It seems fitting that the day after the Lakers Kobe Bryant grabs a much-deserved NBA MVP award in what has been a fantastic run for the NBA this year, that we find the story of someone who found a loophole to try and have some fun and build a little name for himself heading into the NBA Draft.?Far from the Kevin Love's and the O.J. Mayo's is Zach Feinstein, who like any entreprenurial college student, took the time t.do his research.build his case and find a way to carve himself a little brand niche out of literally nothing by applying (and being accepted to the eligible list) for the 2008 NBA Draft.Zach has built a websit.?, is enlisting support through his “stats,” video and the fast moving digital space, to see if a team will give him a shot. Problem is Zach has never played basketball at any level, and is actually a junior majoring in applied mathematics at Washington University in St. Louis. Zach's pitch is offbeat enough to get him some exposure and smart enough to make a little bit of a mockery of the Draft application system, which will surely have safeguards to prevent listing names of those who just go through the process in the future. Still for someone looking to grab his five to 15 minutes of fame, Zach deserves some credit for getting exposure and building a small brand where many haven’t been able to succeed with legitimate athletes and products. Nice lighthearted try.
Also on the nice try list comes the Lancaster Jet Hawks of the Class A California League. The Jet Hawks found a great way to tie to their parent Red Sox with a very unique giveaway and a cool play on words, staging “Big Poppy” night, with a Red Sox uniformed bobblehead with a huge poppy flower in place of David “Big Popi” Ortiz's head. Not only did it probably save them licensing and likeness issues, it got the team some national play and could make them a few e-bay bucks down the line. Another example of how the majors can look to the minors to find a way to raise awareness.
Some other good reads today…the New York Times has a great front page sports piece on the glitz and glamor being brought to India’.new cricket league…we have talked a few times about the “Americanization” of sports marketing that is slowly finding its way abroad, and this piece encapsulates many of the successes and issues that extended marketing and promotion can have in a country where sport is much more still seen as traditional…King Kaufman on salon.com has his take on the timing controversy that occurred at the end of the Pistons-Magic game Monday night and how tenths of a second may not be a good thing to have in the hands of the referrees…the AFL scored another solid hit with Mary Buckhelt's Page 2 q and a on espn.com with Jon Bon Jovi this week…fun stuff…also on the fun stuff side, check out Nicki Jhabvala's piece on IFL fighter/vineyard manager/MENSA member Aaron Stark on si.com…lastly, Media Post has a good tennis activation story with the Tennis Channel doing an in store, on line and on air promotion as a takeoff on the strawberries and cream theme for Wimbledon, with California Giant Berry Farms…nice packaging for tennis’ second biggest event in the states and even better given the time difference that California tennis fans will go through between London and th.west coast.