Will Ultimate Be In The Olympics?

In 2015, Ultimate Frisbee was officially recognized by The International Olympic Committee as a sport. This got many people in the community excited to see ultimate in the Olympics. Is it actually possible?

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Russia and Doping


epa05017959 (FILE) A file picture dated 21 February 2014 of the Doping Control Station in the Laura Biathlon Center during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. On 09 November 2015 an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will publish a report on its findings of an investigation into allegations of widespread doping in elite Russian athletes.  EPA/HENDRIK SCHMIDT

A controversial topic these days is Russia and their use of doping. With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, athletes are under a microscope. Unfortunately for Russia, the microscope has been a rather harsh view into the expectations of Russian athletes. Looking at the 2014 results of doping violations, Russia led the way with the majority of doping violations (110). India was close behind with 91 violations in 2014. With that level of violations, is it considered unfair to review the majority of Russian athletes as it appears to be a countrywide accepted process?

Russia has barely kept any athletes in the Olympics as a blanket ban had been considered. Currently over 100 athletes have tested positive for doping and are currently banned. Putin feels that his athletes are being discriminated against as no other country has had such a high count. The appeal process has already started for several athletes that felt they had been unfairly targeted, such as Yuliya Stepanova, who had been a whistle-blower. Currently, any Russian athlete that has been associated with doping and Russia has been banned, which may seem unfair and unjust. For those athletes that have been unfairly banned, one can only hope their appeals are reviewed in a timely manner and get them back on their way to Rio.

File photo dated 23-02-2014 of The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag during the Closing Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 9, 2015. The London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles by the IAAF and the Russian federation, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission has found. See PA story ATHLETICS Doping. Photo credit should read David Davies/PA Wire.
Photo credit David Davies/PA Wire.

As stated above, India had 91 doping violations in 2014. Are their Olympic qualifying athletes under the same scrutiny as Russia? Belgium had 71 violations, which is still no laughing matter. It will be interesting to see the total count of banned athletes for doping and their home countries.

To dope or not to dope? That shouldn’t even be a question. It’s the Olympics. Take pride in  yourself and your skills.






Merging of Global Beer Giants

On July 20th, the US Justice Department approved the sale of SABMiller to Anheuser-Busch InBev for over $100 billion. On July 26th AB-Inbev upped their offer slightly and is offering an 8% premium to fair market value. US antitrust approval is one of the last major steps, after receiving similar approval in Europe and South Africa. Similar consent from the Chinese government is the last hoop to jump through. They are expected to close the deal later this year. The deal requires SABMiller, a British company, to sell off their US subsidiary MillerCoors. AB InBev, a Belgian company, isn’t able to own MillerCoors. Combined with AB-Inbev’s Anheuser-Busch holdings this would create a monopoly over the US beer market. Just look at the charts below, these two companies dominate the US market.

Data from IRI
Data from IRI

InBev and MillerCoors own most of the top 15 beers in America. Many of the brands you love to drink are owned by InBev or MillerCoors.







The SABMiller and AB-Inbev merger is mostly about global beer markets, not American. US sales represent about 30% of AB-Inbev’s current revenue. This move would reduce their dependence on American beer drinkers. AB-Inbev is especially eyeing SABMiller’s African brands. AB-Inbev has been unable to create a foothold for their own brands on that continent.  African beer sales are up 11%, and Indian sales are up 9%, showing growth and possibilities, where the US market is getting increasingly competitive.

From AB-Inbev: https://www.globalbrewer.com/
From AB-Inbev: https://www.globalbrewer.com/

In the US market AB InBev has focused their growth into buying up many craft breweries and pushing their distribution nationally. They recently purchased 10 Barrel, Elysian, and Goose Island. They also own a stake of Craft Brewers Alliance which brews Widmer, Red Hook, and Kona.

Beer Graph 3
Data from IRI

It is not hard to see why. Craft Beer has been the largest growing segment in the industry for the last few years. Market share of premium beer (ex. Bud Light) has dropped from 42% in 2010 to 35% in 2014, while craft beer has increased from 9.4% to 15.4% over the same period. Even with ads like below, their is considerable attention on the Craft Beer segment.

One of the conditions of the merger placed on AB-Inbev by the Justice Department, is a restriction on the purchase of more craft breweries. Now AB-Inbev has to seek Justice Department approval before the acquisition of future craft brewers for the next 10 years.

