The folks at Ebaum’s World consider the heavy security measures employed to prevent the shoplifting of the Just For Men product to the far right (above) an example of “Accidental Racism”. Maybe the real truth of the matter is that Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s fans of all races will go extreme lengths — including but not limited to stealing — in order to possess any item bearing the likeness of their guru.
With all due respect to former Manhattan/Louisville G Chris Smith and the persons working hard to make Fightball a success, I will remain loyal to SLAMBALL until death.
(above, Shitfucker, shown at their very successful audition for Carnival Cruise Lines)
I’ll admit I’ve not had a ton of time for SonicBids over the years, mostly because I’m totally allergic to any enterprise that wants to shackle the naive and gullible to some upwardly-mobile fantasy existence that’s really just another version of pay-to-play in disguise. My own health issues aide, SonicBids’ Shaine Freeman recently posed the question, “Is Your Band Name Killing Your Licensing Opportunities?”, an essay that if nothing else, should have members of the Bhopal Stiffs and Barney Rubble & The Cunt Stubble re-examining their priorities. Aside from claiming Toronto’s Fucked Up have missed out on “millions in licensing and corporate partnership revenues” over the years (why not say “billions” or “zillions” for all the hard research that went into this citation?), Freeman seems to be under the impression the sole reason one might form a band is to get paid.
Imagine if Coca-Cola had chose to name its beverage company Shitty-Cola in 1886 when the company was introduced to the public. During an era where profanity was deemed unacceptable, Coca-Cola’s founders would have offended their targeted consumers and likely went to jail for it. So, why any musician would choose to use profanity in the name of their business truly baffles me.
When I say the names Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, N.W.A., or Marilyn Manson, you instantly understand that major corporations will likely never partner with these artists. Two of them are associated with gangs, one is associated with a murderer, and all of them are associated with drugs. While these artists did find some commercial success, they never truly reached their earning potential while operating under those names.
Changing your band name can take a lot of work and will likely require the assistance of a publicist if you’ve established a large fanbase. But, it’s not impossible to make a successful transition from one name to another and keep your audience intact. One way to do this is by getting your fans involved in choosing a new name for your band. This way, they feel even more connected to the restructuring of your identity and will continue to be supportive of the new change.
Freeman makes an excellent point. It’s totally impossible to imagine, for instance, a major automotive campaign featuring Marilyn Manson…except it happened in 2009. And certainly, an association with NWA members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube would give pause to any mainstream commercial enterprise. Imagine how many more billions Apple would’ve paid for Beats were it not for this blot on Dre’s resume?
Whether Cavs owner / Quicken loans CEO Dan Gilbert is a comic sans enthusiast with a trigger temper or a predator lender whose vaunted endeavors in Detroit and Cleveland aren’t entirely altruistic, it cannot be an easy situation for Cleveland reporters who wish to speak freely about Gilbert’s history. Cleveland Scene’s Vince Grzegorek and Ryan Felton profiled Gilbert on Wednesday and found a businessman fond of cultish sloganeering (“there is no they”, “we eat our own dog food”), abiet one with a serious case of rabbit ears :
Back in early September, Plain Dealer sports columnist Bill Livingston was a guest on Tony Kornheiser’s radio show in Washington D.C. on ESPN 980. In the midst of a wide-ranging conversation on Cleveland sports — Johnny Manziel! LeBron’s coming back! — the topic of Dan Gilbert came up and Livingston didn’t hold back his feelings while touching on Gilbert’s infamous letter and more.
“I could understand playing to his base,” Livingston said. “But this is not the first time that he had released statements like this that weren’t pretty… They were sent out late at night, and draw some connotations from that if you will.”
He continued, leaving the vagaries behind.
“He can have a bit of a hair trigger,” he said. “He can become influenced by all the things that a late night would engender. I think probably alcohol probably played a part of it, just to come out with it. It’s just suppositional on my part, but he’s sent out messages like this before, to Plain Dealer people on the casino issue, that were over the top.”
