Fantasy Five

Jul 14

Posted on
Jul 14, 2014

Fantasy Football is fun and serious business for many Thuzians in the New York office. And with the new season right around the corner, we’re starting to prepare for the BIG office draft.

Since bonus points are awarded for Thuzio Pros on our various teams, let’s take a look at a few of them, their fantasy production in 2013 and how that could change in 2014.

Antonio Brown: With Mike Wallace leaving for the Miami Dolphins, Antonio stepped up in a big way as the new go-to receiver for the Steelers. Brown had an incredibly productive 2013 fantasy season, scoring double-digit fantasy points eight times. He is expected to be Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target in 2014, ranked by ESPN as the #9 fantasy receiver for the upcoming year.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 1.10.06 PMRob Gronkowski: When he is healthy, Gronk is a top-three fantasy tight end, and definitely worth a high draft selection. In 50 career games, he has caught a remarkable 42 touchdown passes, but his injury history is a definite scare for some. In 2013, fellow Thuzio Pro T.J. Ward delivered the hit that ended his season prematurely.

Frank Gore: Gore has continued to defy father-time in recent years. Last year, he reached double-digit fantasy points in 10 games, scoring nine touchdowns along the way. Going into next season, ESPN only ranks him as the #19 running back, mainly because of the increased competition at the running back position in San Francisco. Expect Frank to continue to be a goal-line threat and still get a good number of carries though, so definitely take him if you are in a league where touchdowns are greatly valued.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 1.12.25 PMPierre Garcon: Pierre had a breakout year in 2013 from a fantasy perspective, as he was targeted 176 times and reached career high’s in catches and yards (113 and 1,346, respectively). This year, he is projected as the #14 wide-receiver, which is likely because the addition of speedster DeSean Jackson. However, Garcon is still worth a high draft selection, as he specializes in short yard passes, which should be a nice complement to the down field threat of Jackson.

Roddy White: Roddy had a rough 2013 outing, battling injuries for a majority of the season. However, when he was back at full strength in week twelve, he had a fantastic five game stretch to end the year, scoring 61 fantasy points, thanks to two games with 140 receiving yards. ESPN ranks him as the #18 receiver headed into 2014, but if his last few games of 2013 are an indication of the season ahead, he is definitely worth a draft selection between the 3rd-5th rounds.

What’s After The World Cup?

Jul 9

Posted on
Jul 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 9.29.23 AMThe U.S. Men’s National Team put on quite a show at this year’s FIFA World Cup. Some say it may forever change American fans’ attitude toward the game of soccer. But, now that the event is coming to a close, what do newly converted soccer fans have to look forward to? Surely we don’t have to wait another four years for highly competitive action on the pitch, do we? Well, look no further than the Women’s National Team, a group that is currently ranked #1 in the world in the FIFA Women’s fixtures.

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place next June in Canada where the US will work to avenge the devastating penalty shootout defeat in the 2011 final against Japan. With a loaded roster containing players like Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, and Abby Wambach, a deep run is expected for next year’s team.

Looking to activate around these stars? Many current and former U.S. women are a part of the Thuzio family, including captain Christie Rampone, three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather Mitts, and FIFA Female Player of the Century Michelle Akers. These U.S. Soccer icons can lead your local soccer team in a group coaching session, be the keynote speaker at your next corporate event, or accompany you and your favorite client and talk about their careers.

If interested in someone who is currently not in the Thuzio network, we encourage you to file a custom request for your corporate engagements or private bookings. If you want Hope Solo at your next company picnic, we will work to make that happen! Simply visit www.thuzio.com/custom-request or call 1-800-656-0930, and our Client Services Team will get back to you as soon as possible.

So, as World Cup fever slows down in the next couple of weeks, keep your eye out for the US Women’s team as they begin preparation for Canada 2015. And remember… I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!

Football Stars At Your Fantasy Draft? It Can Happen!

Jul 7

Posted on
Jul 7, 2014

It’s coming …

The 2014 NFL season and perhaps, just as important, Fantasy Football.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimates that 33 million Americans spend $467 per person (approximately $15 billion) playing the numbers. That number is more than the NFL’s annual revenue. It has fueled viewers to opt for the in-home experience over stadium viewing. It has also caught the eye of players past and present, who participate in Fantasy Football events through Thuzio’s online talent booking platform.

Below are some of the many football talent who offer a ‘Fantasy Draft’ product on Thuzio. With just a few clicks, fans can have a player partake in a league’s selection festivities.

Featured Talent:
Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 11.18.41 AMJay Glazer – $7,500
Few NFL experts are as tuned into what’s going on around the league as the FOX Sports insider.

Dexter Jackson – $500
Who better to hand out your fantasy league’s trophy than the Super Bowl XXXVII Most Valuable Player.

Louis Vasquez – $750
The Broncos All-Pro offensive lineman will be responsible with protecting most people’s top overall fantasy selection … quarterback Peyton Manning.

TJ Ward – $2,000
An underrated signing by Broncos, the All-Pro second teamer finished the year with 123 tackles, including one that ended the season of fantasy favorite Rob Gronkowski.

Ken O’Brien – $1,000
We’re betting that O’Brien has a few pretty good draft stories, specifically those from 1983.

Vince Papale – $2,500
Because Invincible. Also, Papale was the oldest rookie in NFL history, breaking into the league at age 30.

Morten Anderson – $1,000
Don’t forget the kicker when it comes to racking up those fantasy points, especially the NFL’s all-time scoring leader.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 4.27.48 PMMarcellus Wiley – $2,000
The former Pro Bowl defensive end and Columbia University graduate is currently the host of SportsNation on ESPN.

Daunte Culpepper – $1,000
The former Madden cover athlete and Vikings/Dolphins quarterback was a top pick in many fantasy leagues just a decade ago.

Eric Berry – $2,000
The 2013 Pro Bowler was also named as one of the league’s Top 50 players by the NFL Network.

Joique Bell – $1,000
Bell is truly a hometown hero, having played Division II football at nearby Wayne State University.

Joe Klecko – $4,000
With Klecko, the New York Stock Exchange meets the New York Sack Exchange.

Steve Weatherford – $3,700
The Giants kicker is a popular figure in the locker room and well liked on social media, where he consistently interacts with fans.