Beer Graph 4
Data from IRI

AB-Inbev has seen sales in the US drop with the rise of craft and Mexican beers (AB-Inbev owns the Corona and Modelo brands outside of the US, but Constellation Brands sells it in the US). This merger is a slight acquiescence from AB-Inbev, foregoing further investment in the US, and turning their focus globally. If the merger is finally approved by all national trade organizations AB-Inbev will basically become the brewer for the world. They will control almost every popular local beer brand outside of the United States.

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10 Craft Beers Actually Owned by Budweiser


Even as Budweiser changed their name to “America” this summer, and ran a Superbowl ad teasing and taunting craft breweries, Bud’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, has been buying up small craft brewers and taking them national. AB-Inbev is making a push to expand their brand names and capitalize on the rising tide of craft beer in America,

1) Elysian Brewery (Seattle, WA) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2015


2) 10 Barrel Brewing (Bend, OR) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2014



3) Golden Road Brewing (Los Angeles, CA) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2015 golden-road-logo

4) Four Peaks Brewing (Pheonix, AZ) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2015 fourpeaks

5) Breckenridge Brewery (Breckenridge, CO) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2016download (2)

6) Goose Island Beer Company (Chicago, IL) – Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2010header-logo

7) Blue Point Brewery (Patchogue, NY) –  Acquired by AB-Inbev in 2013Blue_Point_Brewing_Company_logo

8) Shock Top (St. Louis, MO) – In house AB-Inbev Branddownload (3)


9) Redhook Brewing (Seattle, WA) – Owned by Brewers Alliance, AB-Inbev has a 35% ownership stake logo_gate

10) Kona Brewing (Kona, HI) – Owned by Brewers Alliance, AB-Inbev has a 35% ownership stake kona

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How to Support Local Artists

Jeep Culture at Risk

How to Support Local Artists

I am not a particularly crafty or creative person. I am not good at coming up with witty and artsy designs but one thing I can do is support artists that do that unique sense of design. Being an artist isn’t easy. Making a career out of being an artist is even harder. It’s especially harder when larger companies take advantage of struggling artists by offering them unreasonably low profits on their designs or even worse, when the larger companies completely disregard the artists and take copy their designs.

Take Urban Outfitters, for example. They are a larger, well known company…. That is also notorious for stealing others’ designs since 2010. They have had multiple accusations float to the surface. It is hard to be a struggling artist when a big fish such as Urban Outfitters is out there taking credit for someone’s designs.

sold out

It’s not just Urban Outfitters disrespecting the artists whose creativity is being taken advantage of. Currently, Zara has been copying an Indie artist’s designs and has gone as far as stating that essentially since Tuesday Bassan’s (the artist) worldwide reach is significantly smaller than theirs. So what they are saying, it’s okay to steal from someone who is smaller than you. Interesting.


Zara has been establishing themselves as thieves, beyond that of Tuesday Bassan’s artwork. When Tuesday Bassan spoke out online about her struggles with Zara, multiple artists spoke out about their own interactions with Zara.

Tuesday Bassan has spent $2000 in legal fees, just to have her lawyer write a letter to Zara. She is trying to stand up, not just for herself, but for other artists that are not able to stand up for themselves. Fighting a legal fight is not cheap and many artists are not able to defend themselves and their work from the Urban Outfitters and Zaras of the world.

What can you do to help?

First off, don’t support Urban Outfitters, Zara and any other company that is taking artists’ work and claiming it as their own.


Secondly, buy local. By going with local products, you are not only supporting smaller businesses which feed directly into your community, you are also taking away from the larger conglomerations that take advantage of the underdogs. Go to the Saturday markets. You can find a plethora of local businesses, especially in the summer time. Check out Etsy. Etsy is filled with independent businesses. Use your money to help build up the artists of the world.


Speaking of supporting local… Take a few minutes to read a couple of posts from a few local Oregonians.

Nike’s Newest Unique Marketing Venture: BIKETOWN PDX

The Jeep Wave, MPGs, and a Culture at Risk

Good Marketing Blogging: Kissmetrics










The Jeep Wave, MPGs, and a Culture at Risk

Kyle Battis from NHStrategicMarketing.com, captured the essence of Jeep culture with the “Jeep wave” that is now at risk due to government fuel efficiency standards that is changing the beloved Jeep Wrangler for the worse.

