All Articles Tagged "sponsorship"

And So It Begins: Sponsors Are Starting To Pull Their Money From The LA Clippers

April 28th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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carmax logo

Update: We can now also add Virgin America to this list. “While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers,” a rep tells TMZ.

Amtrak, Kia, and LoanMart can also be included. For Amtrak, their contract was up at the end of the season, so they’re already working to pull its ads from anything Clippers-related.

A Clippers player, Blake Griffin, is actually a spokesperson for Kia. Nevertheless, the company said Sterling’s comments are “offensive and reprehensible” and while they support the sport, they aren’t sticking with this team.

It’s another Paula Deen-like exodus!

Anheuser-Busch had been listed as a Clippers sponsor, however the company is making it very clear that that’s not the case. A statement sent to us from Lisa Weser, Sr. Director Communications at Anheuser-Busch states: “As the Official Beer of the NBA, we are disappointed to hear the alleged recent comments attributed to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. While Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light are not team sponsors of the LA Clippers, we fully support the NBA’s efforts to investigate quickly and trust that they will take appropriate action.” The company was last a Clippers sponsor way back in 2009.

Two sponsors have announced that they are going to pull their support from the LA Clippers basketball team following racist remarks caught on tape, made by owner Donald Sterling.

CarMax, the online used car sales portal, told TMZ, “CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable. These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. The company had been a sponsor of the team for the past nine years.

State Farm is also pulling its sponsorship (at least temporarily), with Steve Stoute, CEO of the marketing firm Translation and the man behind the recent Vh1 documentary The Tanning of America, speaking to ESPN radio to announce the split. State Farm is one of Stoute’s clients.

state farm“When you have things like this taking place, somebody has to stand up,” Stoute said. The company has also released a statement to CNBC saying, “While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization. We are monitoring the situation and we’ll continually asses our options. We have a great relationship with Chris Paul and will continue supporting the Born to Assist advertising campaign involving Chris and now other NBA players.”

Rev. Al Sharpton says he’s going to press companies to take similar measures or organize boycotts of the advertiser organizations. And former players, including Magic Johnson (who might be trying to buy the team?) and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, have said that they want to see that Sterling receives the “maximum punishment.”

Music Video Or Commercial? Artists Blur The Line

July 11th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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D. Salters/

D. Salters/

India.Arie has a reputation for being obvious with her Mother Earth persona. Now she’s making her love for cocoa butter clear. It’s not just that the lead single off her new album “SongVersation” is called “Cocoa Butter.” She’s also partnered up with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula for the new music video (available at the bottom of the page).  As if a chorus of “Your love is like cocoa butter on my heart” doesn’t provide enough inspiration for 140-character jokes, her latest music video positions her as cocoa butter’s answer to the Avon lady.

Brands Behind the Music

Lady Gaga is credited with ushering in blatant product placement in music videos. Before her, product placement meant the camera lingered on the product longer than it took for you to count to “one-Mississippi.” In 2010, Gaga’s “Telephone” video included in-your-face placements for everything from Miracle Whip to Virgin Mobile.

Brought on by videos’ move from television to the Internet and record labels’ attempt to make videos a revenue source and not just a marketing tool, this trend shows no signs of slowing. Music integrations were up 22.7 percent last year alone according to the PQ Media Global Product Placement Spending Forecast 2012-2016. Remember when MTV dominated music video distribution and logos were blurred out? The channel had it’s own advertisers to cater to. The Web allows advertisers more access to space in videos.

“YouTube and Vevo provide the best places for music videos to be posted with ads,” says Deborah Posner, an advertising instructor at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. “Vevo, in particular, was launched in 2009 for the specific purpose of enabling product placement in music videos by high-end advertisers with free access by viewers.”

When It Works & When It Doesn’t

Lord knows the music industry can’t afford to churn out videos like it did in MTV’s heyday. Product placement helps the medium to survive. Artists get financial support often without sacrificing their creativity or bombarding their fans with overt advertising. Everyone wins. Until now.

Advertisers can take things a little too far. Watching Arie’s leading man smooth Palmer’s on her brown skin as she sings “You rub it in” is a tragic comedy that shows exactly where the limit on these arrangements lie: when the whole affair feels like a sales pitch.