Mark Brunell – $750
If there is a Broncos fan that you just can’t stand, what better act as commish than to have Brunell share stories of a certain AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Mile High Stadium.

More Talent:
Kevin Gilbride – $1,500, Shaun O’Hara – $1,250, Darryl Talley – $1,000, Ricky Watters – $1,250, Denarius Moore – $1,500, Thurman Thomas – $5,000, Muhammad Wilkerson – $3,500, Joe Andruzzi - $1,000, Jarvis Green – $1,000, Chad Brown – $500, Joique Bell – $1,000, Nick Novak – $1,250, Albert Haynesworth – $1,000, Charle Garner – $500, Christian Okoye – $1,000, Cato June – $625, Jenny Dell $750, Nick Ferguson – $600, Max Lane – $800, Steve Nelson – $500, Terence Mathis – $625, Emery Moorehead – $1,200, Natrone Means – $600, Dorsey Levens – $1,250, Duce Staley – $750, Kevin Mawae – $1,500, Mike Quick – $1,500, Drew Pearson – $1,500, Steve Beuerlein – $2,000, Zak DeOssie – $1,250, Bart Oates – $1,500, Roman Oben – $500, Ray Lucas – $2,000, Bob Wischusen $1,000, Dick Stockton – $1,000, Isaiah Kacyvenski – $1,000, Heath Evans – $2,000, Anthony Becht – $500, Martin Gramatica – $500.

New Talent – June 30: Aeneas Williams, Daniel Murphy, Gio Gonzalez & More

Jun 30

Posted on
Jun 30, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.29.36 PM
This week’s new talent includes a member of the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, an MLB All-Star and a very popular member of the New York Mets.

Aeneas Williams
Williams only played one year at Southern University, but he clearly impressed NFL scouts enough to be drafted in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft. He immediately made an impact, too, playing in all 16 games for the Cardinals and recording six interceptions. Aeneas quickly established himself as Arizona’s top cornerback, leading the league in interceptions with nine in 1994. Throughout his career, Williams was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times, was a four time First-team All-Pro, and was the Bart Starr Man of the Year in 1999. After 14 seasons in the NFL and finishing with 55 interceptions, Aeneas retired. Later this summer, he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a well-deserved honor for one of the best shutdown corners in NFL history.

Gio Gonzalez
Gonzalez made his MLB pitching debut in 2008 with the Oakland Athletics, easing his way into the Big Leagues pitching in 10 games and 34 total innings. After a four-year stint with the A’s, Gio had his best season with the Washington Nationals in 2012, winning 21 games and posting an incredible 2.89 ERA. He even struck out 207 batters, good for fourth in the National League. His fantastic numbers earned him a trip in the pitching rotation at the 2012 All Star Game, where he pitched a complete inning, giving up no hits and striking out one hitter. In 2012, Gonzales created the Giving Individuals Opportunities foundation, helping medical patients who are in need of financial support.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.28.38 PMDaniel Murphy
Murphy has been with the Mets since his rookie season in 2008, originally playing in the outfield, and gradually transitioning to his current position at second base. Though not known for his power, Murphy led the Mets in home runs in 2009 with 12, proving he was ready for Major League pitching. In six seasons, he has compiled 749 hits, 45 home runs, 302 RBI’s, and hit for an average of .291. In 2013, Murphy proved to be one of the best offensive second basemen in the MLB, finishing second in the NL in hits with 188, and hitting for a .286 average. He even led the National League in stolen base success rate, stealing 23/26 bases. He is currently having a great season with the Mets, already with 94 hits and 30 RBI’s.

Brandon Phillips
Brandon made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians in 2002, but only played in over 100 games once in four years there. In 2006, Phillips found his form with the Cincinnati Reds, the team he still competes for today. Since joining the Reds, he has recorded 1,396 hits, 165 home runs, 156 stolen bases, and hit for a .277 average. He has even won four Gold Glove Awards, the Silver Slugger Award in 2011, and has been on the last three All-Star teams for the National League. In 2012, Phillips guaranteed he would be a Red for a little while longer, signing a lucrative contract extension through 2017.

Ahmad Dixon
A three-year starter at Baylor University, Dixon anchored the Bears defense at the safety position. In his sophomore year, Ahmad started in all 13 games, one of only nine players to do so, earning All-Big 12 honors and recording 89 total tackles along the way. After another excellent season in his junior year, Dixon was on another level during his senior year, earning a spot on the AP second-team All-America team. He was one of six Baylor players that earned a trip to the NFL Scouting Combine. He is considered one of the biggest steals in the draft, being selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Dominique Easley
This Florida Gator product played in 32 games in college, with 26 starts on the defensive line. When he was on the field, he wreaked havoc for opposing quarterbacks. In the 2012 Sugar Bowl against Louisville, Easley recorded five tackles, 3.5 of which were for a loss. Prior to his senior season, he was a consensus First Team All-SEC Selection, as well as on watch lists for the Lombardi, Bronko, and Outland Trophies. However, the team captain’s final season was taken away after suffering a tear in his ACL. Though his injury dropped his draft stock down, the Patriots saw his pure talent, and selected him with the #29 overall pick in the first round. If he can stay healthy, he will be a force on the Patriots defense for years to come.

Danny Ware
Ware played his college football at the University of Georgia, where he rushed for 1,486 yards and eight touchdowns in three years. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2007. After one year, he was picked up by the New York Giants, where he played for four seasons and won two Super Bowls. Ware last played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012, and is currently a free agent.

Kaleb Ramsey
Ramsey was a strong defensive lineman for Boston College, recording 90 tackles (15 for loss) and six sacks in 41 games. Known for his quickness off the line and pure strength, Kaleb bench-pressed 225 pounds 36 times at the Scouting Combine, the highest number among defensive linemen. He was selected in the seventh round (243rd overall) by the San Francisco 49ers, and should compete for a spot on the 49er defense if he can stay healthy.

