Monthly Archives: February 2014

Press Release: Carbon Media Launches Online Outdoor Video Network: CarbonTV

BINGHAM FARMS, Mich., February 27, 2014 – Carbon Media Group, the largest producer of digital content for outdoor enthusiasts, announced the launch of its new premium online video network, CarbonTV. This free network will introduce its first original episodes with “Kings of Game” and “Growing Season” starting in early March. Carbon Media Group CEO Hyaat Chaudhary made the announcement.

“Everyone on our team loves the outdoors and we want to connect viewers with the shows that enthusiasts crave,” said Chaudhary. “CarbonTV gives us the opportunity to work with the top personalities and producers to deliver high-quality original programming with an insider’s view of the great outdoors. With the growth of Netflix, Hulu and Roku, we believe the future of outdoor programming is online and we’re in a great position to lead the way.”

CarbonTV_logoCarbonTV.com already houses more than 30 outdoor lifestyle shows from hunting and mountain biking to farming and fishing, including “Buck Commander,” “On Your Own Adventures with Randy Newberg,” and “Heartland Bow Hunter.” All content is free and users can sign up to be notified as soon as new episodes of their favorite shows are posted. The network will continue to expand and add more original shows over the course of 2014, drawing on Carbon Media Group’s knowledge of the outdoor industry.

Many of CarbonTV’s shows come in short, 8-10 minute episodes designed for mobile viewers. Each of the original shows pairs the outdoor lifestyle with compelling characters and high-end production:

Kings of Game
From wolves in Idaho to bass in Florida to pigs in Texas, Kings of Game follows the adventures of the Holeman brothers as they track, trap, hunt and catch some of the country’s wildest game. It also follows the brothers’ Florida-based fishing business and the trials and tribulations of their efforts to work, travel and hunt together. The first season is currently available on CarbonTV and new episodes for the show’s second season (currently in production) will kick off March 2 with a new episode every other week through July 27.

Growing Season
A family farm in Anselmo, Nebraska is the setting for season 1 of Growing Season—a nine-episode journey through a year in the life of the Bartak family. This behind-the-scenes look inside the agricultural community shows the personal struggles and successes of modern farmers. The first episodes will be airing on March 4, continuing every Tuesday through the end of April.

About CarbonTV
CarbonTV is an online video network dedicated to top-quality outdoor lifestyle shows from hunting and fishing to farming and adventure sports. CarbonTV is driven by Bingham Farms-Mich.-based Carbon Media Group, the largest producer of digital content for outdoor enthusiasts with more than 500 websites for outdoor, action and agriculture enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.carbonmediagroup.com.

FOR MEDIA & PRESS INQUIRIES:

Luke Capizzo
248.258.2333
pr@carbonmediagroup.com

AdAge: Under Armour Turns to Endorser Lindsey Vonn to Defend Brand

Under Armour’s image has been taking a beating due to the disastrous performance of the U.S. Olympic speedskating team while wearing its high-tech racing suits in Sochi. The athletic giant is turning to its own paid endorsers such as Olympic gold medalists Lindsey Vonn and Michael Phelps to try to turn the tide of bad PR.

On Tuesday night, Ms. Vonn, the injured gold medalist who would have been UA’s biggest competitor in Sochi, tweeted her support for the company’s high-tech performance gear — without mentioning the speedskating fiasco unfolding in Sochi.

The Wall Street Journal broke the story that some U.S. speedskaters were blaming what they believed to be design flaw in UA’s new competition suits for allegedly slowing them down in Sochi. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported the team was abandoning them for other UA gear worn in last month’s World Cup in Japan. That didn’t work either, raising the question whether the suits or the skaters themselves were to blame for their performance in Sochi.

“Proud to be an @UnderArmour athlete. I’ve been with them for 8 yrs and they constantly find ways to improve their gear and make me better,” tweeted Ms. Vonn, whose profile has only increased due to her romantic relationship with Tiger Woods.

Ms. Vonn has appeared in numerous Under Armour videos and ads, including this one from a 2010 campaign. (The marketer’s creative is handled in-house.)

Other athletes
Mr. Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, and MLB pitcher Clayton Kershaw, previously pledged their support on social media.

“Proud to be part of UA family, great products and support that help make me the best athlete I can be. #IWILL @UnderArmour,” tweeted Mr. Phelps, who won 18 gold medals in swimming.

Mr. Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers ace, tweeted from Spring Training: “Can’t thank @UnderArmour enough for the new gear. Always fun to see what they come up with every year.”

Matt Mirchin, UA’s exective VP of global marketing, confirmed UA had “conversations” with endorsers about defending the company’s performance products. Others came to the company on their own due to the negative headlines coming out of Sochi, he said.

When Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton met with UA executives this week on another topic, he was “angry” about the beating his sponsor was taking in the press, said Mr. Mirchin. Look for Mr. Newton to also publicly express his support on social media

“It’s great to see the support that we’re getting from professional athletes that have worn our product and won medals in it, or championships while competing at the highest levels, as well as consumers who have reached out to us to saying what a shame this is and how unjustified this is,” said Mr. Mirchin. “I think the consumer — and the public — know it’s not the suits.”

Despite stars such as Shani Davis and Heather Richardson, Team USA’s long-track speedskaters have failed to medal in Russia after winning four medals at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

UA has no plans, at this point, to address the controversial Mach 39 speedkating suits developed with Lockheed Martin in its advertising or marketing, according to Mr. Mirchin. “We did our job. They did their job. We don’t have any regrets. Our job is to make athletes better. We believe we had put the athletes in the best position from what they were wearing to win medals.”

Instead, the company adopting a three-pronged Crisis PR counterattack. First, have endorsers such as Ms. Vonn publicly praise the quality of its products. Two, vigorously defend the Mach 39 in media interviews. Three, point to public statements by the USOC that it doesn’t “believe” the suits are to blame.

“While we will leave no stone unturned when we analyze Sochi results, based on current information, we do not believe the suits were the problem,” said USOC CEO Scot Blackmun in a statement. “We believe in innovation and it is only through the generosity of US Speedskating partners like Under Armour and Lockheed Martin that a sport like speedskating can innovate.”

Walking a fine line
The strategy of using its paid endorsers to fire off what amounts to sponsored tweet opens up Under Armour to criticism. Bust as the apparel sponsor of U.S. speedkating, UA has to tread lightly when it comes to defending itself, said sports marketing experts.

In today’s 24-7 news environment, UA has to fight back publicly. But it can’t exactly publicly accuse athletes of using the suits a scapegoats for their own failure. That would backfire on the athletic company.

“They have to walk a fine line. It would be a mistake to comment on anything having to do with the athletes and their performance. I think they’re doing the right thing by not saying anything [about the athletes]. Their hands are tied,” said Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of Carbon Media Group.

Whether the suits are to blame or not, there’s no doubt the Under Armour brand has taken a short-term hit as its tries to expand globally against Nike, said Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor Associates. But he doesn’t believe it will suffer long-term damage.

For one thing, sports fans couldn’t care less about speed-skating during the four-year gap between Winter Olympics. The UA brand would be in far more trouble if the college football prospects gathering at the UA-sponsored NFL Combine in Indianapolis complained about its gear, he noted.

Mr. Adamson sees U.S. Speedskating’s performance more as a “missed opportunity” for UA. “Winning is the great halo for any brand. The more your brand is associated with winners, across any category, the better off you are.”

Source: AdAge

FOR MEDIA & PRESS INQUIRIES:

Luke Capizzo
248.258.2333
pr@carbonmediagroup.com

Fox 2: If You Want to Get a Job in Metro Detroit, Think Technical

Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of Carbon Media Group offers the following information: 

Detroit is a digital destination: The tech industry is growing and hiring right here. From HR and marketing to sales and customer service, it’s not just web developers and social media gurus that are part of this growing sector. Don’t miss out! It’s happening here in large part because companies value the work ethic and ingenuity of Detroiters. Here’s how you can give your resume and interview skills a tech tune-up…

Resume tips:

  • Show that you can do more than one task: Start ups are all about finding creative ways to solve problems, so showing a strong work ethic and a variety of skills and experiences is key.

  • Don’t shy away from touting your experience, just make it relevant: Put yourself in the shoes of a company like Carbon-fast-moving, taking on new opportunities, etc. Your job history doesn’t have to be technology focused to be a strong fit.

  • List examples of taking on challenges: As many tech companies are in their early stages of growth, we want candidates to show that they are excited about taking on a variety of challenges and opportunities. Your perseverance is more important than the industry.

Interview tips:

  • Cultural fit is important: Growing tech companies want to hire people who can be a contributing part of their culture. At Carbon Media Group, we’re focused on outdoor enthusiasts, so that’s a big part of our office culture-do your homework before you apply.

  • Be confident, even if it’s a new field: At every step in the process, we’re looking for specific job skills: HR, writing, sales, customer service, account management, etc. Not everyone needs to be a web developer! Don’t shy away from these types of opportunities just because you’ve only worked in more traditional fields.

  • Be ready for a fun (but long) interview: You can’t judge cultural fit from a resume. At Carbon, we put candidates through a creative interview process meeting with different team members from the top to the bottom of the company. It’s much more fun than a traditional interview, but candidates should be ready for a marathon (sometimes 3-4 hours)!

