Today, tennis star Venus Williams will announce that she is signing an endorsement deal with Steve & Barry's, the retailer that has made plenty of waves with its Starbury shoe, which it sells for $14.98. The deal from the very start is already the most expansive merchandise deal in the history of tennis. I sat down with Howard Schacter, Steve & Barry's chief partnerships officer, to talk about the line that will be called Eleven by Venus Williams and will launch in November.
You do it, don't you? No, not that "it". The "it" I'm referring to is what I call "drive-texting", where you e-mail or text someone while driving. It's the reason so many of us have become experts (or at least we think we are) when it comes to driving with our knees. Whether it's because we're on our cell phone, fixing our coffee, or putting on make-up, many of us do not pay as much attention as we should when driving.
What comes in glass bottles, cans and two liter plastic jugs and dominates the soft drink world in this part of the U.S.? Nope. It's Cheerwine. If you're from anywhere but the Southeastern states, and better yet North and South Carolina, you've likely never heard of, or tasted, Cheerwine. It has been 'the' drink of choice at soda fountains and hot dog stands (try Hap's if you ever in Salisbury), bar-b-ques and ball games for 90 years.
Since Google bought YouTube last fall it's attracted a ton of eyeballs--51 million users in June alone--but not so much revenue. Google is just now starting to roll out its new ads to try to capitalize on YouTube's loyal audience. Here's how it works. Hit play on a YouTube video, and an ad will pop up in the lower fifth of the screen.
After Michael Bay declared on his blog that he was refusing to direct "Transformers 2" because he was so upset about Paramount ditching the Blu-ray format to be exclusive to HD DVD, Bay has changed his tune. He followed it up with a post saying he'd overreacted, had been convinced by some Blu-ray fans. He says he was convinced to support HD because he learned that HD had cheaper players--around that $200 magic number.
Bob Johnson founded BET, yet he couldn't keep his regional sports network, C-SET, from faltering. Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, yet his ACSN had no chance. The Big Ten is one of the most powerful college conferences in the country, but unless they get real in the next couple weeks with the price that they're charging for the Big Ten Network, this operation will be in the graveyard within the next three years.
Wesson Oil has re-hired Florence Henderson as spokeswoman. The company is supposed to post some of her old commercials on their ConAgra Web site, but I couldn’t find them. What I did find is Henderson’s “tips for cooking with canola oil” (yes, I truly believe these tips came straight from Flo’s kitchen and were not made up by marketing people… no, really, I believe that):
Here's a question: Are you in the market for a new car or truck? It's a simple enough question, but with the economy slowing, and credit tightening up, more and more people are actually putting off buying a new ride. When I saw the latest survey of new car buyers from CNW Market Research, I was not surprised to see that 13% of the people in the market for new wheels are putting off making the purchcase.
Here's an award worth winning! Cintas, which provides bathroom supplies, announced the winner of this year’s “best restroom” contest. The award goes to Jungle Jim’s International Market, a grocery store outside Cincinnati. Get this. The bathroom entrances appear to be portable toilets. But once inside, they all lead to a jungle themed restroom with flowers...
There has always been a carnival atmosphere at a NASCAR event. Hundreds of thousands of people, food, drink, more drink, and all that noise. Throw in 36 or so hard charging cars and the resultant thrills and spills and what do you have? A sales opportunity. NASCAR has always been about 'the sell'. From the sponsorship logos on the cars to the suits the drivers wear.
The University of Oregon announced yesterday that Nike founder Phil Knight will pledge to donate $100 million to the Ducks’ athletic department. It ties the second-largest single donation ever made to an athletic department (with University of North Dakota booster Ralph Engelstad), following the $165 million check Boone Pickens wrote to Oklahoma State in Jan. 2006.
Another battle in the very long war. For years Sony's Blu-ray has been battling with Microsoft and Toshiba-backed HD DVD. And everyone--the studios, the disc and player manufacturers, and consumers--is just dying for one format to emerge victorious and the other format to fall the way of the BetaMax. HD DVD just scored an unexpected win, after Blu-ray had taken the lead. DreamWorks Animation and Viacom's Paramount (including DreamWorks Studio) just committed to releasing their films...
OK, let's be honest. The mid-size car market is not the sexiest one. These cars have often been viewed as "boring". After all, when was the last time you heard somebody say the new Camry gets their blood racing? That said, we are on the cusp of a substantial car war critical to Toyota, GM and Honda. Today, Honda is showing reporters its redesigned Accord.
Next week, Michael Vick will plead guilty for his connection with crimes related to dogfighting. It’s not known how long he’ll go to jail for or what the NFL will do, but I will say this, how bad of a hit the Atlanta Falcons take financially will totally be dependent on how well they can do on the field over the next 3 to 5 seasons.
With a grand jury scheduled to meet Monday and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick reportedly exploring plea options on his dogfighting charges, we're making this blog today an all All-Vick Edition: What will be Vick's legacy when all of this is over? Vick's Wikipedia entry currently has 4,570 words on his playing career (including high school, college and the NFL) and 3,030 words on his dogfighting charges.
After a week of driving the California coast in a Lamborghini, getting back to the office is bringing on a real case of withdrawal. Seriously, after a 5 days of the "Lamborghini life" you get spoiled. It also has me pondering a question I'd like you to answer: What's your dream drive?
From the first day I heard that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was negotiating to get his No. 8 back from his mother and DEI, I wondered why. I know he has been connected with that for a long time, but this was part of a change -- not only a new team, but a new sponsor and likely, along with that, a new color.
The Countrywide Investor Relations site is promoting its 2007 Investor Forum. It takes place Sept. 5-6 and includes a "Servicing Tour"at the company's offices in Simi Valley, followed by a day-long panel discussion and Q&A at headquarters in Calabasas. Discussions include a "Servicing Overview -- Managing Through Turbulent Times" and "Bank Integration and Capital Strategies."
A few days ago I blogged about the state of Chrysler and posed a simple question: What do you want to see from Chrysler for you to consider buying a car or truck from the American automaker?
"Transformers" must really have been a huge hit -- isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Since the rights to Transformers are already sold, Hollywood is looking to the next best thing. New Regency is negotiating with the Mark Gordon Co. to bring to the big screen "Voltron: Defender of the Universe," a 1980s Japanese animated TV series.