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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Brand Safety and Intentionality

Brand safety matters, where it the wallet. Strong opinions stoke strong reactions, but in the ad world, brand safety talks

We absolutely are seeing dollars move our way for that reason, particularly on YouTube, given we’re the largest brand-safe publisher on most, if not all, the leading platforms,” a BuzzFeed rep said. Advertisers don't want to support adversarial rhetoric. 

Forbes discusses brand awareness. "Start by developing an intentional mindset focused on showcasing what you are really good at, problems that you solve, and recommendations from customers." They add, focus on the most important factor necessary to maintain a healthy business and personal brand: providing a great customer experience."

How does that affect the NBA, NBA players, and college athletics? Are there teams or players who thrive as unsafe brands? 

Donald Sterling illuminated a toxic brand after recordings surfaced with his racist statements, leading to a lifetime ban from the NBA in 2014. The NBA acted swiftly to protect its brand

Leagues compare themselves with others. NBA President Adam Silver has staked out a strong position on free speech. "My job becomes is making sure they feel safe, frankly, on speaking out on issues that are important to them...we want them to be multidimensional people." Stern discusses non-discrimination, meritocracy, and respect for the game. "All CEOS...have no choice. It's an expectation...that they're going to take a position...there may be's my thought process." Silver teaches transparency.

Companies pitch their ability to represent and enhance players' brands to society. Athlete Brand Management informs us that "an NBA player can become a shining example of how a professional athlete should appear before the public and media." Schweizer and Dietl share detailed study on brand management and the athlete's branding life cycle. 

From Schweizer and Deitl. This parallels Stan Weinstein's four stages of market cycles. 

NBA players invest in their communities and their brands. LeBron James has committed to spending over 40 million dollars in education benefits to Akron-area students. His LeBron James Family Foundation sponsors many community programs. Kevin Durant has become a big player in Silicon Valley, not just for the Golden State Warriors. summarizes NCAA brand awareness with its flagship March Madness. "Get it right, and your brand awareness – no matter the target market – increases exponentially through multiple channels." 

Thirsty? Choose wisely. 

With billions at stake and scandal rising, the NCAA set up the Independent Commission on College Basketball. Yahoo documented some of the abuses within the federal investigation. Names of current college and NBA stars litter the report. And the bluest of the blue chip programs, Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky are not spared. 

Only time will tell where other coaching casualties fall. 

Everyone involved is scrambling to protect their brand. Our brands live within our Stoic purview. Stake a claim on controlling what we can control - honor, honesty, and perseverance. We can't know the long term consequences to players, coaches, and universities crossing ethical lines. But we do know how to measure them; follow the money. 


"Judge the shot, not the shooter." 

Chris Oliver shares shaping the accountability of shot selection.

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