High Profile Sponsorships Gone Wrong

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Tiger Woods in 2007

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As we all know too well, the world of sport, motorsport and celebrity is one that revolves completely around money. People, CEOs and famous athletes will do anything to succeed in their respective position – and do even more to secure lucrative sponsorship deals. The aforementioned agreements are usually worth millions to the figure and can boost the popularity of a brand overnight. But what happens when it all goes wrong? When the sponsorship deals goes sour? Let’s have a gander.

Tiger Woods

Mr Tiger Woods – that’s not his real name either, Google that! – is, or was, one of the most respected athletes of our time. He completely revolutionised the game of golf when he came on the scene in 1997 and, for well over a decade, dominated the sport with his incredible shot-making and will to win. One problem, though, the guy liked his women, and a that love of the opposite sex came back to haunt him when a series of unfortunate events lead to the media finding out Woods had been cheating on his wife for years with quite a lot of women.

The news shook the world, disappointed millions of fans and surprised even Woods’ closest friends, but one thing that Woods lost more than his dignity was his appeal to the big sponsors. Tiger was signed up to everything: Nike, Gillette, AT&T, Gatorade, the Moon, Jesus, you get the idea. But when the news broke, his multi-million dollar partnerships looked very rocky. He single-handedly tarnished the reputation of the aforementioned companies – and, rather surprisingly, the companies weren’t very happy. Especially AT&T, who are a bit like O2 in Britain, as they invested hugely in utilising Woods’ high-profile image to sell their mobile phones.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant isn’t really that well-known to us Brits, but in America he’s one of the most famous basketball players ever – think Michael Jordan but not as good. So when charges of sexual assault were thrust upon Kobe back in 2003, the Yanks gasped and the basketball-playing children of America instantly lost a hero. Kobe managed to get the charges dismissed, but his big-time endorsement partners were about as interested as the general public is with a political speech.

His contracts with McDonalds, Sprite and Nutella all vanished, losing Kobe $6 million a year just like that. He has since kept his public figure quite low-key and continued to play ball for the L.A. Lakers, but his trail in 2003 was enough to tarnish his image forever.

The F1-cigarette deal

For decades Formula One cars were lavished with the branding of major cigarette companies. Ferrari had one of the most successful deals with Marlboro, as they have been in agreement with each other since 1984. But when the EU banned cigarette companies from advertising on the actual cars in 2007, there was up-roar, as they felt like why should they change the habit of a lifestyle?

But while the advertising on the cars may be banned, the sponsorship deals aren’t. Marlboro still sponsors Ferrari and has recently just extended their partnership until 2015. So while this deal may have gone a little sour for the entire F1 community in 2007, the money is still there burning away like the embers of a cigarette.

McLaren and Libya

Can a sponsorship deal really fail before it’s even begun? Well, with the McLaren/Libya deal, there is certainly a case for it. McLaren were in talks with the Libyan Tourist Board – before all the uprising began – to place a ‘Visit Libya’ livery on McLaren’s F1 cars.

Obviously, we all know what’s happening to Libya in recent times and McLaren has since insisted no deal will ever be done, but what makes the story more interesting is that the man who was instrumental in the deal has been accused of dealing with Saif Gaddafi – aka, the son of Colonel Gaddafi.

Alex Waters, the aforementioned, has since denied the allegations, but as Saif Gaddafi has been killed in a Nato airstrike, it seems that will be the end of this story. Just imagine, though, if the deal had been agreed and then the whole Libya uprising began. McLaren would have looked mightily embarrassed.

This is a guest post on behalf of Netcars.com, the specialist used cars website.

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2009 Lakers Rockets Playoff Matchup

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Lakers Rockets 2009

2009 Lakers Rockets Playoff Matchup

In 2009 the Lakers were thought to be the team to beat. They had won over 60 games and were second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers in total wins in the NBA that year. It was thought little stood in their way between the start of the playoffs and an NBA finals appearance against the winner of the eastern conference. The experts were wrong. The Lakers Rockets playoff match up proved to be a great series and almost sent the Lakers home for the summer.

The 2009 Rockets were not considered favorites in the playoffs, in fact many thought the Lakers would beat them in five games. The Rockets were without the oft injured Tracy Mcgrady for the whole series and lost Yao Ming after game three of the series. After Yao Ming was injured many thought the series was all but over, they were in for a surprise.

Even though they were down 2-1 when they lost their superstar center, the Rockets were able to extend the series to seven games. Ron Artest was key to helping the Houston Rockets stay in this series. He played defense against anybody he was asked to cover and scored when he had to. Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest seemed to have a rivalry going on with each other during the series. The Lakers Rockets series kept NBA fans nationwide glued to their television sets waiting to see who would prevail. Many fans couldn’t believe the fight that the Rockets put up without two of their superstars.