In 2012 the Obama Administration implemented standards that increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025.

I’ve owned six Jeeps since high school, and didn’t get passionate about the culture until I owned my first Wrangler in 2010. After experiencing my first Jeep wave, I was hooked. The Jeep wave is a ritual that is believed to have existed since some time after World War II, it is a part of the culture that creates a sense of belonging that you quickly realize you really miss long after your Jeep Wrangler is gone.

source: pinterest.com
Source: pinterest.com

As I sold that Jeep and moved on to another model (Grand Cherokee), I really missed the iconic Wrangler. I still got an occasional wave, but not like I did in my old YJ (95’ Jeep Wrangler), so I was in the market for another. In 2012, I picked up a four door Jeep Wrangler unlimited (JKU). It met the needs as a Wrangler owner, but also allowed me to fit the kids and their massive car seats.

One thing I quickly noticed was that this Jeep consisted of much more plastic than my older Wrangler, had more gears to shift through, and had a rather gutless 3.8-liter minivan motor. While I built this up for off-roading, each future model is forced to be engineered to meet strict standards and be lighter getting rid of things that make it a desirable off-roader (there were viscous rumors that they were getting rid of solid axles! What?!?!). In addition, as they evolve to have even more similar features to minivans, the appeal to soccer moms for transporting kids in a lighter fuel efficient Jeep will increase, and the Jeep cultural norms developed since WWII will decline one Starbucks espresso at a time.

I’ve noticed that majority of the newer Jeepers (latest model Wranglers), do not wave as often or wave at all!

Source: Wranglerforum.com

Will the iconic Wrangler rituals that create such a sense of belonging die or will Chrysler find a loophole in the law and continue to develop truly off-road worthy vehicles without sacrificing the Wranglers core values?

I’ve gone back to driving an older model (2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ) to stay true to the Jeep culture…more metal, more waves, more fun!

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Nike’s Newest Unique Marketing Venture: BIKETOWN PDX


Starting today, Portlanders are going to start seeing orange bikes everywhere. In a partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Nike is placing 100 new bike racks with 1,000 orange bicycles all over Portland. This new bike-sharing program, called BIKETOWN PDX, already has 1,000 people signed up for their annual membership.Nike_BIKETOWN_det_001_native_1600

This a huge marketing venture for Nike. The model has been tested and been successful in other cities. The largest bike sharing system in the US is called Citibike and is sponsored by Citi Bank. Nike is spending $10 million to sponsor the Portland program for the next 5 years.


The bikes are bright orange, reminding consumers of the bright orange boxes on the shelves of their local shoe store. All of the bikes have swooshes. 100 of the bikes are colored to look like some of Nike’s most famous shoe brands: Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Trainer 1, and the Nike Air Safari.

-c28a816bb017c17d nike-biketown-launch-bike-wraps-3613e2fadea3c496


How does it work?

1) First you join on your smartphone through a mobile app or on your computer through their website.

2) Choose your plan (see below)

3) They will send you a 6-digit account number and a 4-digit pin that you use to unlock the bike.

4) Then you ride around town.

5) Return to any Biketown bike rack, or you can lock it at any rack for a $2 fee.



A single ride is $2.50

A day pass is $12.00

Annual membership (90 mins of daily ride time, unlimited trips) is $12 a month.


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Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Can Play on the Same Team and Still Sell Sneakers

Pictures and Sources:




5 Marketing Lessons from HBO’s Silicon Valley

(Warning: Spoilers)


HBO’s Silicon Valley is a hilarious hit show that may, or may not, represent the real Silicon Valley. It just grabbed 11 nominations for the upcoming Emmy awards. It is no doubt great TV, however, within the show, there are real marketing lessons.

1) Be customer-centric not product-centric

Many innovators believe their products will sell themselves. A “build it and they will come” mind set. Most of the time this is not true.

Pied Piper created revolutionary compression software. However, it’s incredibly complex, hard to integrate, and all the work is behind the scenes and not visible to the consumer (Gourville, 2006).

2) Have Vision

Every company needs to be able to explain their product effectively and efficiently. It is important to provide an easily understood picture of your brand and demonstrate value to the customer (Gupta, 2014).

