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What to do on Christmas

Feb 23, 2005, 9:14 AM EDT

Forget the tree, the presents, the turkey, the eggnog.. okay maybe not the eggnog.. the one thing you have to focus on during your Christmas day festivus are sneakers.  I hate Kobe Bryant just as much as the next Philly guy, but I am intrigued at the angle Nike is taking on trying to advertise his first signature shoe.  Kobe will be debuting his new shoe on Christmas day against Shaq and the Heat.  ESPN writes a very interesting article which talks about the business side of trying to market a former potential sex offender.  It’s rather interesting if you are into the whole business of professional sports.

Let’s just hope Kobe leaves the leg warmers to Santa.
ESPN:

But the data isn’t all negative on Bryant. In fact, he could be the
most polarizing force in all of sports marketing. An ESPN Poll released
in June revealed that fans thought he was the eighth best athlete in
all of sports to endorse a product. That same poll reflected that he
was the worst athlete to endorse a product, ahead of the likes of Mike
Tyson and O.J. Simpson.

But there’s reason to believe
that Bryant is still resonating with more people than statistical gurus
give him credit for. He recently shot a national public service
announcement for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and one source told
ESPN.com that his representation is in talks with a video game company
and a fast food chain.

"One of the key ingredients to Kobe’s
marketability is the unparalleled manner in which he competes," said
his agent Rob Pelinka, who would not publicly comment on talks of any
future deals. "His drive and passion are emotions that really resonate
with most consumers."


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