Friday, May 28, 2010

Nike using World Cup to its Advantage

By Stefen Lovelace

We’re just two weeks away from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the event is generating tremendous excitement all over the world. Even here in the US, people that normally aren’t avid soccer fans are starting to pay attention.

Nike, which is arguably the most recognizable sportswear and equipment supplier in the world, is already utilizing the attention being paid to soccer to its advantage. In the past week, Nike has been running this commercial below, which features some of the best soccer players in the world.

This is a great way for Nike to market its company. What makes this such a smart move is that Nike isn’t even a sponsor of the World Cup. Rival company Adidas is actually a partner of FIFA, but after seeing commercials like Nike’s, average fans might assume Nike has more affiliation to the event than Adidas.

When actual World Cup games are played, I’m sure Adidas will become more of a marketing factor, but it’ll be interesting to see if Nike does some ambush marketing, during the games. This will allow fans to continue to associate Nike with the top professional soccer in the world, without Nike having to pay the fee to be an official sponsor.

The World Cup is one of, if not the, biggest sporting event in the world. Like most sporting events, Nike plans on capitalizing on it.

Stefen Lovelace is an Associate Account Executive. Contact him at

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Baltimore to Host Manchester City and Inter Milan Soccer Match

By Abby Draper

It was a very exciting day today for Baltimore area sports fans! This morning, M and T Bank Stadium hosted a press conference to announce that the Manchester City Football Club will play Football Club Internazionale Milano, commonly known as Inter Milan, in a soccer game on July 31.

Attendees were greeted by Kevin Byrne, Senior VP of Public and Community Relations for the Ravens, who couldn't have been more excited about the event. Byrne then introduced Roy Sommerhoff, Vice President of Stadium Operations for the Ravens, who reminded us that last year, M and T Bank Stadium played host to a historic event as two of the world's elite soccer clubs, AC Milan and Chelsea, faced one another in Baltimore. That game brought more than 70,000 fans, proving that the worlds game was well received in Baltimore.

Dick Cass, President of the Ravens enthusiastically welcomed the "other" football back to Baltimore and introduced us to Mike Frenz, Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority. Frenz talked about the economic impact of having the teams in Baltimore this July, by stating

"Having another international soccer match in Baltimore is a huge win for the entire city as the game will generate significant economic impact for our attractions, hotels, restaurants and other downtown businesses."

Next to the podium was Terry Hasseltine, Director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing who discussed the cities interest in positively enhancing our World Cup bid efforts for 2018 or 2022 by hosting Manchester City and Inter Milan teams.

Kevin Healey, the President and General Manager for Baltimore Blast and President of the Baltimore Rays shared his knowledge of soccer and reminded us that Inter Milan has already won both the prestigious Italia Serie A title and the Coppa Italia this season and will face FC Bayern Munich May 22, for the UEFA Champions League Final, the culmination of Europe's most prestigious annual club soccer competition. The game will be broadcast live at 2:30 p.m. EST on FOX Sports Net.

The conference ended with an awesome video from Manchester City's Director of Football, Brian Marwood.

We are elated to be part of such a great even, and can't wait to watch this game right in Baltimore!

Abby Draper is the Manager of Social Media. Contact her at

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Social Media Platform for Nonprofits

By Abby Draper

We are fortunate to work with several incredible nonprofit organizations at Maroon PR, and we know first hand how much effort needs to be put into fundraising and awareness in order to be successful. That being said, we are excited to learn about an awesome new site that provides the opportunity to create a personal fundraising page to share through social networks, while winning points and prizes along the way.

On Wednesday, actor Edward Norton developed Crowdrise - a website dedicated to charity fundraising. As an active philanthropist, Norton understands the value of social networking and took it upon himself to create a platform for those interested in sharing their cause.

“People use Twitter or Facebook because it's a way to share their personal narrative but we wanted to give people a platform to say, these are the causes I care about, I am volunteering and sponsor me," Norton told Reuters in an interview.

"We wanted it to be something with the substance of activism and engagement but the fun, ease and dynamism of social networking."

Crowdrise offers its members the opportunity to start fundraising projects, get their volunteer projects sponsored, donate money and promote their own charities. When you become a member you earn points for doing different things. For example, by signing up you earn 500 points, and for every $1 you donate, you earn 10 points. These points are used to win prizes like a new Mac Book, or to earn “royalty status” in the Crowdrise community.

Several other celebrities have joined the Crowdrise community as well. The list includes actor Seth Rogen campaigning for Alzheimer's, Will Ferrell raising money for Cancer for College, and Russell Brand supporting the David Lynch Foundation.

While the site is still new and growing, it provides an engaging and exciting platform for anyone interested in nonprofit organizations and volunteering to be involved. We are really looking forward to taking advantage of all Crowdrise has to offer.

Abby Draper is the Manager of Social Media. Contact her at

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Twitter used to Help those in Nashville

By Abby Draper

Last weekend, Tennessee was hit hard by the greatest rainfall in recorded history, causing a devastating flood through Nashville and areas nearby. While this tragedy has been covered on news stations, social media has provided timely insight into the disaster, and has been the main platform used to donate items to its victims.

Members of the community have shared their experiences through blogging, tweeting, uploading photos and uploading videos online. Blogs have come from homeowners who have watched all of their belongings drown in the water, as well as those employed in the area worried about a source of income. Tweets describe real time feelings about what is being witnessed, and are sent out for friends and loved ones to read. Photos and videos provide a visual of the damaged roads, buildings and cars.

Nashville is home to country music, and many country music stars are using their social media networks to raise money, and donate items to those who are suffering in Tennessee. Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and many others have been actively tweeting how and where to send your donations. The three of them combined have nearly two million followers, and with their tweets they are reaching an enormous audience solely through social media.

Social media is mostly recognized for sharing news, videos and connecting to an online community. Like the earthquakes in Haiti, the tragedy in Nashville proves that social media can have an even stronger purpose, by helping millions of people in need when utilized correctly.

To donate to Nashville, click HERE.

Abby Draper is the Manager of Social Media. Contact her at

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

USA Today's Great Twitter Campaign for Nonprofits

By Andrea Kunicky

I’ve gotten more involved with Twitter recently, learning new and interesting ways to connect with people and find up-to-date local and national news. While tweeting one morning, I came across information from @USATODAY on a campaign for nonprofits. Since we work with a good amount of them, I decided to look into it. Their Kindness Community Blog started a campaign called “#America Wants”, where the top tweet-getting charity would receive one full-page, full-color ad in USA Today!

From April 13 until April 16, we worked with our client, The Moyer Foundation - the nonprofit organization of MLB Pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife Karen - and Nology Media, a Social Media Management company in Seattle who works on the social media efforts for The Moyer Foundation. They worked heavily all week long on posting tweets and retweets to reach out to the Foundation’s supporters on Twitter. We tweeted and retweeted from our personal accounts and key media members that we have relationships with also retweeted the information. When it was over, we were all very excited to find out the results and where we ended up on the list. Out of 500 charities that were involved in this campaign, The Moyer Foundation landed at No. 16 on the list! To Write Love on Her Arms (TWOLHA), a wonderful nonprofit dedicated to helping people with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide, ended up winning the contest.

In just a few days, 67 million people on Twitter helped their favorite charity by sending out over 60,000 tweets. From working on the campaign, it clearly shows how much nonprofits and social media together are growing by the minute. Hopefully, more campaigns like this will be developed, so we can create increased awareness for the organizations that we care most about.

Andrea Kunicky is an Associate Account Executive. Contact her at

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