Sports Ambassadors bringing in Winning Results for Sporting Goods Sales - (OTCQB: $GFTX) (NYSE: $NKE) (NASDAQ: $EA) (OTC: $NGTF)
Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC - August 8, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering food, cannabis and retail stocks releases a sector snapshot reporting on the influencer power of sports ambassadors partnering with companies to build consumer awareness and drive sales.
Recently both Business Insider as well as Forbes discussed the recent growth of sports brands globally, with a particular focus on US sports and the NFL and how they have rapidly increased in value over the past few years. "The values of sports teams have skyrocketed on the backs of ballooning media rights deals and more owner-friendly collective bargaining agreements that restrain player costs. There are 52 teams across all sports worth at least $2 billion, up from one, Manchester United, in 2012. The NFL is still the dominant sports league when it comes to the worth of its franchises. More than half of the top 50 are football squads."
This increase in influence and net worth is being noticed by many businesses looking to gain traction with their own brands and we are seeing more and more brand partnerships in a multitude of industries as a result.
Authentic Heroes, an innovator of collectible apparel and subsidiary of Global Fiber Technologies Inc. (OTCQB:GFTX) www.globalfibertechnologies.com announced a new partnership with IMG and its Football Greats Alliance (FGA), an organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of retired NFL athletes. The national partnership will introduce sports fans to a new line of Football Greats collectible apparel that will feature inspirational quotes from former players along with high-quality images, likenesses and historical authentication of game-worn jerseys.
Hall of Famer, Brett Favre, former quarterback of the Green Bay Packers will be the new partnership's inaugural featured player. Authentic Heroes will feature Brett Favre's name, number and likeness on their unique style of hand-crafted, limited edition fan wear, created by utilizing a patent pending process to extract fibers from an on-field, game worn jersey and then digitally encoding the fibers into fabric and incorporating them into a limited edition collection of jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies and other wearables, providing sports fans with a unique opportunity to own a piece of history.
"We are pleased to work with FGA and IMG to connect football's fan base with their favorite retired players," said Paul Serbiak, Authentic Heroes CEO. "Research has shown that fans want more selection of retired players' jerseys. Partnering with the FGA will provide unique collectible apparel products to sports fans nationwide, and we're honored to present them with the opportunity to celebrate these cultural icons," he added.
"We plan to accept pre-orders ahead of the actual release of the licensed articles. Due to the custom nature of our production process, this will allow fans to lock in their orders for a specific size," said Chris Giordano, President of Global Fiber Technologies, Authentic Heroes parent company. Global Fiber Technologies is an innovator in the textile fiber industry, focused on creating growth by developing and commercializing new technologies in selected areas of the industry.
Brett Weiss, Director of FGA stated: "We look forward to working with Authentic Heroes to create high-quality memorabilia products that celebrate the game's icons. The Authentic Heroes approach to licensed sports merchandise is a new and unique way to make on-field, game worn items accessible to a broader fan base."
The Brett Favre Apparel Collection will be one of the first Football Greats Authentic Heroes lines produced for the 2019-2020 season and will be available for pre-purchase at www.authentic heroes.com late summer 2019.
One of the more well- known brand partnerships with the NFL has been with Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) and there offering of emotionally-charged video campaigns including its 2018 "Dream Crazy" video starring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, and its 2019 "Dream Crazier" ad, an ode to sisterhood narrated by tennis champ Serena Williams.
In 2018, Nike got 464.2M views and 17.2M engagements for 240 cross-platform uploads, whereas only halfway into 2019 Nike's view count has already reached 83% of last year's total as this year the brand has earned 385.5M views and 17.5M engagements for 228 uploads.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) also looked to the NFL having announced the launch of the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 20 Championship Series (MCS). This year's MCS enhances the connection to the sport as all four Madden NFL Major tournaments occur during key NFL moments - the NFL Kickoff, the NFL playoffs push, the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. Additionally, official NFL partners Pizza Hut and SNICKERS© will serve as official MCS sponsors, heightening the connection to the League.
