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Business Strategy Marketing

  • "Ookie" not OK!

    Some time between yesterday and today, the NFL banned the word "Ookie" and the word "Dog" from the back of jerseys in light of Michael Vick's indictment related to dogfighting. Yesterday, I was able to get those words, as well as many others, through the first step of personalization on NFLShop.com. Today, the site rejects anyone who hopes the league will put Vick's nickname "Ookie" on the back of his number 7 jersey or any other team jersey for that matter.

  • Chrysler Imperial Concept

    As a man who spent his teenage years tooling around in my parent's big Buick, I have to admit I have a soft spot in my heart for big sedans. Doesn't mean I want one now, but I do like the romantic appeal of a big ol' car. So when I heard Chrysler is scrapping plans to further develop its Imperial large sedan, it made me wonder: is the big car dead?

  • Talking Jesus Action Figure

    Wal-Mart is test marketing religious action toys, hoping there's a Goliath-like appetite out there for something other than Bratz dolls or Dragon Ball Z. The toys are being made by One2believe in California, and they'll be rolled out in August at 425 Wal-Mart stores. The test stores are not just in the Bible Belt, but in places like California. The action figures include a 3" tall figure of Daniel in the lion's den, and a foot-tall talking Jesus. What would Jesus do? Ask him! He talks!

  • Nike Air Zoom Vick 5 Falcons

    When Michael Vick's latest Nike shoe hits the warehouses at Dick's Sporting Goods in a couple weeks, they aren't going into the trash or back to Nike, as a result of the quarterback's recent indictment. The Vick V shoe, which retails for $100, will go out on shelves as scheduled on Aug. 23, the company's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told me this afternoon.

  • David Beckham

    The Los Angeles Times is reporting that David Beckham may not debut Saturday with his new American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, due to a swollen ankle. I was assured last Friday that his ankle, which had been giving him trouble earlier this year, was "great." REALLY? Beckham shirted up with his new teammates for his first practice yesterday, but he did not practice with them.

  • 2007 World Series of Poker Final Table

    The Final Table of the World Series of Poker begins today at 3 p.m ET. You can order it on ESPN.com for $19.95 and watch it live if you want. I’m not going to talk about specific names, so there’s no need to turn away if you don’t want to know who made it the finals. Enough of the disclaimers. Now let’s get to the point.

  • Kevin Durant will be a Nike guy, the question is how much did Nike pay him? The contract has been drawn up, but the paperwork has not yet been completed. I believe I'm going to be wrong on my prediction that Durant, when including signing bonus, would not get more than $6 million a year. The adidas deal was the larger deal, but Durant in the end seemed to go with the brand he was more comfortable with.

  • iq_ad_1.jpg

    I have been reading Runner’s World for the last 10 years or so and I have never stopped at an ad like I did when I saw this Pearl Izumi ad in their August issue. What made me stop? I thought it was so outrageous. So over the top. I read the thing four or five times and wasn’t quite sure what the point was. Was I more likely to buy Pearl Izumis from reading the ad? Were these Pearl Izumis going to help me find dead bodies? Would they give me a free pair if I found one?

  • I get mail. Here's some of it with my responses back: From Randy Sheridan:I couldn't disagree more with your opinion that (a number change for Dale Earnhardt Jr.) would be good. A lot of fans are disheartened to learn that he will no longer be in a red Bud #8 next season. I do not drink the beer but will miss seeing that car synonymous with only him, in my mind. And I'm sure there will be several times next season where I'll see it fly by the screen and I'll think there goes Earnhardt.....

  • Welcome to Buck's Place. I'm talking about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri. What you find here is a history lesson wrapped in a sports legend with a hint of just how supercilious 'organized' sport too often is.

  • I was given the assignment of covering David Beckham’s official introduction to the Los Angeles Galaxy, the Major League Soccer team that has invested millions in him. His base salary is $5.5 million a year, about 50 times the norm. But that salary could balloon to as much as $50 million a year, based on performance bonuses, new sponsorships, and revenue sharing. Galaxy ticket sales have already soared $20 million since announcing Beckham would join the team.

  • Hendrick Motorsports announced moments ago that Budweiser will not in fact be the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr. While it's a really bad thing for Budweiser--any other driver they get won't be as big as Dale Jr,--I think in the end, it's better for Dale Jr. It's just another signal of a fresh start. New team, new logo and I'd advise him and Hendrick to give him a new number as well.

  • David Beckham

    Just because I've labeled Freddy Adu as an absolute failure, people think I'm a soccer hater. Let's get this out of the way. I'm not by any means a huge soccer fan, but I don't hate the sport. That being said, because the sport can't be called a true major league here in America, the media gets the impression that a league like the MLS in need of a savior. That's going to be David Beckham's downfall. David Beckham is going to be better than the average MLS player. But he's not going to be good enough to regularly appear in the highlight reels.

  • With Kevin Durant set to sign a shoe deal in the next couple days, Bodog.com has posted odds on what company will sign the Sonics draft pick. Nike, which is believed to have the lower offer of the two but more of Durant's heart, is the favorite. Which company will sign Kevin Durant to a shoe endorsement contract?

  • Kevin Durant

    After a long wait, it's expected that Kevin Durant will sign with either Nike or adidas in the next couple of days and that the wait is only being delayed by certain language that is being reviewed. The total value of the deal is expected to exceed $40 million, the second largest deal ever signed by an NBA rookie.

  • Barry Bonds

    As Barry Bonds heads into the All- Star Break with 751 home runs, five shy of the all-time record, I have to admit I'm looking at the calendar and laughing. It's interesting to imagine what would happen if Bonds hit his grand shot in either Milwaukee (July 20 to July 22) or in San Francisco at home against Atlanta (July 23 through July 26).

  • No. 8 Budweiser Merchandise

    I never believed it when it came out, the story about how Dale Earnhardt Jr’s leaving of Dale Earnhardt Inc. actually led to a bump in No. 8 Budweiser merchandise sales. I knew that when the truth emerged, we’d find out that No. 8 Dale stuff was getting hammered as fans started to believe that his number and sponsor might change. Well, we now have that answer.

  • I never, ever thought I would write that headline. But I just did. The University of Michigan has signed an eight-year deal, worth a $7.5 million a year with the three stripers. Nike bowing out of the game is either an indication that Nike doesn’t think Michigan is what it once was--although football has had three 10+ win seasons in five years, the basketball team hasn’t made it to the title game in 14 years and hasn’t even made the NCAA Tournament in nine years. Or

  • Venus Williams

    Venus Williams might have won more than $1.3 million for winning Wimbledon on Saturday, but she'll pick up an additional check from the folks at Reebok. The company signed Williams to the largest endorsement contract in women's sports history in December 2000, but due to the on again, off again nature of her play the company chose not to renew Williams after the three-year deal expired. But she still gets paid to wear the Reebok brand even though she's not technically pitched on the company's roster of athletes.

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Budweiser Racecar

    This week, Pepsi is expected to give way to Coke as the official beverage of most of NASCAR’s tracks and speculation is that Pepsi will be putting some of the money they would have used for the tracks, to getting its Mountain Dew brand on Dale Earnhardt Jr's, racing car hood next year. If that trade-off really happens, it’s a cinch for Pepsi and a dumb move for Coke. The bottom line is people aren’t fans of tracks or fans of the organization itself (NASCAR).