Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, February 13, 2021

Mindful of cultural imperialism, activists in Saudi Arabia and India are crusading against public displays of Valentine’s Day observance.

Sounds like they’re a receptive audience for the Anti-Valentine sentiment.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/13/2005 08:50:51 PM
Category: Political, Society | Permalink | Feedback (1)

Speaking of sports marketing, I found this aside item about Under Armour’s campaigns curious:

That is one reason the Under Armour advertising theme, “Protect this house,” has entered the popular-culture vernacular with a zeal and zest recalling the success of Nike’s own “Just do it” theme. For instance, fans at high school and college football games chant “Protect this house,” to encourage the home team, and the phrase is even emblazoned on posters and wrist bands. Also, a recent Visa commercial by BBDO Worldwide in New York, part of the Omnicom Group, showed members of the New England Patriots football team chanting the phrase, “Not in our house.”

While I don’t discount Under Armour’s success with the term, I initially scoffed at the notion that their advertising created the “house” concept. I’ve heard all the variations — “in the house”, “rock the house”, “you’re in our house”, etc. — for years in the sports world, and before that, in the hip-hop/rap vernacular since at least the mid-’80s. (As I write this, I have the nagging feeling it might predate even that, back to disco in the ’70s; but I can’t quite put my finger on an example there. If anyone can show me such a sample, please comment on it.)

The more I thought about it, though, I realized that, indeed, the pervasive exposure provided by the Under Armour marketing did take the term higher. I’d always assumed the “house” talk was widely known, but unless you dipped into the same pop-cultural water I did, it probably wasn’t. Now that it’s been spread through advertising, it is.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/13/2005 08:15:24 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Pop Culture, Sports | Permalink | Feedback (1)

horn head
Don’t ask me why, but Nike’s eyecatching “Warriors” spots, by Wieden & Kennedy, evoke to me a Kabuki-like atmosphere. Something about the funky abstract masks, the camera cuts and pacing, and the drum-driven background music.

That’s LaDainian Tomlinson in the antelope mask pictured above. Like you couldn’t tell.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/13/2005 07:48:47 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Sports | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Spread the word: This here ol’ blog comes up in the top 10 in a Google search for the phrase “popular blogs,alcohol”.

I’ve actually toyed with creating a new category, just for booze and all booze-like topics. But in light of this, it doesn’t seem necessary.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/13/2005 07:31:21 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback

see-you-in-court league
What do you do when you follow a Super Bowl-winning season with a 12-20 record?

If you’re the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you threaten to sue fans who have the temerity to want to cancel their season tickets.

But when [Mark Olson,] the Dunedin businessman called the ticket office last week, he was stunned to hear the team might take him to court if he failed to renew the club seats he has owned for two years.

“Without prompting, they told me, “There’s been so many people who’ve expressed that they might not renew their seats, we’ve been instructed to advise you that you may be sued by the team,” he said.

“At that point, I almost dropped the phone. I said, “Can you repeat that again?’ “

It turns out that, when you enter into an agreement for season tickets at Raymond James Stadium, you are assuming a lease on your seats, which represents a separate (though, obviously, necessary) transaction from buying your tickets. And like any lease, you have legal obligations to stick to that lease for the duration of the agreement.

Since Personal Seat Licenses are the favored instrument of financing NFL stadiums, we may be seeing a lot more of this stuff in the future.

Of course, it’s tricky business to sue your customer base:

Though the language in the contract supports the team’s right to sue, it might have trouble winning a judgment then reselling the seats, said Brad Bole, attorney with the law firm of Rahdert, Steele, Bryan, Bole & Reynolds, which represents the St. Petersburg Times.

“If the seats can be re-leased, this would be the best option for the Bucs: They would get the deposit and the full rental for the seats going forward,” Bole said in an e-mail. “If there really isn’t a waiting list and they can’t re-lease the seats, they might take the deposit and sue for the balance, but I think they would have to offset the deposit and whatever they get from re-leasing the seats.

“If they do not re-lease the seats in order to protect their right to sue for the balance of the lease, it would look bad on TV to have a bunch of empty seats; it could lead to blackouts … and, of course, suing season-ticket holders would be very bad public relations.”

But this is the NFL, right? Teams love to brag about the thousands and thousands of waiting-list names they have for season tickets; the Bucs publicly advertise that they’ve got 108,000 people on their list. So why resort to PSL enforcement legal action when, presumably, so many people are chomping at the bit to grab any cancellations?

I don’t doubt that there really are that many names on the Bucs’ waiting list. But I also don’t doubt that the vast majority of them don’t realize just how much they’d have to shell out to go from waiting list to ticket-holders list: The cost of the tickets plus the PSL rental fee — basically, twice as much as the listed ticket price. The Bucs know this, and realize that a large portion of the waiting list is worthless — a lot of those people can’t or won’t cough up the money to buy tickets even if they were offered openings. (Maybe they should do like the Jets and charge a $50 fee just to wait; that should thin out that herd.)

What compounds the bizarreness here is that plenty of former season-ticket holders were able to cancel their PSLs and tickets in the past, without the threat of legal action from the team. I think it’s safe to assume that the Bucs have gotten so many this offseason that they’re resorting to this strong-arming out of desperation, knowing they’d have a tought time re-leasing those seats.

So let’s review: Instead of turning the team around to retain and attract butts in the seats, owners can just sue their customers and/or threaten to relocate the team. Makes me want to plunk down my season-ticket deposit (note to Bucs’ sales and legal departments: that should not be construed as a binding promise; don’t sue me, fuckers.).

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/13/2005 06:36:58 PM
Category: Football, SportsBiz | Permalink | Feedback (1)