Throughout the series Pied Piper and Hoolie have trouble articulating the product to anyone who is not an engineer. They don’t have a good vision for the product they want to create, just the technical background specs.

3) Have a targeted marketing strategy

Michael Porter defines strategy as: “the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.” A good strategic position meets the needs of a targeted group of people.

Pied Piper doesn’t have a specific type of product offering, or demographic to sell to. Richard wants to serve all the needs of everyone. This is too broad, and is ultimately unsuccessful. Many of the problems they face with launching their company could be fixed with a targeted strategy (Porter, 1996).

4) Listen to Market Research

Unbiased, thorough, and strategic market research can help a firm segment their potential customers, and tailor their products to customer needs to create value (Dolan & John, 2015).

Pied Piper and Hoolie constantly believe their products are perfect. All of their market research (the little they do) tells them their products are too complicated, not user friendly, or not working properly, yet they don’t listen. Pied Piper sends their beta to only engineers, who love it, but the first few end customers that try it, are turned off.

5) Don’t Cheat

Just don’t.


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Good Blogging Review

Work Cited:

Dolan, R., & John, L. (2015). Marketing Intelligence. Harvard Business Publishing.

Gourville, J. (2006). Note of Innovation Diffusion: Rogers’ Five Factors. Harvard Business School, 2.

Gupta, S. (2014). Creating Customer Value. Harvard Business Publishing.

Porter, M. (1996). What Is Strategy. Harvard Business Review.


Good Marketing Blogging: Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is an online marketing firm that helps firms optimize, track, and analyze their digital marketing campaigns. They also run a helpful, insightful, and popular blog covering digital marketing topics. In learning about successful digital marketing the Kissmetrics blog has been a treasure-trove of information.

I’m going to analyze one blog post that stuck out to me: How Brands Can Take Advantage of Snapchat (infographic).

The post is written by Zach Bulygo (@zachcb1), the blog manager for Kissmetrics. This blog post is a very good example of a basic informational post. Writing about the basics of a topic can be difficult, especially for someone who knows a lot about how it works. Zach combines helpful text with an excellent infographic.

The Text:

Zach starts off by defining the audience that snapchat advertising is useful for: young adults 18-24. He also lays out some basic statistics about why Snapchat is a viable digital marketing medium, and should be part of any social media portfolio. Zach also sums up an important point to end the text:



The Infographic: 

The infographic steals the show. As a visual learner, it was pleasing, helpful, and entertaining. The infographic relays demographic information already discussed in the text, and adds more data. It gives examples of successful implementations of Snapchat from major companies such as Acura and Taco Bell. Thirdly, it gives the readers some examples of Snapchat uses: Contests, New Product Sneak Peaks, and targeted videos, among more. Finally, it sums it up with the best practices a company should undertake when starting a brand communication on Snapchat.


My one critique of the blog post is that the infographic felt buried. It was at the bottom of the post and I had to scroll down to find it. The infographic is visually appealing and interesting. As a frequent blog reader, it is possible that I could have missed it, because the extra step of scrolling through the post is one I often don’t take. Luckily this time I did however, because I was impressed with the visual representation of the blog.

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Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Can Play of the Same Team and Still Sell Sneakers

Steph Curry and Kevin Durant Can Play on the Same Team and Still Sell Sneakers

Currently, one of the biggest sports news stories is Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors, coming off a record setting 73-win season, just added one of the best 5 players in the NBA to already stacked roster.

Art: Bailey Brautigan, Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/02/14/the-nbas-endorsement-all-stars-2016/#2db05ded5096

Durant just signed a maximum contract with the warriors worth $54.3 million for two years. Durant also makes an amazing amount of money off the court: $36 million a year in endorsements. In 2014 he signed a 10-year deal with Nike to create a signature shoe worth about $300 million. Nike pitched to Steph Curry in 2013, but funny enough, they forgot to change the name of the presentation from Kevin Durant. Curry’s father Dell was quoted by ESPN talking about that Nike pitch meeting:

“I stopped paying attention after that… They have certain tiers of athletes. They have Kobe, LeBron and Durant, who were their three main guys. If he signed back with them, we’re on that second tier.” (Strauss, 2015)

Nike offered Curry less than $4 million a year. Curry signed with Under Armour (UA) and his signature shoe became the bestselling signature shoe other than Michael Jordan (Strauss, 2015). Curry has also signed many endorsement deals Including JBL, Brita, and Degree. His off the court earnings topped $12 million for the last season (Badenhausen, 2016).