Yawin Smallwood
Smallwood was a consistent force at linebacker for the Connecticut Huskies. After redshirting his freshman year, Yawin started all 12 games at middle linebacker, finishing second on the team with 94 tackles. He only got better during his junior and senior seasons, leading the team both years with 120 and 118 tackles respectively. After his senior year, he was named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team and was a Butkus Award Semifinalist. After a fantastic career, Smallwood was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, where he will look to make an immediate impact on a team that ranked 27th in total defense a season ago.

Ronald Powell
Powell was a five-star prospect and the #1 overall prospect at defensive end prior to coming to Florida. In his freshman season, he appeared in all 13 games and was named to the Freshman All-SEC team. In his sophomore season, he started 12 games for the Gators, recording a team-leading six sacks and 32 tackles. Powell finished his injury-rattled career with 11 sacks and 84 tackles (19 for loss). At the NFL Scouting Combine, he ran the fastest 40-yard dash out of all outside linebackers with a time of 4.65 seconds. He will continue his career in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, the team that took him the 196th overall pick in the 5th round.

Jaylen Watkins
Jaylen appeared in 48 games, starting in 28 of them, during his career at Florida. In 2011, he recorded 34 tackles and five pass breakups. In 2012, he won the College Football Performance Award in the fourth week of the season, after recording his first career interception and returning it for a touchdown against Kentucky. His final season was his best, playing both cornerback and safety, finishing with 52 tackles and seven pass breakups. After a steady career with the Gators, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jaylen in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Jordan Reed
This former Florida Gator entered college as a quarterback and came out a stud tight end. After a successful three-year career in Gainesville, Reed finished with 78 receptions for 938 yards and six touchdowns. Leaving with one year of eligibility remaining, Reed was taken in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. In his first season in the NFL, Jordan caught 45 passes for 500 yards and three touchdowns in just nine games. Reed was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team even after playing in a little over half the season.

Martavis Bryant
Martavis was one of Clemson’s best deep threats at wide receiver, averaging an astonishing 22.2 yards per reception, best in school history. In 2013, he played opposite Sammy Watkins and caught 42 passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns. In the Orange Bowl, he had four receptions, two for touchdowns. He was chosen as an Honorable Mention All-ACC selection by both the media and coaches after the 2013 season. Bryant finished his three-season career with 61 receptions for 1,354 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the tallest Steeler receiver drafted since 2008 standing at 6’ 5”.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 4.31.50 PMEric “Sleepy” Floyd
Sleepy was a gifted athlete and a star of the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team from 1978-1982. In his freshman year, he scored a record 480 points, scoring in double figures 26 times. He had an even better sophomore season, becoming the first Hoya to score 1,000 points in less than two seasons. He finished his career at Georgetown with 2,204 points, averaging 17.7 per game. He was taken in the first round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, where he played one season. He then signed with the Warriors, where he really made his stride. In the 1987 Western Conference Semifinals, Sleepy put on one of the best performances in playoff history. Facing a sweep at the hands of the Lakers, Floyd took over, setting NBA playoff records for points and field goals in a quarter (29 and 12 respectively), and points in a half with 39. Though he will forever be remembered for that one game, he had a wonderful career with the Warriors, averaging 17.7 points per game with Golden State. He eventually retired after 14 seasons in the NBA and is currently back home in Charlotte where he actively works in community service projects.

Hernán Cristante
Hernán Cristante was an Argentine goalkeeper that was part of Argentina’s Selección Nacional on three separate occasions (’89, ’92, 95). He played professionally in Argentina in 1990 and was later transferred to Club Toluca in Mexico in 1993. After bouncing from team to team, he returned to Toluca in 1998, where he played for 12 seasons. In 2007, he played his 500th professional game, and currently holds the record for most games played in the Primera División. He holds the record for longest time elapsed without giving up a goal (772 minutes). In 2004, he opened a sports training center where he currently helps develop young soccer talent in Mexico.

Marlon Byrd
Byrd first made it to the Major’s in 2003, and immediately made his presence felt as a member of the Phillies. He came in fourth in the Rookie of the Year vote, batting .303 with 86 runs scored. Throughout his 12-year career, Marlon has been a consistent hitter in the league, with a lifetime .280 batting average and a total of 1300 hits. He had his best season in 2010, recording 170 hits and crossing home 84 times, earning a spot in the All-Star game along the way. In 2013, he signed a two-year contract with the Phillies, returning to the place he started his career with more than a decade earlier.

Juan Lagares
This Dominican Republic product has been with the Mets organization since 2006, gradually climbing up the ranks in the Minor Leagues. He made his Major League debut in 2013, and proved he was ready for the big stage. The center fielder played in 121 games, had a Wins Above Replacement statistic of 3.7, and reached on a hit 95 times. Known especially for his defense, Lagares led all center fielders with 14 assists and 26 defensive runs saved in 2013. He is currently on track to have his best season, hitting for a .295 average.

How Brands Are Activating Baseball Stars In 2014

Jun 26

Posted on
Jun 26, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 2.58.37 PM
Ballplayers and brands have coexisted since tobacco companies used to manufacture baseball cards at the start of the 20th Century. In the 100 years that followed, candy bars were named after Babe Ruth (Baby Ruth) and Reggie Jackson (Reg-gie), Ted Williams would shill root beer, while Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux beefed up because ‘Chicks Dig The Long Ball.

Here are how brands are activating MLB stars in 2014, ranging from ‘The Captain’ in his final season, to a Triple Crown winner and ‘Big Papi.’

NIKE AND DEREK JETER
Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 2.59.40 PMIn February of 2014, “The Captain” announced he will retire after 19 seasons of donning the pinstripes. A five-time World Series champion and 13-time All-Star, Derek is a member of the Nike Jordan Brand family. Nike and Jeter have had a close relationship since 1997, when Derek was first coming into his own as a ball-player, making him the longest-tenured Jordan Brand athlete not named Michael.

Jeter has 12 signature cleats with the brand, the most signature shoes of any Jordan Brand athlete other than Michael Jordan. After years of thriving business between the two parties, Nike came out with a new line honoring Derek’s accomplishments and celebrating his final year. This new wave of apparel has the tag line, “RE2PECT”, paying tribute to Jeter’s #2 jersey and of course illustrating the level of respect Derek has from everyone in the sports world. Though the Yankee Shortstop will be hanging up his cleats after this season, you can bet his relationship with Nike won’t be over any time soon.