Livingston was speaking the truth, as three media sources have told Scene over the years, describing similar interactions with Gilbert and worse. The billionaire can unleash torrents of spite when reporters question his decisions, and this time he went straight to Livingston’s bosses at the Plain Dealer with his complaints. They, in turn, would tell Livingston to write a letter of apology to Gilbert, a sanctioned snipping of one of the few who dare call Gilbert to the carpet.
(above : actually a photo taken at ABC No Rio, but this seems to be how one businessman recalls the old Maxwell’s)
Hoboken, NJ’s Maxwell’s was eulogized in this space last year (“The Place That Ran Contrary To (Almost) Every Negative Rock Club Stereotype : A Fond Farewell To Maxwell’s”) thusly : “even before CBGB’s booking turned into an orgy of indifference, Maxwell’s took a curatorial approach to the old & new in a manner that respected the intelligence of the audience & performers alike. In stark contrast to barns like City Gardens or The Ritz, Maxwell’s felt like a place that was owned & staffed by persons who thought the players and paying customers were friends and peers. As opposed to, y’know, targets & tools in the all-important struggle to sell more beer.” Of course, times change, neighborhoods get pricey, and a new generation of monied types have their own ideas of what does or doesn’t constitute quality entertainment. Enter the co-owner of the new Maxwell’s, Peter Carr, whom the Hudson Reporter’s Carlo Davis credits with turning what used to be a tremendous performance space for 30 decades + of pioneering bands of local and international import into a home for “trivia, stand-up comedy and fantasy football.” For better or (mostly) worse, Carr’s decided to reintroduce live music to the mix (a random assortment of “American Idol” runner ups, cover bands and would-be Blues Hammers), though he hilariously claims, “we’re trying to get back to some of the roots of Maxwell’s”. I wonder what he thinks those roots are?
In the old days when Maxwell’s was at its height,” said Carr, “it was primarily punk rock and grunge, and that was kind of back in the day when the artists could afford to live in Hoboken. Some of that’s changed and the demographics are a lot different than they used to be so we’re trying to cater to the demographics that we see in the town.”
“It’s not an old broken down stage with PA systems and your feet sticking to the floor because the floor hasn’t been washed in two weeks,” said Carr. “The old place was a dive.”
In seeking a new upscale concept, Carr holds little nostalgia for the Maxwell’s that was. “The place has been completely redone,” said Carr. “It’s nice, it’s clean, it’s open, the food’s good, so it’s a whole different type of atmosphere than the old Maxwell’s, where you would have the people…come in and have a hamburger and drink and spill stuff all over the floor and go into the back room and jump up and down and get their ears blasted out. This is a lot higher quality.”
Alright, this (dopey) entrepreneur is more than entitled to try and make a buck however he sees fit, but any characterization of the old Maxwell’s as either a) a punk/grunge HQ or b) biohazard-central is pretty off, especially the “dive” comments. By the standards of real dives, Maxwell’s was one of the cleaner, best maintained, more hospitable live music venues in the entire country. It’s mostly the booking that made it special, but the room itself was great (the P.A., especially). Was it a “punk” club, you ask?.Only the hardest of the hardcore. I nearly sprained my ankle trying to stage dive at a Richard Thompson show ( because the entire audience was sitting quietly on the floor and I kept tripping on people).
The irony is that Carr is dissing a place that by most rock’n'roll standards (at least those for clubs too small to have VIP viewing decks) was pretty upscale (yet very welcoming to all who played or attended). It’s very likely there’s been enough turnover in Hoboken that there’s few persons remaining who’d be offended at Carr trashing a local institution that generated so much goodwill (and curiously, a brand name he still wants to milk). But it’s not great P.R., and the Hudson Reporter’s willingness to let Carr’s claims run unchallenged isn’t great journalism, either.
The persons behind the Facebook group “We Are Darren Wilson” had promised to sell the above t-shirts at a St. Louis sports bar in advance of Saturday’s Game One of the National League Championship Series between the host Cardinals and the visiting Giants. At some point yesterday, they changed their mind.
