Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Some Advice for Nike, Trademarking "The Big Game" and more...


How 'Bout Them Cowboys:

At some point, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are going to have to win a football or basketball championship, given how much money is being pumped into their athletic department. Boone Pickens, who is the school's largest booster and made the most valuable donation to an athletic department in history, is at it again. Pickens told the school to purchase $10 million in life insurance policies for 25 of the school's biggest donors. The school's will pay the premiums, but when the donors die, the money will go to the athletic department to be used for scholarships. I didn't think people outside immediate family members could do a thing like this, but I guess if the person being insured signs off, it could work.

The Big Game:
As many of you know, many businesses get around using the NFL trademarked Super Bowl by using the phrase "The Big Game." Well, a couple weeks ago, Deadspin linked to the trademark blog, which showed us that the folks at the NFL were now trying to trademark "The Big Game." The LA Times reports this morning that Stanford and Cal - who face off in a game called exactly that every year - are looking to oppose the filing.

Mavericks Have It Down:
I know it's easy to say that a game experience would be good when you go to an arena to see a team who has won 27 of 30 games at home and 14 in a row. But, after being at the Mavericks-Cavaliers game last night, I can honestly tell you that has to be the best game experience in the NBA. What really hit home for me was how happy the players seemed to be to be playing for the team - the Mark Cuban factor definitely has something to do with it. And the fans feel like they are close to the players - trust me, you don't find that at a Knicks game. The one massive addition that the Mavs made that I think every team should have is a drum line. The guys perform on the court every once in a while, but then they go up in the rafters and play beats throughout the game. It's totally borrowed from the college bands, but it really is an awesome addition. A couple other observations. Many of you are familiar with Nike's LeBron "Witness" campaign. One woman last night was wearing a shirt that said "Nowitzness," in honor of the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki. If Nike isn't making those shirts in mass production, they should start the presses right now, especially with Dirk being the MVP favorite. Also saw a great sponsorship from the folks at "Acme Brick," who had out brick cards behind the basket for fans to wave while the opposing team is taking free throws.

Questions?  Comments?