who wins the social media game?

a new study by the Sports Business Journal found that the…


a new study by the Sports Business Journal found that the NBA’s social media engagement is ranked first among sports leagues on a global scale. Real Madrid was ranked first among teams globally and had the highest overall score among all properties. The study examined Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts of 1,255 leagues, teams and federations across the globe over the past year and ranked them based on a composite score that included factors such as views, shares, likes and number of followers.


The study also showed that the NBA had a total global following of more than 82 million followers across its official league social media extensions. When including NBA team and player feeds, the league’s social media reach surpasses 1.2 billion fans and followers, helping to keep with the notion that the league is an industry thought leader with regard to social media. Interestingly, Real Madrid’s global head of digital, Rafael de los Santos, exclaimed that although the football club dedicates its activity to football, in reality, they are “a content company” with a goal of becoming “content producers” as well. This understanding of the space is why Real has continued to be the top team globally from a social standpoint.


Check out this link as well for graphs showing how all of the leagues and teams stack up against one another. A few key findings are below. Let us know your thoughts on this and if you would like to talk through. Thanks all for reading!

most-engaged fans by league/federation (only two of the top five are united states based leagues)

  1. NBA
  2. English premier league
  3. nfl
  4. ioc
  5. indian premier league (cricket)

top ranked teams (top 4 are overseas football clubs)

  1. real madrid
  2. barcelona
  3. manchester united
  4. chelsea
  5. golden state warriors

most social engagement (interactions & video views)

  1. nba
  2. nfl
  3. real madrid
  4. manchester united
  5. barcelona


written by bryan davidson, associate director, entertainment marketing and business affairs



This past May, a cryptic TV advertisement for something called “4:44” aired during the…


This past May, a cryptic TV advertisement for something called “4:44” aired during the 2017 NBA Finals. The thirty second black-and-white spot starred Mahershala Ali and Danny Glover in a boxing ring, with an instrumental playing in the background. This video corresponded with hundreds of ads plastered across NYC and LA that simply read 4:44.


After the Internet did its thing and started digging, it was discovered that the advertisements and video were tied to TIDAL, Jay-Z’s music streaming service. It was eventually announced that TIDAL had struck a major partnership with Sprint, where Sprint customers would get exclusive access to the music streaming service and VIP music opportunities as well. This TIDAL x Sprint partnership was becoming a music fan’s dream, but fans needed to become a Sprint user in order to achieve it (Sprint’s way to compete with Apple in the marketplace).


As the summer weeks went by, more and more cryptic ads appeared, each with more information, and located in more cities throughout the US. Ultimately, it was revealed that 4:44 was the title of Jay-Z’s thirteenth studio album, which was to be released on June 30 exclusively though the Tidal x Sprint partnership. The excitement really began as Jay-Z had not released a studio album since 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, which too was first announced during an NBA Finals marketing blitz.


Now that the album release has come and gone, we can admire the marketing genius that is Jay-Z.  The cryptic advertisements that lead up to the release had EVERYONE talking. Was Jay-Z finally responding to Beyoncé’s Lemonade? Was a Jay-Z & Beyoncé joint album coming? Was it a film? Was it merely a single? The point is that everyone knew something was coming, and Jay-Z was involved, but no one truly knew what to expect. Well, per usual, we should have all anticipated greatness as this ten song album, coming in at a cool forty minutes in length, gives us everything we have been missing from Jay-Z.


The album has features from Beyoncé, The-Dream, Frank Ocean, and Damien Marley, and touches on subjects such as the rap star’s marriage with Beyoncé (and her Lemonade accusations), the birth of his twins, advice for Kanye West, race and political issues the country is currently facing, and more. It is a true masterpiece in the purest rap form.


However, there is a catch (per usual). Fans could only get access to the album if they subscribed to TIDAL. The album is not for sale on iTunes, nor is it available for stream on services such as Apple Music and Spotify. Thus, Jay-Z got us again, finding a way to make us all subscribe to TIDAL (which has struggled to keep up with Spotify and Apple Music).


Eventually, it is assumed that 4:44 will be available everywhere for purchase and streaming, but until then, Jay-Z has won the day again. There truly may never be as powerful forces as the Carters, when it comes to promoting their art in the music space and getting everyone to buy-in. We are not complaining though. We are all in favor of a good marketing ploy, and Jay-Z and Beyoncé sure as hell know what they are doing.


written by bryan davidson Associate Director, Entertainment Marketing, Business Affairs

one love manchester

photo via billboard After the…

one love manchester

photo via billboard

After the horrific tragedy at Ariana Grande’s May 22nd Manchester show, the singer immediately coordinated a very touching tribute concert to remember the victims of the suicide bombing. The show’s message stood strong – unity and resilience. Around 50,000 people attended the show, not to mention an average of 10.9 million viewers also tuned into the livestream, making it the UK’s most watched TV program of the year. A slew of popstar royalty joined Grande on the stage, including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Liam Gallagher, Take That, Robbie Williams and Black Eyed Peas.

An emotional Grande thanked the audience for “coming together and being so loving and strong and unified.”  “I love you guys so much and I think that the kind of love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world really needs now so I want to thank you for being just that and I want to thank you for coming tonight.”

No leotards or costumes, no fancy set designs, Grande stayed close to her fans wearing jeans and a One Love Manchester sweatshirt. She performed an array of her most loved pop ballads and an emotional cover of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. 

