Kudos to the Orlando Magic who told me today that they are willing to refund the money paid by any of the 200 season ticket holders, who bought seats after Billy Donovan was hired as head coach. Orlando Magic spokesman Joel Glass said that the team was in the process of contacting each of the new season ticket holders one by one. "So far we've had some people who said they are going to stick with us and others have said they will wait until free agency," said Glass, who noted that he didn't know of anyone who elected to cancel.
Imagine this. You live in the Orlando area and you’ve been thinking about buying tickets for some time. Late last week, you hear that University of Florida coach Billy Donovan is coming to coach the team. So you plunk down $3,600 for two seats for two seats behind the basket. Then, Donovan reverses course. What do you do? You might ask for a refund. The question is, would you get it? You might immediately say “Yes.”
Wal-Mart's board is trying to reverse course from its well-documented high-profile fashion faux pas and they're bringing in a big gun to do that. One of the topics up for vote at the Wal-Mart annual investor meeting in Arkansas this week will be whether to add Allen Questrom to its board of directors. Within the retail industry, Allen Questrom is viewed as a master of merchandising and retail.
Those who know me or have followed my work in recent years know that, besides specializing in sports business, I know niche sports better than anyone in the country does. It started with my love of the competitive eating circuit and carried over to becoming the top handicapper in the country on the National Spelling Bee.Last year, while I was still at ESPN, I gave the betting public the top eight spellers. My No. 3 pick Katherine Close won it all and my other picks fared pretty well. So if you want to know who to root for this year, you have it all here for you.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" has already brought in 58 million dollars internationally. The film opened on Wednesday in many overseas countries and Thursday night in the U.S., putting it on track for strong numbers over the long holiday weekend. Seventeen million dollars of that comes from domestic theaters Thursday night, and that number will even bigger after Friday night and the remainder of the holiday weekend.
So, for the first time we are getting a clue about how much GlaxoSmithKline will charge for the over-the-counter diet pill Alli, at least at drugstore.com.According to the pricing on the site, where you can actually pre-order your Alli (it won't be available until next month), it'll cost about 83 cents per pill (60 capsules for $49.99). You're supposed to take about three a day, one at every mealtime. But if you buy in bulk (120 pills), the price goes down to about 62 cents apiece. Drugstore.com is also offering free shipping.
In the middle of the Avandia blowup, GlaxoSmithKline this week is launching the new over-the-counter diet pill "Alli." The company says it's spending 150 million bucks on the first-year marketing of the formerly prescription-only Xenical from Roche.A big chunk of that is going toward a multi-pronged educational campaign to convince dieters they have to change their eating habits and exercise if they want to get the maximum benefit from Alli. That's crucial with this drug because the more fat you eat, the worse the gastrointestinal side effects. Clue: Glaxo is telling Alli users to wear dark pants and bring an extra pair to work. The company has gone so far as to set up an exhibit in New York City this week where people can get more information about Alli.
Tomorrow is the NBA Draft Lottery. It is designed to give teams who had a bad season a better future and turn their fortunes around, thus giving their fans hope. It is designed to make sure the league doesn't have the same teams competing for the championship every year. Well, despite the fact that LeBron James has Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals, the lottery apparently isn't doing enough. I don't know how you define parity, but I define it as 'amount of teams that win championships in a certain period of time.'This is the first paragraph/short story.
A big controversy has developed over the appearance that Green Bay Packers rookie running back Brandon Jackson was forced to go the the NFL Rookie Premiere this weekend in Los Angeles instead of what he wanted to do -- attend Packers minicamp.The story is not quite what it was originally made out to be. It turns out that Jackson can't go because a rookie can't attend two camps before his class has graduated, not because he's so marketable that the NFL really needs him in Los Angeles so that they could get a great shot of him in his Packers uniform for his football cards.
It's been ten years since you've seen her on television, but now she's back. She plans on taking market share and kicking proverbial 'butt' in the category in which she's best known: syrup. Pancake syrup.
