Daily Buzz 6-27

Consumer Divide Grows Between Haves and Have-nots

  • The rich — and marketers who cater to them — just keep getting richer as everyone else struggles through a so-called recovery. That fact of economics could reshape marketing strategies this year, and for years to come.
  • Last year, the only growth in spending came from people making $100,000 or more annually, said David Calhoun, CEO of Nielsen Co., speaking at the Advertising Research Foundation’s annual Re:Think conference in March. If anything, the disconnect between the haves and the have-lesses has only kept widening since. The ConsumerEdge Research monthly tracker, based on surveys of more than 2,000 consumers, helps illustrate this vividly. (www.adage.com)

Pixar Wins Again With ‘Cars’ Movie

  • Pixar Animation Studios is now 12 for 12. “Cars 2,” the latest film from the Walt Disney Co.-owned studio, grossed $68 million this weekend according to early estimates, making it the twelfth Pixar film to open at No. 1.
  • Despite soft reviews, a rarity for Pixar, “Cars 2″ opened higher than its 2006 predecessor “Cars,” which grossed $60.1 million its first weekend of release and went on to earn $462 million world-wide. (www.wsj.com)

Rowling Casts E-Book Spell

  • J.K. Rowling, who ignited a new generation of readers with her series of seven boy-wizard novels, launched the next transformative chapter in how and where books will be distributed by unveiling her own online store that will sell Harry Potter e-books directly to her fans.
  • While her publishers and major online book retailers will continue to sell her physical books, Ms. Rowling has reserved for herself the digital editions, the fastest-growing segment in the book world.
  • The move could inspire other authors, large and small, to pronounce themselves independent agents in hopes of tapping more lucrative paydays. Ms. Rowling refused for years to release her books in electronic format, retaining the digital rights for herself. (www.wsj.com)

CenturyLink Extends Naming-Rights Deal on Seattle Stadium

  • CenturyLink Thursday officially unveiled its new logo for the former Qwest Field, and the Louisiana-based telecommunications company announced that its naming-rights deal “has been extended an additional five years” through August ’19. (www.sportsbusinessdaily.com)

ESPN has Talked with UFC about Televising MMA Events

  • ESPN is “talking about putting the UFC on the air,” the latest sign that MMA “has gone mainstream,” according to Michael McCarthy of USA TODAY.
  • UFC President Dana White has hosted ESPN Exec VP/Content John Skipper at a fight, and Skipper was “impressed by the atmosphere at the live show.” (www.sportsbusinessdaily.com)

Foursquare Raises another $50M

  • It has been a week of good news for Foursquare. On Monday, the location-based social networking startup announced that it has more than 10 million members; now it’s finishing the week by revealing that it has raised $50 million in a new round of funding.
  • More impressive than the funding itself is the $600 million valuation that was first reported in TechCrunch, and seems to have been confirmed by The New York Times. Adweek has already written about the company’s paltry revenue and the uncertainty around its business model—at the time, the rumored valuation was a mere $500 million. In fact, several firms stayed away from the deal because of that uncertainty, according to TechCrunch. (www.adweek.com)

Google Completes Rollout of Interest-Based Advertising

  • Google launched “interest-based” advertising back in 2009, which allowed advertisers to target consumers based on their web behaviors—regardless of the content of the site they’re currently on—and has been slowly introducing the capability to groups of advertisers over the past two years. Now, Google has announced that it’s making interest-based ads available to all of its AdWords advertisers.
  • On its official blog, Google explained that its AdWords system looks at the types of pages a user visits, including how recently and frequently they’ve visited, and then associates the user’s browser with relevant interest categories. Advertisers can then use those categories to target specific customers, even if the customer is on a completely unrelated site. Users are also able to change the categories they’re associated with, or opt out of the advertising cookies entirely.
  • Advertisers can choose from over 1,000 interest categories, and will pay for clicks or impressions at auction prices. So far, the interest-based advertising has been successful: “Our beta advertisers have used interest categories to successfully meet all kinds of goals, from an advertiser increasing brand lift by 40% to a shoe retailer driving 400% more conversions at a lower advertising cost per sale,” said Google. (www.adweek.com)

Viacom Sues Cablevision over iPad App

  • Viacom is now fighting a two-front war against cable companies who want to offer its content on devices such as Apple’s iPad.
  • Viacom sued Time Warner Cable this past spring after the cable provider launched an app allowing its customers to stream TV channels over their iPads—channels including Viacom-owned networks MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. Now, Viacom is filing a similar suit against Cablevision over its iPad app, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • According to Viacom, neither Time Warner nor Cablevision has the right to stream its channels, claiming that the contract between the two companies covers television rights only. Cablevision is arguing that rights to stream content over multiple platforms “falls within our existing cable television licensing agreements with programmers—including Viacom.” (www.adweek.com)

