Category: Insight

Can Hockey and Basketball Gain Some Ground?

It’s no secret that professional football and baseball reign supreme in American sports. After that, NCAA football engenders the most fan loyalty – and cash. As far as pro sports go, each year, the NBA and NHL battle it out for which professional sports league will be Number Three With a Bullet. This year, more than any in recent memory, both leagues have a chance to gain even more ground than that. Ask any basketball or hockey fan and they will tell you one good game is all it takes to get hooked. The fast pace, athleticism and artistry are more than enough to get past the confusing rules and unfamiliar names. See a truly epic contest or championship series…

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Annie Leibovitz Stealing the Spotlight

Annie Leibovitz is famous in her own right, but far more people know her name than can tell you why she is famous. Yet, there is no doubt that Leibovitz is famous…and that she has earned her fame. Her story is a strong example of the PR power of practicing your skill close to the flame of fame. Most recently, Leibovitz was the figure behind the camera that produced the Caitlyn Jenner cover for Vanity Fair that lit up both traditional and social media. Even though the main conversations were about “Caitlyn,” nee “Bruce,” in nearly every conversation, report or newscast mentioning the cover, Leibovitz also had her name mentioned. Extensive work and planning went into shoot dynamics and tactics.…

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Clinton Under Fire for Association with African Church

When you run for president, everything is under the microscope. So it’s likely that Hillary Clinton’s campaign team saw this coming. But the string of revelations and allegations about dubious charitable dealings cannot be good for the candidate’s campaign. But now it’s gotten worse for the former Secretary of State. Until now, the allegations of charitable wrongdoing or malfeasance were easy for supporters to laugh off as dirty politics. Sure, the opposition in the media and on the campaign would get their shots in, but there was no proof to any of the alleged wrongdoing that tied it directly to Clinton. But this latest round of allegations has been proven, and this time, it’s Hillary’s supporters that are upset. According…

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NFL Cheerleaders use PR Pressure for Better Pay

It’s been a dirty little secret that everyone knew but pretty much ignored for years. NFL cheerleaders are paid next to nothing, particularly when their earnings are measured against anyone else wearing the brand and colors of the team they represent. But, that may be about to change. NFL Cheerleaders File Lawsuit Last year, a group of Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed a lawsuit against their team and the NFL. In part, the suit alleges the cheerleaders were not properly compensated for game performances, beyond “free tickets and parking passes.” Nor did they receive anything in exchange for attending practices and many promotional appearances. In fact, according to the suit, the “Buffalo Jills” were paid as little as $100 for an…

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Marlins Frustrate MLB Fans

When your favorite sports team advertises a major charity event hosted at their ballpark, it’s reasonable to assume at least some active team members will make an appearance. Reasonable, it appears to everyone but the Marlins organization. Good Ideas Are Only The Beginning It started off as a good idea, but the execution resulted in a ridiculous unforced error. In theory the annual “Fish N Chips” event gives Marlins fans a chance to mingle with players and play some fun casino style games, all for a good cause. However, this year, only coaches and new team manager Dan Jennings showed up. No players made it. It may have been just a simple embarrassment, except that donors attending the event were…

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Gene Simmons on Brand Development

If there is any band in music that understands brand development, longevity and merchandising, it is KISS, and, for that success they can largely thank Gene Simmons and his personal PR campaign. Loud, brash and brazen in concert, Simmons – aka The Demon – is also a reality TV star and marketing genius behind much of KISS’s plethora of swag, mementos, and souvenirs. What is it about Simmons that makes him so successful? Gene Simmons Net-Worth Continues To Rise First, nothing is ever good enough. When asked why he keeps going, even with a net worth reportedly exceeding $300 million, Simmons is quick to answer, “I’ll never stop hunting more money. I’ll never have enough. Life is business … I…

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Amtrak’s Crisis PR Is Off The Rails

Days after the deadly Pennsylvania Amtrak crash while investigators are still trying to sort out what happened, the rail line is trying to pick up the PR pieces. The crisis PR has not been good – and that will continue to be an uphill battle. Already tiny factoids are popping up on social media comparing airline travel and rail travel. The main question being asked by investigators is “why did the train speed up when it was supposed to be slowing down.” According to reports, when approaching a curve rated for no faster than 50 mph, the train, which had been traveling at 70 mph, sped up to more than 100 mph. At this point, investigators say they are unclear…

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Marketability: Winston vs. Mariota

A recent USA Today article compared the two top picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, Marcus Mariota, and Jameis Winston. The comparison was not about on-field skill, however. Ronn Torossian says this head to head matchup is even more important to the business of football. That comparison? Marketability or, to put it more bluntly, which QB can bring more cash to the organization and himself by way of sponsorships and merchandise sales. With untold hundreds of millions on the line, this is a vital PR consideration. And, even with the draft over, this aspect of the quarterback competition is still a raging debate. In order to gain some semblance of the upper hand in this debate, prognosticators use something called…

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Pope Working on Vatican Bank PR

When you think about public relations in the banking industry, you might think of patriotic commercials, earnest-looking tellers and clean-cut guys in pinstripes waiting to “earn your business.” But, would you expect any of those folks to wear the robes and crown of the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church? Probably not. Well, Ronn Torossian says, think again because the Pope is now in the game of banking PR. Recently, Pope Francis gathered with a host of cardinals to discuss the financial health of the Holy See. There were—flowcharts, spreadsheets, graphs and PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint in the Vatican? Yep. Congrats Microsoft, you have papal approval. While it’s really no secret that Vatican finances have been growing through a rough…

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Sainsbury Chief Headed to Jail

Things just went from bad to much, much worse for Mike Coupe, head of British supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s. Coupe was just handed a two-year jail sentence in Egyptian courts for “attempting to seize checks from Egyptian businesses sixteen years ago. At the time, Sainsbury’s was trying to break into the region. According to reports, Egyptian courts said they convicted Coupe because he is the most senior employee of the company. When Coupe chose to skip the trial, he was convicted in absentia. The conviction won’t mean much as long as Coupe steers clear of Egypt, but, even still, the conviction is a prime example of how unfair both legal and public relations issues can become. Unfair? Yes, definitely. How else…

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