Friday, October 31, 2008

Keys to marketing an athlete

Tiger Woods will eventually become the first athlete to have earned 1 billion dollars from his winnings and endorsements, so the question is, what is the key to successfully market an athlete?
Athlete corporations is something we will have to get accustomed to since more and more athletes are being marketed by huge corporations and no longer are they just athletes, but they're a brand themselves.

So how do you market and brand an athlete?

1. Skills: What else is more important than skills. By having skills you attract fans and attention, with the attention, people would want to purchase your merchandise. According to this person, the most marketable athletes in the USA are: Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Dwyane Wade. One thing in common with these athletes. skills. Nothing beats out the natural skill of an athlete when branding and marketing a person.

2. Success: What can be better for a sports company such as Nike or Adidas to have their athlete in a giant poster holding up a championship trophy. Everyone wants to be linked to success, and the idea of conspicuous consumption where the consumers want to purchase that shoe thinking they can be just like Kobe holding up that trophy. Who wouldn't want to buy something from an athlete who is a 'winner'.

3. Sex Appeal: Now this is what I called the Anna Kournikova section. The lady who didn't win anything, but won the attention of all the marketers. Although we don't like it, but in our society, looks is everything. With looks you can get that job and in Kournikova's case, she can get millions for just looking pretty. This is the case of Sex Appeal > Success/skills. But wait, imagine the ultimate athlete who has both sex appeal and skills. His name is David Beckham.

4. Image: Image is not hard to maintain, but it can be lost very easily with a simple picture or accusation. No company would want to associate themselves with a criminal. You can have all the skills in the world, but image is the number one key to a company as well as an athlete corporation. Just look at Michael Vick. When the dog fighting scandal arose, Nike immediately sacked him not wanting to be associated to a person involved in criminal activities. Image can't make you, but it can easily break you. Without skills, success, and sex appeal you cannot receive a lucrative contract from Nike, but by having the three and not having the "image," the athlete will lose the contract immediately.

Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals says: "I think that if you take any player, even if he is "dead wood," and start promoting him, you'll get a star." I think on a level that is true. With marketing and branding, a person can be built and hyped up just like wrestlers in the WWE, but without the above 4 qualities and attributes, it is near impossible to market and brand an athlete to an "athlete corporation."

Colts - Patriots this Sunday. Does anyone care?

The Indianapolis Colts is hosting the New England Patriots this Sunday but does anyone really care anymore? Over the past few seasons, this is a marquee matchup with two football powerhouses going at it. Now we fast forward to 2008 with a 3-4 Colts and a Brady-less Pats - how interesting huh... The colts are on the decline and a Belichick's soldier-like team in the Pats without Brady can no longer hold our attention. BOOORING - what other teams are playing now.
The interest has shifted towards Peyton's little brother Eli and the defending Super Bowl champions against the loud-mouth, Jessica I can't play through a broken pinky Romo - Cowboys. The team loading up on the NFL badboys will have to do without Romo once again this weekend nursing his little pinky. Boo Hoo...
And yes, Patriots VS. the Colts has definitely lost its luster this season and possibly forever.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where is Mats Sundin Going?

As of now, it seems like Mats Sundin is returning to the NHL as he is currently on a heavy workout schedule in Los Angeles hoping to get in shape asap. The question on EVERYBODYS mind is, what team? Here are my top six teams that are interested in his service as well as having the appeal for Sundin to join. I am sure most NHL clubs wouldn't mind having Sundin but trust me, hes not going to LA or Columbus.

Montreal Canadiens:
Montreal made a hard push for him during the trade deadline last season and also the offseason by acquring his rights from the Maple Leafs. Having signed Robert Lang has basically pushed them up to the cap limit. I think in a perfect no-cap world they will and can sign Mats Sundin but with this current CBA, it is now unlikely for them to get Sundin.

Sundin Montreal bound: 4/10 - because of the possibility of winning of a Stanley Cup

Chicago BlackHawks:
This is a new team that has recently sparked some Mats Sundin rumours. They are also very close to the cap, but their advantage is that by dumping the heavy contract of Nikolai khabibulin they have cap space left to sign Mats. There are also teams interested in Khabibulin so this could very well work. The question is, would Sundin really want to play for Chicago? They are not a Stanley Cup contender yet in my opinion and I don't think Sundin can push them over the top. So would he want to go there just to help develop some future superstars? My answer is... NO

Sundin Chicago bound: 3/10 - I don't see why he wants to go Chicago, the money he can get from Vancouver, and the chance at a Stanley Cup he can get with NYR or MTL.

