Tag Archives: branding

College Athletes Can Now Make Money

It’s been a long time coming, but finally college athletes can make money! A new NCAA policy allows student athletes to earn compensation by marketing their name, image, or likeness (NIL). This is a big shift in policy from the NCAA which has long banned college athletes from receiving any compensation other than tuition.

The new NIL rule will let student athletes earn income from licensing merchandise, podcasting, offering lessons, promoting brands, opening businesses, and other deals. In addition, student athletes can use their personal brands to earn money. Many athletes have a strong social media presence that can be leveraged into marketing brands and products.

On July 1st, hundreds of student athletes announced deals for NIL.  Big winners right away were sisters Hanna and Haley Cavinder, basketball players at Fresno State who are now spokespersons for Boost Mobile. Auburn football players Bo Nix and Shaun Shivers also announced partnership deals (with Milo’s Tea and Yoke respectively).

Some athletes will be paid for appearances, others will endorse products for payments, and still others are launching merchandise lines. The deals are not necessarily tied to sports. Athletes are now able to earn income from gigs as musicians, designers, and artists also.

It’s important to note that of the hundreds of thousands of college athletes, many will not benefit from the NIL policy. Athletes still cannot be paid directly by colleges beyond their attendance costs, nor are athletes to be considered employees of the colleges. But the opportunities are now there and will certainly influence sports and business.

The times are indeed changing.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What is their opinion on the new NCAA policy that allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness?
  2. What are the positives and negatives for the policy?
  3. How will this policy impact marketing activities?
  4. Show video about the college athlete pay debate: https://youtu.be/q8dtMX_wXNY
  5. Show Open Sponsorship website: https://opensponsorship.com/
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop ideas on how businesses could use college athletes in their marketing.

Source:  Ad Week; Assoc. Press; CNBC; NBC Sports; New York Times; other news sources

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Peloton Recalls Treadmills

Peloton has been riding high for the past year as gyms closed and people took their fitness routines into their homes. Peloton stock and sales are at an all-time high. To be clear though, high sales volume has given the company problems with supply chain and manufacturing during this time period. It even has a recall due to problems with broken pedals on its bikes which caused injuries.

However, a more recent and critical problem for Peloton has been a number of cases of injury to adults, children, or pets being pulled underneath the rear of the treadmill. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been at least 72 reports of adults, children, and pets being pulled under the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children and one death of a six-year-old child. Serious issues indeed.

The recall notice was issued by Peloton, but only after an urgent warning from the CPSC that forced the company to change its initial stance about the problems. Peloton is now offering a full refund for owners of the treadmill.

What should companies due about hazards to consumers?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the components of public relations and crisis communications.
  2. Show video about the problem: https://youtu.be/RiAjg4RXLMQ
  3. View Peloton’s statement on its website: https://www.onepeloton.com/press/articles/tread-and-tread-recall
  4. Show the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice for Peloton: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/peloton-recalls-tread-plus-treadmills-after-one-child-died-and-more-than-70-incidents
  5. Show additional recall notice for a separate Peloton recall: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/peloton-recalls-tread-treadmills-due-to-risk-of-injury
  6. What are the basic components and steps to handle crisis communications?
  7. How did Peloton initially handle the problems? What did they later do?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team select a company/product. Then, have teams determine the steps to take during a crisis for that company.

Source: CBS; CNBC; New York Times; other news sources

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Netflix Launches Netflix.shop

Movies have long generated revenue from sales of merchandise related to the shows (think Disney). According to trade group Licensing International, sales of licensed products tied to shows was roughly $49 billion in the U.S. in 2019, and $128 billion globally. That’s a big number and one that has attracted Netflix to enter the market with its own merchandise line and shop.

Not content to have us all streaming entertainment constantly, Netflix now wants us to shop on its platform, too. Netflix has launched an online store with items that are highlighted in its shows. While Netflix holds a dominant lead in streaming, it also needs to have new sources of revenue in order to expand. Competitors such as Hulu and HBO Max charge streaming fees, but they also show commercials to generate additional revenue. Netflix does not have that revenue stream.

The new online store will sell apparel, merchandise, and collectibles from favorite shows such as “Stranger Things,” “Lupin,” and other shows. Limited edition street wear and action figures based on “Yasuke” and “Eden” (anime series) are now available. Lupin merchandise includes baseball caps, shirts, hoodies, throw pillow, and even a side table. All of the Lupin products were designed and produced in cooperation with the Louvre Museum. Future products will be based on popular series including “The Witcher” and “Stranger Things” along with Netflix logo apparel.

This isn’t Netflix’s first foray off screen. It has previously created video games based on popular shows and has agreements with department stores to sell products as well.

What will you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What movies and shows can they list that have licensed products for sale?
  2. Have they purchased items related to these shows?
  3. Show Netflix’s new store: https://www.netflix.shop/
  4. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for marketing a product. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team outline a marketing plan for Netflix.shop and have each team select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  6. How can this plan be expanded to new geographies outside the U.S.?

Source:  New York Times; Reuters; other news sources

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