“**Due to heightened threats/violence in the St. Louis City area our team will not be physically present at Barney’s** *SHIRTS-HATS-WRISTBANDS* update: If you’re local, pick up at Barney’s Sports Pub, 6027 Chippewa St, St Louis, MO 63109 (wristbands $5, hats $10, blue/silver badge shirts $15). If you already sent a check to Barney’s, we’ll still send your wristband by mail. Otherwise, we’re discontinuing mailings at this time. For a variety of reasons outside of our control, we were unable to continue with the red shirts. Thank you for your continued support of Darren Wilson and Law Enforcement!”
One of the “variety of reasons”, “beyond their control” might be use of the Cardinals name and colors without the permission of Major League Baseball.
For a mere $39.99 (marked down from $60), Touch Of Modern will sell you the above Citi Field blueprint, featuring “hand-drawn artwork of the park including a plan view, signature elevation view, and architectural details.” I am certain none of this blog’s readers would dream of using such materials in the planning or commission of a violent and/or treasonous act that may or may not bring a particularly evil regime to their knees.
There’s no truth, by the way, to the rumor Jon Koncak has offered to serve as Chief Diversity Officer for not one penny more than his average annual salary from ’89-’95.
Newark’s Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was vacant this past season as the Can-Am League’s Newark Eagles failed to field a team after years of financial struggles. On Saturday, The Record’s Joan Verdon reports TV marketing maven A.J. Khubani (above), founder of Telebrands, the company behind the Pocket Hose and the Slice-O-Matic, is interested in bringing a new team to Newark. Verdon warns however, that Khubani, “has tangled with the Federal Trade Commission and the state Division of Consumer Affairs over advertising claims and practices, and in August the state filed a complaint accusing Telebrands of violating the Consumer Fraud Act.” So in other words, why isn’t he partnering with Fred Wilpon?
“As I get older, like most people, you start to think about their legacy and what they’re going to do with the money they’ve accumulated,” Khubani said.
“I’m a Jersey boy,” he said. “I love this state. The goal is to bring that team back and support it. It’s something that’s good for the state.”
Al Dorso Sr., one of a group of investors who last year acquired Skylands Park, a 4,200-seat former minor league stadium in Sussex County, and who is working to put a team in that stadium, said he wishes Khubani luck in his efforts but that operating a team in Newark is a challenge. “It’s a difficult stadium [to fill]. There’s a lot of competition. And they didn’t have a lot of community support. They really need the community behind it.”
Khubani said he is confident that he could develop some strategies to sell tickets in Newark. “I happen to have some expertise in getting people to buy things,” he said.
No matter how many titles Oklahoma City and K.D. might win in the future, they’re never match the meme-anticipating insanity of Seattle’s Predrag Drobnjak television advertisements.
The Connecticut Post’s Amy Graff reports clothing retailer Zara has taken a children’s pajama top off their shelves after someone pointed out, y’know, it kinda looked like a concentration camp uniform.
The Wild West-inspired top was meant to look like a sheriff’s uniform with dark horizontal stripes and a bright yellow star over the right breast. In fact, the word “sheriff” is emblazoned across the star, but in online images the title isn’t visible. Outraged Twitter users pointed out that the six-point star looked like the Star of David and the blue-and-white horizontal stripes resembled those on Holocaust prison wear — even though concentration camp uniform stripes were vertical.
After a social media explosion, the Spanish retailer with outlets throughout the world ditched the shirt and released an apology.
The top’s availability earlier this week is uncertain but many news sites are reporting that it was sold on a number of International sites including those selling to customers in Albania, Denmark, France, Israel, Sweden and the UK.
A little more than a year ago, Bleacher Report co-founder Bryan Goldberg’s attempts to “transform Women’s publishing” with the newly launched Bustle.com received widespread criticism, including the suggestion from this corner (“The Web’s #1 Content Farmer Finds Out That IUD Isn’t An Acronym For “Internet Underwear Deputy”) he was as credible a champion of feminism as Luke Winkie.
