Darren Rovell's SportsBiz
Get Ready For Heely's Madness:
Roller shoe company Heelys is expected to go public on Friday opening at $16 to $18. What I also expect? The stock to close to double on the first day of business. It's not quite Under Armour, which did nearly the same thing (and by the way soared past $50 today, which we said it would in this space yesterday) because I think it's more of a one-trick pony. But this – like Crocs – is going to be a hot stock to buy.
The shoes are actually quite cheap – they retail from $59.99 to $99.99 – and all the kids want them. And, even better, many of them want them because they've actually been banned in schools and malls. Tell a kid he's not supposed to wear them and boy does he want them!
Watch it soar on Friday, but before long, there probably won't be a value in HLYS. I'm with Cramer, who last night on "Mad Money" said sell once it hits $30.
Bode, Still Alive And Kicking:
In February, yours truly put together a list of the Top 10 worst Olympic marketing disasters. The highly-hyped Bode Miller – who placed fifth in the downhill, crashed in the combined, was disqualified in the super-G, came in sixth in the giant slalom and put a big DNF in the slalom – was named No. 2 on that list behind – you guessed it – Reebok's Dan and Dave.
We figured it was time for an update. Last Friday, Miller won his first World Cup downhill victory in two years and he still has many marketing deals in place. Nike is still with him and though Barilla Pasta might have dumped him, his agent Lowell Taub replaced that with Superfund out of Austria – described as a managed futures fund.
Then there's Bode's video game, "Alpine Skiing 2006," which was released by German programmer RTL last holiday season. They sold close to 100,000 games and the next version of the game, "Bode Miller vs. Hermann Maier" comes out in a couple days. Bode also has a new ski instructional program for "Sportskool," Cablevision's video-on-demand sports instructional service, which debuts this month.
Said Taub of New York City based GFHF Marketing & Management: "His endorsement portfolio, both in number of sponsors and level of compensation, has not dropped off one bit since the Olympics, he is still the most electrifying personality in the sport."
On Sheik Mohammad:
One of the questions I always get is, "Who do you think is the most powerful man in sports?" For years, I would say heads of sports networks or commissioners, but this year I changed my answer.
Who do I think it is now? The most powerful man in sports is none other than Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Why? Well, aside from the fact that he and his brothers own about 3,000 race horses in their Godolphin stable (their Bernadini won the Preakness this year), he's also turned Dubai into a sports mecca.
Almost every major sport has an event there and the Dubai Sports City is supposed to be the most amazing sports facility in the world when it launches next year. Then there's Tri-Dubai – a group of triathletes the Sheik just decided to sponsor. The group happens to finish at the top of all the major races in the world. And then there's this week's news. Tiger Woods will design his very first 72-hole golf course in Dubai.
Well, recently the Sheik was given access to the books of English soccer club Liverpool. But if he buys the team, it's going to be pretty awkward. Why? Well, let's put it this way. There are four big soccer clubs in England – Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. The Sheik's family owns Emirates Airlines and they were formerly the jersey sponsor of Chelsea. This year, they begin as the primary sponsor of Arsenal's jersey and did we mention that Arsenal's facility is called Emirates Stadium? Then, how would the Sheik be able to use his Liverpool ownership to push his pro-Dubai business agenda if fans already associate the brand previously with Chelsea and currently with Arsenal. I'm suspecting that part of the cost of doing business if he buys the Liverpool team is to figure out how to get out of the deals with Arsenal.
The Weirdest Odds I've Ever Seen:
I don't bet on sports, but I do cover the sports gambling industry pretty closely. And when I say I just saw the strangest thing to bet on coming from a sports book, that means it's STRANGE. Well, I'm not going to tease you here, so I'll get right to the point.
Apparently, PinnacleSports.com has posted odds on the Swedish tradition to destroy a festive 43-foot straw goat that is erected each year around this time in a town called Gavle. Since it was first put up in 1966, the straw goat has only survived – usually burnt down – 10 times. Although the constructor this year is guaranteeing that it's fire-proof, the sports book believes the goat will in fact be destroyed. Those who want to bet against the book will find their odds at 7/5 (meaning win $7 for every $5 bet), those who believe the book might as well save their money – the odds are 2/3 (meaning win $2 for every $3 bet).
Now let's just set up the terms, just so that this goat thing doesn't get back to me. Straight from Pinnacle: "If the goat is toppled, removed, withdrawn or otherwise destroyed before that moment, all bets will be settled as the goat not having lasted until Christmas."
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com