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  • 11 cringeworthy mistakes that could ruin your business @SujanPatel bit.ly/1NIPcx2
  • WTF is OTT?

    Chances are you’ve come across the term “OTT” (which stands for “over-the-top”) recently. It’s because everyone in the TV industry is doing it. But what is it? OTT is the term used to describe the delivery of content without requiring users to pay for a traditional cable or satellite subscription. Its rise was sparked by Netflix and HBO, but there is still some work to be done before it comes a truly viable business model.

    The post WTF is OTT? appeared first on Digiday.
  • Virtual reality (finally) gets real

    Virtual reality is having a moment. “It’s the hottest old/new medium,” said Brian Blau, an analyst at Gartner group: Last month in Cannes, CBS Interactive announced a new virtual reality division, charged with incorporating a VR component into each of its 25 brands. CBS Media Group’s reach extends from CNN and TVGuide.com to Chowhound and TV.com -- meaning virtual reality could be positioned to become the hottest new medium in the mass-market consumer entertainment business.

    The post Virtual reality (finally) gets real appeared first on Digiday.
  • A guide to the less-glamorous, systemic side of creativity

    If creativity is about coming up with new and different solutions to complex problems, how do people, brands and products distinguish themselves as consistently creative? How do firms like Pixar or Wieden + Kennedy keep recreating the magic? Contrary to popular belief, even creativity is a system -- one where you want the right technology working in concert with the most creative people you have.

    The post A guide to the less-glamorous, systemic side of creativity appeared first on Digiday.
  • ‘Snackable content': The digital porn industry in 4 charts

    Adult video consumption is on the rise, according to a new report. About 136 billion videos will be watched this year, with that number slated to go up to 155 billion by 2020. About 51 percent of those are seen on mobile. Trends in the adult video industry also mirror those in mainstream video: There is more "snackable" content out there, said Juniper analyst Lauren Foye.

    The post ‘Snackable content': The digital porn industry in 4 charts appeared first on Digiday.
  • The @FuckJerry guide to modern branding

    The @FuckJerry Instagram account has garnered 5 million followers with its comical take on pop culture, mostly delivered through other people’s photos and its irreverent brand of commentary. This approach has gotten founder Elliot Telebe a content deal with Funny or Die and drawn interest from the likes of Burger King and Diesel. The content may not be safe for all brands, but they can still learn from its authenticity, minimal design sensibility and adherence to evergreen themes.

    The post The @FuckJerry guide to modern branding appeared first on Digiday.
  • The Secret to Entrepreneurial Branding: Focus on Yourself @samuel_quincy bit.ly/1UtqiXG
  • Turn to these 36 quotes to boost your productivity right now. @MarlaTabaka bit.ly/1UtqiXK
  • 7 odd terms that could only have been coined in Silicon Valley bit.ly/1HILhAi @SpencerB_L
  • 5 ways to make sure your meeting isn't a waste of time bit.ly/1HHTlBc
  • Denver Mayor Hancock explains how local government can help startups succeed. @MayorHancock bit.ly/1UrZg31 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJR6LlUWcAAJpcL.jpg

  • The one key characteristic all millionaires have @ChrisMatyszczyk bit.ly/1G3C00j
  • "The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings." bit.ly/1Utqk1z @MarlaTabaka
  • 30 surprising facts about today's female founders @Lisa_Calhoun bit.ly/1UrVMNZ
  • Malaysia-based GlassesGlobalGroup Gets $3M To Tackle European Markets

    GlassesGlobalGroup, a Kuala Lumpur-based eyeglass retailer founded by a former Rocket Internet executive, is eyeing expansion across Asia and Europe with its recently closed $3 million Series A. The round was led by Caixa Capital and Nova Founders Capital, and angel investors including Toivos Annus, Uwe Kolb, and Siegfried Drueker. Read More
  • #BurtsBees personifies the awkward relations between hippies and business. @MindaZetlin bit.ly/1CiPSZt
  • When monitoring your employees' activities goes horribly wrong bit.ly/1JJQkTj @WillYakowicz
  • Malaysia-based GlassesGlobalGroup Gets $3M To Tackle European Markets