Source: Fox 2

FOR MEDIA & PRESS INQUIRIES:

Luke Capizzo
248.258.2333
pr@carbonmediagroup.com

Marketing Daily/MediaPost: Bruised Barbie’s Social Storm Heads to Target

Target is introducing a limited-edition swimsuit collection, designed to celebrate Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue, marking its 50th anniversary. And it’s also selling a limited-edition Sports Illustrated Barbie, featuring the fading fashion icon in an updated version of the swimsuit she wore in her debut, 55 years ago.

sports-illustrated-barbie-bMeanwhile, the kerfuffle caused by Barbie’s #unapologetic campaign, revealed last week, continues. Mattel declined to tell Marketing Daily how much it paid SI for the promotion, which includes 1,000 mock covers to be distributed as Toy Fair got underway last weekend, as well as a four-page interior spread. “As a savvy businesswoman (she’s had over 150 careers, after all!), Barbie does not disclose the terms of her partnerships,” the spokesperson says.

But Barbie is down on her luck — and no one could blame her for getting a little desperate. Mattel, which recently revealed that Barbie’s sales nose-dived 13% during the critical fourth quarter, invited the world to comment on the aging legend, rocking the same swimsuit she wore during the Eisenhower presidency.

The first volley of response came from shocked parents and feminists, questioning why a doll (albeit one that’s long been blamed for trashing girls’ self-esteem and objectifying women) was appearing in SI (also decried for trashing girls’ self-esteem and objectifying women.) Even some of them were impressed by the brand’s “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy. “Instead of objectifying women on their swimsuit cover, SI just took the next logical step and objectifies an object that objectifies women. Very meta,” commented a Jezebel reader.

But plenty were distressed. “Explain that to girls struggling with body-image issues,” wrote one. “Barbie and SI #unapologetic about selling objectification from birth to death,” added another. Salon called it the “absurd, trolling Barbie cover.” And the Daily Dot asked, “Stupid mistake or calculated trolling?”

Next, of course, came the actual trolls, mostly blasting commenters as fat, ugly, and you know, caring about children and stupid stuff like that.

So far, the advantage seems to be in Barbie’s favor, and her midlife scream for attention seems to be working. “The brand’s recent activities are Mattel’s way of placing Barbie back into the limelight,” toy expert Jim Silver tells Marketing Daily. “The #unapologetic campaign and Sports Illustrated cover create conversation around Barbie and bring her to the forefront of people’s minds.”

And SI seems to have had some fun with the project, too, including a video with famed photog Walter Iooss Jr., who shot the spread, using 22 different Barbies. (“She takes instruction almost silently,” he deadpans, “and she understands the light. She gets it.”)

But others are wondering if the stunt might not backfire, not just on the already-bruised Barbie brand, but on Sports Illustrated, too. “It’s likely to turn off any women who might have been warming up to the SI brand,” Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of Carbon Media Group, tells Marketing Daily. “More women are watching sports today than ever before, meaning brands must be more aware of the impact their ad messages will have beyond their core target audience,” he says. “Sports and outdoor brands from the NFL to Cabela’s to REI are recognizing this as a growth area. In addition, we see brands like Dove notching significant wins by moving away from what can be seen as an antiquated and stereotypical portrayal of women, so I don’t see the buzz as worth the potential brand damage.”

Peter Shankman, a public relations consultant, disagrees. “For Mattel, this is a fun stunt. And for Sports Illustrated, it’s not a risk. It got a new advertiser. But the whole point of the issue is to show boobs. Ask any typical reader of the magazine, and I promise, they won’t be paying any attention to Barbie.”

And ultimately, that’s Barbie’s biggest problem. At 55, she’s increasingly invisible, no matter what she’s wearing. Parents have different ideas about toys. Girls have different tastes. And the whole world has different media habits.

“All it means is they’ve run out of ideas,” says one more commenter. Another wonders, “Do they still make magazines?”

Meanwhile, Target is promoting the golden anniversary swimsuit collection on its fashion blog. The Sports Illustrated Barbie, which is described as “for the adult collector,” is also exclusive to Target, selling for $19.99.

Source: MediaPost

FOR MEDIA & PRESS INQUIRIES:

Luke Capizzo
248.258.2333
pr@carbonmediagroup.com

CNBC: A Snowy Winter Puts Heaters, Coats in Short Supply

With the East Coast slated for another big winter storm this week—and accompanying snowfall of up to a foot in many cities in the Northeast—it may not be the usual run on milk, bread and eggs that shoppers need to worry about.

Retail analysts say the unexpectedly snowy winter has prompted sold-out status on bigger-ticket winter staples, including portable generators, room heaters and snow blowers as well as winter coats, snow shovels and boots.

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Lodging Magazine: Tips for Marketing to Outdoor Enthusiasts

Outdoor enthusiasts represent a growing travel demographic. Every year, outdoor recreation brings in $646 billion in consumer spending, with 80 percent of that going towards travel and lodging expenses. Today, those who participate in outdoor sports and activities—from hunting and fishing, to skiing and snowmobiling—are among the most enthusiastic and connected online communities. Hotels looking to tap into a rich vein of valuable guests this winter should spend time and money digitally marketing their destination as an outdoor lover’s paradise.

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