The Serious Faux Pas: Athletes

In today’s segment of our Serious Faux Pas series, we’re looking at the modern misstep of athletes who take themselves too seriously and how the age of the hyped up self-aggrandizing sports icon has ended.
 

Growing up, Xers (and older Millennials) had a transcendent sports icon to look up to: the great and powerful Michael Jordan. Jordan gave rise to the idea of the icon athlete as an endorser, and even recently was called “the endorsement king of all ages” by Forbes. Almost all of his endorsements celebrated his prowess as an athlete. At the height of his stardom, kids across America were inundated with the call to “be like Mike” thanks to his Gatorade commercials. He was someone to aspire to become, but always maintained a safe distance from his fans and teammates—an untouchable hero. ESPN has called him “the archetype of the hero athlete and the living embodiment of success.” Jordan took himself seriously, was not humble, and didn’t mind coming off as arrogant and self-aggrandizing. In his Hall of Fame induction speech, he infamously ran through a list of all the individuals who had not believed in him or held him back in some way by name to emphasize how much he had succeeded despite them. 

But a serious shift has occurred since the age of Jordan and the athlete hero-on-a-pedestal. Millennials aren’t looking for hero athletes, but athletes who can joke, banter, and create irreverent material— even at their own expense. Sports stars today who commit the Serious Faux Pas risk having their fan bases turn on them. That lesson was exemplified in the aftermath of the publicity circus surrounding LeBron James' decision to join the Miami Heat. After he and his marketing team created a television special to announce "The Decision," fans vilified him, and it has taken years to rebuild his…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Calling doctor offices takes too much time. If they don't have a patient portal where I can do everything online, I find another doctor. I couldn't find a dermatologist in my area who didn't require several phone calls, so I gave up.” –Female, 30, FL

Mobile devices are the first thing that 80% of Millennials reach for in the morning, and their digital dependence is seeping into more than just wake-up media. 88% have or would deposit a check by snapping a picture of it and 45% would want to pay bills the same way. The camera is the number one most important smartphone feature among this generation, and 33% even think a photo of their driver’s license could be put to good use as a way to enroll in anything from gym memberships to credit cards. (USA Today)

While online dating seems to give Millennials increasing hope of a modern day “happily ever after,” their happiness may be short-lived. Researchers from Stanford and MSU have found that breakups are more prevalent among couples, both married and unmarried, who met online than those who met in more traditional social settings. These stats are credited to simple facts: the mystery and risk of who is behind the other side of screen causes online relationships to take much longer to form into something real. (Jezebel)

To help heighten Millennial traffic, Jack-in-the-Box will feature an instant-win game promotion with prizes ranging from date night movie tickets to a two night VIP experience in Las Vegas. These big ticket offerings will capitalize on the healthy performance of their late-night menu, accounting for 16% of their sales in the first three quarters of this year. The chain has lost its once strong hold on the late-night market, and hopes to regain Millennial consumers with a menu of savory, mash-up items that they may not crave for lunch or dinner but become must haves after dark. (Huffington Post)

Millennial parents are more practical than ever, a trend we explore in-depth in the new edition of Ypulse Quarterly releasing tomorrow. Upcycling used clothing and embracing swaps are the kind of sustainability minded and money-conscious initiatives they support, so it’s no wonder that Kallio, a children’s clothing line made entirely from upcycled men’s shirts, reached its full funding on Kickstarter today.  The Brooklyn-based brand intends to invest in both the clothing line as well as a community workshop to teach sustainable design technique. (Fast Company)

While social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter seem to be dominating for innovative marketing efforts, Facebook still holds steady ground. In a small study of marketing professionals, digital platform Offerpop found that 92% of social marketing budgets will be spent on Facebook this holiday season. The survey from Offerpop also shows that 16% plan to spend money on Snapchat, but finds that 48% are hesitant to invest their budget in untested networks such as Yo and Wanelo. (The Drum)

Every other week we tap into our panel of 150,000+ Millennials in a survey of 1,000 14-32-year-olds to keep our finger on the pulse of trending topics, changing attitudes, and new norms among young consumers. The question library in the My Library tab on Ypulse.com allows Silver and Gold subscribers to see every question we’ve asked and how we’ve asked it for our entire history of bi-weekly surveys, and a search of Ypulse surfaces all the relevant related data that we’ve collected from young consumers. (Ypulse)

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