Hydration Brand Sword Performance Turns From Wildcatters to Wildcats

  • Looking to branch further into sports, Sword Performance inked Las Vegas Raiders third-round pink Lynn Bowden Jr. to a six-figure deal.
  • Building on its CEO’s background in steel, the hydration company has been heavily concentrated in industrial markets but looks to fuel more athletes.

The hydration beverage company Sword Performance has embraced its usage in oilfields and steelyards but aimed to use the 2020 NFL Draft as a launchpad to the sports industry. The Lexington, Kentucky-based company tabbed former University of Kentucky quarterback and Las Vegas Raiders’ third-round draft pick Lynn Bowden Jr. to a six-figure endorsement deal as its first brand ambassador on the gridiron. Sword Performance, which launched in 2013, has worked some with Olympic athletes but has mostly targeted the industrial […]

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Virtual Draft and NFL Rules Help Forge Unique Brand Integrations

  • ESM represents Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, Georgia running back D’Andre Swift, and Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins.
  • The NFL has told draftees to not show non-league partners in the live broadcast shots from their homes.

Entering the 2020 NFL Draft representing the marketing interests of three projected first-round picks, Everett Sports Marketing founder and Director of Football Dan Everett said the agency had big plans for its clients in Las Vegas. But as the draft has gone virtual and players and their representatives have had to adjust to the NFL’s regulations around how non-league sponsors can activate with players, Everett said the agency “had to go back to the drawing board and be more creative.” […]

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Isaiah Simmons’ TikTok Cachet Leads to NoSweat Co. Partnership

  • Projected top-10 pick Isaiah Simmons has partnered with NoSweat Co. on a TikTok-focused campaign.
  • Challenges of social distance and converting views to sales arise as companies seek to monetize the social platform.

The 2020 NFL Draft has presented brands and athletes with a unique challenge – find a way to break through during its all-virtual presentation. Compounding that is NFL restrictions that are limiting draftees to the products they can be featured wearing or showcasing during the live camera shots at their homes. That has led more brands to try to find unique social or digital activations. NoSweat Co., which produces absorbent hat liners that prevent sweat from dripping down an athlete’s […]

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NFL Draft’s Marketing Power Endures as Brands Flock to Attract Fans

  • Disney reports double-digit growth in ad revenue for the event, led by NFL sponsors.
  • Ad inventory remains only for late round coverage as of April 22. More than 100 companies will advertise this year, with nearly 60% doing so for the first time.

As one of the few live sporting events during the coronavirus pandemic for marketers to reach consumers, the NFL and Disney’s ESPN and ABC networks have successfully turned the virtual NFL Draft into a major advertising event, according to media buyers and brands. “The NFL has done a lot in the last couple of years to make the draft a very big event. They partnered with NFL sponsors, but they’ve also opened it up [to other brands],” Gibbs Haljun, total […]

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Player Agencies See Draft Deep in Obstacles and Marketing Opportunities

  • Unique circumstances will result in creative marketing approaches by players throughout the 2020 NFL Draft.
  • As the only fresh sports content in weeks, the draft could position NFL rookies as more valuable assets for brands.

Athlete representatives heading into the 2020 NFL Draft aren’t fully sold that this will be a completely different NFL Draft when it comes to marketing opportunities.  The lack of parties, on-the-ground press opportunities, and fan fest present a challenge for marketers and the athletes they represent, but with those challenges comes opportunity. Rather than the standard mix of in-person opportunities in Las Vegas, the virtual event has provided marketing teams the ability to flex their muscle.  Athletes First Vice President […]

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Panini Unpacking Additional Digital Features Alongside Virtual NFL Draft

  • Since 2010, Panini has looked to share player connections from its digital platforms, extending this year with a new series.
  • In the absence of in-person interviews, Panini felt it could help share the off-the-field story of some of the 2020 NFL Draft’s top prospects.

While the NFL Draft wasn’t originally planned to be a virtual event, the leagues’s trading card partner, Panini, already had plans for a digital pivot. Each January, Panini signs 200 collegiate football players to contracts as they declare for the NFL Draft. Without knowing where the players will end up in their NFL career, the company follows their pre-draft experience from NFL Combine to the NFL Draft.  This year, Panini decided to bring that process to life with the Road […]

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Buffalo Wild Wings Pivots From March Madness To Sports At Home

  • Typically one of the most significant times of the year for the restaurant brand, it’s running to-go specials and highlighting how people are keeping sports in their lives.
  • An extension of the #SportsLiveOn campaign - a sock and laundry basket H-O-R-S-E game will air on its Twitch channel on April 10.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is normally one of Buffalo Wild Wings’ busiest times of the year, but with March Madness shut down, the chicken wing chain has tried to find ways to still wrap its arms around sports.  On April 10, Buffalo Wild Wings will stream a H-O-R-S-E game between former Jackson State basketball manager Thomas “Snacks” Lee and Instagram influencer Maxisnicee as part of its new #SportsLiveOn campaign. The stream will air at 8 p.m. ET on the Buffalo […]

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Monday Morning Marketer: EDO President and CEO Kevin Krim

  • Eight of the top 10 TV programs to drive ad engagement the past year were live sports.
  • The hiatus is causing advertisers to reduce spending, produce creative messaging, and replanning media buys.

As live sports dried up, so too did some of the most valuable advertising real estate in the world. According to the advertising data analysis company EDO, eight of the top 10 programs for driving consumer search behavior were live sports. Data analytics company EDO focuses on the media and entertainment business, measuring the effectiveness of advertising through engagements. At the core of the company’s work is the motto, “Watch what people do, not what they say they’ll do.” To […]

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Sports Marketers Shift Dollars and Prepare for Compressed Schedules

  • Brands begin to plan for condensed seasons once live games return.
  • Ad spending in the U.S. will decline by nearly 3% this year to $217 billion, according to Magna Global.

Agency executives and industry consultants offered predictions about how brands would seek to maintain and innovate after their advertising strategies were upended by the coronavirus pandemic. The first reaction of many was to pull back or rely on digital and social media channels to communicate brand messages without having them be associated with the virus. But a select number of companies have undergone a more aggressive approach, shifting dollars to new campaigns that urge consumers to stay indoors and practice […]

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Topgolf Hangs on to Sponsors and Pushes Simulator Game While Awaiting Return

  • The World Golf Tour game has witnessed a 30% growth in engagement week-over-week.
  • Sponsors remain supportive, as TopGolf works to push advertisers towards digital assets.

The coronavirus pandemic forced Topgolf to shutter all brick-and-mortar locations around the world in March.  The decision was an obvious one, YuChiang Cheng, Topgolf Media’s president, said. Like most businesses, Topgolf is now waiting for the green light from local governments to reopen when the time is right.  “We really wanted to do our part,” Cheng said. “I think what’s unique about Topgolf is that it’s a partial outdoor activity, and we do allow for a lot of space in […]

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