    GlassesGlobalGroup, a Kuala Lumpur-based eyeglass retailer founded by a former Rocket Internet executive, is eyeing expansion across Asia and Europe with its recently closed $3 million Series A. The round was led by Caixa Capital and Nova Founders Capital, and angel investors including Toivos Annus, Uwe Kolb, and Siegfried Drueker. Read More
  • How this woman proved at age 78 that it's never 'too late' @chriswinfield bit.ly/1G3C0gH
  • What the U.S. Women's World Cup team can teach you about leadership @ChrisMatyszczyk bit.ly/1LOGLlu
  • 11 cringeworthy mistakes that could ruin your business @SujanPatel bit.ly/1CW85H7
  • How Periscoping Something as Simple as a July 4th Parade Can Take a Dark Turn

    David Armano, Edelman's global strategy director, has more than 70,000 followers on Twitter, which he joined back in 2007, less than a year after the platform was born. He's an early adopter and social media savvy, and he is regularly invited to forums to speak on subjects pertaining to marketing technology.

    So rest assured that Armano "gets" that there are trolls on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even nascent Periscope. His skin is social-media thick. But what happened to him online during the Fourth of July weekend caught him completely off guard. He called the experience an "unsettling" look at how real-time sharing takes on new meaning in a live-streaming world.

    Armano lives in a small town outside Chicago that holds an annual Fourth of July parade that feels lifted straight from a Norman Rockwell painting. Think classic cars, floats pulled by pickup trucks, marching bands and star-spangled balloons.

    So he logged onto Periscope—the live-streaming mobile app—to share the unusually wholesome piece of Americana with the rest of the world. People ate it up like cotton candy; Armano said there were 1,000 people watching at one point, with many offering positive comments from far-flung places around the globe.

    "Then there were a couple little [negative] things here and there like 'America sucks,'" the digital marketer said.

    A couple naysayers then grew into several haters actively participating in his stream with text-based remarks. Still, not a huge deal. Armano had set his Periscope stream as "open," meaning anyone watching on the app could comment. So he was hardly shocked by a little negativity.

    "People will come and heckle," he added. "And it seemed pretty benign."

    But then Armano said he noticed contentious back-and-forth dialogue between one agitator and those who didn't share the same negative mindset toward the United States. At one point, he saw the commenter claim he or she was a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the terrorist organization known as ISIS. Others called that person's bluff, but the commenter was steadfast that he or she belonged to the group.

    Armano quickly blocked negative users from commenting, using an anti-trolling Periscope feature. And he cut the feed shortly thereafter.

    "Whether he was or wasn't [with ISIS], it still freaked me out a little bit," he said.

    Armano worried that terrorists could use footage of the Rockwellian scene to scout his hometown as a location for possible acts of violence around future Independence Day celebrations.

    "Here I was showing a picture-perfect parade," he said. "Basically, I was providing a snapshot for what it would look like if you [were a terrorist] who wanted to go after a soft target."

    Armano refrained from naming his hometown for cautionary reasons. But he's not encouraging people to stop live-streaming. His Fourth of July anecdote points to a bigger reality—you never know who's watching your real-time mobile broadcast. And for marketers, it's a cautionary tale about the trolling that can happen on Periscope and Meerkat.

    "But with time, I think there will be better options in place for self-policing [who gets to view one's live streams]," he said.
  • How Periscoping Something as Simple as a July 4th Parade Can Take a Dark Turn

    David Armano, Edelman's global strategy director, has more than 70,000 followers on Twitter, which he joined back in 2007, less than a year after the platform was born. He's an early adopter and social media savvy, and he is regularly invited to forums to speak on subjects pertaining to marketing technology.

    So rest assured that Armano "gets" that there are trolls on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even nascent Periscope. His skin is social-media thick. But what happened to him online during the Fourth of July weekend caught him completely off guard. He called the experience an "unsettling" look at how real-time sharing takes on new meaning in a live-streaming world.

    Armano lives in a small town outside Chicago that holds an annual Fourth of July parade that feels lifted straight from a Norman Rockwell painting. Think classic cars, floats pulled by pickup trucks, marching bands and star-spangled balloons.

    So he logged onto Periscope—the live-streaming mobile app—to share the unusually wholesome piece of Americana with the rest of the world. People ate it up like cotton candy; Armano said there were 1,000 people watching at one point, with many offering positive comments from far-flung places around the globe.

    "Then there were a couple little [negative] things here and there like 'America sucks,'" the digital marketer said.

