Archive for the ‘Sports Coverage’ Category

Reshaping and Rebuilding the Image of UCF Athletics

UCF Marketing

Many UCF fans have been watching the Headline as the NCAA hands out its penalty which force Central Florida to sit out the postseason for a year in men’s basketball and football. After major recruiting violations were uncovered, both programs have not only suffered the consequences for possible post-season appearances, but also have slowly lost potential recruits along with current players. It was recently announced that  Josh Crittle and C.J. Reed will be transferring from UCF to take their talents to other Universities. For the University, this is a tremendous blow as it presents and promotes a potentially failing system.

With all that being said, It is time for UCF to Respond with….. Positive Press! 

Okay, I am stating the obvious there, but below I have put together a Plan of Action that will help rebuild their image.

So while the average University would normally release a statement expressing their plans to make changes and improve the image of the Athletic Department, as the saying goes…..

Actions Speak Louder than Words

With that being said, As UCF Celebrates their 50th Anniversary, its the perfect time for them to hold a UCF Rally.

The Goal here is to rally Fans, Media and Sponsors together for a celebration of UCF Athletics.

So lets break it down the game plan:

1. To highlight the accomplishments and success of UCF Athletics I would gather Former UCF Athletes like Josh Peppers, Kevin Smith, Jermaine Taylor and Brandon Marshall (if possible) to have them speak about their experiences as an athlete at the University of Central Florida.

2. The key here is to remind not only fans, but more importantly incoming and potential recruits that may see footage of this event that UCF Athletics has provided athletes of all sports a gateway to professional sports as well as a professional job.

3. I would take this UCF Rally also as an opportunity to get fans excited about this Upcoming Athletic Season. While the Football and Basketball Program will not be able participate in the post season, it is still critical that we recognize these athletes for their accomplishments throughout the season and getting fans excited about the upcoming games is a great way to get Athletes excited and looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel. (since there are no postseason possibilities)

4. I would also continue the segments I saw posted by Eric DeSalvo who is the Assistant Director of Athletics Communications. These segments have followed UCF Athletes throughout their journey of becoming an Elite Athlete. (**Continuing to Highlight the Athletes, not the programs that were at fault)

5. I would also take a page out the DeVos Sports Management book and begin to give back to the Surrounding Orlando Community. Gather UCF Basketball Players and Football Players for Community Events in the Area. For Instance, The DeVos Program the past several years has made trips to New Orleans to Help rebuild homes. It would be great to the see UCF Athletes doing the same in the Orlando Area.

6. Lastly, I would put together a strategic marketing plan that would highlight UCF Athletes that not only perform well in their sport, but also in the Classroom. This is critical for parents to see as they help their student-athletes decide what university to choose. ( A balance of Sports and Education here)

………..Not to be forgotten is the Legendary Tweet by Mr. Keith Clanton. I believe UCF Should highlight his loyalty and even use it as part of their Marketing for UCF Basketball.

For Example: I would love to see Ads or T-Shirts that had:

“The Tweet Heard Round the World, followed by Keith Clanton’s tweet to remain a UCF Knight.”

Possibly even a shirt that demonstates his recent kind words of the programs:

“UCF is where my heart was at,” Clanton said. “At the end of the day, I felt like UCF was the best place for me. I felt like the coaching staff and the players, I can trust everybody. And then knowing what we have as a team still here, I still feel like we have a chance to accomplish a lot.”

So The Glaring Question is this is a lot to do for just UCF Athletics, Why so much emphasis on Sports

Lets face it, While good Educational Programs are the backbone of most Colleges, Sports are the foundation that help raise awareness of their Educational achievements.

My point here is that UCF currently has an amazing educational program and students are beginning to recognize that, but in order for top athletes to truly commit to UCF there must be a positive and impactful Athletic program.

Rebuilding the Image of UCF Athletics should be first priority as it will continue to lure High Caliber Athletes and as well as High Caliber Students.

