Canada dealers selling Olympic brand drugs

olympic-drugs1 Organized crime groups in British Columbia have gotten the true message of the Olympic™®© spirit: Money. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (DOORIGHT!) says groups from as far away as Nova Scotia are selling ecstasy pills bearing the Olympic logo. So far three people have been arrested.

"This typifies the marketing savvy used by organized crime groups to attract young customers by incorporating brightly coloured modern pop-culture symbols,” said the RCMP’s Craig Foley.

Vancouver’s Olympic organizing committee has vigorously pursued unlicensed use of the Olympic symbols in the past. A spokesman said the committee was aware of the seizure by Vancouver police and would continue to be vigilant in monitoring trademark infringements.

The lesson to be learned here: Buy the right to be the official illicit drugs of the Olympics™®© BEFORE you hit the streets.

Mrs. Vince McMahon running for US Senate

Dear Reality,

Please leave something for the satirists.

Yrs,

CollateralDamage

Get used to hearing a lot of “political smackdown” references because Linda McMahon, CEO of the WWE, is challenging Conneticut’s Chris Dodd for his Senate seat. Dodd – head of the banking committee who got a sweetheart deal on a mortgage from Countrywide – is more than a little vulnerable. Mrs. McMahon has actual qualifications: She has served as CEO since May 1997 and was the company’s president from May 1993 through June 2000. The Stamford, Conn.-based company produces live and televised wresting events and licenses and sells video games, toys and other retail products. The company’s sales totaled $526.5 million in 2008.

Quick cheap shots:

  • Well she does know a lot about throwing things into a ring.
  • She is READY TO RUMBLE!!!
  • All her committee meetings will be a cage match.
  • If she gets into trouble she will slap the hand of an actual politician to take her place.
  • She’s perfect for the job. Lot’s of experience staging fights where the outcome is already fixed.
  • Promises to bring Congress up to WWE’s level of honesty and integrity.
  • Best. Inauguration. Party. EVER.

zkm8_diva_belt

Original Americans ask Supreme Court if “Redskins” is offensive

And I ask, “Are you kidding?”

whities The NFL is certainly the only major US business still successfully using a racist epithet in its marketing. For some reason people give a pass to the name of its Washington franchise usually on the grounds that it’s been is use for so long. (Only in America do we think several decades is a significant amount of history.) That argument is too specious to be believed so let us look for an explanation that at least makes sense.

  1. There are very few descendents of the original people who lived here. Those who remain are mostly living in ghettos – sorry, I mean shtetls. No? How about barrios? OK how about nearly restricted to areas with no intrinsic economic potential. They are out of sight and mind for the most part unless you gamble or watch old action movies.
  2. Their dehumanization predates even that of people imported to the nation from Africa or the Far East.
  3. The team’s owner and fan base are located in and around the nation’s capital giving the team unequalled access to our political leaders where they actually live most of the time.
  4. The team has made a lot of money with this brand and doesn’t want to endanger that.

While none of these would seem to me the basis for a legal defense, I doubt for whatever reason the court will find the team name defames. Defamation in law means communicating a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. The team boasts and boosts its name. Using an offensive name as a brand may be an insult to the group being named but it doesn’t seem to me (with my 0 years of legal education) to hit the defamation mark. Unfortunately.

Congrats to the NFL for coming down hard on dog fighting but not on insulting a group of humans. Any chance the ruling will be overturned on replay?

China approves official chant for fans at Olympics

Beijing organisers are promoting an officially sanctioned chanting routine for Chinese spectators at August’s Olympics, state media said on Thursday. Incorporating the ubiquitous Chinese sporting chant, “Jiayou” or “add oil”, the four-step routine is designed to help spectators cheer in a “smooth and civilised manner” at the August 8-24 Games. … The routine begins with “Olympics — add oil” accompanied by two claps and a double thumbs up, before continuing with “China — add oil” with two more claps and raised fists.

  1. I still prefer “Yankees SUCK!”
  2. How much did Beijing have to pay for being named “Official Chant of the 2008 Summer Olympics”?
  3. Can’t find an explanation of why “add oil” is the chant of choice in China.

Pizza chain offers cheesy apology for insulting LeBron James

In an effort to have their vaguely pizza-like product and eat it too, Papa John’s “issued an apology to Cleveland and the Cavaliers for making T-shirts with LeBron James‘ number and the word ‘crybaby’ under it.”  On Thursday Cleveland residents will be able to get a large, one-topping alleged pizza from the chain for 23 cents, James’ jersey number. The company is also kicking in $10K to a charity sponsored by the Cavaliers.