SONY PLAYSTATION AND MIGUEL CABRERA
Miggy has put up some unbelievable numbers in recent years, even becoming the first player to win the Triple Crown since 1968 with his play in 2012. After this feat, his earnings off the field went up 900% to $1.5 million, primarily because of his lucrative deal with Sony. One of Sony’s biggest brands, PlayStation, rolls out ‘MLB The Show’ annually, a game exclusive to the Sony console. Cabrera was selected as the 2014 cover athlete, an honor reserved for the best in the game. For the past two years, Miguel has been featured in sponsored videos promoting the game and showing fans how to “get better”, either with fun workouts or relaxing yoga, as seen here. Sony capitalized on Cabrera’s fun personality and his remarkable talent, a combination that makes him a wonderful spokesperson for their popular video game.

SIX STAR PRO NUTRITION AND GIANCARLO STANTON
With one of the fastest and most powerful swings in the league, “Gonecarlo” has earned quite a reputation as one of the best young players in the MLB. Known for his strength and impressive bat speed, it is only fitting that he is a primary spokesperson for Six Star Pro Nutrition, an up and coming line of supplements and workout boosts. Stanton can be seen in several videos on the Six Star website, including personal interviews about his family, workouts, and his journey to the professional stage. At just 22 years of age, Giancarlo is quickly becoming one of the brightest stars in the MLB, his success clearly attributed to his work ethic, strength, and perhaps even a few scoops of Six Star whey protein!

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MUSCLE MILK AND CLAYTON KERSHAW

Clayton is one of the class acts in the league, constantly giving back to the community and working to make the world a better place. With the help of his wife, Ellen, Kershaw founded Kershaw’s Challenge, a non-profit organization that works in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Zambia to help those in need. Clayton travels to Zambia every year, working to build children’s homes and provide opportunities for orphans in the African nation. When he is in season, Kershaw does not let up with his mission, and his partnership with Muscle Milk helps him do just that. For every strikeout Kershaw throws this season, Muscle Milk will donate $100 to the All-Star’s foundation. Clayton will also be featured in several marketing and advertising programs specific to Los Angeles since Muscle Milk is also a partner of the Dodgers. The star pitcher and Muscle Milk seem to have a great relationship forming, thanks in part to the company’s major commitment to Kershaw’s cause.

T-MOBILE AND ANDREW MCCUTCHEN
T-Mobile is the title sponsor for the MLB Game Changer Award, a fan-chosen honor given to baseball’s biggest game-changing moments of 2014. McCutchen is serving as a brand ambassador for the campaign, using his popular Twitter account to drive fans to vote for their favorite play each day. Andrew commented on the year long campaign: “I think it’s really cool that fans decide this MLB award, and I’m really excited to try to make that game-changing play that fans will want to vote for at the end of the day.” T-Mobile and McCutchen are game-changers in their respected fields, so this marketing tactic should prove to be very beneficial to each party in the eyes of consumers and fans everywhere.

SAMSUNG AND DAVID ORTIZ
Ortiz took one of the most famous “selfies” in history at the White House celebration of the Red Sox’ 2013 World Series Championship. David posed with President Barack Obama for a selfie with his own cell phone, something no one thought twice about until the next day. The day before the ceremony, Ortiz had signed a lucrative deal with Samsung, who re-tweeted the picture of David and the President to its five million Twitter followers, noting the photo was shot with a Samsung cell phone. It is unclear whether the selfie was an incentive in Ortiz’ deal, but since no one can prove anything for sure, it is clear that Samsung has become a master at guerilla marketing tactics.

11 Thuzio Football Legends for 2014

Jun 24

Posted on
Jun 24, 2014

This time next month, 32 NFL Training Camps will kick-off at hot and humid practice fields across the country.

The ultimate destination on everyone’s mind? The Arizona desert for Super Bowl XLIX.

With more than 1,000 football personalities on Thuzio’s talent network, let this be a simple reminder that some of your all-time favorite players are just a few clicks away. Here are a few of our favorites for corporate appearances, speaking engagements, golf outings, game watches, suite appearances and more.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.23.05 AMEric Dickerson
One of the best running backs in NFL history, Dickerson began his career in 1983, when the Los Angeles Rams took him second overall. His rookie season was electrifying, rushing for 1,808 yards and 18 touchdowns. If that was not good enough, Eric broke his own record the following season and ran for 2,105 yards, still an NFL single season record. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, five-time AP First-Team All Pro selection, and NFL MVP in 1983. After 12 unbelievable seasons, Eric finished with 13, 259 yards (7th all-time) and 90 rushing touchdowns (12th all-time). In 1999, Dickerson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He regularly works as a motivational speaker and appears at several celebrity golf tournaments. He is also the co-founder of a sports memorabilia company called Original Mini Jerseys.

Phil Simms
Entering the NFL in 1979, Simms played his entire 14-year career with the New York Giants. After his inspired career came to an end, Simms finished with 199 touchdown passes and 33,462 passing yards in 164 games played. Phil led the Giants to Super Bowl victories in 1987 and 1991. He was named NFL MVP in 1986 and was the Super Bowl MVP in 1987. A member of the New York Giants Ring of Honor, Simms had his #11 jersey retired 1995 in honor of his outstanding career. After retirement, Phil joined ESPN and then NBC as a broadcaster for Super Bowls XXX and XXXII. He even announced the Weightlifting competition at the 1996 Summer Games. From 1998-2003, he worked alongside Greg Gumbel covering AFC games on CBS. He currently broadcasts games with Jim Nantz and serves as a host of Inside the NFL on Showtime. His voice was used for the commentary in the Madden NFL 13 video game.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.22.04 AMTerrell Davis
The former Denver Broncos running back took no time in introducing himself to opposing defenses in the NFL. Though he was taken in the sixth round of the 1995 draft and entered training camp as the sixth string back, he worked to the starting lineup by the opening game and became the lowest pick to ever rush for or over 1,000 yards in a rookie season. Davis continued his strong play, earning Pro Bowl and AP First-Team All-Pro selections over the next three seasons. Terrell led the team Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998, earning the honor of Super Bowl MVP in 1998 (the same season he was named league MVP after rushing for over 2,000 yards). After retiring, the Broncos’ all-time leading rusher worked for the NFL Network as an analyst and started a line of barbecue sauces known as “Mile High Salute.”