    A couple naysayers then grew into several haters actively participating in his stream with text-based remarks. Still, not a huge deal. Armano had set his Periscope stream as "open," meaning anyone watching on the app could comment. So he was hardly shocked by a little negativity.

    "People will come and heckle," he added. "And it seemed pretty benign."

    But then Armano said he noticed contentious back-and-forth dialogue between one agitator and those who didn't share the same negative mindset toward the United States. At one point, he saw the commenter claim he or she was a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the terrorist organization known as ISIS. Others called that person's bluff, but the commenter was steadfast that he or she belonged to the group.

    Armano quickly blocked negative users from commenting, using an anti-trolling Periscope feature. And he cut the feed shortly thereafter.

    "Whether he was or wasn't [with ISIS], it still freaked me out a little bit," he said.

    Armano worried that terrorists could use footage of the Rockwellian scene to scout his hometown as a location for possible acts of violence around future Independence Day celebrations.

    "Here I was showing a picture-perfect parade," he said. "Basically, I was providing a snapshot for what it would look like if you [were a terrorist] who wanted to go after a soft target."

    Armano refrained from naming his hometown for cautionary reasons. But he's not encouraging people to stop live-streaming. His Fourth of July anecdote points to a bigger reality—you never know who's watching your real-time mobile broadcast. And for marketers, it's a cautionary tale about the trolling that can happen on Periscope and Meerkat.

    "But with time, I think there will be better options in place for self-policing [who gets to view one's live streams]," he said.
  • How A Nobody (Like Me) Got 1,000,000 Followers On LinkedIn @jtodonnell bit.ly/1JKkg1I
  • Why this family business is the go-to for real American cowboys bit.ly/1JJhoCg
  • 7 ways super successful people think differently than the rest of us @LollyDaskal bit.ly/1G3C0gJ
  • The 3 qualities LinkedIn's CEO looks for in a great leader @businessinsider bit.ly/1UtqiHa
  • How A Nobody (Like Me) Got 1,000,000 Followers On LinkedIn @jtodonnell bit.ly/1JKf3a0
  • 10 Stupid Phrases the Worst Bosses Love to Use @jeff_haden bit.ly/1Utqk1H
  • Why Tom Brady Outflanks George Clooney When It Comes to Selling Grooming Products

    When it comes to endorsing beauty brands, actresses are a popular choice. Think Jennifer Lawrence for Dior, Eva Mendes for Estée Lauder and Keira Knightley for Chanel. But for selling, say, anti-aging serum to men, there is a wrinkle of another sort.

    In marketing men's grooming products, athletes continue to dominate. Numerous Old Spice commercials featuring former NFL player Terry Crews have gone viral. Head & Shoulders, a unisex brand that in recent years has been marketed heavily to men, uses the ex-Pittsburgh Steelers' impressively coiffed Troy Polamalu as spokesman. And since it was introduced five years ago, Dove Men+Care has tapped sports stars like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Drew Brees.

    Among male consumers, 74 percent report following a professional sport in the last 12 months, compared to 49 percent of women, according to market research firm Mintel. But there's much more to the strategy than fandom. Even products marketed as "pour homme" can strike some men as unmanly.

    "Grooming is a topic that makes guys a little bit nervous," said Brian Boye, fashion and grooming director at Men's Health. "The men's grooming industry uses athletes because men look up to them as strong, virile guys."

    Jack Black, the 15-year-old prestige brand, began a sponsorship this season with the New York Yankees that includes stadium signage as well as soap and hand lotion in the bathrooms of Yankee Stadium luxury suites. The brand has similar partnerships with more than a dozen NFL and NBA teams that often include stocking team locker rooms with product.

    "It definitely helps to see athletes who generally are as manly as they come" using the products, said Alison Downs, Jack Black's marketing director. (Not to mention that fans watching from luxury boxes may be more likely to pay $23 for body wash.)

    Every Man Jack, the 8-year-old line, sponsors about 65 triathletes throughout the country. Ritch Viola, the founder and a triathlete himself, said that for a brand in Target it's fitting to sponsor athletes with day jobs.

    "If we paid Tom Brady as our spokesman, would anyone believe he was using $5 body wash?" asked Viola. "It's more believable that these everyday exceptional athletes are using our products."

    Rather than highlight their glory on the field, Dove Men+Care paints athletes as embodying "the caring side of masculinity," like holding infants or getting daughters ready for school. The men's line has taken some cues from the "Real Beauty" empowerment campaign on Dove women's side, similarly challenging cultural archetypes for men.