Second prize is two Papa John’s pizzas for 23 cents.

Yes I know there are places in this nation where Papa John’s is considered good pizza. I weep for those places. In Boston we have places that have already been closed by the Health Department that make better.

Headline of the Day: “Japan’s baseball stadiums urged to drop octopus”

Won’t the octopi get hurt?

TOKYO (AFP) – Animal rights activists on Tuesday urged Japanese baseball stadiums to give up their usual fare of hot dogs and fried octopus balls and go vegetarian to fight global warming. Japan’s baseball commissioners announced as the season opened last week that the national pastime would take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular by speeding up games. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it would be more effective for concession stands to serve exclusively vegetarian fare.

When will PETA start speaking up on behalf of the endangered Tofu?

I would like to commend the Japanese baseball league for making game lengths an environmental issue. I hope MLB follows suit. Anything to speed the games up.

9:29 AM — Manny puts Sox ahead 6-4 in the 10th. They should play more games with a 13 hour time difference. I like watching baseball over breakfast.

CWAnd speaking of Japan & cephalapods: Got to watch the Japanese movie Calamari Wrestler last weekend. BRILLIANT! Plot: A dying pro-wrestler is cured by monks. Only drawback: cure turns him into a squid. He resumes his life as a pro-wrestler. Also resumes his relationship with his girlfriend. There are so many hysterical scenes it is hard to pick a favorite but I especially loved the one where the happy couple are skipping down the street hand-in-tentacle. It has special effects on a par with early Dr. Who and a truly wonderful campy humor. The Times quote on the box sums it up perfectly: “A cross between The Muppets and Godzilla.” Which is also a great idea for the next Muppets movie.

The funniest real professional baseball team names EVER.

These names are all from the book Professional Baseball Franchises by Peter Filichia, which lists all the baseball franchises that ever existed in the US, Canada & Mexico through 1993 (someone really needs to update it). To be included on this list the team name had to be unique, truly & honestly linked to the locality and/or just so weird and funny that I laughed out loud when I read it. A special salute to Terre Haute & Omaha — two towns that clearly have a sense of humor. Huzzah!

Minot ND Why-Nots
Walla Walla Walla Wallans
Holland MI Wooden Shoes
McAlester OK Sighs
(What the hell was their mascot?)
Omaha: Omahogs & Omahosses
Cooleemee NC Cools
Kalamazoo Kazoos
Terre Haute: Tots, Terre-irs, Huts
Amarillo Dillas
Arkansas Travelers
Cap de la Madeleine Madcaps
Oakland Commuters
Freeport NC Comeons

Click here to see my earlier post for a longer list of awesome and real baseball team names.

Never mind the Yankees and the Red Sox, these are THE BEST BASEBALL RIVALRIES THAT EVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN AND ALMOST ALL NEVER WERE:

Temple TX Surgeons
Kirksville MO Osteopaths

Lebanon PA Pretzel Eaters
Freeport IL & Reading PA Pretzels

Ducks x3
Green Bay Duck Wallopers

Providence Clamdiggers
Norfolk VA Clams
Pawtucket Clam Eaters

Mason City IA Claydiggers
St. John (Canada) Clay Eaters

(Eating weird things seems to be something of a theme, there’s also the Fort Dodge IA Gypsumeaters and the Sterling IL Rag Chewers)

Cleveland Molly Maguires
Coal Barons x4

Hermosillo MX Orange Pickers
Beeville TX Orange Growers

Crisfield MO Crabbers
Gulfport Crabs

Battle Creek Custers
Fort Wayne Kekiongas
(Kekionga was the capital of the Miami indian tribe that nearly destroyed the nascent US Army in 1791. But you knew that already, right?)

