No Go With This Logo:
Every once in a while, I have to bash someone. And today, I'm laying down the smack on whoever came up with the new LPGA logo. Have you seen this thing? It's the silhouette of woman in a visor with some big curly 1980s hair. In an era where the LPGA has as great of a chance to break out as it ever has with the likes of Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis – and I'm trying to say this in the most politically correct way -- paying tribute to LPGA stars of old doesn't cut it. I'm not sure what the right logo is – I'm not a designer – but it isn't a woman with a mullet, that's for sure.
It's Worth It Already:
The folks at Carhartt are sponsoring Matt Kenseth for four races this season. So far, they are 1 for 1 with Kenseth winning the Auto Club 500 in Fontana on Sunday with Carhartt as the primary sponsor. Since I sure didn't know what they did, I had to go to their Web site to see what they did -- flame resistant clothing. It's not win on Sunday, buy on Monday for me. While we are on NASCAR, with two top five finishes, Mark Martin -- who isn't supposed to do a full race season -- is in first place in the standings. I'm hoping he races a full schedule in the U.S. Army car so that someone can tell me that the sponsorship helped increase enrollment.
If Sports Broadcasts Were Like The Oscars:
Companies that sponsor athletes would get a much better return on their investment if sports broadcasts were like the Oscars. It was just funny watching last night. I'm talking about ABC throwing up the screen, "Penelope Cruz is wearing Versace," "Carmeron Diaz is wearing Valentino" and "Cate Blanchett is wearing Giorgio Armani's Prive." Imagine if you were watching a Cavs game and in between foul shots, the screen flashed "LeBron James is endorsed by Nike, Coca-Cola, Bubbalicious, MSN and Cub Cadet."
The Predictable Protest:
So we knew this was coming. When Under Armour announced it was putting its huge logos in the outfield among the Wrigley ivy, we knew there was going to be those against it. As fans waited on line to get season tickets on Friday, a man named Daniel Cox passed around a petition to protest the placement of the ads. "There is a preservation here that they are really sort of crossing the line," Cox told the local NBC affiliate. "Folks are going so far as to boycott the product." Cox reportedly collected more than 200 signatures.
Not Horsing Around:
Nearly 1,800 Kentucky thoroughbred breeders earned $12.5 million from the state last year. The first payouts, part of what is called the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund, were announced last week. The fund was established in order to keep horses in Kentucky. Breeders are eligible to take a bonus if a horse is born in Kentucky and if their sire stands in the state. Roy and Gretchen Jackson, owners of the late Barbaro, received almost $120,000 in bonuses.
A Colt of Another Variety:
Ten items associated with former Baltimore Colts great Johnny Unitas sold for $165,370, in an auction this past weekend conducted by Hunt Auctions. A game-used helmet, which I picked up when Hunt came to CNBC and couldn't believe how small it was, sold for $54,050. Unitas' first contract with the Colts sold for $29,900. That's ironic because the contract called for Unitas to earn $7,500 for his rookie season.
I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about the outdoor advertising business, but I do know a lot about the sports scoreboard business. The street went nuts when Daktronics reported and expressed that there was a downturn in the ordering of baseball scoreboards and billboards. The result has been a 26.9 percent drop in the stock from its Feb. 12 close of $38.78 to Friday's close of $28.36. There could be a small slowdown – more than 100 minor league ballparks and 27 Major League stadiums use Daktronics systems. But I'll tell you this, there's plenty of room to grow in the sports scoreboard business. Now it's up to you to determine whether that's going to make up enough of Daktronics revenue in the future to justify its current price.
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