    "How guys define their own sense of masculinity is very much in a state of flux," said Matthew McCarthy, who, as a senior director of brand development at Unilever, oversees brands like Dove Men+Care and Axe. "When Dove Men+Care brings athletes to life, it's not to talk about their prowess in the sport, it's to show these guys' authentic back stories and that they're real men, not just athletes."

    Henry Schafer, evp of the Q Scores Company, which tracks celebrity popularity, noted that athletes resonate more with men. Peyton Manning, for example, is rated as a favorite celebrity by 30 percent of men, meaning he has what the company calls a Q Score of 30, compared to a Q Score of 14 among women. LeBron James rates a 17 with men and 12 with women, while Shaquille O'Neal a 17 with men and a 9 with women.

    Joe Favorito, who teaches in the sports management program at Columbia University, noted that men are uniquely engaged with athletes, via the sports section, websites, social media and fantasy sports leagues.

    "If you're a guy, you're not picking up a section of the newspaper hoping to read what George Clooney did yesterday," he said. "Brands want the constant reinforcement of these athletes, not just being in an ad. They want consumers seeing these guys play, practice and engaging on social media every single day."
  • How Daily Fantasy Sports Became a Heavyweight in the Advertising World

    It seems these days sports fans can't catch a game on TV or listen to sports talk radio without being hit with ads for daily fantasy sports (DFS). While fantasy sports have enjoyed a long run, with digital giants ESPN, Yahoo and CBS capturing the attention of sports-crazed gamers, a daily form of drafting players and tracking teams is exploding in popularity.

    The fantasy sports world boasts 56.8 million active players in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Of those, roughly 20 percent are participating exclusively in DFS, up from 8 percent in 2013, with just two providers—6-year-old FanDuel and 3-year-old DraftKings—cornering the market.

    It's not just fans' ability to build a new team on a daily basis that's the driver. The real key to DFS' success is legalized betting. Thanks to a series of technicalities, DFS players can win cash. One heavy hitter, Tommy Gelati, has won well over $100,000 playing DFS and even has parlayed his success into a hosting gig on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports radio station.

    "I play high volume—thousands [of dollars] a day," said Gelati. "I've been here from the beginning. I've seen it go from the biggest tournament being a $10,000 first-place prize to, well, now they have millions."

    In August, DraftKings will host its Fantasy Baseball Championship event in Las Vegas with host football/baseball great Bo Jackson and a prize pool of $3 million.

    DFS companies are growing. FanDuel co-founder and CEO Nigel Eccles noted his company scored $57 million in revenue last year. "The growth has just been phenomenal," said Eccles, predicting that DFS will be a billion-dollar business in just five years.

    DFS sites and their fans are not the only ones cashing in, though. FanDuel and DraftKings are investing millions of marketing dollars, presenting sports leagues, venues and media outlets with opportunities to generate new revenue. "As a relatively new company, advertising has been the best way to introduce DraftKings to new players," explained DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. "DFS could be among the top categories of advertising in sports over the next year."

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a FanDuel logo on his shorts when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in May. A month later, American Pharoah was rocking DraftKings gear when he became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.

    American Pharoah, 2015 American Triple Crown winner

    In 2013, DraftKings and Major League Baseball inked a multiyear partnership deal that allows DraftKings to offer co-branded MLB daily fantasy games, complete with market-specific ballpark experiences. The MLB even invested in DraftKings, purchasing a small stake in the company. "This partnership has increased awareness for DraftKings and has aligned our brand with one of the most premium brands in all of sports," said Robins. "Our relationship also enables us to offer our users exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as contests where you can win prizes like throwing out the first pitch at a real Major League Baseball game."

    DraftKings has similar deals with the NHL and with Madison Square Garden, whose WNBA team, the New York Liberty, will sport DraftKings' logo on its uniform. In June, FanDuel deepened its exclusive 4-year deal with the NBA and its teams, adding nearly half the league's teams to its roster.

    Meanwhile, CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports and ESPN are taking notice of the success of daily formats. CBS Sports has a media partnership with FanDuel, complete with a daily live video show featuring DFS content. The show runs weekdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET and features FanDuel brand integration including graphics and exclusive promotional spots.