Kalamazoo Celery Champs, Celery Eaters & Celery Pickers
Sanford FL Celeryfeds

El Centro CA Imps
Youngstown OH Gremlins

Omaha Kidnappers
Mansfield OH Kids

Matoon IL Broom Corn Raisers
Charleston IL Broom Corn Cutters

Albuquerque Isotopes
Tri-City (Kennewick, Richland & Pasco WA) Atoms

The ultimate guide to great & real baseball team names

WhoopeeLast week’s action by the Macon Music to hold an Eliot Spitzer Night inspired me to get out one of my all time favorite books (and this will tell you how odd I truly am): Professional Baseball Franchises by Peter Filichia. It is a list of all the baseball franchises that ever existed in the US, Canada & Mexico through 1993 (someone really needs to update it). It lists them by city and — most importantly — by nickname. So I went through the whole damn thing — as well as the most up-to-date lists of currently active teams and found the following team names. All existed, some still do. Sadly the Macon Whoopee does not. They were a minor league HOCKEY team. I have taken the liberty of grouping them into leagues that I thought should exist. Those interested might also want to take a look at this List of Funniest Real Baseball Team Names.

First let me mention that when it comes to baseball –everyone has the Blues. Thirty-two towns and cities have had teams with that name.

THE SELF-ESTEEM LEAGUE

Bridgeport CT Misfits
Lincoln NE Missing Links
LaCross Outcasts
Orphans (17 teams)
Davenport Prodigals
Fall River Adopted Sons
Bluffton IN Dregs
Fremont NE Freaks
Centralia IL Zeros
Bonham TX Boogers

THE MORBIDITY & MORTALITY LEAGUE

Zanesville Flood Sufferers
Memphis FeverGerms
Americus GA Pallbearers
Paris TX Parisites (Extra points for an outstanding pun).
Des Moines IA Undertakers
Rockford IL Wakes
Regina Sask Bonepilers
Hannibal MO & Longview TX Cannibals
Waterloo IA Microbes
Clarksburg WV & Casper WY Ghosts
Springfield OH Reapers

THE BETTER THAN YOU LEAGUE

Anniston AL & Texarkana TX Nobles
Calumet Aristocrats
Paris KY Bourbons
Superior WI Boys
Dunkirk NY Dandies
Quincy IL Debutantes
Ellsworth KS Worthies
Bonham TX Favorites
Hoquiam Perfect Gentlemen
Rochester NY Beay Brummels
Brenham TX Kaisers
(Also Barons x5, Millionaires x8, Moguls x2)

And … because someone has to do the work:

Newark Domestics
Troy NY Washerwomen

THE EDUCATED LEAGUE

Waterbury CT Authors
Stratford ONT Poets
Augusta GA Tygers (Official Team of William Blake)
New Haven Profs
Worcester Riddles
New Haven CT & Sherman TX Students
Durant OK & Fayetville IN Educators
Georgetown TX Pedagogues
Collegians x7

THE MIS-SPELLED LEAGUE

Orem UT Owlz
Knoxville TX Knox Sox (Official team of Dr. Seuss)
Hamilton ONT Kolts
Saginaw MI Krazy Kats (Official team of George Herriman)
Baker Canada Kubs
Keokuk Kernals
Lebanon PA Chix
Granby & Hazlehurst-Baxley Red Socks (someone has to now how to spell)

LEAGUE OF TEAMS YOU DON’T WANT TO UPSET

Shenandoah PA Hungarian Rioters
Salina KS Insurgents
Rockford Indignants
Newburgh NY Cobblestone Throwers
Lynn MA Fighters

More after the jump

Continue reading

Baseball team announces “Eliot Spitzer Night” promotion

MaconMusicThankfully the spirit of Bill Veeck still lives among us. The wonderfully name Macon Music has announced that June 13th will be Eliot Spitzer Night at Luther Williams Field. Much merriment is planned during the game against the Aiken Foxhounds — they really should be the Aiken Backs.

  • The team is giving away a trip to New York and a one-night stay at the Mayflower Hotel.
  • Fan No. 9 into the ballpark will receive a Music prize pack.
  • Anyone with the name Eliot, Spitzer or Kristen, any fan from New York, and/or anyone who has ever resigned a position will receive $1 off admission. No word if these discounts will be cumulative.
  • Wire taps will be placed around the stadium.
  • ATMs in the ballpark will be available for cash withdrawals not to exceed $5,000 per hour.

Adding to the amusement is the fact that minor league ballplayers don’t even make $5K a month, never mind per hour.

FYI: Veeck’s book Veeck As In Wreck and Robert Townsend’s Up The Organization are the best business/marketing books ever written.

Spielberg declines to help the Munich, er, Beijing Olympics

olympiaI am glad to hear that Steven Spielberg will not be playing the role of Leni Riefenstahl for this summer’s Olympics. How odd though that he “withdrew on Tuesday as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing over China‘s policy on the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region. Why worry about China’s foreign policy, given its great record on domestic repression?