“To avoid making the video look simply like a commercial, the products should complement the story, and not be the main attraction,” Posner adds.

Don’t Ruin This

Music videos are an advertiser’s dream. Videos promote lifestyles, and brands are always looking for ways to align their products with a larger community or feeling. Videos also have a permanence that traditional commercials don’t offer. “Cocoa butter” will exist on YouTube as long as the Internet gods see fit.

But artists have to remember to make these deals work for their best interests. That’s why artists like Jay-Z and Beyonce are signing up for creative collaborations with major brands (Budweiser and Pepsi, respectively) rather than simply being a spokesperson. They don’t want the products to overshadow their artistry. They don’t want to turn themselves into a pusher or a punchline.

At the end of India.Arie’s video, as the cream ribbons floating around her faded away, I felt like I had been tricked into watching a four-minute commercial for cocoa butter. I guess the joke’s on me.

C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveOutLoud) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).


Lil Wayne Finally Apologizes To Emmett Till’s Family For Despicable Rap Lyrics

May 1st, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Since February, the family of slain civil rights icon Emmett Till has been speaking out against YMCMB rapper Lil Wayne over song lyrics that compared their deceased relative’s brutal murder to sexual acts performed on a woman. The Till family even penned an open letter to the rapper, letting him know that hearing about his insensitive lyrics was like reopening Emmett’s casket. Still, there was no formal acknowledgement of the controversy made by the rapper. Earlier this week, we told you that the Till family would be seeking further action against Wayne, promising to turn up the heat on companies that sponsor the rapper to drop their deals with him. I suppose those were the magic words because this morning Wayne issued a written apology to the Till family. His letter in its entirety reads:

“Dear Till Family:

As a recording artist, I have always been interested in word play. My lyrics often reference people, places and events in my music, as well as the music that I create for or alongside other artists.

It has come to my attention that lyrics from my contribution to a fellow artist’s song has deeply offended your family. As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain that your family has had to endure. I would like to take a moment to acknowledge your hurt, as well as the letter you sent to me via your attorneys.

Moving forward, I will not use or reference Emmett Till or the Till family in my music, especially in an inappropriate manner. I fully support Epic Record’s decision to take down the unauthorized version of the song and to not include the reference in the version that went to retail. I will not be performing the lyrics that contain that reference live and have removed them from my catalogue.

I have tremendous respect for those who paved the way for the liberty and opportunities that African-Americans currently enjoy. As a business owner who employs several African-American employees and gives philanthropically to organizations that help youth to pursue their dreams my ultimate intention is to uplift rather than degrade our community.


Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.

Lil Wayne”

What do you think of Wayne’s apology?

Beyonce and Pepsi: Coming to a Grocery Store Near You After $50 Million Deal

December 10th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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The Beyonce Pepsi can.

Beyonce and Pepsi have signed off on a deal estimated to be worth $50 million that will make the two brands partners, not just for commercials, but for the entertainer’s creative endeavors.

Pepsi announced today — through a press release and an article in The New York Times — that Beyonce will be a “brand ambassador” for Pepsi, appearing in a new set of ads for the soft drink brand as part of the “Live For Now” international campaign. Beyonce has been in Pepsi ads since 2002. The ads will begin airing after she performs at the Super Bowl, which Pepsi is also sponsoring.

But the relationship goes deeper than that. Pepsi will also be supporting the promotion of Bey’s next album, which will be released at some to-be-determined date in 2013 and sponsoring Beyonce’s world tour next year. There will also be a variety of other creative projects like live events, videos, and other Pepsi/Beyonce doings supported by a Creative Development Fund. There’s already a hashtag for the partnership: #LiveForNow. The limited edition cans (above) will be available starting in Europe in March. And you’ll even see a cut out of the image below at your local supermarket.

“For Pepsi, the goal is to enhance its reputation with consumers by acting as something of an artistic patron instead of simply paying for celebrity endorsements,” the NY Times reports.

These sorts of partnerships are nothing new. What’s different is how elaborate they’ve become, intertwining with a performer’s activities so that they’re associated with many aspects of an album, book, or other work. The Times talks about the partnership between Bey’s hubby Jay Z and Microsoft for the release of his book Decoded. And, you’ll recall, Pepsi partnered with Nicki Minaj for ads and other sponsorship opportunities. (There was some drama related to that deal and Minaj’s judging spot on American Idol, which is sponsored by Coke. A quick check of the Pepsi website shows no sign of Minaj.)