I personally would love to assist the UCF Program in rebuilding its image. To contact me, simply fill out the contact form 

For more of my insight of Sports Marketing, Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/YoTonyFernandez

Jameer Nelson Recent ESPN Interview Should Have Magic Fans Excited

Orlando Magic fans can slowly creep out of their depression hole as they recently announced the Orlando Magic Head Coach will be Jacque Vaughn, former assistant Coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich. On Wednesday, Orlando Magic fans had even more to cheer about as recently signed Point Guard Jameer Nelson paid a visit to the David Baumann Show where he expressed how excited he is to be with the Orlando Magic for possibly the next 3 years.

For those that had never heard Jameer Nelson behind the Mic, he was very politically correct and was a shining example of how athletes should conduct themselves when being interviewed. During the interview, He was happy to discuss his recent contract,why the terms have been private, his plan to remain a Magic player even though he did opt out, as well as his stance on the recent Head Coach hire.

Don’t let the tattoo’s fool you, Companies in Orlando, now is the time to jump on the Jameer train and Book Jameer Nelson for an appearance, endorsement or a speaking engagement as this year will be breakout year especially with the current roster the Magic have. If you are looking for an athlete with no baggage, Jameer Nelson is your man.

To those unfamiliar with the history of Jameer Nelson, he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets, but immediately came over to the Orlando Magic which he now calls home. He has definitely embraced his home as Orlando Magic fans have expressed that he is very welcoming when approached around the city and embraces the city. His love for the game and positive attitude can help turn around the sour taste Magic fans currently have towards the Organization as well as its currently stance with Dwight Howard.

After hearing the interview with Jameer Nelson, I definitely foresee him becoming apart of the Orlando Magic Organization after he retires from the game. His knowledge along with his leadership can definitely prove to be beneficial to the Orlando Magic Front office.

To tune in the the Interview by David Baumann visit: http://www.sportstalkflorida.com/david-baumann-show-8-1-12/

Watch Jameer Nelson Drop 25 Points on the 2012 NBA World Champions Miami Heat:

NBA Rookie Anthony Davis is a Marketing and Branding Genius in the Making

Mr. Uni-brow aka Mr. Kentucky Basketball himself Anthony Davis was officially named a member of the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s National Team & 2012 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. This announcements came a day after his performance at the USA Basketball Exhibition versus the Dominican Republic where he displayed his array of skills.

Davis put on quite the show in the 4th quarter for his former Coach, John Calipari, who is currently coaching the Dominican Basketball Team. As the game played on, Anthony Davis proved to the world again why he is not only one of the best players in the nation, but also one of the most marketable players.

After running down the floor and receiving a pass from one his teammates, Anthony lines up a Three-pointer and sinks it. His showman ship came alive with a signal to the USA Basketball Bench as well as a smile to Former Head Coach John Calipari. The cameras and fans ate it up and truly became the highlight of the night.

While many fans recognize him for his unique and recently trademarked eye-brows, he also is quite the entertainer on the court. Add those up with his lovable personality and you have an Athlete Destined for Endorsement Heaven.

This will prove to be his shining moment, as he will have the entire world watching him during the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Expect him to flourish on the big stage much like he did during the 2012 NCAA Championship Game.

As a branding consultant, I would touch Anthony Davis image as he is on track for stardom and fast. Staying away from the club scene and keeping his child like attitude will bring in all the endorsements he could ever dream of.

Great Work Team Anthony Davis!!!

Check out Anthony Davis Playing for USA Basketball:

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by calling 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Does All The Dwight Howard Trade Talk Increase His Visibility For Potential Sponsors?

I constant preach how important timely marketing is for every company to leverage and study, but how about for Athletes. Right now, Dwight Howard is the talk of the nation, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if President Barack Obama is discussing trade possibilities. With that being said, If I were a slow growing company looking to branch into a new market, a Dwight Howard endorsement deal would be right up my alley.

Am I sounding a bit crazy with that statement? Slightly, but think about it, how long will folks be talking about Dwight. Realistically speaking it will be another year before fans truly get over this fiasco, but as it is right now when you think Dwight Howard, you automatically picture him in his Superman Cape with a decked out Adidas outfit. Talk about product placement and one hell of an endorsement deal!

Just a few days ago I blogged about Dwight Howard’s image and if he could ever repair it, and unfortunately, I am not sure anything will repair it, not even a championship with the Brooklyn Nets, but in the grand scheme he could be taking advantage of this media coverage. As we found out this morning on the David Baumann Show, he camp has informed him to stay low and just recover from his recent surgery.

