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: “Music plays a very important part in my life, especially since Beyoncé is my favorite artist. Her music helps me get through things.” –Male, 14, IL 

Millennials’ wanderlust is no secret, and Ypulse’s May monthly survey found that 72% of 13-32-year-olds are interested in travel. How they travel may be different from previous generations though. A study by Marriott Rewards Credit Card found that 84% of 18-34-year-olds would travel to participate in volunteer activities, compared to 68% of Xers and 51% of Boomers. Younger travelers are also more likely to seek out adventurous activities, and cultural hot spots. (Business Wire)

Short-form video has become more important than ever, and “YouTube alone” may not be enough to capture Millennial and teens’ attention. Short content like six-second Vine videos appeal to young consumers who are overwhelmed with content options, and want to easily share what they see. Brands that create “succinct, punchy, and memorable” clips can stand out—4% of the top 100 tracked Vine videos is already branded content. (Marketing Magazine)

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going “natural” to appeal to health-conscious young consumers. The chains have announced that they’ll be eliminating artificial colors and chemical ingredients from menus in the coming months, including dyes and high fructose corn syrup. The move continues the trend of big food brands incorporating fresher and less processed ingredients, and attempting to appeal to Millennials’ dining preferences. (Mashable)

It’s graduation season, which means that thousands of diploma-toting Millennials will be coming face to face with their student loan debt. Earnest is a startup that wants to help them deal with it, and navigate a system that “isn’t built right.” The site helps members to refinance and manage all of their loans to reduce their payments and create a payment schedule in just a few clicks. (Fast Company)

Minecraft has become wildly popular with young consumers, so it only makes sense that other brands would want a piece of their virtual building action. Lego may be building a Minecraft rival, called “Lego Worlds” where players can create and explore a digital universe made, we would assume, with Legos. Speculation is that more information about the project, which has only been spotted on current Lego instructions, could come out at next month’s E3 conference. (The Next Web)

Are Millennials and teens watching more streaming than cable? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our monthly survey of 1000 13-32-year-olds nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following their media consumption. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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