New York Rangers:
Another team very close to the cap, but I NYR will actually trade away players to make room for his services if he is willing to join the team. The team most likely to win the Stanley Cup on this list with the off-season addition of Markus Naslund and Wade Redden has solidified the team as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Sundin New York bound: 6/10 - if he wants to come back to win a Stanley Cup, NYR is his best bet. The problem is still the cap space and the issue of unloading players to make room. But if Sundin joins, think of the firepower they would have on the team.

Vancouver Canucks:
The team most likely to offer the most dough for his services. With a sub-par start to the season, Sundin would be taking a gamble on a team that is neither going up nor down. I think the Canucks are one or two forwards away from making a deep run in the playoffs especially with a solid D core and Captain Luongo in net.

Sundin Vancouver bound: 6.5/10 - If he is coming back for money as well as a chance for a Stanley Cup, Vancouver might be in the mix. The problem I see is, even with Sundin in the lineup, Vancouver still needs help with scoring. One more offensive forward would do... Gaborik anyone?

Tampa Bay Lightning:
A team that loaded up in the off-season only to not live up to the hype/expectation so far this season. I blame it on the coach. With that much firepower and a decent back-end, they should be competing near the top of the division.

Sundin Tampy Bay bound: 3/10 - Don't understand why he would want to go Tampa Bay. If they could offer him the money, then why not choose Vancouver? Doesn't seem like they are going to win the cup this year, so why not choose Rangers or Montreal? Living in the hotbed of hockey for majority of his career, does he really want to go to an area where they don't care about hockey? Tampa Bay imho is the most unlikely team for him to land with. But who knows, crazy things happen in this game.

Toronto Maple Leafs:
Now Toronto... the team raising eyebrows with their modest success so far this season. Looking to rebuild but playing a solid team game at the same time under Wilson, Toronto is proving to everyone that they're not throwing in the towel this season just to enter the Tavares sweepstakes. Nonetheless, they're still a team that is rebuilding with no true superstars on the team that plays a tough grind-it-out game everynight.

Sundin Toronto bound: 8/10 - The leader of Toronto for the past decade, I don't know if he wants to throw that all away by joining another team just to win a Stanley Cup. If so, he would've waived his no-trade clause last season. Maybe he thinks with him in the lineup, they can surprise everybody and make it in the playoffs which would definitely solidify him as one of the greatest Leaf of all time.

The possibilities are endless with every team wanting the superstar, but only one will get him. My pick is Toronto or Vancouver considering the cap issues and chance of success. The problem is I don't think he wants to throw away his legacy in Toronto for the money. My prediction is... he'll be back with the blue and white this season and the next. But who knows, maybe he'll end up in Philly or some team that is completely off the radar now. We'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Philadelphia Phillies World Champions?

First of all, congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies for their World Series win. They played hard throughout the season and with Brad Lidge closing out the games, they deserved the trophy.
I made my rant about how boring the World Series has been and I am still sticking to that. It has been one of the most boring championship in a long time and it wasn't like it was a close series to have people intrigued. I swear if Boston made it to the final, the ratings would double if not triple, and the series would be a lot closer.

Now what pisses me off is how the commentators keep saying Philadelphia Phillies world champions. They're NOT the world champions. They have got to change the name - its not the World Series when we have teams from North America competing against each other. Also United States isn't even close to being the baseball powerhouse they once were. They didn't win the Olympics, they weren't even close to winning the World Baseball Classic in 06. MLB should team up with leagues across the globe and have a REAL World Championship instead of a North America games and proclaiming themselves as the World Champions when at best, you are the North American Champions. Similar to soccer and their champions league would work. Doesn't matter what nation the players on your team is, its a championship of the club teams.
So either stop calling it the WORLD SERIES or have a real World Series.

Greg Oden career prediction

Greg Oden has been plagued by injuries since his college days and now in his second year in the NBA, he has officially only played one game (as of Oct29,2008) - and he didn't even finish the game. He is injured ONCE again leaving the game with a foot injury. I think its a matter of time before he gets badly hurt and has to sit out for a prolong period of time.
His future looks bright, but with his constant injury woes, I have a feeling he'll be one of the biggest bust in NBA draft history. I know he is still young, but with his body size and frame, it is not easy to put that much pressure on your body constantly especially with the tough physical play the NBA has to offer.

Yes, I am going to say it right here right now; Greg Oden will suffer another big injury this season
and having to play only a handful of games in couple of years, his skills will slowly diminish and we'll all be looking back at the once touted prospect that could've been great but due to his body limitations, he'll be a well travelled player with every team hoping to ignite the flame that once burned in Ohio State which coveted him the no.1 pick. I hope I am wrong - if healthy, he has the potential to be great.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

World Series of Rain and Snooze

The 2008 World Series will be one to be forgotten for MLB as well as the fans. It has been incredibly boring and amidst the lack of viewers, it is prolonged even longer with talks of a conspiracy brewed up by Bud Selig. The worst commissioner in any professional sports has been bombarded with questions to why he suspended the game, why did the game even start, why wasn't it suspended earlier etc. Some say he waited till the Tampa Bay Rays tied it up before he suspended it so he wouldn't have to crown The Phillies on a default. Imagine if the game ended because of a rain delay and they won sitting in the clubhouse, how ridiculous would MLB look. A conspiracy is a little far-fetched since no one can predict the weather (or maybe Bud Selig can) but the game shouldn't have started in the first place. This just gives the Philly fans something to complain about if they end up losing.