Call me a sucker, but I love to strike when the iron is hot, because The US Market has proven time and time again that 5 minutes of fame is down to a minute of Fame. Being able to capitalize when all eyes are on you is when its the time to strike. Perfect example of this on an entrepreneurial stance is The StayDwight Campaign formulated by non-other than Ryan Totka, Athlete Booking Agent and Web Genius. As I stated early, he took advantage of the limelight being on Dwight Howard and his decision to either “Stay” or “Leave” the Orlando Magic. As we all known today, he opted to stay, but has decided to change his mind for the 100th time and wants a trade.

So Dwight Camp, now is the time to open your doors from Endorsements and Sponsorship’s or at best Now is the time to release a new Adidas commercial. Hit the airwaves with Dwight and make present him in a positive light.

Below is a great Dwight Howard Commercial to begin airing again:

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by call 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Deron Williams Brands Himself As Social Media King With Brooklyn Contract Signing

The Evolution of Athletes and Marketing was on display last night as Deron Williams took to Twitter to show the world that he was signing his contract with the Brooklyn Nets via his iPad. If you didn’t know already, the 21st century is here and Athletes are beginning to embrace different social outlets to inform fans of their big announcements, daily activities, opinions and outlook on life.

On two separate occasions, Deron Williams has had the Twitter airwaves all hot and bothered as he previously announced via Twitter that he will be returning the Brooklyn Nets. The media along with Twitter users worldwide went rampant as they re-tweeted his picture of the New Brooklyn Nets Logo and inserted their congratulations.

So what does this mean for Deron Williams and Businesses?

Now is the time to capitalize on his media exposure. It is evident fans around the world are awaiting his next tweet which can always be your product in the background. If you are looking to expand your market and gain new clients, reach out to Deron Williams team and secure him for some marketing campaigns much like Carmelo Anthony and Got Chocolate Milk recently did.

Companies are forever negating the fact that social media does not bring in new clientele or new business. That is only proven right if you confine your business within the perimeters of what society says to do on these social mediums. Expand your horizons and jump on the opportunity to leverage an audience that normally would turn the other direction.

Not to mention, this tantalizing traffic further opens the door to other Athletes making announcements via Twitter which can potentially lead to endorsements. As I mentioned before, every fan, analyst and/or twitter guru will be analyzing a picture that has been re-tweeted by thousands of people. Having an iPad being the center focus probably got some consumers to go out and buy one or simply raised awareness of the products abilities.

Signing with the Brooklyn Nets so far appears to be the right move for Star Guard Deron Williams.

Below is Video of Deron Williams showing why he is a Top Point Guard in the NBA:

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by call 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Minor League Basketball Slowly Making Noise in the State of Florida

As the Dwightmare continues, Basketball fans in Orlando become restless and look for other ways to get their basketball fix. Well they are in luck with the NBA Summer League closed to the public they can turn to the Florida Flight for Basketball.

You heard me right, that is the Florida Flight, a minor league team that is right here in our backyard. The Florida Flight currently play in Avalon Park at the Avalon Middle School Gym.

So what can you expect when you attend a game? 

Good Old Fashion Basketball and Class “A” entertainment. While it might not be Big Baby Davis or Jameer Nelson playing, the team and coaches for the Florida Flight have rounded a talented bunch that bring a level of skill and entertain to the game. Some of the players have notable made a name for themselves in their perspective colleges, but are still growing their professional career.

Also, according to sources, in the near future there may be a possibility the team may bring some Former UCF Basketball Stars. Will expand on this further as the league grows.

So what is Minor League Basketball? 

Great Question! This is not the NBDL (NBA Development League) but think of it as its step-sister that took a route of freedom and profit gain, not profit loss. Several weeks ago I introduced to this league and found myself hitting the books, more so the Internet, to find out what the story was on this league. Go to find out the Florida flight belong to the Florida Basketball Association or FBA (for short). in January 2012, the Florida Flight along with Palm Beach Titans and Heartland Prowl left the Continental Basketball League, joining with the Tampa Bay Rebels to start the league.

