Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Selling Out: A Reader's Guide

Ultimate isn't selling out. We tried to sell out, or rather we tried to sell-in, during the early 1990s with Cuervo Tequila but it wasn't a good fit. Just didn't work.

That's mainly because Cuervo wanted the sport to sell-out not sell-in.

How can you define "selling-out" for a sport? Well it's not that difficult actually. It means to take something organic and try to monetize it. it means letting sponsors and advertisers define success in the sport. It means pretending to be something you're not.

Here are some great examples of what won't happen to ultimate

1) Tough Mudder/ Warrior Dash
Chris Cline sent me this link to a competition modeled on what looks like Cyclocross (mountain biking mixed with an obstacle course) and the set of Braveheart.


So is this "sport" a sell-out/ First, it's a competition, not a sport. Second, its website screams "enjoy life! drink alcohol like Cuervo Tequila Dos Equis!" Third, ihe website is clearly not organic. You can tell it was put together with one goal in mind: to make someone somewhere some cash.

here's a direct quote from the Wikipedia page. i'm not going to get into the credibility argument about Wikipedia at the moment, decide for yourself if it's accurate.

"Tough Mudder was founded by Englishmen Will Dean and Guy Livingstone. Dean came up with the idea while at Harvard Business School, and it was a finalist in the Harvard Business School’s annual Business Plan Contest. He brought on Guy Livingstone to act as Chief Operating Officer."


2) Flip Cup Guys

You know flip cup, I know flip cup, utlimate players have been playing flip cup as far back as the late 1990s if I recall. Early 2000s? I'm sure someone here could pipe in with the first time they played in college. I don't recall playing in 1995, my senior year.

Regardless, two guys in New Jersey, ie, "Two White Guyzz In New Joisey" decided at some point to try and make some cash on the event. And i'm sure they succeeded. They've tried to monetize an organic drinking game and are probably sitting at home in a mini-mansion in Ridgewood wearing T-Shirts that say, "Suckers!" and "I Love Taking Advantage of College Chicks When They Drink too Much Playing In My Flip Cup Tournament."


3) World Series of Beer Pong

You know it's a sell out when they stage it in a shitty new York City bar, borrow the design of a major league sports logo (in this case, the north Carolina-based New Ultimate Association, founded by Toad and others) and make sure to hire strippers in thongs to show up. Add in prize money, trips to las Vegas and a "documentary" and you've got the makings of a total unadulterated sell out.


4) Quidditch

I'm not sure where to qualify this one. I'm thnking they are trying to "sell-in." Amusing that they are trying to go the NCAA route. Good luck with that fellows!!


So what's the point? The point is that thank God we're not like these jokers, all four of them.

1 comment:

  1. Did th First Tough Mudder event complete sell outs, rubbish event and they charghed you $180 for the pleasure.