Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All Star 08'-Post New Orleans

Took a couple of days to shoot down to New Orleans for this years NBA All Star festivities. First of all, the city is ready. Minimal problems with a high flux of people, events and mostly good weather. Get back down there if you haven't been or if you haven't been-it's a must do this year.

As usual a lot of stars, athletes and aspirational lifestylers. One thing that stuck out was the adidas presence everywhere with it's "Basketball is a Brotherhood" mantra. You could not but help how they'd integrated itself in every subtle crevice of the city. I just told someone earlier that it's a great campaign that I believe has a lot of potential legs in terms of becoming viral and engaging the consumer.

The game itself was also pretty entertaining this year. King James re-emerged and took home MVP after dunking on a few players from the West early on. Dude is a monster, believe me, I saw some things in person against the best in the league and he's going to only get better for a long time to come.

Next, let me just say Dwight Howard has so much marketability in his future as a big man. His progression on and off the court since his rookie year was purely illustrated as he donned the Superman cape and brought the dunk contest back from flat-lining. I think even Soulja Boy would have to admit that he can't match the pagentry Howard brought out the phone booth.

I'm predicting a rise in NBA viewership going into the second half of the year and continuing into the playoffs this year, much higher than the last 4-5 years. Why? One, the West has long been the weighted most competitive conference, but now with Boston, Detroit and a young Orlando led by the aforementioned Howard and we have some balance. Don't forget Cleveland, trading deadline isn't over yet. And speaking of trades...JKidd's back in Dallas and the West just got even more interesting. Who is not going to be watching NBATV this year? With a set of moves that now calls for three reconfigured teams (PHX, Dallas & LA) along with the others and we have something to look forward to. Combine that with young Portland and Seattle and the NBA has set itself up nicely (and lucratively) for the next 5-10 years. Not to mention the recent announcement that there will be five additional European team, plus whatever becomes of the teams in China.

Mark it down, the NBA is now officially, NBAE (E is for 'entertainment').

Let the games begin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


CNBC's piece on Nike ran tonight and covered some great topics-iconic athletes, labor practices, action sports and the emerging Sneakerhead demographic. Crazy, I've known sneaker heads since elementary school; anytime a parent would come and pick up a 6th grader to go cop the new Jordan's and bring him/her back to class so they could be fly, sounds like a sneaker head to me.

Shaq still will be waiting for the first game in a Suns jersey, which I am sure will soon be a top 5 seller with the quickness since he has a new team and the Phoenix area is clamoring for a title. Look for him to inch past Kobe and KG and probably settle around the 9-12 area.

ESPN has an outstanding article up in honor of Black History Month in regards to the Iowa State University stadium be named after an African American athlete (Jack Trice), certainly worth a read.

Someone finally noticed that most hits over the last 18 months in the hip-hop music genre usually encompass a dance move instructional. From Soulja Boy, Fat Joe, Lil Mama, and more most evenings at the clubs are spinning these tracks multiple times a night-but it doesn't stop there. You Tube has countless imitators, fans and unique individuals taking part, from the suburbs to the Sudan, North Dakota to North Korea the infectious, simplified lyrics and physical gyrating inspired illustrations are everywhere. Seems like the quickest way to a deal or at least a look at one right now.

Hitting NBA All-Star weekend starting Thursday, so expect some analysis and a story or two post that trip.

Headed into overtime....