A company called YouMail lets you create specific voicemail messages for specific incoming callers, like a professional message when your boss calls, or a warm and fuzzy voicemail message when mom calls. Now it’s put a wicked twist on the idea, called Ditchmail. Originally intended to block telemarketers, Gen X,Y,Z-ers (is there a Z yet?) are using the service to dump bad dates.
Ford has signed Funkmaster Flex -- a popular hip-hop DJ and personality on New York City's Hot 97 radio station -- as a company pitchman for its Ford Flex Expedition, and as host of a new TV show where regular Joes compete in customizing one of the company's SUVs. This is a smart move by Ford for a couple reasons. First, Flex's popularity with younger car buyers can help the company gain some much needed buzz on the new Flex CUV. Second, it's another case of Ford trying to break out with a new approach.
The New York Times wrote a story about Bud Selig this weekend and how he might deal with Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. The most interesting part of the story wasn't the article though. It was the photo pointed out by my family friend Neil.Let's play a game of what's here and what's not here. There are at least two calculators on his desk, which I thought was strange for a baseball commissioner. I know it's a stat-driven sport, but just how much math is he doing?
Win on Sunday, buy on Monday. The people at BearingPoint only wish that were the case. Their big endorser Phil Mickelson won the Players on Sunday and gave them plenty of exposure on NBC's coverage of the event thanks to the branding on the visor. But don't expect a stock with a current market cap of $1.43 billion to receive any sort of boost from Mickelson's win alone.
After I wrote about Freddy Adu, and how I felt he hasn't lived up to expectations, the folks at soccer message boards jumped all over me. Then, all of a sudden, after all these years of no one really evaluating him, all these Freddy stories come out.Yesterday, I think I was dubbed Adu Critic #1 as USA Today reprinted my sentiments, then John Meyer of the Denver Post yesterday was asking if Freddy's "boots (are) painted with fool's gold?"
Many reporters and columnists over the last couple of days have opined that baseball teams will not hesitate to do anything in their clubhouses about beer and we’ve seen that as more teams over the past couple days have decided to rid free beer from the locker rooms.Then they tell you that nothing will likely happen in the stands because beer is a huge profit maker for the teams and beer companies spend so much money on baseball that there’s a lot of politics behind doing anything more than the symbolic gesture of keeping alcohol out of the locker rooms.
Before the shoe drops -- as in if Kevin Durant, the potential number one NBA draft pick, picks Nike or adidas -- we've learned that Durant has signed an endorsement deal with Upper Deck. The sports card and memorabilia company will market Durant in all of its 2007-08 products, and on its packaging, and will unveil a line of autographed Upper Deck Authenticated items.
I was opening up my packs of Donruss' Score Select and I pulled this card. I was excited about who the player was, but I was really angry when I looked at this signature.I guess about 10 years ago, card companies started inserting signature cards in packs, but I have to tell you over the past couple years, the signatures have gotten worse and worse. I don't blame the card companies. They send these athletes a sheet of stickers to sign and in the end, the athletes just get lazy.
There's way too much to talk about today, but I'm leading it off with the Jim Stewart 400 because I think the folks at Diageo have been shortchanged because of the fight and the Derby -- and maybe even the Mavericks getting schooled.If you haven't heard about it, the NASCAR Nextel Cup race this weekend is actually named after a fan. The folks at Diageo, who bought the race for their Crown Royal brand, had an essay contest in which 15,000 fans wrote in their favorite life moment worthy of toasting with the drink.
"Spider-Man 3" is breaking records, and it hasn't even opened in the U.S. yet; it premiered in Tokyo in April, and opened in 16 Asian and European countries on Tuesday, bringing in $29 million dollars on its first day alone.Throughout Asia, the film opened bigger than the first and second films in the series; in some countries, it out-grossed the combined opening day of Spidey 1 and 2. And in some countries, the movie broke records for the biggest single-grossing day ever.