    "We are continually innovating our fantasy offerings to serve our highly engaged audience," said Jeffrey Gerttula, svp and gm of CBS Sports Digital. "Interest in daily fantasy sports continues to rise and through our successful partnership with FanDuel, a leader in that space, we are able to deliver quality content, including daily live video programming, to the ever-growing audience of daily fantasy players."

    DraftKings was recently named the official DFS offering across all ESPN platforms. ESPN has more than 12 million fantasy players, who will now experience seamless integration with the DraftKings' daily fantasy platform.

    "As a longtime daily fantasy player, and someone who enjoys playing at both ESPN and DraftKings, I'm excited about this new relationship," said ESPN fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry. "DFS has brought a lot of new players to the industry. It's brought a lot of attention and certainly infused it with new revenue. It's really exciting for me when you see all these advertisements."

    Yahoo is also looking to get into the DFS space, with its own product apparently coming soon. It's easy to see why the traditional giants want to get involved with these startups-turned-industry heavyweights. DraftKings says its target demo is comprised of 18- to 49-year-old, college-educated, early adopter males who actively play fantasy sports games, are at the forefront of online gaming, sports, technology, music and trendy lifestyle events—and possess disposable income.

    There seems no stopping the fantasy movement. If there's a major sporting event kicking off, DFS will aim to be there.
  • Infographic: Tennis Stars Use Social Media to Showcase Brands

    Tennis is hard to match when it comes to the power of social media: only the NBA and soccer have more average followers per player, according to exclusive research from PMK BNC. And with the U.S. Open set for later this summer, tennis' social media season is in full swing.

    Like other professional athletes across the sports sphere, tennis stars often use their large social footprints as leverage in their deals with major brands.

    The firm found Facebook to be the preeminent platform for fan engagement and brand promotion, but different athletes use the social nets in different ways—and with varying levels of success.

    "Most players see a drop in engagement when they incorporate messages from their sponsors," said Joanne Melzer, vp of strategy and insights at PMK BNC. "The exception is Andy Murray, whose fans seem to be more engaged in his branded content than
    personal messages."

    Melzer noted that Rafael Nadal sees the greatest drop in engagement—in spite of having the highest number of followers—with branded posts garnering only 21 percent of the engagement of his personal posts.

    Serena Williams has the lowest drop in engagement. "We suspect that this is because there is little difference in style between her personal and branded posts," Melzer said.

    Here's a look at eight of the top tennis stars, their social media following and major recent endorsement deals—as well as an analysis by the firm of their use of branded posts.

    Infographic: Carlos Monteiro
  • José Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays Shares His Favorite Apps and Cereals

    Specs
    Age 34
    Claim to fame Right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays; five-time player in the MLB All-Star Game
    Base Toronto and Tampa, Fla.
    Twitter @JoeyBats19

    What's the first information you consume in the morning?
    I normally turn the TV on and watch the news or sports shows like SportsCenter to see the highlights from the day before, or I just go on social media—usually Instagram or Twitter—and see what's going on.

    Tell us about your social media habits. Do you share mostly baseball-related or personal stuff?
    I'd like to think that I utilize social media just like any other regular person. Obviously it's a little bit different because the stuff that I go through at work every day is out in the public, but people make comments about what I'm doing all the time, and it's kind of cool to see what people think.

    Who do you follow?
    Following teammates is always good. I have a couple that are pretty vocal and active online, like Marcus Stroman and José Reyes.

    What's your favorite app?
    I have an app called Savant that I use to control basically everything in my house, from the lighting to the blinds to the sound system to the security cameras. It's pretty convenient to have.

    What are your must-have apps for when you're on the road?
    When I'm traveling I use a lot of entertainment apps, like the Dish Anywhere app and Netflix. When I'm in different cities, I'll use Yelp and Urbanspoon to find restaurants and read reviews. For music listening, I have my Sirius XM, SoundCloud and Amazon Music.

