Picks of the Week: May 7, 2017
Account Coordinator, LIVE
San Rafael '71 targets marijuana users.
In February, Medical Cannabis producer MedReleaf launched the brand San Rafael ’71, aimed at appealing to the recreational marijuana user. The name is a reference to the origins of the term “4:20″ in cannabis culture: a group of high school students in San Rafael, California, would meet at 4:20 p.m. as part of a plan to search for a marijuana crop rumoured to be hidden in their town. To compliment the launch, MedReleaf partnered with Toronto’s Amsterdam Brewing to co create the San Rafael ’71 4:20 Pale Ale. This was revealed to the public at a series of parties featuring Bob Marley and Allman Brothers cover bands. While the beer itself doesn’t contain cannabis, the advertising does a good job to draw association. Most recently, San Rafael ’71 and Amsterdam Brewing announced that they would be “joint” presenting sponsors of Canadian Music Week in Toronto. With the legalization of recreational cannabis on the horizon, brands like MedReleaf must look to move away from medical association and create a brand persona. San Rafael ’71 is certainly innovating in the space and has leveraged a well-known local brewery not only to drive brand awareness but to begin changing the overall narrative of cannabis use through the association with alcohol. As regulations begin to dictate how cannabis companies advertise, it will be interesting to see how brands obey or find creative ways to bend the rules.
Account Coordinator, LIVE
Fitbit partners with Google
Fitbit has announced their new partnership with Google on a digital healthcare initiative. Google has worked to established themselves in the healthcare field with the growth of their Cloud Healthcare API platform with a goal of better data flow and increasing accessibility. Google is hoping to foster a platform of discovery and innovation through artificial intelligence and machine learning. Fitbit will be integrated into Google’s initiatives through data collection from their devices. Fitbit users will have the opportunity to link their device data to their medical records, providing healthcare workers access to holistic individualized information.
Over the past year, Fitbit has been integrating themselves into the healthcare field and away from a simple step and calorie counter. The company has expressed the two downfalls that they see within the healthcare industry; the ineffective use of technology and the inability to engage with consumers which is where they see opportunity for growth. Fitbit already has their hand in a variety of healthcare initiatives outside of their recent partnership with Google including donation of 10,000 devices towards a federal research study, involvement with a female health tracking initiative as well as seeing their devices contributing to data collection in over 470 published research studies across a variety of healthcare topics. As Fitbit attempts to recover from losses, they are attempting to diversify their revenue streams and redefine themselves as a hybrid company.
Account Manager, Consulting
The Jr. NBA World Championship strikes a deal with FOX Sports.
In late December 2017, the NBA announced the creation of the inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship to be held August 7-14, 2018 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The U14 tournament features both boys and girl’s divisions with the fields comprised of 16 regional champions (eight U.S. teams and eight international teams) which will compete for the global crown. To help promote the tournament, the NBA/WNBA enlisted stars Dwyane Wade and Candace Parker to be the faces of the championship. Just last week, news broke that the tournament struck a deal with FOX Sports to air 16 live tournament games across FS1 and FOX as well as having every game available to stream via the FOX Sports app.
Mark Silverman, President of National Networks at FOX Sports, said the following about the acquisition of rights “We jumped at the opportunity to partner with the NBA on this unique event... The NBA’s stars of tomorrow — the next Dwyane Wade or Candace Parker — might get their first big turns in the spotlight with us, right here at Fox Sports.”
While bets on a new property have some inherit risk, there is intriguing upside for FOX Sports, the NBA and potential sponsors with the inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship. For the NBA, this tournament has several key upsides. Firstly, it helps increase both international NBA fandom and take-up of the game which could lead to new revenue sources outside of North America (TV rights, merchandise, sponsorship). It also helps them target priority markets of India & China (both countries get their own team while Europe and South America only get 1 each). Lastly, in the long-term, it helps decrease the talent inequality between nations and allows for more relevant revenue driving national tournaments (i.e. FIFA World Cup). For FOX Sports, this is a new tournament that will help to showcase young stars that aren’t that far off from college basketball or the NBA. It will allow fans to get a first look at both North American and International Talent and should command high viewership numbers. In terms of potential partners, this event will likely draw younger fans and families and could fill a similar space as the Little League World Series who is partners with several companies with products that cater to families (Kellogg’s, Sun Products etc.). This could be a lucrative spot for the tournament to live in as the LLWS has both a large television deal with ESPN and several long-term blue-chip partners.