Fast forward to this morning, and Slate’s Amanda Hess surveys the commercial success of Bustle (rivaling Jezebel for traffic) and Goldberg’s skill in mollifying some of his more prominent foes (some of whom have not-so-coincidentally accepted payment from, uh, Goldberg). Still, while Goldberg has convinced some in the web world that he’s not the biggest creep on Silicon Row, Hess found at least one person unwilling to high five the man she calls “The Bro Whisperer” :
“It’s nice not having to code-switch as I would with a male boss,” one contributor told me of working with all female editors. A former intern described the office dynamic as an “all-girls summer camp feel,” where Goldberg typically stayed tucked away in his office, and the crew of relentlessly kind female editors “felt like counselors” to their young charges. In fact, Bustle’s office culture vibe is so by-women, for-women that one former contributor didn’t recognize Goldberg’s name when I raised it in our conversation. “I had no idea a man was behind Bustle,” she told me. “Weirdly, that makes me like it much less.” She had assumed that her low pay rate was the product of a fledgling female-run startup that had struggled to secure funding from venture capitalists. When I sent her Goldberg’s now infamous PandoDaily announcement, she looked at the headline and said, “There’s $6.5 million behind it, and this is what they’re paying me?” I told her that Goldberg had since raised an additional $5 million. “Jesus,” she said.
…but that doesn’t mean he can’t try. Days after the New York Times profiled São Paulo busing magnate turning record hound-to-the-extreme Zero Freitas and his efforts to snap up collections faster than his interns can archive ‘em, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Scott Mervis reports Jerry Weber (above) of the legendary Jerry’s Records is keen to talk turkey. Or records for cash, as it were.
“I heard whispers about [Mr. Freitas] for years,” Mr. Weber says. “He was a little sneaky about it. He didn’t want people to know what he was doing.”
“I’m sorry to see the records leave, it’s kind of sad that they’re leaving our country to go to Brazil, but those records have been out of circulation. We weren’t allowed to look at them, they were too expensive to buy.”
Mr. Weber, who owns 2.5 million albums between his store and warehouse and has been featured on “best record store lists” as well as on the A&E show “Hoarders,” admits that he’s a bit jealous of the Brazilian operation, which he estimates at around 8 million pieces.
Not surprisingly, he’s conflicted about his collection, built over three decades, saying, “I don’t want to sell them to Brazil. I’m patriotic. I think people in Pittsburgh should be able to hear them. But I’d have to be a fool not to do it.”
He has five grandchildren, he said, and “my kids would never forgive me” if he passed on a deal like that.
Nonetheless, Pittsburghers shouldn’t worry too much about the disappearance of Jerry’s, because collecting is in his blood.
“I just turned 66, so I’ve got four, five years,” he laughs. “I would start all over again. The way I buy records, I could build it back up in no time.”
Philly hedge-fund manager Andrew Barroway’s NYC ICE has sued New York Islanders owner Charles Wang (right) over the latter reneging on an agreement to sell the NHL franchise for $420 million. According to the suit, reported on by the New York Daily News’ Barbara Ross and Patrick Leonard, Wang seemed to think recent events surrounding the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers had inflated the Islanders’ market value :
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Barroway’s corporation blames Wang’s “about-face” on a whimsical case of “seller’s remorse” directly influenced by the “unrelated news” of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid to buy the NBA’s Clippers from Donald Sterling, the team’s embattled, soon-to-be-former owner.
NY ICE’s lawsuit claims the parties “shook their hands on an agreement” and NY ICE started to line up NHL approval and financing for the $450 million price agreed upon in March. However, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement and instead “improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price.”
Beginning with an in-person meeting in New York on June 10, the lawsuit alleges Wang made his first of several references giving “thanks to Steve Ballmer.” Then the suit states that in a July 16 meeting, again in New York, Wang “blind-sided Barroway by demanding $548 million” to buy the Islanders.
“Wang, whose greed was further stoked by the Ballmer bid, … set on a course of bad faith conduct to improperly renege on the agreement and eventually blind-side NY ICE with a substantially-increased price demand,” the lawsuit states.
(image culled from Brokelyn)
I realize the Grub Grub Chop Shop’s choice of words are as distasteful as they are nonsensical, but full credit where due. At least they didn’t promise to PUT YOUR HUNGER IN A CHOKE HOLD.
