Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

No More Mitchell & Ness, Pay For Pain, And More


Why I’m Done With Mitchell & Ness
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. Why would I want a Darryl Strawberry 1987 Mets replica shirt, when I can get a John Gibbons. There, I gave away my secret.

What $10 Will Do
How poor on the nation’s best college athletes? Pretty poor. Here’s the best example I’ve got. In a three-week period in September, Georgia’s athletes missed 421 classes. After athletics director Damon Evans threatened with mandatory fines of $10, Georgia’s athletes only missed 46 classes, according to the National Football Foundation. There were possible game suspensions involved, but the sad thing is that we know the $10 bucks was a bigger deterrent.

Pay For Pain
Being a marathon runner myself, I can understand why people want to run 26.2 miles. It’s a great challenge and if you can do that you feel like you can do anything. But I can’t say that I’m not astounded by the amount of people that applied for the New York Marathonthis year. A record 98,654 applicants. The list gets narrowed down to 49,800 people accepted and eventually about 38,300 people run it. It’s not cheap to run either. It’s $100 for New York Road Runners members and $130 for non-members.

Is Nike Plus Working?
The people at Nike and Apple have done an incredible job with the Nike+iPod sports kits. It comes with a receiver and a device to put in your Nike shoe so that it can, among other things, track your mileage as you run. It’s a product that has truly changed the game of running and it’s proven at,where you can see that people have run more than 17 million miles using it.

The way I read it is that Nike is hoping that this innovation does two things. It starts up some social network on a level that Nike has never really had before and secondly it helps sell running shoes, an area that has been a tough haul in the hard-core running category because runners are so brand loyal.

I think the first hope is working better than the second. How do I know this? Because enough people in the last couple months have told me that they don’t want to buy the Nike plus adaptable shoes and are looking for some pouch so that they can put the circular button that fits into the Nike shoe sole on the top of their shoe. I also know this because the No. 1 best selling apparel item on Amazon is this shoe pouch for the Nike Plus. The Nike Plus is single best effort Nike has ever had in order to try to get the hard-core runners to switch, but I’m not sure they’re getting the masses they had hoped for.

Logo Change
The Athlete’s Foot
has changed its logo. I’m taking votes for which one you like better. I’m for old school (the one on the left).

Logo Change
The Athlete’s Foot
has changed its logo. I’m taking votes for which one you like better. I’m for old school (the one on the left).

Ratings Corner
As expected, the value of having a philly in the race in order to make the Belmont more marketable didn’t work. The race, on ABC, got a 3.2. The last Triple Crown hope -- Smarty Jones in 2004 -- garnered a 13.1.

Federer Swoosh
Thanks to readers Josh Brickman, Josh Elkin and Javier Gil for pointing out that Roger Federer’s shirt actually did have a logo on it. I didn’t see it because it was so small hidden under the left side of his collar.

Questions?  Comments?