One of the hallmark brands in sports and entertainment that had lost its way in the internet crazy, flash and dash 24/7 world was the Harlem Globetrotters. Like the circus, the rodeo and many of the other circuits (even professional indoor tennis) that traveled on a tour to cities across America and around the world, the Globies, who once graced primetime television, cartoons and the movies, had fallen on hard times becaus. of the ability to keep the fan and family friendly act fresh. However in the last year, a new rebranding campaign, combined with a great city by city PR boost (led by the folks at Coyne PR), have produced a series of business , sport. and promotional exposures for the brand to let the consumer know they have re-established themselves as fun and in many cases, hip and cool entertainment for those of all ages. Recent exposure in their New York stop included a great all-access piece given to CNBC's Darren Rovell, the opportunity for local TV anchors like Channel 55's CJ Papa to practice with the team, along with the outreach to local celebrities and influencers to help make the brand relevent again. The access, the outreach, and the re-explanation of the brand as something which adults could identify with from their past, and what young people can build memories with (much like the way baseball brands itself as a family lifetime expereince), combined with the ability to create very nice YouTube-like video packages, are all part of the Globetrotters resurgence in 2007, and should help them regain the “tour” foothold when returning to cities, in many ways like the PBR has done to reinvigorate the rodeo/cowboy experience of days gone by.
On the political side, the connection between Senator Barack Obama and sports as an area of influence continues to grow. The latest examples heading into Ohio this week are Portland Trail Blazer (injured) rookie and former Ohio State star Greg Oden throwing his support behind the Senator, along with George Vecsey's New York Times piece today explaining why young men of all ages will look to Obama the hoopster as a deciding factor when they cast their vote. Once again, the sports variable seems to be swinging th. Senator's way, and we await seeing who ends up at a spring training site or throwing out a first pitch in the coming weeks. Our bet is again with Obama.
Lastly, on the business side, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had a very interesting piece on his blog the last few days on when foreign ownership will enter American sports. The interest in American owners in soccer abroad has been well documented recently, but with the slippage of the dollar and the growing global interest of sports, can the large capital investors who are NOT American stay away much longe.? Very interesting topic worth following, and a blog note worth reading.
On a personal note, I would like to pass on my thoughts and prayers to the family of fellow blogger, longtime colleague and good friend Terry Lyons and his family, who lost his brother Tim to colon cancer.