Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Beckham Plan, Red Bull, Shaved Heads & Golden "Grobes"

How Bad Is Beckham Plan Compromised?:

David Beckham

When David Beckham signed his deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, it looked like Real Madrid might have just penalized Beckham by forcing him to sit on the sidelines until his contract expired in the summer. Perhaps -- given what happened on Sunday -- the L.A. Galaxy would have wished that to happen. Beckham injured a ligament in his right knee that could put him out as much as two months. Sure, Galaxy execs don't want him to be rusty, but they also don't want their big investment to go down the drain. Neither does NBC. Beckham's wife Victoria "Posh Spice" sold reality rights to the network for a reported

How Bad Is Beckham Plan Compromised?:

$19.5 million. The series will follow the Beckhams relocation from Europe to the United States. The six, half-hour episodes are scheduled to hit the screen this summer. The series will be produced by Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment, which is owned by CKX . Despite 19 Entertainment's producing of American Idol, the stock has gone down 6.8 percent since the latest version Idol debuted in late January.

Red Bull & Marketing:

Loved the story in the New York Times about a new sport called Crashed Ice, which the folks at Red Bull basically invented. It's described as a cross between hockey and snowboardcross. Red Bull has changed marketing in a way by realizing that there is so much clutter in the marketplace that creating new sports and putting their logo on very strange things is the way to go. They have the Red Bull Air Race , they sponsor guys like Felix Baumgartner a BASE jumper and Tao Berman, a professional kayaker. I give these guys credit for thinking out of the box, but I also think they've gone wrong in recent years. When you can own sports like Crashed Ice and align yourselves with non-traditional athletes, why do what everyone else is doing? I still contend that buying and naming an MLS team the Red Bulls was a stupid move. That's what everyone else does. I'm big on NASCAR sponsorship, but given Red Bull's strategy, I don't think their new sponsorship of Brian Vickers' car works. That's what everyone else does. I'd tell them to sponsor more surfers, more eating contests and spend time and money dreaming up more wacko sports.

Of Shaved Heads And Tattoos:
The other night, NBA badboy Ron Artest shaved "King" in the back of his head. It wasn't anything special, but it made me realize that we haven't had a "Who owns the player's skin debate?" in a long time. Six years ago, the league almost had a problem on its hands when word got out that Rasheed Wallace had received an offer from a major candy company to put their logo – in the form of a tattoo – on his skin. At the time, the rules provided that a player couldn't wear a commercial product during a game without the consent of the league, but that didn't include tattoos or shaving a product's name into their hair. Well, last season, the NBA added this to the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement: "No player can wear any commercial, promotional or charitable name, mark, logo or other identification during any game, including, but not limited to, on his body, in his hair or otherwise." The last offender of this seems to be Artest himself, who last season shaved his record label "Tru Warier" into his hair.

The Golden Grobes:
If I had a wish about contracts in professional sports, first I would wish that NFL players got guaranteed contracts for the hits they gave and took. Then, I'd wish that college coaches and colleges had to abide by the exact terms of the deals they signed so that kids wouldn't get hurt by coaches they committed to jumping schools and schools would be bound to the stupid length of contracts they signed. Last week, Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe – who somehow led the Demon Deacons to an ACC championship last year – signed his second 10-year deal. He was in the fourth year of his first 10-year deal when the school decided to give him a contract through 2016. These contracts are ridiculous and mean nothing. We all know that if Grobe pulls off two more unbelievable seasons, he's gone. And if he has losing records in the next five, he's gone. The schools and coaches just like to play this game so that the coach can walk into living rooms and tell the parents, "I'm here for your son's entire career." Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewki signed a lifetime contract with the school in 2001 and he still flirted with leaving for the Los Angeles Lakers three years later.

Questions?  Comments?