Still, Spielberg is showing considerably more backbone than the UK. The British Olympic Committee voluntarily threatened to pull any of its athletes who had the temerity to speak out on “politically sensitive issues” while in China.

The controversy erupted in Britain after the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that the BOA had threatened that any athlete who refused to sign the gag order would not be allowed to travel to China. Any British participant who signed the order and then spoke out during the Games would be sent home, according to the initial plan.

What makes this even more horrible is that it is quite clear that this ban did not come at the behest of Beijing.

According to a number of national Olympic committees in Asia contacted by AFP, China has put no pressure on countries to silence their Olympians and Sun insisted Beijing wanted to welcome all competitors.

Huzzah for the Brits and their pre-emptive strike against human rights!

Which is not to say that China doesn’t approve of the idea after the fact. The Chinese Olympic committee said, not surprisingly, that they thought this was a fine idea. Unsaid was the fact that they weren’t stupid enough to actually suggest it.

Fortunately the British Olympic Association is showing no more spine in the face of criticism of this issue than it did in issuing the ban in the first place. They are apparently caving faster than a watercress sandwich dipped in very hot tea.

Coverage of the games is going to be fascinating to watch. Sports journalists are generally not the hardest hitting reporters and I suspect their employers won’t have much interest in covering what is actually happening in the world’s largest economy.

It would be nice to think that marketers have any concern about ill-will coming from supporting the games this year. It would be nice and it would be wrong. There will be no ill-will because consumers won’t care. Certainly here in the US these will just be another Olympics in an exotic locale. There will be no news to rival Hitler declining to shake Jesse Owens’ hand. Instead their will be pomp and circumstance and more of our collective denial. Thanks to Mr. Spielberg’s decision, though, Beijing will have to look elsewhere for an overly sentimental ending.

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Your stock holder dollars at work: What it costs to entertain at the Super Bowl

SBXLIIWhat follows is a verbatim copy of an email I received — I’m guessing by accident — listing one company’s prices offered to corporations for Super Bowl entertainment. Simply put: Hospitality has a markup of at least $1K.

“Below you will find our listing of GameDay Hospitality and tickets.

Ticket Only Ticket w/Hospitality

UPPER LEVEL
End zones and Corners $3,490 $4,499
Endzones-20’s $3,845 $4,799
Between the 20’s $4,435 $5,199

LOWER LEVEL
Endzone $4,140 $5,699
Corners $4,635 $6,499
Endline-15 $5,420 $7,899
15-30 $7,235 $8,235
Between the 30 $8,315 $9,365

The GameDay Program includes NFL guaranteed Game Ticket, Exclusive In-Stadium Hospitality (pregame food stations, open bar and live entertainment), NFL Experience Ticket and Official NFL Super Bowl Gift Bag.”

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Hello Kitty goes butch — launches line of products for guys

HK for guys“We think Hello Kitty is accepted by young men as a design statement in fashion,” company spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said Friday. The feline for-men products will go on sale in Japan next month, and will be sold soon in the U.S. and other Asian nations, according to Sanrio. … The usual bubble-headed shape of Hello Kitty was slightly changed for a more rugged, cool look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s. For example, a picture of the cat on a 4,095 yen (US$36; €25) black T-shirt has the words, “hello kitty,” instead of the usual dots for the eyes and nose.

Coming soon: Hello Kitty power tools, jock straps, hand guns and a football team. I sense a photoshop contest.

Thanks to the great TokyoMango blog for the pic.

And extra thanks to evil board gamer Joe Kidd for the link to the picture below on the wonderfully twisted blog RifleGear.com.

 Kitty 16

 Remember: Guns don’t kill people, people do … especially very cute people with very cute guns.

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

Ultimate in Sports Marketing: Vatican considering pro soccer team

“I do not preclude the possibility that the Vatican, in the future, could put together a football team of great value, that could play on the same level as Roma, Inter Milan and Sampdoria.” — Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State

Get a red card, say 10 Hail Marys.

Mascot: A guy carrying a cross? A rock? Someone not eating meat on a Friday? A sheep?

Nickname: The Indulgences? The Infallibles? The Rhythm Method?

UPDATE: He was joking. I would put the Cardinal’s joke-telling abilities ahead of John Kerry but behind Gallagher. Next time smash a watermelon, your religiousness.