MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

World Cup boosts soccer-related U.S. e-commerce

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – For the month of June, soccer-related searches across the U.S. sites of eight international sporting goods and apparel retailers increased by 280%, compared to May. According to analysis from SLI Systems, there were more than 2.2 million U.S. soccer-related product searches from these eight e-commerce sites alone, with a corresponding boost in online shopping behavior during June for products including soccer cleats, balls, shin guards, gloves and other equipment.

June 16 was the peak day for soccer-related shopping in the U.S., the day U.S. played Ghana. In the U.S., the international teams with most consumer interest are Brazil, followed by Germany, Argentina, and the Netherlands.

The most popular search terms, in order, for the U.S., were:

• Soccer
• USA soccer
• FIFA
• Nike soccer

“Soccer is played year-round in the U.S., but recreational soccer gear tends to be purchased before fall and spring seasons,” said Tim Callan, CMO, SLI Systems. “We found (data) demonstrating the country’s increased interest in actually playing the sport. It is clear that The World Cup U.S. fanfare will continue long after Sunday’s final game.”

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OPERATIONS

Rent-A-Center names Lowe’s exec marketing VP

BY Dan Berthiaume

Plano, Texas – Rent-A-Center, Inc. has named Aubyn Thomas as VP marketing. With more than 15 years of leadership experience in brand strategy and customer-relationship management, Thomas recently served as VP consumer marketing at Lowe’s Home Improvement, where she was responsible for delivery of all consumer and professional marketing programs.

Earlier in her career, Thomas held leadership positions with organizations such as Macy’s, Caesars Entertainment, Bank of America and Lenscrafters Retail Group.

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REAL ESTATE

Westchester’s Ridge Hill mall to add indoor skydiving

BY Dan Berthiaume

Yonkers, N.Y. – Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer and owner of Westchester’s Ridge Hill mall in Yonkers, New York, is adding an indoor skydiving facility, one of only 14 in the U.S.

IFly Indoor Skydiving will break ground this fall with an estimated completion date in early 2015.

The IFly experience is powered by four fans located at the top of the building that create a cushion of air within the wind tunnel on which a person can safely float. No special skills are required and almost anyone older than three can participate.

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