Reprobate extraordinaire Lenny Dykstra completed a half-year sentence in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud some 13 months ago, leading the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir to quiz the former NL MVP about a web venture, Nails Investments, that continued to operate during Dykstra’s stay in the stoney lonesome. “I’m 455-1″ boasts Dykstra of his alleged option-picking prowess, and while his ex-wife, Terry tells Sandomir her former spouse “has definitely been humbled,” there’s not much evidence of such in the interview.
Time and again, Dykstra returned to his stock-option savvy and that 445-1 record of success. He said he was preparing a marketing campaign that included a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission that he believed would defeat any skeptics.
“The S.E.C. investigated me, and they were going to put me in jail,” he said. “I was 110-0, and everybody thought what I was doing was bull. It was crazy, man. The investigator tried hard but couldn’t punch any holes in it. I’m bulletproof.”
Kelly Bowers, a senior assistant regional director of the commission’s Los Angeles office, wrote to Dykstra on June 14, 2010, “The investigation has been completed as to Lenny K. Dykstra, against whom we do not intend to recommend any enforcement action by the commission.”
Dykstra said: “I’m on federal probation. I can’t lie that I’m 445-1 if I’m not 445-1.” Bowers declined to comment or to confirm the existence of the letter or any investigation.
There’s no way this one’s still available.
With an item that narrowly missed being the meat of today’s Phil Mushnick column (give it a few days, folks), the Wall Street Journal’s Sharon Terlap and Andrew Beaton report FSU head coach Jumbo Fisher was called to the carpet by Nike after his 9 year old son was seen on national TV donning an Under Armor shirt.
The postgame embrace, captured by ABC cameras, struck most viewers as a heartwarming moment—especially given Ethan Fisher’s widely reported struggle with Fanconi anemia, a rare and serious genetic disease. But a different reaction emerged from one camp: Nike Inc.
In an email sent hours after the Nov. 2 game, Mark Dupes, who as Nike’s assistant director for football sports marketing helps oversee the company’s $4.2 million licensing and apparel deal with the school, congratulated Florida State administrators on the win. “Hey guys great win and game! Appreciate everything you all do for us! Keep it rolling.”
Then Dupes turned to another matter: the sweatshirt Ethan wore during that on-field embrace. “Hey got a text from the USA Director of Sports Marketing last night telling me of how good things look w FSU and our players and sideline staff, exposure for the Brand was exceptional. Then 5 min later I rec a new message…Said ABC cameras were on Jimbo and his Son ad end of the game…His son was Wearing Under Armour FSU sweatshirt! Ouch. Can we please ask Jimbo to eliminate that from the son’s wardrobe in the future! Let me know if I can help w anything. Thx guys. MD”
…and considering that history of high-tech begging includes the Dino Costa documentary and an upcoming Venus Illuminato release, that’s really saying something. Romenesko.com reports ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard’s attempt to place the above advertisement — using his listeners’ money — was refbuffed by a pair of Ohio newspapers.
Akron Beacon Journal publisher Mark Cohen, who rejected the ad on the right, tells his paper: “I just don’t think it was appropriate for our community. We’re proud that LeBron is back, this is his hometown, and that [ad] is not something we want to be a part of or want to take money for.
Le Batard, who was hoping to buy the ad space with Kickstarter contributions, says the Plain Dealer also rejected the ad. “They have declined our money.”
I’m told a full-page Beacon Journal ad costs about $12,000; Le Batard said on his show that the PD ad would cost about $90,000.
(l-r : Lenny Wilkins, Downtown Freddie Brown, celebrating a moment the Thunder would prefer to ignore)
Starting next season, the NBA and licensee Adidas will affix a small gold Larry O’Brien Trophies on back jersey collars indicating how many championships a franchise has won. In the case of the former Seattle Supersonics, the Oklahoma City Thunder would prefer to disregard a 1979 title, as The Oklahoman’s Cody Stavenhagen explains :
“As of right now, they are not wearing it,” NBA vice president of outfitting Christopher Arena said. “They actually would have had to have told us that some time ago, and that was their choice. We have several teams who have a lineage that exists prior to the city that they’re in …Some teams embrace that past, some teams don’t. Whether it’s because of ownership changes or perhaps the lineage is too great of a distance or the team nickname changed or whatever it may be, that’s their decision.”