I had the opportunity to catch with Coach and Part Owner of the Florida Flight Mark Anthony King and was enlightened to how the goal and mission for this league is to not only to entertain fans with top notch basketball, but to give back to the community.

As you navigate through their site (which I received word is being redesigned) you will find that they have received a lot of positive reception from the community, but also you will see that they donate a portion of their proceeds to their surrounding community. After some further digging in the site, I found that the The Florida Flight dedicated their 2012 Regular Season to the Bithlo Community.

This type of community service aligns with the next page that I stumbled upon and that is the Florida Flight’s Mission. Their Mission States:

Utilize the platform of professional basketball to promote a positive, healthy, morally sound society that values the importance of teaching critical societal elements like teamwork, leadership, accountability,and love and respect for others.

So when do they play next? 

There is one more Regular Season Home Game this Friday July 14th – 5pm at Avalon Middle school Versus The Palm Beach Titans.

Tickets are $10 and those 5 and under are Free

To learn more about this league visit: http://flighthoops.com/

Dwight Howard Marketing and Branding Mistakes, Can He Recover?

As the NBA Free Agency gets underway we suddenly see how players should conduct themselves as they move to new teams/cities, but we also see how player SHOULD NOT conduct themselves when they are ready to make a move.

The elephant in the room happens to be Dwight Howard as he has publicly drove the city of Orlando against him as well as fans all around the world. His statements and indecisiveness has made him appear not only fickle but a player who comes with baggage.

So the question is how does this hurt his Brandability?

Athletes must remember the minute they enter the NBA draft or even step foot on the Collegiate floor, they are suddenly a brand/business. Not only will their skills and abilities drive in revenue, but so will their brand/name. Tarnishing that name in any way can make organizations think twice in signing you to a contract or even businesses wanting to partner for an endorsement.

Protecting that brand from the start in critical as it can set the mark for the rest of their career. Many players in college have all the talent in the world, but forget that partying and flirting with the law cannot be apart of the playbook. They must steer away from the trouble and focus on the craft. In fact, if you look back at the history of NBA endorsements, the players that flourished are those that came straight out of High School to the NBA as they did not have the opportunity to tarnish their name in College. The NBA put a quick stop on players being able to declare to the NBA Draft out of High School, but this is more reason why players must protect their brand.

In the Case of Dwight Howard, he has presented himself as a unprofessional business man. Many reflect at the transition by Lebron James and say he went about the situation the wrong way, but in fact he did nothing wrong except make his announcement public and making it larger than life. Fans made his announcement a large scandal along with Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert, but unlike Dwight Howard, Lebron James did not make any public promises to stay in “X” city.

Dwight Howard on the other hand, has gone on record with Yahoo Sports as well as other news wires stating he wants to be traded, he only wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, he was black mailed by the Orlando Magic among other spastic unprofessional statements. These statements cannot be erased in the minds of Fans, GM’s, CEO’s, and current/future teammates.

From an outside perspective, many fans and analyst wonder why his camp or business manager are and why they have not stepped in. More so then ever, Dwight Howard needs his team to step up and make things better in the public eye.

The glaring question here is, Can Dwight Howard rebuild his image after the roller coaster year and a half? 

The Answer is Yes, but this must be done strategically. Take a look at Tiger Woods and Michael Vick and you will see that an athlete with Top notch skill can recover their image with the right moves.

Steps to Rebuild Dwight Howard’s Image

  1. Take to Twitter and publicly apologize to fans and the Magic organization (Dwight Howard has not tweeted since April 20, 2012.)
  2. Tap back into what brought you millions of fans- Your goofy, lovable personality (Take pictures via Instagram and Twitter)
  3. Team up with Adidas on making a new commercial that highlights your career along with your love-able personality. (help remove the villian label)
  4. After the fans begin to gain acceptance, Make appearances in Orlando to give back to the community (i.e. Non-Profit Coffee Shop Credos is in need of a New Expresso maker and they have done amazing things through the community, Great Partnership)
  5. Release a Video of some impressive dunks you have worked on over the summer (reminding fans of your skill, not your statements)

At the end of the day, he has got to return to the Dwight Howard fans came to love 2 years ago. Fans have quickly forgotten he was the Slam Dunk Champion, The Premiere Center in the NBA, Sprite’s and Adidas Premiere Athlete, as well as the iconic Superman. Unfortunately, fans have a short memory and its time for the Dwight Howard to rebuild his fan base and credibility with GM’s and CEO’s.