HBO lands Mayweather-Ortiz

  • HBO pay per view has secured the broadcasting rights to Floyd Mayweather Jr’s much anticipated return to the ring.
  • The six-time world champion will meet welterweight title holder Victor Ortiz on the 17th September in one of the fights of the year. The match-up has been dubbed ‘Star Power’ in reference to the celebrity status of Mayweather and punching ability of the powerful Ortiz. “Mayweather is the biggest star, and Victor Ortiz is one of the most powerful guys in the sport. He knocks everybody down,” said Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer. “You have a star fighting a guy with great power. You have a guy in Mayweather who attracts star power. You go to a Mayweather fight and it’s a who’s who showing up. It’s ‘Star Power.’” (www.sportspromedia.com)

Save mart extend NASCAR race sponsorship

  • American retailer Save Mart has signed a five-year deal to continue its co-title sponsorship of the Infineon Nascar Sprint Cup race. The grocery company has partnered the race since 1992 and has shared title sponsorship with Toyota since 1998. The 2011 edition, which took place yesterday, drew a crowd of 93,000 and was won by Kurt Busch.
  • “Our relationship with Save Mart continues to evolve in new and positive ways,” said Steve Page, president and general manager of Infineon Raceway. “They are an engaged, active and promotionally oriented partner and the synergy between our respective organisations has only grown stronger over these 20 years. We couldn’t be more delighted to announce this new agreement and extension.” (www.sportspromedia.com)

IMG to sell Euro 2012 Hospitality Packages

  • IMG Worldwide has been selected by Uefa as the official sales agent for Uefa Euro 2012 hospitality packages in the UK, Russia and Turkey.
  • Uefa has established a sales network of leading sport marketing agencies in corporate hospitality in key markets ahead of the tournament, and IMG has been appointed as the official agent for the sale of the official hospitality programme in the UK, Russia and Turkey. Official hospitality packages for Euro 2012 will immediately go on sale through IMG in the three countries.
  • The 31 matches at Euro 2012 will be played at eight new or completely refurbished stadiums in the major cities of the host countries, Poland and Ukraine. The opening match is scheduled to be played on 8 June 2012 in Warsaw, with the final in Kyiv on 1 July 2012. (www.sportspromedia.com)

MetLife eyes the Meadowlands

  • MetLife is in advanced discussions with New Meadowlands Stadium to upgrade its corner sponsorship at the year-old facility to a full naming-rights deal.
  • Several sources said MetLife is paying about $7 million a year for its cornerstone deal, and that the naming-rights package being considered would average between $17 million and $18 million a year. (www.sportsbusinessdaily.com)

ResortQuest to Participate as a Lodging Trade Sponsor for the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival: Featuring USA Cycling Championships

  • ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is pleased to announce its participation as a Lodging Trade Sponsor of the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival: Featuring USA Cycling National Championships, next month on the slopes of Sun Valley Resort, where the warm summer months transform the world-renowned ski resort into a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts.
  • As a proud Lodging Trade Sponsor of the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival: Featuring USA Cycling National Championships, ResortQuest is offering 30% off a stay of three nights or more for race participants and spectators at participating properties in Sun Valley and the surrounding areas, including lodging inRiver Run, Warm Springs and Elkhorn Resort Village.
  • “Partnering with USA Cycling as a Lodging Trade Sponsor for the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival presents the unique opportunity to showcase the value of vacation rentals,” said Debbie Fox, General Manager, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Sun Valley. (www.sponsorship.com)

Bacardi and Live Nation Entertainment Announce “Best Shared Live” Multi-Platform Marketing Program

  • Bacardi, the world’s favorite and best-selling premium rum, and Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., the world’s leading live entertainment and eCommerce company, today announced an innovative, multi-platform marketing campaign kicking off this summer titled, “Best Shared Live”.
  • Taking the “Bacardi Together” campaign to new heights, the “Best Shared Live” program creates dynamic opportunities designed to bring people together to celebrate live music, friends and legendary Bacardi cocktails.
  • “Best Shared Live” will leverage Live Nation Entertainment’s unparalleled marketing distribution platforms including digital, mobile and social media properties (Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com) to reach millions of fans as they plan their summer concert experiences. (www.sponsorship.com)
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