While the series ended in game seven with a 19 point Lakers victory, many people gained a great deal of respect for the game Houston Rockets and for their superstar Ron Artest who had a never say die attitude and played hard until the very end. It seems that Ron Artest grew fond of the Lakers and Kobe Bryant during their series, as he went on to sign with the Lakers during the free agency period in the summer of 2010.

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  • Published: Jun 16th, 2009
  • Category: NBA Basketball
  • Comments: Comments Off on LeBron is good as LeGone—Unless…

LeBron is good as LeGone—Unless…

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Cavs

The facts:

Fact 1: Given the debacle of 08-09, unless the Cavs do something spectacular, LeBron is LeGone. The Magic were better than the Cavs this year and the Magic will be significantly improved with the return of PG Jameer Nelson next season. The Magic’s key players are getting better.

Fact 2: The Cavs are likely to be worse next season unless they make some spectacular and admittedly desperate moves. Ben Wallace has already mentioned retirement. Despite his efforts, he is no where near the player he used to be. If some team offers Anderson Varejao a deal, he is likely to go. While he is not the answer for the Cavs, his departure will hurt the Cavs more than his arrival will help another team.

Fact 3: Mike Brown is not the kind of coach that is likely to be able to convince LeBron than the Cavs have a future. The Cavs should look for a high energy high profile offensive minded coach immediately.

Fact 4: Cleveland without LeBron could not attract a free agent offering a magic carpet ride through Shangra La. The ONLY hope the Cavs have for any kind of future is to do whatever the team can to try to keep LeBron.

Fact 5: The salary cap for 2008-09 was $58.680 million. The Cavs had one of the highest salary totals in the league last year. It was around 94 million.

Fact 6: Any team that goes above the salary tax level of 71.15 million pays a dollar for every dollar above that level. That meant that the Cavs had to give the league around 23 million in tax penalty payments.

Fact 7: There were only 2 teams, Miami and Portland, under the salary cap. And they were only popcorn money below the cap.

Plan 1 Amar’e Stoudemire (Pheonix 2008-09 Statistics PPG 21.4 RPG 8.10 APG 2.0)

Stoudemire is coming off an injury and there is reason to believe that the Suns are thinking about reworking their team. There are also rumors about the Suns needing to drop payroll to get under the tax level. Stoudemire is only 27 and is a consistent 20+ point 8+ rebound guy. Having another shooter to draw attention is critical. He would make Zydrunas Ilgauskas better by giving the team a 3rd rebounder. Stoudemire would create a very tough front line match up for opponents and someone that could slow down Dwight Howard.

Plan 2 Hedo Turkoglu (ETO) (Orlando 2008-09 Statistics PPG 16.8 RPG 5.30 APG 4.9)

The Turk has already announced he plans to opt out of the contract with the Magic. If the Cavs could land him, he would not only help Cleveland but hurt their prime opponent. A great thought if they could pull it off. Don’t hold your breath. Turk is looking for BIG money. He may not find it but other teams have a better chance of giving it to him than the Cavs.

Plan 3 Shaquille O’Neal (trade only) (Pheonix 2008-09 Statistics PPG 17.8 RPG 8.4 APG 1.7)

There has been a lot of talk about the Suns trading Shaq to the Cavs for Aleksandar Pavlovic and Ben Wallace. Shaq MIGHT be willing to take that trade for one reason—to beat Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in a final. Shaq has only 1 or 2 seasons left at best. He would be a short term fix that would not entice LeBron to stay. But it might get LeBron a title as a thank you for what he has done for the Cavs.

The bottom line: No team can afford to lose a key player and stay competitive. Because they are all over the salary cap, they have only a mid level exception to bring in a free agent. That is expected to be around 6 million next season. The teams will do whatever it takes including overpaying marginal stars because they can’t afford to take any big money free agents.

The only chance the Cavs have is to make a trade but they just don’t have much to trade with. The Cavs have to do something but there are very few options. Look for them to try but I can’t see them being able to do much.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Saturday Niblets for 6/6/09

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nib

Today is the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. My Dad was the first American on Omaha Red beach 2 hours before the invasion. Today, we salute all those that risked or gave their lives to help free Europe from Hitler.

Best Email of the last 2 weeks: from James on “The Cavs are a 1972 Comet with a Ferrari engine.” too bad Lebron and the Cavs failed to reach the championships… was rooting for them! I just do not know what will happen of the team if Kobe comes in… the dynamics of team will likely change, but if they get past that they’d get a huge chance in grabbing the title next year…

James: The chances of Kobe coming are very slim. But you are exactly correct in that the team is going to have to have a rebuild this off season to become a championship caliber team in time to win a title for LeBron next season. Thanks for your comment.