Art: Bailey Brautigan, Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/02/14/the-nbas-endorsement-all-stars-2016/#2db05ded5096

Basically immediately after the news of Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors, speculation on how it would affect their shoe endorsement’s started flying.  For example, Yahoo NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted:

I’m going to argue this isn’t true. The KDs and SCs operate in separate spheres, appealing to different segments, and are going to work together to sell a lot of sneakers and make a lot of money. The signature market can be broken into four segments by how they use basketball shoes.

User Segment:

  • Functional
    • Care about the function use of the shoes to play basketball
  • Everyday Wearers
    • Want a shoe that they can wear all the time
  • Fashion
    • Fashion forward, wear the shoes for mainly for looks and brand
  • Collectors
    • Buy lots of shoes, first releases are important, not concerned with functionality

To analyze the difference in marketing strategy from Nike and UA, let’s look at the most recent release of each player’s signature shoes: KD 9s, and Curry 2s.

Looking at Nike’s strategy for the KD 9s, they are targeting primarily functional adult users. Watch the ad Nike released July 1st 2016:

The ad shows Durant driving to the basket making defenders turn to smoke. The purpose of the ad is to try and convey how the KD 9s will help you on the court. How the shoes will make you better as a player. Wearing the KD 9s isn’t necessarily about the “KD” on the back. Nike is creating shoes that are designed by Durant to be great basketball shoes. The other video released on Nike Basketball’s YouTube page to promote the KD 9s was just a discussion between Durant and the shoe’s designer, Leo Chang. Their conversation is mainly about the functionality of the shoe and its features

In contrast UA’s approach is not about the shoe’s functionality. They market the Curry 2s only based on the brand associated with Curry’s popularity and skill. The message is more: “if you like Curry, you’ll like these shoes.”

While the first KD 9 ad had no talking, the first Curry 2 ad starred Jamie Foxx narrating as Curry shoots jumpers. He talks about how Curry changed the game of basketball. There is no mention of what makes the shoes better. No features, no claims of basketball success attributed to the shoes. Just Curry being Curry. Curry’s other breakout ad was titled “Rule Yourself.”

It depicts 1000s of Steph Curry clones practicing dribbling and ends with the tag line “You are the sum of all your training.” Again, this is a very person-centric, not a shoe-centric ad. It is about work ethic and how you as an individual have control over your destiny. UA is primarily targeting Everyday Wearers. They are trying to convince people to buy Curry 2s to look and be like Curry.

This is also apparent in how they price the shoes. KD 9s start at $150, Curry 2s are $130. UA has consistently kept Curry’s signature shoe at a lower price than many of the other signature shoes. They are targeting an audience that is buying shoes for everyday use. These consumers are budget conscious. Nike is trying to sell people on the KD 9’s functional ability. These users, if they think the shoe will be the best for them to play basketball in, will pay extra for this advantage.

Because Nike and UA are targeting very different consumers with their shoes, I wouldn’t expect a lot of cannibalization between the two. Durant moving from OKC, a small market team, to Golden State, a big market team, will probably help him increase sales. When Carmello Anthony moved from Denver to New York City he saw a jump in sales (Powell, 2016). Basketball success also helps drive revenue, and the Warriors this year have a very good chance of being good. The top 5 bestselling jerseys in the NBA last year, 4 where in the finals this year: Curry, James, Bryant, Irving, Thompson. Although Curry’s Under Armour shoes are selling like crazy, remember Nike still rules the NBA. Until Under Armour can get a few more marquee signers, it is unlikely that his success will dampen the Nike who has 75% of all NBA players under contract.


Badenhausen, K. (2016, February 2). NBA Endorsement All-Stars. Forbes.


Powell, M. (2016). Sneakernomics: What Kevin Durant to the Warriors Really Means for the Sneaker Business. Maine: NPD.  https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/blog/2016/sneakernomics-what-kevin-durant-to-the-warriors-really-means-for-the-sneaker-business/

Strauss, E. S. (2015, October 7). You won’t believe how Nike lost Steph to Under Armour. ESPN.