I'm sorry but I am actually hoping the Rays will come back and win it all. THEN we will have something to talk about, FINALLY. Philadelphia would erupt with riots, MLB will be severely criticized, Bud Selig will step down, and the 2008 World Series will be forever remembered for all the wrong reasons. Better than the current World Series that no one will remember. Screw baseball, NBA season has started.

Burton Love Snowboards controversy

So Burton has released a line of snowboards called the "Love" this season and not many people are happy with it. These snowboards feature vintage playboy models skimpily dressed with their ass on the base.

Parents were the first one to speak out against this line, but now ski resorts in England and western states are joining in on the protest as well as demonstrations outside Burton headquarters in Burlington, Vt.
What I have to say is, just let it go. Do you really think with television and the internet these days, kids aren't exposed to these sort of content? The American culture is shaped by sexuality. Just read the book called The Porning of America by Carmine Sarracino and you'll understand how "Burton Love" is not the problem but the whole American culture is the problem. There are far worst things that these demonstrators should be protesting against instead of these 4 pictures on a 152cm canvas.

But don't worry all you jibbers, you are still allowed to go jibbing with these boards at various resorts, just employees are banned from using it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

World Series Rain Delay

I think it is time for MLB to implement mandatory retractable roof for all new stadiums. How ridiculous is it to have a game delayed due to rain. It ruins television schedule and the fan's schedule.
I know all you traditionalist love how the cold and wind can impact the game, but I say by having a retractable roof, at least you have the option of closing it when the weather is bad.
Now Game 5 of the World Series is suspended and for the 10people who cares about the game, they would have to tune in tomorrow to watch only couple of innings of baseball. But what if the weather is still bad tomorrow? Will this boredom of a championship ever end?
Mandatory retractable roof NOW!

Vancouver Olympics 2010 Tickets

So I just recently got an email from the Olympics 2010 website reminding me of the upcoming deadline to purchase my tickets. I don't know of many of you know this, but the ticketing system is done on a random draw bases instead of first come first serve.
If the ticket request for an event is below the capacity seatings, you will automatically be given the tickets, but for events that are high in demand, a draw would be done for all those who requested the tickets.

Priority goes to Canadian residents who selects the events to have your name in the draw before November 7th 2008. This system is done in order to prevent scalpers from loading up on the tickets and selling it for more value.
Ticket priorities goes out to Canadians and for international (incl U.S.A) you have to purchase it through your own National Olympic Committee.
Here is the list of events that are HDS (High Demand session)

- Alpine skiing (Men Downhill)
- Opening Ceremony
- Snowboard (Women's halfpipe)
- Snowboard (Men's halfpipe)
- Ice Hockey (Women)
- Ice Hockey (Men)
- Speed Skating (Men's 5000m Final)
- Figure Skating (Pair's Free Program)
- Figure Skating (Pair's Short Program)
- Figure Skating (Men's Short Program)
- Figure Skating (Men's Free Program)
- Figure Skating (Ice dance Original/Free Dance)
- Short Track Speed skating (Men/Women)
- Speed Skating (Men's/Women's - 5000m/1500m/1000m/500m)
- Speed Skating (Men/Women Team Pursuit)
- Freestyle Skiing (Men/Women Aerials Final)
- Curling (Men's/Women's Gold Medal)
- Alpine Skiing (Women's downhill)

Click here for the Vancouver 2010 Games Tickets

World Zzzeries

Mark my words, the Philadelphia Phillies will be the World Series Champion if not tonight, then in game six in Tampa Bay. I don't see the Rays coming back as their improbable run will come to an end soon. The question is, does anyone even care?
The World Series this fall has been a snooze. No Red Sox Nation or the Evil Empire Yankees to spice up the storylines but instead we have a Cinderella story in the Tampa Bay Rays and the boring Phillies.
People of Philadelphia has been searching for a possible parade route before they even won anything, but rest assured, the parade will happen eventually especially against the Rays that are obviously down and out.

Nonetheless, I know Joe Carter broke the hearts of Philadelphia fans in 93', but party on Philly, even though you have bored us all to death this fall, you deserve the near 30-year wait.
Brad Lidge, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins has carried this team for years and they deserve the championship.