I have demonstrated here more than a few times that I would never have made a career in the field of marketing/promotions/advertising. I also know that Oscar Levant once observed that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. It was with all of that in mind when I read a report from Greg Wyshynski at ESPN.com with this headline:
- “Rink Ice from Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena used in limited-edition beer”
After clearing my mind momentarily of the wide variety of gross and disgusting “impurities” that might have found their way onto and into that ice I read the report thinking that it was a humorous piece. It was not.
“Coors Light has used ice collected from the rink at Amalie Arena during the Stanley Cup Final to brew “Champions Ice,” a limited-edition beer. It will be available on tap in Tampa-area bars and in 32-ounce collectable crowlers starting the week of July 12 — including on the day of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup parade.”
The ice in question was shaved from the rink after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals; it was shipped in cryogenic containers to the brewery in Colorado where the good folks at Coor’s “filtered out the unhealthy stuff” and brewed a batch of beer with that ice – melted into water to be sure – as part of the ingredient list.
I am not a beer connoisseur by anyone’s definition so the fact that I do not personally think Coor’s Light is even drinkable when brewed in its normal fashion may cloud my reaction here:
- This offering is not enticing. It is disgusting.
- I would not drink this limited-edition beer with your mouth.
But hey … if you are a Lightning fan or someone who loves hockey and Coor’s Light, Mazel Tov!
Here is the link to Greg Wyshynski’s report…
I have avoided comment on the brave new world of “Name, Image and Likeness” (NIL) that has been thrust upon intercollegiate athletics by about a dozen state legislatures and by the Supreme Court decision in the Alston case that I did I mentioned before. The reason is that I am convinced that there are far too many twists, turns, speed bumps and open road ahead of everyone regarding NIL to make any short to medium term predictions as to what is going to happen. The only thing I am confident in saying is that the collegiate athletics model of “amateurism” is dead. There will be in the short term a tsunami of college athletes who become “brand ambassadors” for a variety of products and services offered to the public by businesses of all sizes.
Good for those college athletes; I do not begrudge them even a penny of what they might earn in those circumstances. However, if you ask me then to conclude that this change is an unalloyed success for intercollegiate sports, my response is that I will have to get back to you in about 10 years for a grounded conclusion there.
For now, it seems to be like the Wild West out there; athletes in minor sports are getting endorsement deals; businesses are signing on with players daily. It is like one of the verses in the song Creeque Alley by the Mamas and the Papas:
“And everybody’s gettin’ fat ‘cept Mama Cass…”
Is this how things will continue to proceed? Perhaps – – but probably not. Boom and bust is a commonplace scenario in the world of economics so I have no idea how this will look in 2030 and I suggest that lots of the “analysis” offered up today is more speculation and extrapolation than it is real analysis – – because there is not enough data to analyze yet.
Let me just throw out a couple of things that might happen to cause changes in plans:
- Joe Flabeetz is the star RB for Disco Tech. Joe signs a deal with a local car dealership; his pitch is that their cars run even better than he does. In a TV ad, he is standing by one of the vehicles bedecked in his Disco Tech uniform. Disco Tech wants a piece of the action here because it is their uniform not his.
- Suzy Flabeetz (Joe’s twin sister) is the captain and leading scorer for her school’s basketball team. She knows that her days as an athlete are going to end once her senior year is over; she is not going to make it as a pro basketball player. She is looking to some sort of NIL deal that will go beyond the end of her college days and she discovers Only Fans where she sets up her own channel, charges subscription rates and posts sex tapes there. The school decides it does not want to be associated with such behavior and expels Suzy.
I am not saying any of the above – let alone all the above – is going to happen; I am saying that low probability events happen every day and some of those low probability events have long lasting/widespread effects – – e.g. the guy who ate the bat for dinner in Wuhan.
I suspect that whatever form NIL economics takes in the future the Power 5 schools and the ones with rabid and wealthy boosters are going to do better than the smaller schools in Division 1 and Division 1-AA. The rich will get richer until and unless there is some sort of modulation of behavior – – which is what the NCAA purportedly was there to do and seems to have done so poorly.
Finally, since I mentioned Oscar Levant in passing above, let me close with something he once said to an obnoxious person he had been introduced to:
“I’m going to memorize your name and throw my head away.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………