Monday, June 30, 2008

Relying on 1

Tiger Woods left Nike high and dry after knee injuryTiger Woods is out for the season.

What star teams lose their star player midway through a season, it usually means regrouping and pulling in some talent from other teams or the minor leagues in hope of a spark in the player's absence. In the case of golf, no one can come close to replacing Tiger.

Forget the trophies and the prize money. Heck even forget the fans for a minute. The biggest losers are the sponsors. Tiger makes more money (over $100 million) on sponsors than any other athlete on the planet. When he can't wear his Nike visor and drive around in his Buick, those sponsors are throwing their money away. Without the star in a league of nameless faces, tv sponsors and advertisers are quickly leaving. Live event ticket sales are dropping. Golf is in trouble.

Golf's Problem
They relied on one man to carry their entire operation. Nike relied on one golfer to sell their golf clubs and advertisers only want to place big dollar ads when Tiger was putting on Sundays.

Golf is bigger than Tiger. Yea, he kicks ass and wins like no one Gen-Y has even seen (yes, he's better than Mike), but no one has even tried to compete in a way that rivals Tiger's popularity. Why doesn't Nike have a push for a 2nd golfer? They have an abundance of Basketball, Baseball and Football players all getting the same air time as Mr. Woods. And, actually their bigger stars in those sports don't win anything close to what Tiger does (A-Rod? Kobe? Chad Johnson?). Ok, maybe some MVP's, but no champions like Tiger's a champion.

The Problem With 1Having no backup plan puts you at 1 vs 100
As an entrepreneur, working one idea at a time puts you at a huge disadvantage. If that idea fails, then you have wiped yourself fresh out of the game. No more endorsements and advertisers. Financial backers won't rush to give you more money anytime soon. On the other hand, if you come into the game with multiple options, you have more room for more successes and ultimately more failures.

Even with one product, you need to have multiple layers for which you can get your fans, users and advertisers involved. We are launching a Facebook Application in the next few days (more to come later this week!!) and I'll break it down to you like this:

Affiliate revenue
Direct selling of sponsored placement
Ad Network
Cross promotion with interactive site

For Users:
4 levels of interactivity

  1. What you do
  2. What your friends do
  3. What everyone does
  4. How you compare
We are allowing for multiple layers to give an ultimate experience for everyone involved. If our affiliate revenue is not doing so hot this week, we have backups in the other forms of advertising. If a community member doesn't want to import their own data, they can see their friends data and integrate that into their profile and so on.

The idea of multiple streams of income is nothing new. Even the idea of spreading your message across multiple platforms - print, tv, internet, social media and so on is a marketing no brainer.

The more opportunities you give yourself to succeed, the higher that probability becomes.

How others do it:
Grooveshark - They not only came out with the Grooveshark platform and network, they then introduced Grooveshark Lite and now Tiny Song. In doing so, Grooveshark is effectively creating more opportunities for themselves to not only showcase Grooveshark but to service the different needs of music lovers.

Doterati - This is a new Central Florida Interactive Marketing and Tech association that is giving value to not only the members of the community, but also to the sponsors and companies that wish to be a part of this growing demographic. The value comes in the form of an online resource center including training, a job board, video archive, a Wiki, blog postings as well as traditional networking events, live speakers, meet and greets, panel discussions and other activities. It offers the community multiple points of entry and access.

Don't Follow in NIKE's Footsteps
Nike is left high and dry after losing Tiger for the season. If you lose a key component, player, developer or financial partner, what effects will that have on your business?

By creating 2 star players, you not only give yourself that back up plan, but you give yourself 2 chances to win the title. If Nike began to brand a Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh or whoever as a top tier player, give them the "Tiger Push," they would have double the coverage and double the chance for their hats, t-shirts, clubs and balls to be center stage on Sunday afternoons. As it goes now, they will have to rely on a comeback tour sometime next spring when Tiger's knee recovers.

Do you have a Tiger Woods project, that will kick ass, season in and season out? What happens when that no longer works, what do you do then? Are you waiting until it is too late? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear what you are doing!

-Greg Rollett


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