Brand Biz digest: Meteor puts on Pumas

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Puma announced that it is partnering with Los Angeles-based Meteor Worldwide in an effort to broaden and expand its entertainment marketing division. As part of the agreement, Meteor Worldwide will help facilitate and execute motion picture placement, promotion and integration for select Puma collections in collaboration with Puma's entertainment marketing and international public relations divisions. Seth Schur, vp product and brand integration for Meteor Worldwide, will head the account.

NMA hits slopes

NMA Entertainment & Marketing announced the addition of Burton Snowboards to its client roster. NMA said it will develop marketing strategies including entertainment outreach components, product integration opportunities, entertainment-driven strategic alliance partnerships and celebrity alliance programs. Through "highly appealing" entertainment platforms, NMA said it will support Burton by further increasing reach and brand awareness of the snowboard lifestyle.

McLaughlin upped

Virgin Entertainment Group, North America, announced that Dee McLaughlin has been promoted to Virgin's new vp marketing. She will report to Virgin Group CEO Simon Wright and fill the role left vacant by former Virgin chief marketing officer Dave Alder, who left the company in May 2006. In her new position, McLaughlin will oversee all marketing and PR initiatives for the Virgin Megastores and Virgin Entertainment Group. She is also responsible for product marketing, executing the brand's store promotions and partnership strategies, and retail merchandising. McLaughlin will continue to oversee all market research, event marketing and media planning, as well as manage the content of the new Virgin Megastore Web site, planned for September2007, and manage the creative and branding of the chain.

IFC sips with SKYY

The Independent Film Channel announced the creation of a new partnership with SKYY Vodka, which marks the spirit brand's first on-air marketing. As the exclusive vodka of IFC, SKYY will sponsor the network's Saturday-night programming and will be integrated in customized original content created by IFC, featured both on air and online throughout 2007.

Nick games growing

Nickelodeon MTVN Kids and Family Group said its recently acquired digital brands Shockwave.com and AddictingGames.com have experienced triple- and double-digit growth year to year, and announced the expansion of the sites' integrated advertising opportunities, beginning with new promotions from Nissan and HP. Nickelodeon MTVN Kids and Family Group said advertisers have embraced Shockwave and AddictingGames both for their reach and ability to implement innovative ad campaigns through product integration in and around the sites' games. Video ad click-through rates on the sites have exceeded 10% on average, and on Shockwave, average game session times are 10 minutes, allowing advertisers who sponsor the games to create an "unprecedented brand experience," Nickelodeon MTVN Kids said.

Beard of Stone

Stone America Licensing, LLC announced that it has been appointed exclusive licensing agent by Olympic gold medalist, model and TV host Amanda Beard and her manager, Evan Morgenstein of Premier Management Group. Initially, Stone America will offer both manufacturers and retailers the right to license apparel, accessories, health and beauty products, jewelry, home products, bedding, high-end kitchen products, calendars, posters, eyewear, exercise equipment, health and fitness instructional DVDs and more.

Web ads need boost


Advertisers are beginning to believe in the power and importance of the Internet as a marketing tool, but many of them fail to utilize its full power as an effective advertising vehicle, according to a new study from WPP's GroupM. The Interaction study includes consumer and advertiser Internet data from 28 countries and contends that when it comes to Internet advertising, it's equally important for marketers to consider the benefits as well as the costs. "Our advice is to panic a little," said Rob Norman, global CEO of GroupM Interaction. "Online is already a mainstream component of consumer behavior and media consumption. The fundamental purpose of communication strategy remains unchanged, but marketing must urgently harness interactive media and the behaviors it induces."
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