If you're watching CNBC today, you'll see my piece on the battle of shoe brands in China as the Olympics approaches. (You can also see it on CNBC.com right now or in clip below). Anyway, unfortunately there's only so much to fit in in "television time" and I had three great interviews with top executives from Nike, adidas and Li-Ning. So I thought it would only be fair if I could run the best parts of the three interviews in the blog.
Many of you are aware that Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon won the worst athlete ad contest here on this blog for his work in spots for 125 Auto. In the advertisement, Papelbon is seen ordering his 2004 Hummer. Well, Papelbon must not have his deal with 125 Auto anymore. Alert reader Chris caught what looks to be Papelbon driving out of the player parking lot at Fenway Park last month in what Chris suggests is a yellow 2006 or 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo.
Admit it, the headline caught your attention. Admit it, you may have scoffed and said, "yeah right" sarcastically. Admit it, you never imagined Buick and Lexus would be considered "equals."Well, back up your daddy's LeSabre and check out the latest vehicle dependability results from J.D. Power and Associates. For the first time in 12 years, another brand tied Lexus.
How many company founders have you seen 'shrink wrapping' product on the factory floor? Or, CEO's trying to help get the production line operating? We saw them both at CherryPharm in Geneva New York. It's a three year old company with a small production facility that makes one thing--cherry juice. But this is not your supermarket cherry juice. Or even your health food store concentrate.
Matt Murphy, who caught home run ball No. 756, wasn’t the only winner on Tuesday night, so too was Kragen Auto Parts, whose rotating sign was behind home plate when Barry Bonds hit the record-breaking shot. Eric Wright of the sponsorship evaluation firm Joyce Julius & Associates told me this morning that he believes Kragen will receive in between $5 million and $6 million in equivalent advertising time for being associated with the moment...
Warner Music Group--as one of the world's largest recording companies--is a pretty good leading indicator for the embattled music industry. With its fiscal third quarter loss growing to 17 million from 14 million last year, let's just say, there's not much hope for the CD business-- new releases aren't selling as well as they used to, and sales are dropping off much faster in following weeks than they ever did before.
Tiger Woods is the only athlete who will come close to earning $100 million in endorsements this year. But the actions of two of the companies he had deals with questions whether Woods is worth the price companies pay. Last week, American Express signed a deal to become the official card of the PGA of America and the USGA and in the process decided to end its deal with Woods after a 10-year relationship with the brand.
Yesterday, I wrote about how a company called Plan B. found out that 71 percent fewer fans showed up on discounted beer night. This surprised me a little bit, but not some readers. From Larry Rascak:Personally I would avoid discount beer night like the plague, simply because I would not want to be at a ballgame (or in the parking lot, or driving home) with the sort of people who would go to a game just to drink a lot of cheap beer. Is this really that big a surprise?
If you're a big fan of Tom Glavine and you are happy he won his 300th game last night, you might as well get his 300th win tie. Oh yeah, it costs $1,000. Tie company Vineyard Vines is making 300 of the ties, which will be sold exclusively at www.rallyfoundation.com. The entire cost of the tie will be donated to the Rally Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.
When Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault, we saw a few nifty entrepreneurs come up with T-shirts to try to cash in on the news. There were the Kobe Bryant T-shirts were made to look like a jersey, with Kobe's number on it and "Colorado Prison League" on the front. One supporter made a "Free Kobe" shirt. But never in the history of sports have we seen the cottage industry that has become Michael Vick dogfighting T-shirts.
Talk about moving fast. Just two days after taking ownership of Chrysler, Cerberus Capital has put a new man in charge of the struggling automaker. And it's a bold move picking an auto industry outsider. Bob Nardelli steps in as Chrysler's chairman and CEO in a move that many will question. Yet, I think this move could work for a couple reasons.
With the market as up and down as it is these days, my schedule has been just as much of a rollercoaster ride! I'm behind on responding to some of the interesting notes that have made their way into my retail detail inbox. So this Friday I decided to catch up! Retail detail reader Mark Coleman raised a good question about cause-related marketing and the type of Super Saturday fundraiser events that I wrote about a few days ago.
Call this the tale of two brands going in opposite directions. One knows its core market and continues to roll out hot models that win over fans. The other is drifting with sales slumping and serious questions mounting about its future. When I look at the July sales, I'm struck by the numbers at Buick. How bad was it? Sales dropped 29 % and every single model was down at least 17%. Think that's bad?
I can't help but comment on Viacom's earnings. On Thursday, the media giant beat Wall Street estimates, thanks largely to the filmed entertainment division's profit quadrupling. But the studio (Paramount and DreamWorks) is a much smaller part of the company than the 'Media Networks' division, which includes MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, etc. I'd say Viacom's largest challenge moving forward is growing its ad revenue on these cable networks...
On a regular basis, I hear from bloggers who think I'm pushing Toyota and would like nothing more than to see the Big 3 implode. In fact, I got an e-mail to that effect yesterday after blogging about the possibility of Chevy and Ford being outsold by the Toyota brand. For the record, Toyota has passed Ford, but still trails Chevy by a slight margin.
Think of the best teacher you ever had. What made him or her great? It likely wasn't their knowledge or diction or their wardrobe. It was very likely the passion they brought to the art of teaching. Shelby Futch is THAT kind of teacher. Futch is the CEO and founder of the Scottsdale Golf Group, which includes the John Jacobs Golf Schools. Jacobs, who is English, was an early partner of Futch's. A renowned golfer in his own right in his time, Jacobs is in his 80's now and lives in England.
I think that things are going to get worse before they get better in the retail. I took a look at short interest in a few big retail names today and was surprised to see just how many investors were betting AGAINST the stores that cater to the mass market consumer right now.
One of the most surprising things about being here in Beijing is the absence of Yao Ming. I thought he'd be everywhere. Sure, he made his name in Shanghai, but I thought he was the pride of China. Well, apparently not. Aside from a Coca Cola ad on an occasional billboard and a wildlife poster, Yao isn't a force here.
A hospital in Pittsburgh is banning Crocs, the comfy rubbery shoes with holes in them. Hospital officials call them a hazard, fearing a nurse might drop a syringe on his or her foot and, bingo! One nurse tells the AP that's a croc. "I mean, I can get a needle stuck in my arm or my leg."
When the July auto sales come out later today, the most interesting numbers to watch may be those for Chevrolet and Toyota. Halfway through this year the two were neck and neck in the battle to be America's top selling brand. I know some of you will read this and think, "who cares?". Well, the long list of people who care stretches from Detroit to Tokyo, and for good reason.