Ronde Barber
Ronde was a selected in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Barber struggled during his rookie year, but broke out in 1999 for the Bucs. Undersized for his position, Ronde gained a great amount of respect from his peers, as he was willing and able to make any open field tackle against anybody. Many consider the highlight of his career an interception return for a touchdown against the Eagles in the 2002 NFC championship game. Barber is the only cornerback in NFL history to record at least 40 interceptions and 20 sacks, and is one of three cornerbacks to record 1000 tackles in his career. He recorded a league-high 10 interceptions in the 2001 season, earning him the NFL Defensive MVP award. In May of 2013, he announced his retirement, concluding a phenomenal career. He currently resides in Tampa with his wife and daughters while working as a game analyst and contributor for FOX Sports.

Mark Rypien
Taken in the 6th round of the 1986 draft by the Washington Redskins, Rypien became the first Canadian-born quarterback to start in the NFL. He is one of five players to throw for at least 300 yards in his first NFL game. In his first full year as the Redskins starter, he threw for 3,768 yards and 22 touchdowns and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. In 1991, he had a career year, throwing for 28 touchdowns and leading the Redskins to a 14-2 record and a Super Bowl victory (he was named Super Bowl MVP). Known for his impeccably accurate deep ball, Mark finished with 18,473 yards and 115 touchdowns. After retirement, he had a brief stint as a team owner in NASCAR, selling the team to Jack Roush in 1997.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.23.51 AMLynn Swann
Swann was part of the outstanding Steelers’ draft class of 1974, which included Hall of Famers John Stallworth, Mike Webster, and Jack Lambert. Lynn played his entire nine-year career with the Steelers, leading the NFL with 577 punt return yards his rookie season. His second season, he caught 49 passes for 781 yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. Swann won four Super Bowls with the Steelers during his career, named MVP in Super Bowl X. He is a member of the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. After retiring, Swann began his broadcasting career with ABC Sports, which he remained with until 2006. Among other things, he is currently a partial owner of the AFL expansion team, the Pittsburgh Power.

Cris Carter
Cris started his career in 1987, making his presence known when the Vikings signed him in 1989. Carter’s best season came in 1995, when he caught 122 passes for 1,371 yards and 17 touchdowns. He finished his career with 13, 899 yards and 130 touchdowns, good for ninth and fourth all-time respectively. Throughout his illustrious career, Carter was elected to eight consecutive Pro Bowls from 1993-2000 and was a two-time AP First-Team All-Pro. He is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013. He can now be seen on Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live, and SportsCenter on ESPN. Cris is the founder of the Carter-White Charitable Foundation, which helps underprivileged children emotionally and financially.

Tony Dorsett
The former Dallas Cowboys phenomenon played 11 seasons for America’s Team, rushing his way to the record books along the way. Dorsett ran for a total of 12,739 yards during his career, eighth all-time in the NFL. On January 3, 1983, Dorsett took the ball from his own one-yard line and sprinted 99 yards for a touchdown, the longest run from scrimmage in NFL history. Tony won one Super Bowl, the same year he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He currently hosts the Tony Dorsett Celebrity Golf Classic, which, in its 17th year, has raised $5 million in support of McGuire Memorial. He is also a big promoter of sleep apnea awareness, helping over 150 former players get treated for the condition.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.26.12 AMLaDainian Tomlinson
One of the most decorated NFL players of all time, LaDainian rose to stardom as soon as he entered the league, rushing for the first of eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in his rookie year. After rushing for over 7,000 yards in his first five seasons in San Diego, LT made his mark in history in 2006, one of the best seasons ever recorded by an NFL running back. Tomlinson ran a league-high 1,815 yards with an average of over five yards/carry. He was not just running far, he was scoring at a record pace too, crossing the end zone 31 times, an NFL record for one season. This magnificent season earned LaDainian the titles of AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Walter Payton Man of the Year, and NFL MVP. LT finished his career fifth all time in rushing with 13,684 yards and second in touchdown runs with 145, only behind Emmitt Smith. In 2012, Tomlinson joined the crew at NFL Network’s “First on the Field” as an analyst. He is very charitable as well, working closely with his organization, The Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation, to help needy children in the fight against hunger.

Derrick Brooks
Drafted in the 1995, Brooks played his entire 14-year career with Buccaneers. During this span, he started in 221 of 224 games, recording 1,301 tackles, good for seventh in history. In just his second season, Derrick broke out as a star defender, leading the team in tackles with 132 and picking off his first pass. He only trended upward, making his first of 11 Pro Bowl appearances in 1997. After the 2002 season, Derrick’s Bucs faced Jerry Rice’s Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII. Though underdogs going in, Brooks and the Buccaneers’ #1 ranked defense took care of the Oakland’s dangerous attack, and went on to win their first title in franchise history. After an unbelievable career, Brooks retired in 2010. On August 2, 2014, he will be formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a very deserving honor for one of the best linebackers in modern NFL history. Brooks is now a football analyst for ESPN as well as co-host of “The Red Zone” on Sirius Radio. He is also the team president for the Tampa Bay Storm, an Arena Football team.

Edgerrin James
After a remarkable career playing for the Miami Hurricanes, James began his NFL career in 1999, taken fourth overall by the Indianapolis Colts. He immediately made an impact, rushing for over 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns, earning the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award and becoming the most recent player to win the rushing title in a rookie season. James finished his career with 12,246 rushing yards and 80 touchdowns. He is a member of the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team and the Colts Ring of Honor. After retirement, Edgerrin went from being a full-time athlete to a full-time traveler, consistently flying to New York, Vegas, Albuquerque and South Florida all in one trip. However, his six children keep him close to home, as family is a big priority for the former NFL star. He is a co-owner of and indoor go-cart track in Arizona, which he bought with former teammate Matt Leinart. During the college football season, you can find Edgerrin at his alma mater (The U), to which he donated $250,000 in 2000, the largest donation ever made by a former athlete.