Updates on previous columns:

Mangenious and his Magical Bus trip

The NFLPA is investigating the Magical Bus trip of 10 hours each way to the football camp outside of Hartford Conn. that Eric Mangini forced on the 19 Browns rookies. Of course Mangini flew to Hartford and was planning to fly back until someone smarter than him suggested how bad that would look. Let’s hope the league fines Mangenious a couple of hundred thousand dollars and gives it to those that took the bus.

LeBron is LeGone

Lebron James was fined $25,000 by the NBA for failing to speak to the media after the loss to the Magic in game 6 of their Eastern Conference Finals. Initially, the league announced that he would not be fined. In an interview on ESPN Radio, Comm. Stern the day after that announcement was made, Stern said he was looking into the issue.

What do you do with a young benched starting QB?

Titans coach Jeff Fisher told the press that “eventually” Vince Young will be the starting QB. Fisher told the press that Young has been spending time in the weight room.

My Advice: Vince, get out of the weight room and camp in the film room. The problem is your understanding of the playbook and reading coverage not your arm strength.

Niblets fresh off the cob:

The NFLPA reaches a settlement with retired players

Retired NFL players had filed suit against the NFLPA to get a part of the money flow of the various marketing deals that the NFLPA gets. According to ex-Packer and Hall of Fame DB Herb Adderley who filed the suit, the settlement gives retired players 26.25 million dollars. This is only one issue between current and retired players.

Exec. Dir. DeMaurice Smith told a meeting of active and retired players that benefits for retired players would be reduced by 80% if the NFL Owners lock the players out after 2011. This will be one more potential suit for Adderley to file against the NFLPA.

The Lakers win game 1 by 25.

The Lakers looked good Thursday night against the Magic. According to several sources, the Lakers are much more focused in the finals because of their loss last year to the Celtics. We will see. If they play the way they did against the Nuggets, the Lakers will lose again. Magic C Dwight Howard is not going to score just 12 points often. Neither returning all star PG Jameer Nelson or Rafer Alston played particularly well. Nelson, coming off an injury, should get better with more practice to shake off the rust.

The NHL series is all tied up.

After Pittsburgh won the first two games at home, many pundants wrote that the series was over. Not so fast. The Red Wings looked tired and slow compared to the younger Penguins. The scheduling of back to back games has helped the Pens. But to win, the Pens are going to have to win game 5 at Detroit. I don’t believe that they can win a game 7 in hostile territory against a seasoned team like the Wings.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: D-Day,LeBron,James,Kobe,Bryant,Young,Titans,Fisher,NFLPA,Smith,Adderley,Lakers,Cavs,Magic,Pittsburgh,Detroit,NHL,NBA,NFL,NFL Draft,NBA Draft,Alston,Nelson,Howard
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Niblets for 5/16/09

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nib

Best comment of the week:

Comment on The NBA Playoffs are rounding first and staggering toward second. by Free T Shirts: Cleveland is on a mission. I like the way Lebron is taking the team on his shoulders and pushing them to sweep teams. He has help this year but he’s making sure there are no slip-ups.

There is no question that the difference between the Lakers and the Cavs is Lebron. Kobe has the better and deeper team. Lebron has the leadership that Kobe Bryant lacks. That plus home court will be the difference IF the Lakers make it past Houston and Denver.

Updates on previous columns:

NBA Playoffs—What have we learned? One of the things we have learned is that the Lakers don’t seem to be able to put a team away when they have a chance. They allowed the Rockets to tie up the series 3-3 after a lackluster 95-80 loss Thursday night. The Celtics are no better at locking up the deal as they too allowed an underdog Orlando Magic team to tie their series as well. Neither of these teams look like champions to me.

Cuban faces a tough decision about PG Jason Kidd. Kidd is a free agent and the trade for him didn’t work out like the Mavs hoped it would. Expect the Kidd to be set free.

Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban is a punk! I got a couple of people complained a bit about how tough I was on Cuban. One said that his anger should be excused because he has so much invested in the team. I would feel a lot more sympathy for him if the Congress had not played politics with Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac and caused the world to lose half of its wealth.

The Commissioner suspends the entire National League for 50 Games! Manny Ramirez of the LA Dodgers has taken some hits. Manny met with his team for the first time since his suspension and apologized for his actions. The Dodgers are still in first place with the league’s best record and will probably will win the NL Worst with or without Manny.

Niblets fresh off the cob:

Basketball great Wayman Tisdale passes. After becoming the Oklahoma Sooner top scorer and rebounder ever, Tisdale had a 12 year steller career in the NBA. What most fans don’t know is that he was also a very accomplished jazz musician. He died of cancer and will be missed.