<<<<If you are needing to rebuild your clients brand, contact Anthony Fernandez by call 407.476.4387 or fill out this Short Form

Introducing Titanic 3 aka The Orlando Magic Organization

I am putting on my Skip Bayless hat on and looking at how the Magic have once again proven they are not ready to make Orlando a Basketball City. They time and time and make risky picks in the NBA that prove to be NBDL talent, not NBA talent.

The team over at Orlando Pinstriped Post recently put out an article Reviewing the Picks of The Orlando Magic and Former GM Otis Smith. Based on the results, it was clear The Magic and Otis consistently misjudged talent as well as took risk on players that had not proven themselves against elite players.

Well Come June 28,2012 the Magic had a chance to rewrite the books by drafting an elite player that has proven himself like a Jared Sullinger and they decide to pass on him for a unproven player by the name of Andrew Nicholson. I do not doubt the pick was well calculated, but at the same notion, he is not going to draw in fans nor does he fit with the Magic system. With the New Arena in place and fans tired of Dwight Howard’s soap opera, The Magic could of put an end to the sicking ship. The 2012 NBA Draft proved to be another reality check that the Magic have not progressed when judging talent nor judging what it takes to draw in fans.

What Magic Front office doesn’t realize is that Businesses in Orlando rely on the fans to attend games so they can capitalize on the traffic before and after the games. These businesses took calculated risk to position themselves within walking distance of the arena.. and how do they deliver? By drafting less than proven talent to the team as well as offering Ryan Anderson a qualifying offer which thereby gives them the right to match any offer the 24-year-old receives in free agency.

The Magic must realize it is time to get rid of the cancerous Dwight Howard as well as trade Ryan Anderson who has reached his potential and is now an extremely valuable piece to another organization. Its time to truly restructure the team as well as the marketing for this team. There is no reason why the City of Orlando cannot be the Basketball Mecca.

Here is a Quick Look at the Previous Years Picks: 

2006 J.J. Redick Pick #11
2007 Milovan Rakovic Pick #60
2008 Courtney Lee Pick #22
2010 Daniel Orton Pick #29
Stanley Robinson Pick #59
2011 Justin Harper Pick #32
DeAndre Liggins Pick #53

 

Potential Endorsement Possibilities for Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin Endorsements

After recently reading about Jeremy Lin’s trip to Taiwan for his Youth Basketball Camp , it had me thinking reflecting on the growth of his career as well as his current marketing potential.

Many NBA fans were unaware of his abilities, until he got the opportunity to take center stage for the New York Knicks where he flourished and showed the world that he is a reputable Point Guard in the league.

Knicks fans flocked to pick up his jersey after he came off the the Knick bench and scored 25 points against the Nets on Feb. 4.

The former Harvard University player went on to become a starter and an instant fan favorite by leading the Knicks on a five-game winning streak.

One of the most compelling parts of Jeremy Lin’s rise to stardom was the unveiling of his love for sofas. According to Reports, he was sleeping on Landry Fields’ sofa as well as  crashing on the couch in his brother’s Lower East Side apartment.

After reading these reports, my initial thought was, ” Where are the International Furniture organizations?! This is the time to sign him for an endorsement deal or sponsorship. For the first time in sports history, we have a player talking about sleeping on a couch and making it appear “cool”.

The first company that came to mind was Ikea. A international furniture company that could really benefit from having a star like Jeremy Lin representing the brand.

This partnership still can be a match made in heaven, I believe time will tell in Ikea or another international furniture store will make a move for Jeremy Lin.

You can keep up with Jeremy Lin by follow him on twitter at:  http://twitter.com/JLin7

If you company is interested in booking an athlete for an appearance or endorsement, contact AthletePromotions.com.

If you have questions regarding this post, Feel free to email me at Anthony@athletepromotions.com

 

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