Tuesday, April 5, 2016


With Roger Goodell tweeting about the deal between the NFL and Twitter to broadcast Thursday Night Football, it looks like the next generation of consuming sports content is in full swing.  While the two players already had a working relationship, there are several reasons to be even more excited about the teaming of two blue-chip draft picks.

One thing we know is that the NFL is a juggernaut that doesn't make distribution or partnership decisions without significant strategy and foresight.  By all accounts, Twitter was not the highest offer and other teams (including Amazon, Yahoo, Verizon, etc) all bid between 30-50% more.  The partnership between the social media platform and the NFL was based more about opportunity than just plain revenue.  Like a veteran player accepting less money to play for a Super Bowl contender, the league made a strategic versus financial move.  And with Twitter's 350M users, it makes sense for the NFL to sure-up its roster by covering digital/social media with one of the top players out there.

Simply put, this is a win-win deal.  As much as the NFL wins with the ability to add a popular distribution channel, Twitter is also a big victor as they practically steal the rights.  $10M to broadcast the Nation's number one sport equates to a small OTA attendance clause in a QB's contract. By comparison, the NFL will get a total of approximately $450 Million from CBS and NBC for the rights to broadcast 10 games in 2016 and 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Based on those deals, Twitter would have still scored a decent contract at $10M PER GAME! 

At only one million dollars per week, which the social media platform must easily spend in weekly marketing/SEO, they are able to become a destination hub on Thursdays.  Its a fantastic deal and also allows for the creation of more shoulder programming with Periscope, in-game highlights, live Tweets, etc.  Aligning with the NFL and having the most valued commodity in the world of content (NBC's Sunday Night Football was the highest rated series in America) makes this deal unbeatable.

Like Sean Payton in film study, the NFL explores every angle and the best way to strategically position 'the shield'.  The league sees where there might be holes in the distribution secondary and they attack those areas to strengthen their game plan.  While its no secret that the league wants to be ahead of the curve for the next generation of 'cord-cutting' fans, the right platform is indeed key.    The NFL is well-covered on television with deals for that same Thursday Night Football package split between CBS, NBC, and their own NFL Network.  And with larger deals for broadcast rights with partners including ESPN, NBC, Verizon, DIRECTV, etc., there is no shortage of players on the traditional (and mobile) platforms.  So shoring up the OTT/digital special teams solidifies their roster.  This move was a no-brainer and inevitable.  We just didn't know what the name on the jersey would ultimately be.

While only time will tell if this is a Super Bowl winning deal, it looks like both parties have scored.  They each addressed a free agent need and teamed up to provide desirable content across one of the most powerful social media platforms.   This is no Hershel Walker trade where only the Cowboys won big.  Its a true win-win with a big-time QB adding an All-Pro receiver to the offense.  Now let's see if the scoreboard will light up, in real time, at 140 characters per score!

Monday, January 4, 2016


Did that commercial get your attention?  Is that ad you saw in a magazine stuck in your head?  Did that celebrity convince you to purchase their brand?

Ultimately, its the consumer's perception of the brand that matters most and as a marketing veteran and resident consumer myself, I wanted to share my opinion on some of the current efforts that work and some that drop the ball.


The Mayhem DIY campaign is hilarious and attention-getting at the same time.  While we have heard ad nauseum about house, car, and medical insurance from Flo, a lizard, cavemen, etc,, how many of us DIYers actually thought our own wannabe construction efforts pose a real hazard?  Sure I have some duct taped wiring in my home (220 or 221, whatever it takes) but I never realized that it could be a real issue in terms of liability.

In these Allstate spots, Mayhem (played by former FX's Rescue Me actor Dean Winters) describes real peoples' DIY nightmare stories and encourages you to vote for the best one.  Allstate will then have a reenactment during the Super Bowl.  I subscribe that a campaign needs to have a creative story and a memorable hook or twist to cut through the clutter.  These spots do and as a fun little twist, users who register can win the DIYer's tools so they never fix or build anything again.  Clever.

Its an interesting twist on boring insurance commercials and overall, its refreshing and works.

Check out the sweepstakes page here.

And for more info on the insurance provider's other sponsorship efforts, click here.

Speaking of Allstate, the Allstate Sugar Bowl stunt was also a very eye-catching effort.  Showcasing how thieves (and Mayhem) can utilize your social media posts to gain insight to rob you while you are tweeting away at the big game, they went in and "sold" all of the contents of an unsuspecting victim's house while they were out.  The campaign utilized social and viral tactics to garner views and with +20M Facebook impressions within a day, I'd classify this as a very buzz-worthy success.

For more, check out this link.



I don't want to be the old codger who rains on everyone's parade.  I used to say that if you don't approve of content that isn't kid friendly, don't have your kid watch.  But there are some areas where I believe big advertisers like Pfizer are being irresponsible and crossing the line.

The Viagra ads run during the football season feature the attractive female discussing ... well, you know.  I understand football is the ideal target marketing for men interested in sexual issues (feel free to drop in your own Dallas Cowboys' offense is impotent joke here) but lots of kids, including my 9-year-old son watch religiously.

Its bad enough when they speak in code (using the term ED) but I can play that off as one of the many pharma ads run on TV that frankly none of us even know what illness they are used for.  But lately, Viagra has become less subtle and uses terms like "Erectile Dysfunction" and "Erection" now.  My son looks more confused than Eli Manning being blitzed and its only a matter of time that an innocent day of talking football turns into "the talk".

Perhaps the FCC or other governing bodies need to regulate when those ads are run or what they can do to dilute the terminology?  I'd appreciate it if the sexy lady on the bed doesn't make my son question the ad beyond "Dad, her jersey is blank so which team does she root for?"

Forbes has brought this up in past articles and its something we should address.  I'd love to hear your thoughts so feel free to add your comments.