The NFL salary cap will be raised to 128 million. The increase is due to the players not getting all the money that it was supposed to last year. This will be an increase of 12 million over the last estimate. It will be a great help to those teams that are struggling to sign rookies this year.

Lebron’s MVP puts pressure on Kobe. Kobe has yet to prove he can win a championship without Shaquille O’Neill. The face to face final against Lebron’s Cavs would make winning his own ring even more important to Kobe. The fact is he will be lucky to get to the finals and I don’t expect him to win the series against Cleveland if he does.

An NFL free agent finds that you can go home again. LB Jason Taylor is passing up more money with Washington to go back to play with the Dolphins. He told reporters he wanted to be closer to his family. An unstated reason that Taylor wanted to go back to Miami is that he feels that the Dolphins are a lot closer to a championship than the Redskins are. Expect the Dolphins to fail to equal their record last year. They have a 1st place team schedule including the entire NFC East in 4 straight weeks.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: nba,nfl,playoffs,Lakers,Cavs,Lebron,James,Kobe,Bryant,Cuban,Kidd,Maverics,Ramirez,MLB,steroids,suspension,free agent,Taylor,salary cap,Tisdale
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The NFL and NBA should be brought before the Supreme Court.

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Fryingpan Sports

The NFL and NBA should be brought before the Supreme Court.

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By Bill Smith

Where is the ACLU when you really need them? The rules against players going pro in basketball and football straight out of high school are illegal and violate the US Constitution. Of course based on the Supreme Court’s failure to strike down limits on political speech established by Campaign Finance Reform indicates that the Constitution and Bill of Rights doesn’t mean much anymore.

I am not taking a position that a year or two of college is necessarily bad for young men although given the state of public education it is hard to believe that they are all prepared for college. And I would agree that the vast majority of players are not ready for the NBA out of high school and very few are ready for the NFL. That is not the point.

The point is that not even the government let alone professional leagues or player unions have the right to prevent a player from pursuing his or her chosen profession as long as that profession is league.

The excuses given by the most recent court for upholding the right of the NFL to prevent players from entering the draft only 2 years out of high school were the following. First, that the rules were intended to protect players from injury. Next the rules were implemented prevent mistakes by the players who thought they were ready but were not good enough and would not succeed. Finally, the collective bargaining agreement prohibits these players from joining the league or the union. The agreements between players and the league are not subject to labor laws.

Protection of players from injury—This sounds really good until you look at some of the athletes that have come directly out of high school and played in the NBA. Are you going to tell me that LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and even Greg Oden aren’t physically ready for the league? Oden’s injury problems started at Ohio State and those injuries threaten his career.

Injuries happen in sports even to strong veterans. But it is not up to the league to play Mommy and Daddy for the players. That is not their role and not their right.

Prevent mistakes by the players who are not good enough—Again, this sounds like a good idea. However, it is not a role of the league, the courts or anyone except the player and his advisors to decide when a player is ready for the big time. Once a player makes his decision it is up to the teams to decide if the player is ready or not by drafting or signing him or not.

There are hundreds of players drafted by the NBA and thousands of NFL want to be players that were drafted have failed to make teams. Few other professions separate those that can from those that can not faster and more effectively than sports. There is no guarantee of success regardless of how many years of college experience a player has.

Collective bargaining agreement prohibits these players from joining the league or the union—This is the most ridiculous argument of all. First, these people are not members of the union or subject to the rules of the league. Neither the league nor the union have any right to establish rules about these players. They do so to protect relationships with colleges which become a no cost farm system for the sports.

In addition, someone must test the constitutionality of the concept. No contract can trump the US Constitution no matter what pin head lawyers might try to convince us of.

The fact is that some people have no interest in going to college. One of the consequences of the NBA’s one year out of high school rule is that some players are going to play in Europe or other countries. Why should US players have to go to foreign nations to follow their chosen profession in what is supposed to be a free country?

The rules in the NBA and NFL have been established by those that think the average player and his parents are too stupid to know what is best. Only the “professionals” know what is best for the kids. That is a violation of the US Constitution. It has ruined the lives of several players that tried to challenge the rules and failed to have deep enough pockets to put the leagues in their place.

When government or other “experts” get in the way of free enterprise disaster is sure to follow. Look what the political aims of the Congress’ good intentions did to economy of the world. The people make enough mistakes—we don’t need Congress or a professional league or union to make them worse.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: nfl,nba,James,LeBron,Kobe,Oden,College basketball,college football,draft,nfl draft,nba draft,ACLU,Supreme Court,government,Ohio State,farm system,US Constitution
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