Oklahoman reader Jonathan Moy comments, “Seattle has done nothing but throw hate towards OKC and the Thunder. Why in the world would OKC even consider acknowledging Seattle on the jersey? This was a good decision.” Yes, why can’t Seattle’s basketball fans learn to accept being fucked out of their basketball team and cultural history? What Seattle resident doesn’t watch Kevin Durant’s exploits and say to themselves, “so we’re denied a chance to host this otherworldly talent — at least he’s making Clay Bennett even wealthier.”
Richard Michael Gossage once famously accused Padres/McDonald’s owner Joan Kroc of “poisoning the world” with her dubious burgers, but Goose probably couldn’t have predicted the day would come in which the vaunted fast food chain would find itself in (semi) vogue thanks to Sleaford Mods’ “McFlurry”. Nor could the Mo Rivera-baiting Gossage have envisioned the image below (photo ripped off from Sean Gray) :
Persons of a certain vintage will remember — perhaps not so fondly — Domino’s Pizza’s creepy animated mascot, The Noid. Domino’s former CEO / anti-abortion zealot Tom Monaghan (dubbed “the Anti Too-Tall Jones” by Robert Nedelkoff) commissioned a marketing company to come up with a troll-ish pseudo-alien figure who’d personify the myriad ways your 30-minutes-or-it’s-free-generic-fucking-pizza might be delayed.
Unfortunately, in early 1989 at the height of The Noid’s infamy, a deranged, pistol-waving gentleman took hostages in Atlanta, claiming the character was a deliberate attempt by Domino’s to push his buttons. Wait, did I neglect to mention his name was Kenneth Lamar Noid?
Priceonomics’ Zachary Crockett writes that Mr. Noid committed suicide a few years later, which makes the following passage, well, even more fucked up.
Domino’s Pizza “Noid Super Pizza Shootout” Facebook Game from Andrew Lincoln on Vimeo.
Following the ordeal, Domino’s swiftly terminated the Noid campaign. For nearly twenty years, the annoying character lay in glorious respite, before briefly returning in 2011 (his 25th anniversary). This time though, he was merely part of a short-lived promotional marketing campaign: in Domino’s Facebook game, “The Noid’s Super Pizza Shootout.” As quickly as he came, the Noid returned to the void.
Launching a Facebook game called “The Noid’s Super Pizza Shootout” after there already was, y’know, A REAL SUPER PIZZA SHOOTOUT (featuring a batshit, armed-to-the-tooth guy named NOID who thought the Noid was created to fuck with his head) is a move in such monumental bad taste, I’m consumed with jealousy and awe.
Rockies fan Michael Ferguson took exception to Colorado’s indifferent effort in a 9-0, July 4 loss to the Dodgers, and while there’s not exactly any shame in being humbled by Clayton Kershaw (again), the home team could probably use some outside P.R. guidance after the club’s CEO, Dick Monfort (above) reacted to Ferguson’s criticism. From KREX TV’s Travis Khachatoorian :
When Ferguson left the stadium, he decided to leave a disapproving comment in a feedback form.
“I pretty much just filled out the survey and kinda wrote a little bit about how it’s frustrating to spend the money and go see [Rockies] teams that are constantly struggling all the time,” said Ferguson.
Two days later, he found out his comments did not go unnoticed. Ferguson received a reply in his inbox simply stating, “If product and experience that bad don’t come!”… signed owner, chairman, and CEO of the Colorado Rockies Dick Monfort.
“That was quite a shock. I never expected that,” said Ferguson. “I figured it was just a bunch of people sitting around reading it. I might get an automated response or anything, but to get something like that, short and simple like that, it’s like wow… almost feels like they don’t care about the fans.”
Ferguson didn’t reply to Monfort’s curt response, but was disappointed he spent $288 on tickets (not including food and drinks in the park) to only have his comments dismissed by the top of the Rockies management.