What Pink Ceiling? Study Shows Women Help Each Other Get Ahead In The Workplace

June 13th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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As women, we know an awful lot about the glass ceiling and the struggle for equal space in the boardroom, but there’s also a phenomenon known as the pink ceiling that’s been used to describe the behavior of women who do actually make it to the top of their profession and then try to keep other women from reaching their level. It’s basically the crabs in a barrel mentality in the office.

Thankfully, a new study is showing there’s more myth than truth to the practice they call “Queen Bee” syndrome—not that Queen Bey or is it King B now? Anyway, research conducted by Catalyst shows most women don’t actually view their female subordinates as competition to be moved out of the way. In fact, they see less experienced female coworkers as potential talent and are actually more likely than men to try to nurture that talent through informal or formal mentorship.

For the study, “High Potentials In The Pipeline: Leaders Pay It Forward,” Catalyst’s researchers followed the careers of 742 “high potential” male and female MBA graduates who worked in a number of different fields from 2008 to 2010. The researchers questioned the graduates about the career help that they had received over the years, including both informal mentorship and sponsorship, which usually involves working with a high-powered professional who actively pushes for their sponsor’s career advancement. The survey also asked whether or not they were helping the next generation of employees advance themselves.

What they found was that many of the men and women currently involved in talent development had been thoroughly curated by someone else. Of those surveyed, 65 percent of women who had received career support went on to return the favor to the next set of talent, compared with 56 percent of men. Out of the women who said they were developing talent, 73 percent said they are developing other women, which means we basically have each other’s backs like good feminists should.

Gail Evans, professor of organizational behavior and author of “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman,” thinks this study reflects a generational change that’s going on in the workplace.

“I think there certainly were Queen Bees around when the workplace was about scarcity for women,” she said. “You ended up with women who were older who had given up a lot to get to those [leadership] positions. Their life was the job and their deep belief was ‘I had to work hard, I had to give up a lot, it was tough to get here and the way in which I mentor younger women is to toughen them out.'”

I’ve definitely been on the receiving end of that tyrany and don’t ever want to go back. Christine Silva, the lead researcher on the study, said she’s excited about the positive trend her research shows and what it means for the next league of women leaders.

“The act of paying it forward is so powerful for the person doing it, the person being developed, and the organization itself. I hope women hear that and think ‘this is something I can do proactively for my career.'”

Have you had female professionals actively try to help you excel in the workplace or have you been a victim of the pink ceiling? Are you a mentor yourself?

More on Madame Noire!

The Recession’s Lasting Impact On Sports Sponsorships

July 6th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Forbes) — Within the last three weeks several sports sponsorship deals have come to an end. opted out of its relationship with the NFL. Citi dropped the presenting sponsorship of The Rose Bowl.  UBS relinquished its role as main sponsor of The Players Championship. The economic recession of 2009 may be over according to GDP and economic indicator data, but this recession will have a lasting impact on corporate America’s willingness to activate sports sponsorships and its doggedness to analyze the financial merits of such relationships.

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How To Avoid Wasting Money On A Sponsorship

May 20th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Influential Marketing) — Across my marketing career I’ve been involved in dozens of campaigns and marketing efforts that included some sort of sponsorship. Most marketers love sponsorships for the simple reason that they are packaged campaigns that are relatively low effort to implement. Someone else is doing something like an event or running a great organization and you simply want to be part of it and promote your involvement. The down side of the relative ease of sponsorships is that it is one of the areas where you could potentially waste the most amount of money and time.

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The Most Corporate Band

April 9th, 2010 - By TheEditor
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( — In the music business these days, it’s not about selling the most CDs, it’s having the best sponsors. On its path from rootsy L.A. hip-hop troupe to pop juggernaut, the Black Eyed Peas have been escorted by a parade of corporate backers. From Coors to Levi’s, Honda to Apple, Verizon to Pepsi, brands have padded the group’s video budgets, underwritten its tours and billboarded band members in prominent places. When Apple was preparing the 2003 launch of the iTunes store, The Peas’ “Hey Mama” became the first song associated with the iconic campaign’s dancing silhouettes, a point of pride for, the band’s frontman.

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