Changes in sports marketing, upholding verdicts and more trial updates

Sports Marketing Changes: 5 Ways

This morning starts off with news about the changes sports marketing is and will experience substantial changes that fundamentally impact the way sports marketing is conducted. Technology may explain the biggest reason for the change, with the poor economy a close second. The author mentions five ways the sports marketing industry will undergo change.

  1. Endorsements and sponsorships will derive more from online marketplaces, and will also be handled online more frequently. Konda, a social prediction service (where fans go online to predict scores of sporting events), found that endorsing athletes resulted in higher popularity and generated more revenue.
  2. Social marketing has such a substantial impact on the population that it enables individuals in sports to sell products directly to the fans. In other words, big companies enjoy endorsing athletes to use products because people won’t feel as though they are “cheated” or scammed by buying products. Smaller companies are beginning to endorse up-and-coming athletes as well. When an athlete endorses a product, generally people will make the connection that “if x athlete endorses it, then the product is probably okay.” It’s a clever strategy; while it doesn’t make the product itself any different from when an athlete wasn’t sponsoring it, it comes with the presumption of “authenticity,” no matter how unreal it may seem. For instance, think about Peyton Manning and the commercials he does with Papa John’s
  3. Marketers will be able to determine which athletes engage the general population the most. To some degree, it isn’t as if we cannot do this already. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram clearly display how many followers and comments are on athletes’ pages. But the increase in technology will go further to accurately depict which athletes are doing well, which allows brands to “justify their endorsement and sponsorship [spending].”
  4. Sport influencers are already working together to “create a network effect.” During this past Superbowl, Oyo Sportstoys teamed up with Opendorse to promote products. Oyo Sportstoys created NFL Lego characters, and Opendorse provided the promotional materials that would air during the Superbowl. Their efforts gave them great results: “We measured 2.8 million impressions, 10,000 click throughs to Oyo’s website. That equates to around $0.50 an engagement and $1.33 CPM.” Two experts working to create one large product will usually result in a much more effective product, which leads to more revenue.
  5. Sports agents and managers will have more options to assist their clients and teams in making more money. Athletes, coaches, and trainers will have the ability to turn themselves into “media powerhouses” – the faster sports agents can learn about the smartest ways to endorse, the better it’ll be for all participating.

West Vancouver Judge Upholds Large Verdict for Marathoner

Yesterday, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a B.C. Supreme Court decision which “awarded a West Vancouver woman more than $238,000 for injuries suffered when her minivan was rearended.” Gloria Lee Clark’s original verdict came in 2012, when the court awarded her monetary damages, which included “$100,000 for diminished ability to earn income and $85,000 for loss of enjoyment of life.” The monetary damage award includes loss of future income for a year, as well as $28,000 for a yoga membership. Nothing seems puzzling about the award thus far (maybe the yoga membership): Clark was hurt, she sued, the court agreed that it was the offender’s fault, and thus the court granted appropriate relief. After hearing about some of the facts, though, one might be inclined to second-guess the verdict.

Prior to her accident, it was known that Clark was very engaged in athletic endeavors – including running, hiking, skiing, bicycling and kayaking. In addition, she took care of her children and worked part-time.

According to the court documents, the accident occurred on June 8, 2006. Clark was driving an Oldsmobile minivan when Marek Kouba (driving a Volkswagen) rear-ended her vehicle. The accident caused slight damage to Clark’s vehicle. The accident caused pain to Clark’s neck, upper back and shoulder “that has resulted in difficulty sleeping and performing household chores.” One might think that the accident would prevent her from engaging in her activities. However, after the accident, she continued to engage in her athletic interests, including hiking and running five marathons – one of which she set her own personal record in running under four hours. The only activity that Clark presumably cannot do anymore is yoga, as the verdict includes payment of a yoga membership “for life.”

It’s puzzling to think that a judge could find that “this accident has had a real impact on her life” if Clark continued to engage in her usual activities. While the laws in Canada differ from those in the United States, it still seems unsettling that someone who could continue in the majority of leisurely activities (and perform better than before the pain occurred) that an award this high in monetary damages would even be considered. I did not read the trial transcript or any of the appellate briefs or decisions, but I wonder if Kouba’s attorney looked into whether Clark’s continued engagement in athletic endeavors would have increased or maintained the level of pain she suffered. Would her resting for a significant time period have ended the pain? If not, perhaps that is what prompted the court to grant the verdict – that even if Clark stopped all activity but housechores and childcare all together, she would’ve experienced the same level of pain.

Swinging Bat: On Stumps, Or On Prostheses?

The crux of yesterday’s murder trial of Oscar Pistorius came from whether Pistorius wore his prostheses. On the night of the murder, Pistorius shot the bathroom door four times, believing it was an intruder. At the time, the bathroom door was locked. Pistorius broke down the bathroom door with a cricket bat to access the bathroom. Pistorius later justified his shooting by claiming that his disability made him feel vulnerable. However, the affidavit he signed read that “he had put on his prostheses before smashing down the door.”

Policeman Johannes Vermeulen’s testimony appears to discredit Pistorius’ affidavit. Vermeulen created a reenactment of the event in court by breaking down a door which resemble Pistorius’ bathroom door. After hitting the door a few times, Vermeulen pointed out the markings and angles he made to imply that “they could only have been made by someone much shorter than him.” He testified that “the marks on the door are actually consistent with him not having his legs on and I suspect they must be similar to the height that he was when he fired the shots.” Barry Roux, Pistorius’ defense attorney, argued that it was irrelevant whether he had his prostheses on because “even with his legs on, Pistorius would not be swinging a bat at the same height as an able-bodied person.”

There is some news on the Sami Spenner case. Spenner, a Nebraska-Omaha pentathlete / heptathlete senior, finished runner-up to Sharon-Day Monroe at the 2014 U.S. Indoor Championships. It was the best female collegiate performance in U.S. history. However, she’s not competing at the NCAAs this week. Unfortunately, the NCAA denied her waiver request, as her school’s recent decision to move from Division II to Division I does not qualify as a “hardship.” Spenner, though, has plans to pursue the Olympics in 2016, so that’s a name to bear in mind for later recall.

The New York Road Runners  is giving money to runners who qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the Marathon, and any event from the 800 meters to the 10k. Finally, if you’re looking to get into running and you have a dog that also enjoys running, you might want to think about competing in races with your dog.

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