts mascot, Blue, did something that had never been done before. He brought the NFL mascots together in Indianapolis to share ideas, support one another, and raise the bar on all of their programs.

It was the dream of Trey Mock, the man behind Blue, that the NFL Mascot Summit would become an annual thing.

Three years later, it has.

“Summit is an opportunity for us to get together and do deep dive conversations on different things,” said Mock. “I think bringing in a new perspective is important and each year, we’ve brought in guest speakers to give us an outside viewpoint or maybe even an internal one.”

This week, Mock invited Roger VanDerSnick, Chief Marketing Officer for the Colts, to speak to the group on the direction of the NFL, marketing themselves and their programs, and building relationships with their executives.

“To be able to not only hear from an executive, but then have a Q and A afterwards – which we did for probably 20 minutes – that was a huge thing for them,” Mock said.

He also brought in mascots from other leagues – Stuff from the NBA’s Orlando Magic and Bailey from the NHL’s L.A. Kings.

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The real World Cup final isn’t France vs. Croatia, it’s Nike vs. Adidas

Soccer fans cover your eyes.

The real match in the FIFA World Cup’s final game in Moscow on Sunday isn’t France vs. Croatia. It’s Nike vs. Adidas.

The international soccer tournament has become a commercial dream for sportswear companies — a platform for some of the world’s biggest brands to duke it out for the estimated 1 billion fans watching the once-every-four-year championship.

Both Nike and Adidas generally keep quiet about their ad spending for the World Cup. Analysts estimate Adidas likely spent close to $100 million on sponsorship in 2014 — when Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in overtime. Nike also reported a 36 percent surge in marketing costs that year with much of it attributed to the World Cup.

Adidas, which is based in Germany, saw a big boost in sales after the country won in 2014, selling 2 billion euros worth of gear. CEO Kasper Rorsted told investors in a May 3 earnings call not to expect the same in Russia, the host county of this year’s tournament.

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