The show raised $2.6 million for those affected by the bombing that claimed 22 lives. While Grande and her circle recognize this can never make up for the lives taken, she has shown great bravery. To take the stage just two short weeks following the attack, speaking for those who no longer can, we applaud her on her incredible support.


the down low on social media disclosures

This past April, the Federal Trade Commission issued a…

Hand showing hashtag notification concept on blue background

This past April, the Federal Trade Commission issued a press release that announced that they had sent 90 letters to influencers and marketers notifying them about their failure to properly disclose endorsements on social media. This was the first time FTC staff contacted media influencers directly about following their Endorsement Guide. For those unfamiliar with the FTC, their mission is to ‘protect consumers by preventing anti-competitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices, enhancing informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process, and accomplishing this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.’

This sent somewhat of a shock wave throughout the industry and prompted those already familiar with the FTC regulations to take a second look. No changes or updates were made to the FTC’s guidelines nor were any financial penalties handed out to those who failed to abide (as of April 2017). So, what was the point of the FTC’s efforts? Was it to make a statement or act as a cautionary slap on the wrist? Is there more to come? Whatever the reason, it’s clear that the FTC will be more closely monitoring the content created and posted by influences and celebrities on social media.

At starpower, we always counsel our Brand client’s on proper disclosure techniques and ensure that their influencers are disclosing their relationship to our clients when creating and posting branded content. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when partnering with influencers and celebrities on social media:

Types of Relationships that Need Disclosure
According to the FTC, any financial or material connection between a Brand and Influencer needs clear and obvious disclosure, including:

• Monetary payment or experiential incentive
• Any business or family relationship (“I have a pre-existing relationship with Brand…”)
• An Influencer who is given free products or experiences to mention a product, service, or brand

Considerations for Proper Disclosure

• All disclosure needs to appear “above the fold” as defined below
• If using a hashtag, in must be obviously separate from any other non-branded hashtags
• Whether a disclosure is sufficient is a fact-based question, but these have generally been found

To Include in Captions:

• If verbal, language must be clear and unambiguous. An example: “This video is sponsored by [Brand]”
• Simply saying “thanks [Brand], #paid or #partner does not suffice as proper disclosure

Disclosure Must Occur…

• Instagram: Before the “more” button in the copy of the post
• No other brands or people are permitted to be tagged in the image or mentioned in the post (ex. photographers, friends and/or retailers cannot be associated with the campaign
• Twitter: Within the same Tweet
• Common techniques like threading Tweets or Retweeting are not permitted
• YouTube (or other video content):
• Both verbally and visually before the endorsement, claim or product is featured in the video
• Facebook: Only when both the Brand and Influencer have a verified account
• Facebook’s Brand Partnerships need to be contacted ahead of the launch for proper in-platform disclosure and monitoring
• Note: When “sharing” content from one platform to another, each piece of syndicated content needs to be altered to comply with the platform in which it individually lives on

SAG Payments Must Be Issued If

• The Influencer is a member of SAG or the advertiser (Brand) is a signatory of SAG AND
• The influencer is appearing in video content on any social media platform regardless of length, production quality, etc.


• The Influencer is posting any type of content that includes a CTA or drives to a live video or future video (ex: “come back next week for my video partnership with [Brand]”)

It’s a lot of information, and it can be complicated! If you have any questions, reach out!

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how do you measure an athlete’s fame?

How do we measure who truly is “the most famous” athlete in the world?…


How do we measure who truly is “the most famous” athlete in the world? Do we look at an athlete’s success, the specific sport they play, their social media following,and/or the amount of brands they endorse? Well, ESPN has a formula.

This week, the sports conglomerate released its annual World Fame 100 Rankings using a formula that combined athlete endorsements with their social media following (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and Internet search popularity (Google Trends score). Interestingly enough, player salary was not used as a factor due to the salary cap differences among pro sports.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named the most famous athlete in the world, with LeBron James coming in second, Lionel Messi in third, Roger Federer in fourth (but had the most endorsement earnings), and Phil Mickelson in fifth. In total, thirty-eight soccer players, thirteen basketball players, eleven golfers, ten tennis players, eight football players, and twenty “other sports” athletes were a part of the list. Notably, there were no professional baseball or hockey players included, which is somewhat surprising as both sports are relatively global like the others, and the amount of soccer players included shows the sport’s continued growth and dominance from a global perspective, making us believe that it is only a matter of time before the sport enhances its popularity in the US.

One of the more interesting things to keep an eye on that has come from this is where Tiger Woods landed. When these rankings were calculated, Tiger came in at the Ten spot. However, because of his recent legal troubles, Tiger will likely be losing out on a handful of his brand partnerships, thus decreasing his endorsement earnings. However, his Google Trend score has likely skyrocketed as his name has been in the news cycle 24/7 since his arrest. Depending on how drastically his endorsements dive will determine if he remains a top ten world famous athlete.

written by bryan davidson, starpower account executive entertainment marketing

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Khloe Kardashian’s new fitness campaign!

khloe kardashian is starting 2017 off with a brand new campaign. She is known to flaunt…

khloe kardashian is starting 2017 off with a brand new campaign.

She is known to flaunt fit teas, waist trainers and more on Instagram, the reality TV star has actually signed on to be the face of a protein supplement company called, Protein World.  She has signed on to be their ambassador for a six month campaign for their 30 Day challenge to share some of her own health and fitness tips!  Check out the challenge here!

She also has a new reality TV series show called “Revenge Body” on E! which is getting a lot of attention.  Khloe personally gets to know each participant, finds out what has broken them down, and gives them the tools they need to build themselves back up.

Between her new partnership and show, 2017 is clearly the year of fitness for this bombshell!

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