New Talent: June 23rd – Welcome TO, Jay Harris

Jun 23

Posted on
Jun 23, 2014

Here are the new Thuzio talent additions for the week of June 23rd, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 9.57.17 AMTerrell Owens: Known for his flashy touchdown celebrations, T.O. was one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL. Owens began his career with the San Francisco 49ers, where he played eight seasons. Over the course of his 16-year career, Terrell dominated cornerbacks, putting up huge numbers year after year. He was named to the AP First-Team five times and was a Pro Bowler on six separate occasions. Owens finished his career with 15,934 receiving yards, second only to Jerry Rice, as well as 153 touchdowns, putting him at third all-time behind Rice and Randy Moss. He is the only player in NFL history to score two or more touchdowns against all 32 NFL teams, as well as one of six players to have at least two receptions of at least 90 yards. He is an active supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association, working as a spokesman for the group’s signature event, “The Longest Day”. He also works closely with the Ronald McDonald House, having recently hosted an ice cream social for underprivileged children.

Steve Watson: The life-long Bronco played nine seasons in Denver, catching passes from John Elway for five of those seasons. In 1983 and 1984, Steve had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, catching 128 balls for 12 touchdowns over that span. He finished his career with 6,112 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1981. In 2000, Watson rejoined the Broncos family as a defensive assistant, and in 2010, he was hired by the University of Minnesota as a wide receivers coach.

Gary Reasons: Gary played his college ball at Northwestern State, becoming the first three-time Division 1-AA All-American and earning a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame. He entered the NFL in 1984 and played eight seasons with the New York Giants. Reasons is best known for ‘The Hit’ during a game against John Elway and the Broncos during the 1989 season, stopping Bobby Humphrey on a 4th and Goal on the one yard line. It not only secured a Giants victory, but the team went on to win the NFC East title as a result.

Dahntay Jones: Dahntay was selected in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics before being traded on draft day to the Memphis Grizzlies. His best season came in 2009-2010 for the Indiana Pacers, when he played in 76 games and averaged 10.2 points per game. In 2001, he won a gold medal for the United States at the FIBA U21 World Championship in Saitama, Japan.

Leonard Davis: This former Texas Longhorn offensive lineman earned first-team All-Big 12 and consensus first-team All-American honors during his senior season  He was taken second overall in 2001 by the Arizona Cardinals, with which he played for six seasons. Davis has been a consistent starter in the NFL, playing in 171 games over 12 seasons. He was a Pro Bowl selection in three consecutive seasons (2007-2009) as well as an All-Pro in 2007.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.02.22 AMJay Harris: Jay is an ESPN fan-favorite, having worked for the network since 2003. When he first signed on, he was primarily an anchor for ESPNEWS, but in 2006, he was promoted to co-host of SportsCenter on ESPN. He currently hosts the 11:00 p.m. edition, a position he has had since 2012. He has more than 20 years experience in television and radio news, working as a morning news anchor at WAMO-FM and national news at American Urban Radio Networks in Pittsburgh prior to joining ESPN. Jay was part of two Emmy-winning episodes of SportsCenter and was the recipient of the Silver World Medal at the New York Festival Awards.

Matt Yallof: Matt has been a sportscaster for the MLB Network since 2009, serving as the host of “The Rundown”, while appearing regularly on “MLB Tonight” and “Quick Pitch” with fellow Thuzio Pro, Heidi Watney. Prior to joining the MLB Network, Yallof was the host of the pre and post-game shows for the New York Mets. Before that, he was at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, where he won four regional Emmy awards for his efforts.

10 Football Pros To Book During The 2014 Season

Jun 19

Posted on
Jun 19, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.00.52 AM
Is Sunday your favorite day of the week? Are you looking to make a big splash with a new client but can’t figure out how to make the right impression? Thuzio’s top NFL talent can impress at a corporate dinner, entertain at events, even endorse a new product. Here are ten of our favorites and why they stand out when looking for an active football star.

Steve Smith – Baltimore Ravens
Smith has been one of the top wide receivers in the league for over a decade. With the Carolina Panthers for thirteen seasons, Smith recently signed a one-year deal with the Ravens, hoping to play in his first Super Bowl since 2003. In 2013, Steve and his wife Angie founded the Steve Smith Family Foundation, helping those in need and instilling power to the voiceless in the Carolina community. During the off-season, Steve runs a football camp for children, which one of his own two boys recently participated in! Smith will always be remembered as a great football player, but those who really know him will forever appreciate Steve as a genuine, good-hearted person.

Eric Berry – Kansas City Chiefs
Drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs fifth overall in the 2010 draft, the three-time All-Pro is a defensive force, having compiled 216 tackles and eight interceptions over his career. Because of his high selection in the draft, Berry signed a multi-year deal with Adidas in 2010, at the time being the only NFL defensive back to wear Adidas gear. Along with C.J. Spiller, Eric was a key endorser of the adiZero 5-Star Football Cleat, the lightest footwear ever crafted at 6.9 oz. Berry spends much of his down time working with his charity, The Eric Berry Foundation, an organization that provides a safe environment for children to play team sports and build leadership skills.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.02.08 AMLouis Vasquez – Denver Broncos
Selected in the third round of the 2009 draft by the San Diego Chargers, Vasquez has been one of the top offensive lineman in the league, most recently protecting Peyton Manning in his record-setting 2013 campaign. Vasquez’ staunch blocking was a major reason the Broncos allowed a league-low 18 sacks last season. His performance landed him a spot in the top 100 players of 2014 list, as chosen by his peers. Off the field, Louis recently spoke to 230 at-risk students at the YESS Institute’s 10th annual event, preaching the necessity of education and the importance of a strong relationship with family and friends.

Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
Entering his 10th season in the NFL, Frank Gore has proven to be one of the most feared running backs in the game. The 49er star is 33 rushing yards away from joining the 10,000-yard club, with 60 touchdowns to his name as well, both 49ers all-time records. After signing a big endorsement deal with Rawlings in 2010, Frank was the primary face behind Rawlings’ new line of Skeletal Responsive Gear, performance equipment intended for football players. His consistent play earned him the 46th ranking in the top 100 players of 2014 list as chosen by his peers (fifth best running back).

Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
Gronkowski has been turning heads and setting records since he first stepped onto an NFL field in 2010. Tom Brady’s favorite target caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011, both records for a tight end in a single season. His 28 touchdowns in his first two seasons were also good for a share of the NFL record with former Patriot star Randy Moss. Known for his off the field personality as much as for his stellar play, Gronk has become a fan favorite in the Boston area. He was recently spotted in Las Vegas with Johnny Manziel, made an appearance on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ and taught a class on social media at Emerson College.

LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles
“Shady” was drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and quickly burst onto the scene as one of the most dynamic backs in the league. McCoy had a career year in his most recent campaign, rushing for a league-high 1607 yards and nine touchdowns. The two-time Pro Bowler holds Eagles’ records for most touchdowns in a season (20), most yards from scrimmage in a season (2,146), and most rushing yards in a game (217). When he is not scorching defenses on the field, LeSean runs an annual celebrity charity softball game, with money raised going to the LeSean McCoy Foundation.

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.04.00 AMEric Weddle – San Diego Chargers
The San Diego defensive captain has anchored the Chargers’ defense for seven years, recording 658 tackles and 18 interceptions throughout his career. Weddle has been named to the Pro Bowl team twice and is four-time All-Pro. While most players dedicated Sundays to strictly football, Eric always makes time to attend church before every game, including road games. He is one of several individuals of Mormon faith currently playing in the NFL and finds that making time for his church has allowed him to find a better sense of balance in his life. His life story is the focus of the recently published book, No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story, written by Trent Toone.

Lance Briggs – Chicago Bears
For over a decade, Lance has driven offensive coordinators mad, wreaking havoc at the outside linebacker position. The life-long Bear has taken out the opposing quarterback 15 times, intercepted 15 passes, and has over 1,100 combined tackles over his career. Briggs was elected to the Pro Bowl team in seven consecutive seasons from 2005-2011, and the All-Pro team on three separate occasions. As dangerous as he is on the field, he is a warm, genuine person away from football. His foundation, Briggs4Kidz, raises money to help alleviate the financial burdens of families and children suffering in poverty. Briggs takes underprivileged youth on shopping sprees during the holidays, personally gives out meals, and hosts learning seminars on a variety of topics, showing that even the toughest guys can take some time and give back to the community.

NaVorro Bowman – San Francisco 49ers
Drafted 91st overall out of Penn State in the 2010 NFL Draft, Bowman has been a major presence at inside linebacker for the 49ers defense. In just four seasons, NaVorro was named to the AP First-Team All-Pro team three times, recording 482 tackles and nine sacks over that period. His most famous play came against the Atlanta Falcons in the final game at Candlestick Park. With just over a minute left in the game and the Falcons threatening, Bowman intercepted Matt Ryan and took it 89 yards to the house to score the final touchdown ever at Candlestick and clinch the 32-24 victory for the 49ers. Bowman will forever be a Candlestick hero, and is well on his way to becoming one of the top defensive players in the league.

Robert Mathis – Indianapolis Colts
Taken in the 2003 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts, Mathis quickly made a name for himself as a pass rush specialist. Robert has always given opposing quarterbacks fits, compiling an outstanding 111 sacks over his ten-year career, good for 20th all-time. Mathis has played in the Pro Bowl six times and helped shut down the Chicago Bears and win the Super Bowl in 2007. When he is not playing, Robert likes to interact with his 82,000 followers on Twitter. He also frequently attends Pacers games, recently seen sporting some fancy eyewear courtesy of Google Glass at a game.

New Talent June 16th – Buccigross, Evans, Gottfried

Jun 16

Posted on
Jun 16, 2014

Meet this week’s new talent, including one of the U.S. Men’s National Team camp members, the man behind #bucciovertimechallenge, and another ACC hoops coach.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 9.09.47 AMJohn Buccigross
“Bucci Mane” has been with ESPN since 1996, starting out as an ESPNEWS anchor. From 1998-2004, John was the featured host of NHL 2Night, a thirty-minute show on ESPN 2 dedicated to NHL highlights and breaking news around the league. Now, he is the play-by-play man for the NCAA Frozen Four, as well as a co-anchor on ESPN’s hit show, Sports Center. John is also the co-author of Jonesy: Put Your Head Down and Skate: The Improbable Career of Keith Jones.  While he is not on the air, Buccigross writes weekly columns for espn.com and works on the Advisory Board for “You Can Play”, an organization dedicated to stopping homophobia in sports.

Brad Evans
This UC, Irvine product was chosen in the second round of the 2007 MLS Super Draft by the Columbus Crew, contributing to the team’s MLS Cup win in the 2008 season. Since 2009, Evans has been with the Seattle Sounders, scoring 18 goals in five full seasons. He has appeared in 17 games for the US Senior National Team, falling one roster spot short of being selected for this year’s World Cup team.

Rashad Jennings
Jennings played his college football at the Division 1-AA school, Liberty University, setting Big South Conference records with 3,633 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 5.7 yards per carry. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFLD Draft, Jennings spent three years as Maurice Jones-Drew’s backup, rushing for six touchdowns and over 800 yards in that time. He had a breakout season in Oakland in 2013, rushing for 733 yards and six touchdowns. He was recently signed by the New York Giants, going into training camp as the featured back for the squad.

Keith McCants
McCants was a star defensive player at the University of Alabama, recording 197 tackles over his career. His 119 tackles in 1989 is good for sixth all time in single season tackles for the Tide. He was a unanimous First Team All-American, Butkus Award Runner Up, and CBS TV National Defensive Player of the Year in the ’89 season. Selected fourth overall in the 1990 NFL Draft, McCants played seven years in the league, sacking quarterbacks 13.5 times during that time. After life in the NFL, McCants became a police officer in Alabama, and has appeared on several sports talk shows as well.