The Madden NFL 20 Classic occurs just days before the NFL season kickoff from August 30-September 1 and is an open registration format featuring the largest competitor pool in the history of this event. Held at Esports Stadium Arlington, the largest esports-dedicated facility in North America, the Madden NFL 20 Classic will air on the Madden NFL Twitch and YouTube channels.
In addition to the Madden NFL 20 Classic, fans can compete to represent one of the 32 NFL teams in the Madden NFL 20 Club Championship, December 18-21. Next is the Madden NFL 20 Challenge occurring January 30-February 1, during Super Bowl weekend. The Madden NFL 20 Bowl concludes the MCS season during the NFL Draft April 23-25.
"Last season was a monumental year for the Madden NFL Championship Series as millions competed and we achieved record viewership," said Matt Marcou, Madden NFL Competitive Gaming Commissioner. "In continued partnership with the NFL and its 32 clubs, we intend to accelerate player and spectator growth by aligning closely with the NFL calendar. Football fandom and Madden NFL engagement feed off each other and we're confident this connection will further inspire our players and spectators."
"We view esports as a key accelerant to growing the NFL. It enables new ways for young fans to engage in the sport through Madden NFL competition," said Rachel Hoagland, NFL Vice President, Head of Gaming & Esports. "Competitive Madden unlocks great potential as the authenticity it provides enhances engagement and the connection between our 32 NFL Clubs and football fans around the world."
NFL athletes are even partnering with less obvious brands such as Nightfood, Inc. (OTC: NGTF) a company that makes sleep-friendly nighttime ice cream formulated by sleep and nutrition experts, who recently announced its second celebrity custom flavor in a partnership with NFL superstar Richard Sherman.
Sherman plays for the San Francisco 49ers and is a graduate of Stanford known for his big heart and love of the spotlight. Entering the 9th year of his NFL career, he has made 4 NFL Pro-Bowls and 4 All-Pro Teams and earned the singular honor of being featured on the cover of the iconic EA Sports Madden video game while a member of the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.
"Richard is a tremendously influential future Hall-of-Fame player who, like most of us, enjoys a nighttime snack more than just occasionally," commented Nightfood CEO, Sean Folkson. "I believe his appeal to NFL fans and gamers of all ages will allow us to drive additional Nightfood brand awareness when his custom flavor is available in just a few months."
"Richard has been wanting to work with Nightfood for some time," commented Mitch Eisenstein, Sherman's manager. "Nightfood launching custom celebrity flavors is the glue that helped us bring the deal together at this moment in time."
Sherman was an early ambassador and investor in Body Armor, a successful sports drink company partially acquired by Coca-Cola last year. Like many transcendent athletes, he has his sights set on business after his playing days are over. With a vested interest in Nightfood, Sherman stands to profit greatly if Nightfood grows the way he believes it can in the coming months and quarters.
"Working with Sean and the team to bring my own flavor to market is exciting," added Sherman. "We're going to have some fun, raise some money for my charity, Blanket Coverage, and work together to make sure Nightfood realizes its brand potential."
Like his charity, Sherman's flavor will also be called "Blanket Coverage", fitting with the Nightfood naming convention of clever nighttime and sleep-related names for Nightfood flavors. A monsterized caricature of Sherman will grace the cover of the packaging for this new, sleep-friendly take on the classic butter pecan flavor.
As with Nightfood's other announced celebrity custom flavor with 5 Seconds of Summer guitarist Michael Clifford, a number of pints of Blanket Coverage will be marked as a "golden-ticket" type winner. A handful of lucky Nightfood customers win a special Richard Sherman experience, driving additional consumer purchases.
"Having a roster of big-time celebrities on our team certainly makes it easier as we continue to secure supermarket distribution and consumer awareness," noted Jim Christensen, Nightfood VP of Ice Cream Sales. "Our ability to attract such big stars also says something about the momentum we've created in the marketplace."
As sports teams gain more global influence we can expect to see more such partnerships from their players, especially those retired or in the process of retiring and looking to ensure their financial future. This focus on financial stability for retired athletes is becoming a great advantage for emerging companies looking to establish their brands quickly and add an already established fan/consumer base to their products.
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