Tag Archives: Product placement

NBA Uniforms Take Sponsors

People love sports. We watch sports on TV, listen on the radio, read about victories and defeats in the news, and emulate those athletes who represent our ideals. We buy tennis racquets used by Serena Williams, golf clubs hit by Tiger Woods, and basketball gear worn by LeBron James. Sports and athletes are a common component in many companies’ marketing campaigns.

Thus, it seems only natural that the NBA, one of the largest sports franchises, is now going to allow companies to sponsor teams and have their logos emblazoned on team jerseys. Starting next season, new logo patches will be added to jerseys, with brands paying premium price for the NBA exposure.

So far, only six teams have signed sponsors:

  • Philadelphia 76ers have a three-year deal worth $5 million per year with StubHub.
  • Sacramento Kings signed with Blue Diamond Growers for a $5 million per year, three-year trial run.
  • Boston Celtics have an $8 million per year, three-year agreement with GE.
  • Brooklyn Nets also have a deal worth $8 million/year for three years with Infor.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers have a multi-year sponsorship with Goodyear that includes a $1 million donation to Cleveland and Akron public schools.
  • Utah Jazz has a $4 million sponsorship deal with Qualtrics, but will not use the company logo. Instead, it will use a logo for “5 For The Fight” campaign promoting cancer research.

Which companies do you want to see on your home team jerseys?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of branding and sponsorship of sports.
  2. Ask the students their opinions about the NBA jersey branding.
  3. Show the video of Goodyear sponsoring the Cavaliers:


  1. Divide students into team. Have each team select a company and brand to represent. Using company information about values and mission, have each student team select a sports team to sponsor.
  2. Explain how the company and team fit.
  3. Set metrics to measure the effectiveness of the sponsorship.

Source: Forbes, Brandchannel.com  

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Celebrity and Brand Pairings

A great marketing tactic is to use celebrities to endorse brands or products. Celebrities have a broad reach and can give a face and meaning to a brand. Some recent examples include Jennifer Aniston for EyeLove and Smart Water, Tim McGraw promoting America’s Diabetes Challenge, and Lady Gaga for Tiffany.

Pairing a celebrity with a brand or campaign can be very tricky. It starts with a thorough understanding of the target customer. Marketers need to consider the target customer’s age, gender, lifestyle, behavior, occupation, and more. Then, a celebrity spokesperson has to be chosen, and available, to match with the customer and brand.

The celebrity has to be a person who the target market will identify with, and have personal credibility for representing the brand. In essence, the celebrity becomes the ‘source’ of information about the company. And, any celebrity missteps can be disastrous to a brand. (Remember Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, and Jerod the Subway guy?)

Who do you find credible?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance that celebrities play in brand endorsements.
  2. Have students list all of the celebrities-brands links they can remember.
  3. Show a few videos of celebrity spokespeople:

Jennifer Aniston: https://youtu.be/Tv4u6aI0aaE

Adam Levine: https://youtu.be/xj7hJipn9K0

Tim McGraw: https://youtu.be/3CupTlT0AXk

  1. What makes these pairings successful?
  2. Divide students into team. Have each team select a product or brand and then find a celebrity who could successfully endorse the brand.
  3. Debrief: Poll students about their opinions about the suggested pairings. Why were the celebrities selected?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily

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Uncle Drew – Chapter 4


After a two-year hiatus, Uncle Drew is back and it’s about time! The fourth installment for Pepsi Max shows Uncle Drew and his teammates taking over local basketball courts in Miami where a game of H-O-R-S-E determines the winner. But, when asked if he could spell “horse,” Uncle Drew replied that he’s never had to ”go beyond H.”

Reprising his role as Uncle Drew is Cleveland Cavalier’s star Kyrie Irving and this time he includes new players Ray Allen, Caron Davis, and J.B. Smoove in his adventures. Set in Miami, the video once again shows that things are not always as they seem. Although the old guys start off slowly, they are soon showing the youngsters how basketball is really supposed to be played. As the stars say – “it’s all about the buckets.”

The videos are a big hit for Pepsi Max and illustrate the product’s tag line of “a zero-calorie cola in disguise.” As a product in the mature stage of its product life cycle, Pepsi brings an “A-game” to the courts. A lesson to marketers: things are not always what they first appear to be.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a discussion about product life cycle.
  2. Have students identify products that fit into each of the product life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
  3. Discuss how products can maintain market share in the maturity stage. What tactics work best? What happens in the competitive space?
  4. Then show the latest Pepsi Uncle Drew video: https://youtu.be/ZY6GAOPGuPs
  5. The videos are also being used to promote the PepsiPass app: https://www.pepsipass.com/
  6. How do these videos fit the techniques needed for products in a mature industry?
  7. Divide students into groups: Similar to the Uncle Drew videos, have each group develop a tactic that could be used for a product in each of the product life cycle stages.

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