The Lowdown: Watch How You Tweet and Other Marketing News

The Sports Edition: Newest Athletes for Coca-Cola and Wheaties, Plus SoulCycle Rides Into Target

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The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.

Marketers know tweets from endorsers should be marked as such. Right? Seems someone at ESPN forgot that on New Year's Eve. That's when tweets from the accounts of ESPN's Chris Mortenson and Adam Schefter mentioned Domino's but didn't make it clear that the NFL reporters have ties to the pizza chain. Deadspin appeared to be the first one who called out the companies on the issue. Domino's sponsors the Domino's Pre-GameHeadquarters segment on ESPN's NFL Sunday Countdown. Plus, Mr. Mortenson and Mr. Schefter appear in a commercial that's running on the network.

Prior tweets from them included hashtags such as "#DominosPreGameHQ" or "#PreGameHQ," which were notably absent on Dec. 31. Domino's said ESPN apologized that those tweets didn't make the connection clear and that future ones would contain one of those hashtags or #ad, which is what pops up in tweets from others with ties to the pizza purveyor, such as football player Richard Sherman. Mr. Schefter made the connection to Domino's very clear in a Jan. 10 tweet:

ESPN couldn't be reached for comment, but Domino's said "ESPN regrets the mistake and we've made sure it won't happen again."

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth Credit: Courtesy of Coca-Cola

In other sports news, Coca-Cola announced professional golfer Jordan Spieth as its newest brand ambassador in a multi-year partnership including TV, digital and social media, point-of-sale, out-of-home, experiential marketing and packaging. Mr. Spieth, the 2015 PGA Tour player of the year, will also promote Coke's Dasani water brand. "Coca-Cola has always been associated with iconic sporting events and some of the world's greatest athletes, so this is an incredibly cool opportunity for me," he said in a statement provided by Coca-Cola. Mr. Spieth is set to be featured during the PGA Tour season and as part of Coca-Cola's 6-Pack of Olympians and Paralympians in the run up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Besides Mr. Spieth being an Olympic hopeful, golf is set to return to the Games for the first time since 1904. Coke has prior ties to golf. Bobby Jones appeared in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign in 1947 and later became a Coca-Cola bottler.

Ryan Dungey Wheaties Box
Ryan Dungey Wheaties Box Credit: Wheaties/General Mills

Turning to other sports, General Mills recently announced Ryan Dungey as the newest athlete and first Motorcross racer to appear on a box of Wheaties. Mr. Dungey has been part of Team Wheaties, a group of athletes selected by the cereal brand, for a few years. His limited-edition box is hitting stores this month. Basketball star Stephen Curry, another memeber of Team Wheaties, was the last athlete to appear on a box in May 2015.

Target and SoulCycle
Target and SoulCycle Credit: Target

To get the word out about its new two-month partnership with SoulCycle, Target is turning to social media, influencers and Spotify. The retailer, which is hosting a 10-city tour complete with free SoulCycle cycling classes and Target x SoulCycle apparel-selling pop-up shops, will partner with 20 social media influencers in each market to create unique content, including photography and commentary. The brands have also put together their own Spotify playlist for rides, and will build buzz through paid social posts. The goal is to drive customers to Target.com to shop the collection, explained a spokeswoman.

Speaking of music, Walgreens has a new DJ, of a sort. The retail chain has signed a multi-year agreement with DMI Music & Media in which the Pasadena, Calif.-based music and entertainment agency curates all of the musical content for the drugstore's 8,000 locations. DMI is also developing a "music style-guide" to help differentiate Walgreens from competitors. "We're partnering with our clients to help them stop making the common mistake of committing what we call 'Random Acts of Music'," said Tena Clark, founder of DMI, which also boasts retail clients Build-A-Bear Workshop and Christopher & Banks.

Finally, music leads to dancing. McDonald's has a new way to promote its brand to Asian millennials, or anyone with access to a specific cable channel who yearns to watch a breakdancing competition. The Golden Arches hosted the McDonald's B-Boy Royale 2 breakdancing event in August, but those who didn't catch it live in New York can soon catch it on Myx TV. The network said it is producing and promoting a two-hour special about the summer event to air on Jan. 17. According to Myx TV, McDonald's B-Boy Royale 2 is the largest annual breakdance competition in New York. IW Group, which works with McDonald's on advertising directed at Asian consumers, pitched in on the effort.

Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Adrianne Pasquarelli

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