PR and Marketing Industry Weekly Update - April 19

Welcome to our industry insider. Let’s take a look at all the big stories that went down last week that might be influencing this week.

Photo of David Soto

David Soto

Associate Director


The NBA will soon let you advertise on players’ jerseys.

The NBA will test out a three-year pilot program to allow teams to sell a corporate logo on their jerseys.

Why it matters: Soccer teams, racecar drivers and little league baseball teams have been doing it for years, but now the NBA is getting in on the sponsored jersey action. It will be interesting to see who ponies up to get their logo sewed on and how the fans will take to it. If the NBA test is successful, will the other professional sports follow?

Public Relations

Sprint CEO’s Tweet backfired.

Sprint Corp. CEO Marcelo Claure posted a clip on Twitter of a white woman describing Sprint’s rival T-Mobile as “ghetto.”

Why it matters: Before publishing social media content make sure it won’t be considered racist. You would think that we wouldn’t have to write that, but time and time again it seems that brands don’t have certain words and terms on a watch list when making content. Also as people complained on social media and threatened to cancel their Sprint service, other carrier swooped in with their social media accounts and offered to pay for them to switch. If your competitor stumbles, then try to benefit from their mistake.

AMC shortest- living idea ever.

AMC had to make a U-turn after suggesting that teens could text during films at some of their theaters. Many shot this idea down on social media, causing AMC to quickly scrap the idea.

Why it matters: Quickly adjusting your plans can be key to help prevent a fire from spreading. AMC listened to their audience and ditched the idea very quickly. Nice damage control. Plus, now we don’t have to deal with people texting while watching movies.

Digital Marketing

Was this the most exciting F8 Conference ever?

This year’s Facebook developer conference had loads of announcements for techies and marketers. VR cameras, a Live Streaming API and more were all cool announcements, but the big one for brands was the announcement that bots are coming to Messenger.

Why it matters: There are 900 million Facebook Messenger users out there. With the new Bots for Messenger feature, those users can interact with your brand without ever leaving the app. They will be able to buy flowers, find products and book flights anytime of the day with a bot that can respond like a customer service agent and sales agent. These bots could replace the 1-800 numbers.

Instagram’s new video channel is here.

There is a video channel added to the Explore section in the Instagram app.

Why it matters: If you have good video content that’s less than 60 seconds, you should have it on your Instagram account. This new channel means more people will discover videos outside of their circle of people they follow. If you are stuck on what works and doesn’t work on Instagram, head over to this channel to see what kind of videos are trending.


Coca-Cola shows off its new global packaging.

The new ‘One Brand’ packaging will be seen on Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Life.

Why it matters: Packaging is a big deal for industries like Coca-Cola’s. They are doing away with a “sub-brands” feel and going with a “variant” model. Now and then, it is good to revisit how your brand is “packaged.” If your products or services need a touch up in branding, keep in mind how they relate to all the other products and services you offer.

“What’s in a name?” the Czech Republic asks.

The Czech Republic is now known as “Czechia.” The leaders of the country hope the name change will increase its appeal among international businesses, professional sports teams and tourists in a way the country’s previous name never did.

Why it matters: This is another reminder that name changes are an option. If the elephant in the room is always your brand name, then maybe you should change it.


YouTube is now offering live, 360 video.

You will now be able to look around live sports matches, live concerts and other live events in 360 video.

Why it matters: 360 video is now starting to take off, and YouTube is raising the bar with live streaming. The technology to create and view this medium is getting cheaper so start thinking of ways to use this for product reveals and behind-the-scenes events.


Presidential candidates are buying Snapchat Geo Filters

Bernie Sanders’ campaign is the latest to buy and use Snapchat’s new Geo filters offering. The overlays are available only in New York and feature a “Vote for Bernie” call-to-action with a drawing of Mr. Sanders and the Statue of Liberty.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s audience is growing up and some of those heavy users are now voting age. Snapchat’s continuing search for new revenue channels means there are more options for marketers to reach the Snapchat community.


Who will buy Yahoo?

Bids are due today to buy the once internet giant.

Why it matters: Yahoo still boosts a billion monthly unique visitors and whoever buys it could affect how ads are bought. Whoever buys it, will get some great user data too.