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Air Tran Dumps Vick, Hester's Marketability, Spelling Bee Champ & More

Air Tran Dumps Vick

Michael Vick
AP
Michael Vick

Air Tran Airlines told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it wouldn't renew his contract. If that isn't the biggest no-brainer in sports marketing history, I'm not sure what is. Not only has Vick had his problems that the airline has been associated with, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback actually managed to drag the airline into his transgressions twice -- with the water bottle incident and then what amounted to blaming them for a missed flight. The deal didn't make sense to begin with because Delta flies the Falcons, so to the outside world, it's not as if they think Vick flies in a different plane to games. The second part, which makes it a joke, is that Vick takes Delta plenty of times. An informed source told me that Vick has elite status on Delta.

Hester's Marketability

It will be interesting to see how much bigger Devin Hester can be in the marketing world this upcoming season. He was seen as one of the league's hot properties thanks to his incredible kickoff and punt returns and although his Bears lost in the Super Bowl, he had that great kickoff return in Miami. Hester currently has deals with Electronic Arts, Nike and Campbell's and recently signed with sports marketer Brian Lammi. The question is, does he break out even further this year or does he become the next Dante Hall? Getting him more touches on offense might help.

Spelling Bee Champ

Evan O'Dorney took the title last night. He was my fifth pick, which I think is still pretty impressive. Last year, my third pick Katherine Close won it all.



Evan O'Dorney
AP
Evan O'Dorney

It seems like everyone has labeled me a UFC-hater since I remained unimpressed by last weekend's fights.

"I take umbrage with your position that quick knockouts and upset victories are a distraction. I feel that they add an element of 'don't blink.' Chuck Liddell hadn't lost in over four years, but in all of sports, no one stays unbeaten forever."
-- Tim Leslie

"Just out of curiosity, did you ever pay for a Mike Tyson fight in the 90s? How many of those were great back and forth fights? ..."Mayweather versus De La Hoya was supposed to be the 'fight to save boxing.' Yet for $55 (nearly 30 percent more than the UFC PPV price), you got one relatively lackluster fight. If you apply the logic behind your criticism of UFC to other sports than the NFL is terrible because over the half the Super Bowls of the last 20 years were not very competitive."
-- Will Ziacoma

While plenty think the UFC is thriving, the same can't be said for the MMA upstart, the International Fight League. Months ago, I talked about it on CNBC and the stock hit its all time high. I didn't say anything overly positive about the stock, but I think people were just intrigued. It didn't look good when the original investors of the league had their first chance to cash out on Wednesday and apparently, they did. The market didn't read that well and, yesterday, the stock dipped below a dollar and ended up down almost 90 percent since January. The funny thing about this is that the original investors bought the stock for $1.25 and IFL shares opened at $2.90 on Wednesday, so profit only came with volume.

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