Rich Seubert
An undrafted Free Agent in 2001, Seubert joined the New York Giants, with whom he played his entire career. The lifelong Giant played 10 seasons in New York, starting in 88 games. In December of 2005, he returned to the starting lineup after five surgeries on his leg, helping Tiki Barber rush to a team record 220 yards in that game! He now lives in California where he works as a high school football coach.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 9.10.57 AMMark Gottfried
After a very successful college basketball career at the University of Alabama, Mark graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Communications in 1987 and went on to become a student at UCLA graduate school. At UCLA, he served as an assistant coach for eight seasons under Jim Harrick. In 1995, he was hired at Murray State University as head coach, where he went 68-24 in three seasons. In ’98, Gottfried returned to his Alma Mater, leading the Crimson Tide to the team’s first #1 ranking in Alabama’s history. Gottfried left Alabama in 2009 and accepted the head coaching position at NC State in 2011, where he currently resides. After beating Duke in 2013, Gottfried became the 14th coach in NCAA history to beat the #1 ranked team with two different schools and joins Danny Manning as active ACC coaches on Thuzio.

Adam Caplan
Caplan is a very respected NFL insider for ESPN. He joined the ESPN family of networks in December of 2013 to this position after working as a radio host for Sirius XM Radio for 10 years. He can be seen on ESPN’s NFL Insiders or heard on 97.5 The Fanatic’s Friday Football Hour every week during the NFL season. He has contributed key information to several networks, news sources, and radio shows over his illustrious career, and is a fantastic addition to the Thuzio family!

How Brands Are Activating Around The 2014 World Cup

Jun 11

Posted on
Jun 11, 2014

The biggest sporting event in the world not only means exciting action on the field, but big business for major global brands. Companies pay millions to be affiliated with the World Cup and gain access to FIFA’s branding, while others activate around the competition in their own way. With so much money at stake, marketing teams have been forced to become extremely creative with their campaigns in order to reach their audience. Fierce competition has led to some incredible activation strategies. Here are a few of our favorites.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.22.53 AMMcDonald’s
An official sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, McDonald’s is breaking the bank as it unveils its largest marketing campaign to date, with new soccer-themed packaging for all medium and large orders of fries. The packaging is being released on a global scale, the first of its kind for the McDonald’s Corporation. Not only do the packages have detailed, beautiful designs, but they have reality technology built in that sync to an app for iPhone and Android called Gol. McDonalds customers will be able to unlock secret content and games on the app with the code built into the packages. The fast-food emporium hasn’t stopped there with its activation, as they also released an awesome two-minute sponsored video featuring people performing soccer trick shots around the world. McDonalds is going all out for its World Cup activation, and it is very likely to pay off in a big way in the next few months.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.23.46 AMJohnson & Johnson
Another official World Cup Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson is taking advantage of its ownership of the Listerine Brand through its activation. Listerine is currently launching a global social media marketing campaign called “POWER TO YOUR MOUTH”, during which the brand will recap matches, connect with its fans, and record breaking news through social media and the hashtag, #PowertoYourMouth. Along with the social media play, Johnson & Johnson is pushing its message of oral care with a television ad that is live in 40 countries, honoring Brazil while featuring the ability of Listerine to fight plaque and bad breath.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.24.32 AMVisa
After reaching an agreement this year, Visa will now be an official Global Partner to FIFA through 2022, securing its exclusive ability to FIFA’s sponsorship rights. Visa’s latest marketing campaign features the star of the 2012 London Games, Usain Bolt. Centered around the slogan, “Following Bolt to Brazil”, the campaign will be activated in 22 markets and will continue through the end of the World Cup. Visa’s TV commercial shows Bolt running through Brazil to the globally recognized Maracana Stadium, making purchases with a Visa credit card along the way. The commercial connects Bolt’s speed with Visa’s contactless purchase feature, a faster way to spend. Managers of the campaign are hoping it will reach 300 million European consumers, a very reachable feat given the social nature of this year’s World Cup.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.25.35 AMHyundai
A Global Partner of the FIFA World Cup, Hyundai is utilizing former Brazilian superstar Kaka in its sponsorship activation. Hyundai’s competition on Facebook to meet Kaka finished with over 117,000 likes on the page. Ten super fans from ten different countries were selected to meet their idol in Milan. Kaka posed for pictures, gave autographs, and sang with the winners, creating an experience they would never forget. In addition to their relationship with Kaka, the auto company has their name branded on the “Hyundai Young Player Award”, which will be granted to the best player under the age of 21 (Germany’s Thomas Muller won the prize in 2010). Hyundai will have a large marketing presence in Brazil during the World Cup, one of the many benefits of being an official sponsor.

Beats by Dre
The music company recently released a remarkable video just in time for the World Cup. Not an official FIFA Sponsor, Beats cannot use any World Cup content in their commercials, but that does not stop them from activating around the event. In the five-minute epic, Brazilian Phenom Neymar, American star Jozy Altidore, and other World Cup athletes are at center stage. Several other celebrities make cameos as well, including Serena Williams, Stuart Scott, and LeBron James. The company executes the guerilla marketing strategy to perfection, as they clearly reference the upcoming mega-event, but without having to actually reference it anywhere in the commercial. Beats, with this commercial, showed the rest of the world how to reap off the benefits of the World Cup without paying FIFA millions of dollars to become a sponsor.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.28.03 AMNike
Another example of a company brilliantly executing their World Cup sponsorship activation without being an official sponsor is Nike’s recently released advertising campaign. Like Beats by Dre, Nike used the faces of the World Cup in an animated short feature without using the words “World Cup” at any point. The video features the top footballers in the world gathering together to engage in an epic battle with perfect clones of themselves, who have taken over the game with their perfect play. Nike uses the slogan “risk everything” as the theme of the video, illustrating that reckless, wild, and fun play is often the center of greatness. The video is just the start of Nike’s attempt to take over the World Cup scene. Although Adidas is the official apparel sponsor, ten teams at the tournament including the United States and Brazil will be wearing Nike gear on the pitch.

Coca-Cola
The marketing team at Coca-Cola recently rolled out its largest World Cup digital marketing campaign ever. The activation is centered around the fans, as the company compiled over 219,000 photos via their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages from 207 different countries. The flag, in the shape of a soccer ball, will be on display at Coca-Cola’s hospitality venues after the opening game of the tournament. The promotion supports Coke’s message of ethnic diversity, as photos of all races and cultures will be stitched together as one, fitting for the global competition. The flag will have 3600 square meters of printed fabric, making it the world’s largest photo mosaic ever created. The beverage company, through this project, is illustrating that the World Cup is not just about the action on the field, but people of all backgrounds coming together as one.