My two favorite marketing plays with this year's NBA Draft--coming up with a nickname for O.J. Mayo and the Joe Alexander Mandarin story. Unfortunately, both stories didn't pan out.
To refresh, yesterday I asked you all for a nickname for O.J. Mayo. Believing he was going to go to Minnesota, you liked "The Mayo Clinic." The best other option came via write-in from Kevin, who gave me "Florida's Natural" if he went No. 2 to the Miami Heat.
After Mayo was picked by Minnesota, I asked Mayo what he thought of the nickname.
"I guess it's a pretty big-time clinic in the Minnesota area," O.J. said. "So hey, got to roll with it."
I was well on my way to establishing that as his new nickname and then early this morning, the Timberwolves traded Mayo to the Memphis Grizzlies. Now we need a new nickname.
My other story that got some buzz was the one concerning Joe Alexander, the West Virginia standout who would have benefited from going to the Milwaukee Bucks because he'd be teammates with Yi Jianlian and he speaks Chinese. Alexander would be a good candidate to get a couple Chinese marketing dealsif he established himself there. So what happens? Before the draft, Jianlian gets traded to the New Jersey Nets and Alexander gets picked by the Bucks!
I approached Alexander about the Chinese marketing connection being unraveled and he said, "I guess that's not happening now."
The side story is even better. My interview with Alexander was set up by Amanda Thorn in NBA public relations. Amanda is the daughter of Rod Thorn, the Nets president. So who messed up our little story? Her father.
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