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Junction Solutions appoints new SVP, sales

BY CSA STAFF

DENVER — Junction Solutions, a leading provider of hosted and cloud-based software and services for the multichannel retail and food and beverage sectors, has appointed John Bonati as SVP of sales.

Bonati will manage the global sales activities for the company’s industry-specific software and service solutions.

He has more than 25 years of experience working with leading software and services companies. Most recently, Bonati served as VP of sales at Itelligence, a $500 million full-service solution and consulting company operating in 21 countries and SAP’s largest global reseller. He also served as VP of sales at SAP America, and VP of global accounts, Americas, for JD Edwards, now a part of Oracle.

“John is a compelling addition to our formidable management team,” said Jeff Grell, CEO of Junction Solutions. “We are delighted to have such a strong and accomplished sales leader join our company. His global sales leadership expertise, along with his impressive talent and skills, will help deliver great value to our customers, partners and employees.”

“It’s an exciting time to join Junction Solutions with its robust organic growth and impressive accomplishments as a software and services provider, as well as a key Microsoft partner,” said Bonati. “I look forward to making strong contributions to the company’s growth and strategic goals.”

Junction Solutions’ solutions portfolio includes enterprise resource planning, supply chain management (SCM−demand, warehouse, yard and transportation management), production and scheduling optimization, trade promotions management, direct store delivery management, merchandising, order entry and call center management and mobile/Web-enabled product sourcing and traceability.

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Under Armour returns to the gridiron

BY CSA STAFF

BALTIMORE — Under Armour is going back to its roots — grassroots football, that is — in its latest global marketing campaign. Things kick off with a 60-second spot called, "Ready for August," which will serve as the centerpiece of phase two of the I Will campaign.

The commercial will be broadcast July 15 on Fox during the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Home Run Derby, and is viewable on YouTube now.

Featuring creative contributions from former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and two-time Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis, who serves as the project’s executive producer, the commercial showcases the journey of young athletes who have to compete to earn a spot on the team, learn to sacrifice in pursuit of greatness and embrace hard work to elevate their game to the next level.

Lewis helped script the original creative, spent time on set and participated in editing sessions.

"Under Armour was a part of my career on the field, and even though my playing days are over, having the opportunity to reach young athletes with empowering and positive messages is something I look forward to in the next chapter in my life," said Lewis.

After the 2003 and 2006 campaigns Protect this House and Click Clack, this marks Under Armour’s official return to preseason football advertising.

"The team sports adaption of the ‘I Will’ campaign represents our brand’s core commitment to tell real and unfiltered moments in the journey of the next generation athlete," said Steve Battista, SVP, creative, Under Armour. "This brand knows football, but having Ray Lewis acting as an executive producer helped narrow the creative focus into some of the most inspirational stories of his own life, from the coach picking up players in the truck, to Ray racing his rival every day before practice, to the day he finally broke through and made starting defense. He gave us a special perspective on a new storyline — the one-on-one battle within the team."

The campaign will be supported by additional content, including a three-minute long-form version of "Highlights" and behind-the-scenes from the set with Ray Lewis.

After it airs on Fox, "Ready for August" will be broadcast in the U.S. on Adult Swim, BET, ESPN, ESPN2, MLB Network, MTV and MTV2. Key digital media partners include Complex, Facebook, ESPN, NFL, Pandora, Stack, Turner, Undertone, USA Today High School Sports, VEVO and YouTube. Print creative can be seen in Baltimore Magazine, The Baltimore Sun and ESPN the Magazine.

The I Will team sports storyline will be told internationally showcasing different sports in key markets including England, Japan, China, Canada and Mexico.

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Hasbro further expands into mobile games territory

BY CSA STAFF

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — Hasbro has acquired a majority stake in Backflip Studios, a company that develops mobile games such as DragonVale, NinJump and Paper Toss.

The mobile games studio was founded in 2009 by Julian Farrior, Dale Thoms and Tom Blind. Other titles in its portfolio include Ragdoll Blaster, Army of Darkness Defense and OutWorded. Backflip will continue to develop its own IP, as well as create mobile games featuring many of Hasbro’s brands. The company’s management team will also continue to run the company, which will remain in Boulder, Colo. Hasbro anticipates the transaction to be neutral to slightly accretive to its 2013 financial results.

“The acquisition of Backflip fits perfectly into our strategy of extending our brands into all forms and formats,” said Brian Goldner, president and CEO of Hasbro, Inc. “As mobile play continues its rapid growth, Backflip’s leadership position, great games and established network of users, makes Hasbro a more meaningful participant in digital gaming. Together with Julian, Dale and the talented team at Backflip, we will continue to take a leadership role in bringing great game play to the mobile environment.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Hasbro, whose games, toys and brands have deeply influenced generations of consumers including our own team,” said Farrior. “Backflip will continue its long held strategy of building a large network of satisfied users, though now with access to an even stronger brand catalog. Aligning our mobile games alongside such an influential portfolio and a company who has great game design baked into its DNA, positions us well for the future growth of mobile entertainment.”

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