Navigate Research

Industry Insights

As the industry leader in evaluating and measuring marketing investments, Navigate has a wealth of knowledge in the sponsorship and marketing space. This blog shares our knowledge and insights on current events in the sports business, marketing and sponsorship worlds.

Michael Jordan's High School Gets a Makeover

Navigate Research - Tuesday, June 30, 2015
30 years ago marks the birth of one of the most revolutionary brands in basketball history: Nike and Michael Jordan’s “Air Jordan.” One of the defining elements of Jordan’s celebrated success story is the fact that he got cut from his Varsity basketball team his sophomore year in high school. But Jordan is the farthest thing from bitter, as he just gave his Emsley A. Laney High School gym an immaculate makeover. This renovation includes a new floor with the Jumpman logo at center court, state-of-the-art lights, and fresh trophy cases that pay tribute to the Jordan Brand’s 30 successful years. The gym unveiled itself at the Fred Lynch Invitational basketball tournament, where high school participants received the hottestJordan gear including the latest Air Jordan XX9s, Jordan Super.Fly 3s, and Jordan Super.Fly 3 POs

Photo from

Heineken Champions League Trophy Tour

Navigate Research - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

U.S. soccer Fans get to experience the iconic Champions league trophy in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas sponsored by Heineken. 

Photo from by Edelman

King vs. Common Man – Faces of the NBA Finals

Navigate Research - Monday, June 15, 2015

Written by Andrew Fishkin

LeBron James and Stephen Curry couldn’t be more different. As the two most prominent faces in today’s game, the 2015 Finals matchup is perfect for the NBA. LeBron and Steph provide entertainment on the court and huge marketability off, both in very different ways. Who would your company choose to endorse? Which endorsement would provide the greater ROI?

While aligning your brand with a successful athlete can be an effective marketing strategy, endorsement deals need to strike the right balance between an athlete’s performance and his or her image. Marketers want their athletes to perform at high levels and to represent ideals that fit with their brand attributes. Brands should base choices for what an athlete endorses on comprehensive and sound marketing research, not bias or personal preference. Who does your target audience relate to? This could encompass a variety of people, from athletes to movie stars to politicians. Do they have the power to move product? If an athlete is associated with too many things, their word may not be respected enough to influence purchasing behavior. Brands aren’t worried about that with these two. Not yet at least.

On the court, LeBron James’ 6 foot 8 inch muscular stature is in stark contrast to Steph’s 6 foot 3 inch wirey body type. They’ve both mastered how to use their respective frames to reach the pinnacle of NBA superstardom. LeBron has the ability to drive through defenders (and dunk on them) or pull-up for 3 while Steph uses his ball handling ability and quickness to hit “open” shots or go around defenders. Both proving to be effective and virtually unguardable.

The LeBron brand is global, his King-like mantra transcends sport, and his appeal crosses all demographics. LeBron stars in a Beats By Dre headphones commercial titled, "You Deserve The Best," with James wearing a pair of gold Beats By Dre Solo 2 wireless headphones dressed in a tailored suit. This spot perfectly portrays how LeBron chooses to use his halo effect.

Steph’s humility and authenticity have led to different, yet high levels of appreciation and respect from fans of all ages. Taking his flourishing marketing prowess in stride is paradoxically what's made him desired by so many companies seeking a spokesman. From the homemade YouTube videos to his 2-yeard old daughter, Riley, taking over press conferences, it's an authenticity that can't be faked. Next on the list should be to spoof his nice-guy image, much as Broncos QB Peyton Manning has done with appearances on "SNL" and in ESPN ads. We like funny people and that would really bring the common man persona full circle.

It will be interesting to see if Steph can match LeBron’s marketing prowess, regardless of the 2015 Finals outcome.

Sponsorship Activation Wednesday 5.27.15

Navigate Research - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Rolling Stones were featured on Justin Wilson’s car during the Indy 500!

  • Wilson’s #25 car, part of the Andretti team, featured a Rolling Stones logo with a "checkered tongue." 
  • The Stones launched the rock band's 2015 “Zip Code” tour on Sunday in San Diego. On July 4, the Stones will perform at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.