    What TV shows do you watch?
    Recently, I've watched a lot of Suits and House. For some reason, I also got into Forensic Files. It's an old show that's been in reruns recently on the HLN channel in Canada. It's one of those things that's always on between midnight and three o'clock in the morning, which is the time when I'm trying to relax after I get back from the stadium. It just caught my attention one day, and now I've watched about 50 episodes in the past few months. I need to find a new show and everyone keeps recommending Game of Thrones. When I tell people that I've never watched an episode, they look at me like I'm crazy. [Laughs]

    You received the most fan votes of any player for the 2011 and 2014 MLB All-Star Games. Do you use social media to encourage people to vote for you?
    I've tried to stay away lately from asking for votes. I might have done it when the online voting started and everyone started campaigning for themselves, but now I just allow my team to promote me and my teammates. I'd rather let it happen naturally without feeling like I'm begging for votes, you know? I try to let my performance on the field dictate that more than what I do on social media.

    How do you wind down before bed?
    I watch TV, make myself a huge bowl of cereal—Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms or Cap'n Crunch—and let the milk do its job and put me to sleep.

    So no healthy cereal for you?
    During the season, I burn a lot of calories, so I don't think it hurts me too much!

    Bautista, right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays
  • Why Tom Brady Outflanks George Clooney When It Comes to Selling Grooming Products

    When it comes to endorsing beauty brands, actresses are a popular choice. Think Jennifer Lawrence for Dior, Eva Mendes for Estée Lauder and Keira Knightley for Chanel. But for selling, say, anti-aging serum to men, there is a wrinkle of another sort.

    In marketing men's grooming products, athletes continue to dominate. Numerous Old Spice commercials featuring former NFL player Terry Crews have gone viral. Head & Shoulders, a unisex brand that in recent years has been marketed heavily to men, uses the ex-Pittsburgh Steelers' impressively coiffed Troy Polamalu as spokesman. And since it was introduced five years ago, Dove Men+Care has tapped sports stars like Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Drew Brees.

    Among male consumers, 74 percent report following a professional sport in the last 12 months, compared to 49 percent of women, according to market research firm Mintel. But there's much more to the strategy than fandom. Even products marketed as "pour homme" can strike some men as unmanly.

    "Grooming is a topic that makes guys a little bit nervous," said Brian Boye, fashion and grooming director at Men's Health. "The men's grooming industry uses athletes because men look up to them as strong, virile guys."

    Jack Black, the 15-year-old prestige brand, began a sponsorship this season with the New York Yankees that includes stadium signage as well as soap and hand lotion in the bathrooms of Yankee Stadium luxury suites. The brand has similar partnerships with more than a dozen NFL and NBA teams that often include stocking team locker rooms with product.

    "It definitely helps to see athletes who generally are as manly as they come" using the products, said Alison Downs, Jack Black's marketing director. (Not to mention that fans watching from luxury boxes may be more likely to pay $23 for body wash.)

    Every Man Jack, the 8-year-old line, sponsors about 65 triathletes throughout the country. Ritch Viola, the founder and a triathlete himself, said that for a brand in Target it's fitting to sponsor athletes with day jobs.

    "If we paid Tom Brady as our spokesman, would anyone believe he was using $5 body wash?" asked Viola. "It's more believable that these everyday exceptional athletes are using our products."

    Rather than highlight their glory on the field, Dove Men+Care paints athletes as embodying "the caring side of masculinity," like holding infants or getting daughters ready for school. The men's line has taken some cues from the "Real Beauty" empowerment campaign on Dove women's side, similarly challenging cultural archetypes for men.

    "How guys define their own sense of masculinity is very much in a state of flux," said Matthew McCarthy, who, as a senior director of brand development at Unilever, oversees brands like Dove Men+Care and Axe. "When Dove Men+Care brings athletes to life, it's not to talk about their prowess in the sport, it's to show these guys' authentic back stories and that they're real men, not just athletes."

    Henry Schafer, evp of the Q Scores Company, which tracks celebrity popularity, noted that athletes resonate more with men. Peyton Manning, for example, is rated as a favorite celebrity by 30 percent of men, meaning he has what the company calls a Q Score of 30, compared to a Q Score of 14 among women. LeBron James rates a 17 with men and 12 with women, while Shaquille O'Neal a 17 with men and a 9 with women.

    Joe Favorito, who teaches in the sports management program at Columbia University, noted that men are uniquely engaged with athletes, via the sports section, websites, social media and fantasy sports leagues.

