The Knight Is King

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Phil Knight is worth more money ($25 billion-ish) than the richest owner of any of the five major sports. His NIKE empire is the biggest, baddest kid on the block when it comes to sports shoes and apparel. This past weekend he was featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

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Dunking Ballmer

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Forbes released their richest owners in the four major sports list. The top dog? LA Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Ballmer led the owners of the four major sports leagues with $23.5 billion.

How does he celebrate being at the top of the list? Dunking with the Clippers new creepy mascot.

It shouldn’t be too shocking that Ballmer leads all owners in net worth. Ballmer still owns 4% of Microsoft. How much is that worth? Well Ballmer bought the Clippers for $2 billion….which is the same amount of money he made last year because Microsoft was up 18%.

I’d celebrate by dunking too.

On a side note, Phil Knight of Nike is worth more than Ballmer. He clocked in at $24.4 billion. Think about that for a moment.

Brand In Trouble

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Adidas is in trouble. No really. They are getting their ass kicked in just about every way by Nike and Under Armour. While one of their brands, Reebok, is doing the best they can at staving off elimination, it may not be enough for the iconic German brand to survive.

Nike is the best of breed and that’s a fact. From the Jumpman brand to a logo that doesn’t even need a word for you to know who it represents.

nike-swoosh

Under Armour is coming on strong. It signed a massive deal to be the brand for Notre Dame (some deal worth around $90 million) and have under contract the hottest player in the NBA (Stephen Curry), a future Hall of Fame quarterback as a partial owner (Tom Brady) and the best American golfer since Tiger Woods in Jordan Spieth.

Adidas meanwhile is losing market valuation. They are around $15 billion while Under Armour is around $20 billion and Nike is around $100 billion. The German company has pinned it’s hopes on the beautiful game. While that is noble, it is also falling behind in other sports and it recently lost an SEC school (Tennessee) to Nike which is never a good sign.

Like we mentioned earlier, the Reebok brand is making a noble effort. Reebok has become a title apparel sponsor for the UFC and CrossFit. While all that is well and good, it doesn’t distract from the fact that they are coming in a distance third in the originality department.

ReeboxTheir logo looks like the laser site from Predator and their image campaign uses the same song from the GoPro Hero 4 image campaign that came out last fall (‘Run Boy Run’ by Woodkid).

predator-laser-sightPredator_39Originality is key in this business. Nike and Under Armour have it and Adidas doesn’t. The cool factor plays in too which Nike and Under Armour have and Adidas doesn’t. Heck, part of the reason Tom Brady signed with Under Armour was the fact that that was the brand he was seeing in the locker room and on younger players.

Adidas needs a bad ass at the top to stop the bleeding. Nike has Mark Parker and Under Armour has Kevin Plank, two of the more respected CEO’s in America. Adidas has Herbert Hainer in Germany……..exactly.

Adidas is a solid brand. It can make good products but this business isn’t all about who makes the best product. It’s a coolness factor, the latest trend combined with innovation. Adidas better get it together because right now, they are an Under Armour purchase of Lululemon away from being completely irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

The Sunday: Departures

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Chairman Steps Away… Sort Of

Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight announced that he was stepping down as the chairman of the board. While he will still control the board (he owns enough shares to control three quarters of the board) but is technically leaving the company.

Phil Knight

Regardless if you are a Nike person or an Under Armour person or an Adidas person, you have to recognize the impact Uncle Phil and Nike have had on sports and culture around the world. From the Jordan brand to Tiger Woods and even for a while Lance Armstrong. Nike is one of the most recognized brands in the world.

But don’t worry, Nike will carry on and the Oregon Ducks will still have their biggest backer in the luxury box.

Great Nike Commercials:

RE2SPECT

Good vs Evil

Write the Future

The Most Famous Outtake Ever 

Scary

Cancer

Magnet

Gotta Be The Shoes

 

‘I’d Prefer No-One Knew My Name’

 

Laura Bassett crying

You know the name of Laura Bassett now but not in the way she would want it to be known. She is the England defender who made an own goal and helped lift Japan over England and onto the Women’s World Cup Final.

She did an interview with the BBC and yes, it’s soul crushing. There are many ways to lose a game and this is one of the worst ways. While they can take solace in beating Germany for third place what people will remember is the own goal.

 

Fashion Bucks

By Brad Hubbard  | @bradhubbard

The sports media is always in search of unique stories which is why it is not all that surprising that there is a behind the scenes article on the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks logo redesign and a lot of attention on the NFL’s Cleveland Browns uniform unveiling. While a teams ‘look’ is important it doesn’t translate into better results.

Milwaukee Buck New Logo

Phrases associated with the Bucks new logo are ‘tougher looking’ and ‘greater force’. Perhaps people forget that we are talking about a Deer but hey if it works it works.

The ESPN article dives into the unique process of how a New York design firm created the Bucks new logo. From the incorporation of the ‘M’ in the Deer’s chest to the inclusion of more antlers.

While the Bucks logo is being met with some intrigue, the same can not be said for the Browns new uniforms.

The Browns have, arguably, the boringest logo and uniforms in all of sports. The updated version by Nike didn’t move them out of this category.

Browns New Uniforms

Creativity, debate and a lot of thought went into the Browns redesign and maybe it will withstand the test of time but when compared to the Bucks redesign, it just falls short. Perhaps the material Nike will use will provide some sort of edge for the Browns players but that’s unlikely.

It’s doubtful that the players for the Bucks or the Browns will be affected by the new looks. Talent, preparation and coaching will make a bigger difference than what the colors of the uniforms are. However, these redesigns could help psychologically (maybe) and it certainly generates interest which translates into revenue for the respective teams. Either way, neither team has anything on the University of Oregon.