A day later I'm handing out my awards from the 2007 NBA Draft. Let's get right to it. Biggest Marketing Loser: Yi Jianlian to Milwaukee. Right behind Greg Oden and Kevin Durant this guy qualified as the third most marketable guy in the draft because of the size of the market in China. Throw that out the door now. Milwaukee is pretty much the absolute worst city he could be in since there's nothing close to a Chinese market in Milwaukee.
Let's just say there was probably some champagne passed around in the Silna family yesterday. That's because the Silna brothers, Ozzie and Dan, learned that they'll be paid some $ 136 million over the next eight years. The checks will be coming from the Denver Nuggets, the San Antonio Spurs, the New Jersey Nets and the Indiana Pacers.
Yankees fans are pretty angry at their wasted $40 million investment on pitcher Carl Pavano. But think about this. Without Pavano, many of us would have never heard of Gia Allemand. The two were engaged but broke up in March. With those Maxim photos out this month--she first appeared as a “Hometown Hottie” in Maxim while she was with Pavano--our friend Gia should know she should probably be charging a little more for those autographs on her official Web site. A 24-by-36 poster of her is $9.95. An autographed one? Just five dollars more ($14.95). Now that's a bargain, folks.
It has been a week since I questioned whether Vince McMahon’s fake death could lead to shareholder lawsuits since McMahon is so material to the organization’s business. Last Tuesday, the WWE said they had not received any calls from those holding WWE stock and then promptly named me a suspect in the death of “Mr. McMahon,” who they said was the character played by Vince McMahon. Well, this morning I walked into the office and received this statement in my e-mail box from the WWE...
Here’s the number one question I always get: Who’s the best endorser in sports? And the right answer is, there isn’t one. What people have to remember is that endorsements are a partnership and if the product doesn’t make sense with the athlete, then it doesn’t work. There’s also an economic threshold to endorsements that is never talked about. Athletes can affect purchasing decision, but only to a certain extent.
Well folks, I’ve never thought I’d utter this phrase: I am a murder suspect. But, truth be told, I apparently am. This according to World Wrestling Entertainment, who gave me this statement when I called them yesterday to answer whether they were irresponsible in issuing a news release that “Mr. McMahon” was “presumed dead” after his limo was blown up last Monday. Here’s what they sent me:
When the XFL blimp crashed into an Oakland waterfront restaurant in Jan. 2001, I had written it off as some foreboding accident. In the end, it might have been the best $2.5 million (the cost of the damage) World Wrestling Entertainment--and perhaps its partner, NBC--spent. But when you look a little bit deeper, it's pretty easy to understand. One, there was somehow a student pilot up there. I've heard of student drivers in cars, but not in planes and blimps. Secondly, it was the WWE for god sakes.
Many of you know of Allison Stokke by now. She's the 18-year-old high school pole vaulter who became an Internet phelnomenon after Matt Ufford at the popular blog With Leather. posted her picture. Today, this high schooler has 840,000 Google hits -- the "Alison" Stokke misspelling has 16,500 hits! -- and of course a "Allison Stokke Fans" MySpace page.
The man they call "The Duck," Angel Cabrera, was one of two players who finished under par after the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday. But oddsmakers didn't respect the 37-year-old, who had a previous U.S. Open high of a seventh place finish in 2001 and missed three of seven cuts in PGA Tour events this year. That's why on Friday morning, if you had a hunch for Cabrera, you could have dropped $100 to won north of $2,500 on Sunday. Wanted to wait until Sunday morning?
“I just decided that I should do something pretty creative in trying to earn as much money as possible…and I just woke up one morning and had the idea.” That's California homeowner Darren Shuster talking about how he woke up with a new vision of his home: house as billboard. I’m not kidding. We saw the painters. He’s literally selling ad space on his 3-bedroom ranch.
Bubba Watson might be on his way to becoming a marketing star. The 28-year-old who hasn't won in his year and a half on the PGA Tour or even on the Nationwide Tour, seems like he's at least on the cusp of winning. He has four Top 10 finishes and looked good today here at Oakmont, firing an even 70.
There may be a few party-planners at Google looking for work this morning. By now, you've heard the story, I'm sure, but for scene-setting purposes, here's the rub: eBay prepares to host its massive "eBay Live!" event in Boston this week, with 10,000 of the company's most rabid users getting together to celebrate their online lives and businesses. It's no secret that some eBayers continue to be upset about fees their paying the company and eBay's regular fee hikes.
About an hour or so ago, Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that he would go to Hendrick Motorsports starting in 2008 for the next five years. But Budweiser -- which has a personal services agreement with Junior through 2008 and was the primary sponsor of his No. 8 DEI car -- wasn't part of the announcement.
A couple years ago, I was all about Mitchell & Ness retro jerseys. So I bought a couple at north of $200. Then I realized that there is so much great stuff on eBay. Game used stuff. One-of-a-kind. And, that it’s so much better of a conversation piece to walk around with real jerseys with random guys names on the back. How great is this Chicago White Sox red zipper front jersey.
A strong brand may be the most valuable thing in retail these days. Maintaining the credibility of that name in a market saturated with brands is what separates the flash in the pan from the successful. From Liz Claiborne's 50% stake in Narciso Rodriquez to the slew of private equity firms snapping up designer names (Permira's stake in Valentino, HILCO's purchase of Halston), merchants are fighting for fresh star brands as they spend the cash on their books these days.
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.