    "If you're a guy, you're not picking up a section of the newspaper hoping to read what George Clooney did yesterday," he said. "Brands want the constant reinforcement of these athletes, not just being in an ad. They want consumers seeing these guys play, practice and engaging on social media every single day."
  • How Daily Fantasy Sports Became a Heavyweight in the Advertising World

    It seems these days sports fans can't catch a game on TV or listen to sports talk radio without being hit with ads for daily fantasy sports (DFS). While fantasy sports have enjoyed a long run, with digital giants ESPN, Yahoo and CBS capturing the attention of sports-crazed gamers, a daily form of drafting players and tracking teams is exploding in popularity.

    The fantasy sports world boasts 56.8 million active players in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. Of those, roughly 20 percent are participating exclusively in DFS, up from 8 percent in 2013, with just two providers—6-year-old FanDuel and 3-year-old DraftKings—cornering the market.

    It's not just fans' ability to build a new team on a daily basis that's the driver. The real key to DFS' success is legalized betting. Thanks to a series of technicalities, DFS players can win cash. One heavy hitter, Tommy Gelati, has won well over $100,000 playing DFS and even has parlayed his success into a hosting gig on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports radio station.

    "I play high volume—thousands [of dollars] a day," said Gelati. "I've been here from the beginning. I've seen it go from the biggest tournament being a $10,000 first-place prize to, well, now they have millions."

    In August, DraftKings will host its Fantasy Baseball Championship event in Las Vegas with host football/baseball great Bo Jackson and a prize pool of $3 million.

    DFS companies are growing. FanDuel co-founder and CEO Nigel Eccles noted his company scored $57 million in revenue last year. "The growth has just been phenomenal," said Eccles, predicting that DFS will be a billion-dollar business in just five years.

    DFS sites and their fans are not the only ones cashing in, though. FanDuel and DraftKings are investing millions of marketing dollars, presenting sports leagues, venues and media outlets with opportunities to generate new revenue. "As a relatively new company, advertising has been the best way to introduce DraftKings to new players," explained DraftKings CEO Jason Robins. "DFS could be among the top categories of advertising in sports over the next year."

    Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a FanDuel logo on his shorts when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in May. A month later, American Pharoah was rocking DraftKings gear when he became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.

    American Pharoah, 2015 American Triple Crown winner

    In 2013, DraftKings and Major League Baseball inked a multiyear partnership deal that allows DraftKings to offer co-branded MLB daily fantasy games, complete with market-specific ballpark experiences. The MLB even invested in DraftKings, purchasing a small stake in the company. "This partnership has increased awareness for DraftKings and has aligned our brand with one of the most premium brands in all of sports," said Robins. "Our relationship also enables us to offer our users exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as contests where you can win prizes like throwing out the first pitch at a real Major League Baseball game."

    DraftKings has similar deals with the NHL and with Madison Square Garden, whose WNBA team, the New York Liberty, will sport DraftKings' logo on its uniform. In June, FanDuel deepened its exclusive 4-year deal with the NBA and its teams, adding nearly half the league's teams to its roster.

    Meanwhile, CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports and ESPN are taking notice of the success of daily formats. CBS Sports has a media partnership with FanDuel, complete with a daily live video show featuring DFS content. The show runs weekdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET and features FanDuel brand integration including graphics and exclusive promotional spots.

    "We are continually innovating our fantasy offerings to serve our highly engaged audience," said Jeffrey Gerttula, svp and gm of CBS Sports Digital. "Interest in daily fantasy sports continues to rise and through our successful partnership with FanDuel, a leader in that space, we are able to deliver quality content, including daily live video programming, to the ever-growing audience of daily fantasy players."

    DraftKings was recently named the official DFS offering across all ESPN platforms. ESPN has more than 12 million fantasy players, who will now experience seamless integration with the DraftKings' daily fantasy platform.

    "As a longtime daily fantasy player, and someone who enjoys playing at both ESPN and DraftKings, I'm excited about this new relationship," said ESPN fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry. "DFS has brought a lot of new players to the industry. It's brought a lot of attention and certainly infused it with new revenue. It's really exciting for me when you see all these advertisements."

    Yahoo is also looking to get into the DFS space, with its own product apparently coming soon. It's easy to see why the traditional giants want to get involved with these startups-turned-industry heavyweights. DraftKings says its target demo is comprised of 18- to 49-year-old, college-educated, early adopter males who actively play fantasy sports games, are at the forefront of online gaming, sports, technology, music and trendy lifestyle events—and possess disposable income.

    There seems no stopping the fantasy movement. If there's a major sporting event kicking off, DFS will aim to be there.
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