It’s Nike vs. Adidas in the World Cup Semis

originally appeared in TheStreet.com July 7, 2014

messi adidasThe World Cup semifinals are now set and in no surprise, Nike will be facing Adidas for world domination. Sort of.

Both matches feature the two companies going head to head for a spot in the finals on July 13. Nike will be on the field with Brazil when the host country takes on an Adidas kitted Germany. The other side of the bracket features Argentina versus the Swoosh-styled team from the Netherlands.

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What Free Agency Means for LeBron James, the Marketing Machine

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — To those who follow the NBA, LeBron James’ move to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat to become a free agent wasn’t a surprise.

The move was redolent of James’ “Decision,” his much maligned announcement in the summer of 2010 that he was joining the Heat and leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although he took a big hit to what had been a relatively untarnished reputation, the move didn’t hurt James’ marketability, outside of Cleveland at least. Continue reading

ESPN Makes Disney Very Happy, One Lebron James Story At a Time

originally published May 28, 2014 in http://www.thestreet.com

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (TheStreet) — Before 1979, sports media was still in its dark ages. The world’s sporting games had their heroes and various and sundry sportswriters who depicted their exploits for newsprint, television and radio.

Joe Namath’s prediction that the upstart New York Jets would win Super Bowl III in 1969 and Reggie Jackson’s three-home run game in the 1977 World Series were examples of the modern athlete transcending daily life to create the mass market moment that stretched well beyond the playing field. And that was just in New York.

On TV, baseball and basketball had their game of the week while Sundays and Monday night belonged to football. Local newspapers recounted games and Sports Illustrated gave them all a glossy sheen on the national level. It all used to be so quaint.

ESPNThen in 1979, someone in Bristol, Conn got the crazy idea of packaging every sport and every region’s favorite ballteams into one made-for-Pay-TV package. And nothing in the business of sports, which really is sports, has been the same ever since.

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An Open Letter to Woody Johnson

Thanksgiving Night, 2012

Dear Woody Johnson,

My name is James Fernandez. I am 38 years old and I have been a Jet fan since Richard Todd and the Mud Bowl game in January of ‘83. I have proudly worn the colors. I appreciate the growth in the fan base and the presence of the team in the Morris County area. I grew up there and can tell you that you staked your flag in the heart of Giant country. I became quick friends with any Jet fan back then because there weren’t many of us at all. You have grown the Jet brand. Excellent job!

Your team, on the other hand, sucks.

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Blood, Sweat and Cheers

 

Weigh in time is where you’ll find the lifers. Guys full of experience, stories and the scars to go along with all of them.

“The hardest I ever got hit?” a New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame trainer asked in a conversation with one of his young fighters. “It was this white kid from Minnesota.”

The trainer has a Rocky ringtone on his phone, a flattened nose and a criminal record.

Sinners can still be saints in the boxing game. But it’s boxing. The older eyes look around with suspicion while the young eyes look with confidence. Business is being taken care of.

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