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Nelson Mandela Dies at 95, Taking With Him a Unique Brand of Activism

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 6, 2013 10:13 AM

Nelson Mandela's legacy was on full display within an hour of his death.

In its ferocity, speed and uniformity, the outpouring of grief over the passing of 95-year-old Mandela felt like the grieving of a world that suspects it will never have another figure so unifying—not because the world will never be given another person as heroic as Mandela, but because the world has changed too much to ever embrace one.Continue reading...

personal brands

Under New Owner, Elvis Brand Likely to Get a Modern Day Marketing Boost

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 27, 2013 08:19 PM

Three of the 20th century’s biggest icons all now share one manager. Authentic Brands Group, which already had Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali in its stable, has bought the intellectual property of Elvis Presley, giving it a pop-culture trifecta of sorts.

Whether it will reap a huge profit from the addition of The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll remains to be seen. ABG not only bought the properties from CORE Media Group, but also is now a partner with National Entertainment Collectibles Association founder Joel Weinshanker and the Presley family to run Graceland, Elvis’s famed home, the Associated Press reports. The home itself and its furnishings are solely possessed by Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

“We look forward to working with the ABG team to further promote the legacy of Elvis,” Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, said in a statement. “This is the opportunity the family has been envisioning to expand the Graceland experience and enhance Elvis’ image all over the world.”Continue reading...

personal brands

Jack Nicklaus Gets Into the Ball Business

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 3, 2013 05:24 PM

Jack Nicklaus has spent pretty much his entire 73 years around golf. He’s won more major tournaments (18) than anyone else and the man known as the Golden Bear has managed to keep his image clean of any tawdriness (unlike the guy right behind him on the majors list, Tiger Woods, who has won 14).

One area Nicklaus may be trailing Woods is in endorsement deals, but not for long. According to Golf Digest, Nicklaus has developed his own line of golf balls that are being manufactured by Bridgestone and will be on sale in November. 

The line will consist of three different balls: Nicklaus Black, Nicklaus Blue and Nicklaus White, named and designed for the different tees that golfers can hit from at the start of a hole. The balls have been individually constructed to fit the playing style of different golfers, from those with a high handicap or low one.Continue reading...

personal brands

Is This the End of the Tim Tebow Brand? Not Likely

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 4, 2013 05:58 PM

Could it be the end of Tebowmania?

After being cut from the New England Patriot's roster earlier this week, Tim Tebow, the University of Florida football star, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and creator of a new verb, "Tebowing," has once again watched his short-lived NFL career fall flat. Now a free agent, it seems as the NFL season will kick-off Thurday without its most recent marketing juggernaut—but is this really the end of Tebow the brand?

While Tebow the NFL star has left much to be desired, the handsome, well-spoken QB has done wonders for the NFL and consumer product brands alike both on and off the field, where he has struggled to succeed since his last starting bid with the Denver Broncos. But the marketing phenomenon that is Tim Tebow has long outlasted his career as a first-string quarterback.Continue reading...

personal brands

Ackman Abandons JCPenney Shares, Leaving Disaster in his Wake

Posted by Dale Buss on August 27, 2013 02:49 PM

Most people want to leave the world a better place than when they entered. Most investors take the same approach with companies in which they obtain a huge stake. So how does Bill Ackman feel about JCPenney now?

The activist investor's grand experiment in attempting to move the venerable retailer from also-ran brand to a dynamic rebirth failed in even grander fashion this summer, and now Ackman has decided to sell his 18 percent stake in the company, or about 39 million shares, at a loss of as much as $500 million, according to Bloomberg.

The head of Pershing Square Capital Management clearly signaled his intentions a few weeks ago when he mounted one last offensive in the boardroom, attempting to oust CEO Myron Ullman—spectacularly but unsuccessfully, in the end. That failure followed the debacle wrought by Ackman's hand-picked CEO, Ron Johnson, who actually succeeded Ullman a couple of years ago.Continue reading...

personal brands

Funnyman Ansari Cements his Personal Brand with $3.5 Million Book Advance

Posted by Dale Buss on August 23, 2013 03:41 PM

When Aziz Ansari writes his book for Penguin Press—for which he received a mind-boggling advance of $3.5 million— will it be the actor himself writing about his own life as a single? Or will it be his character Tom Haverford in the hit NBC TV show Parks & Recreation? Because they seem like pretty much the same guy.

Either way, in a case of art imitating life imitating art, or life imitating art imitating life, Ansari has landed a deal so huge, reported Publishers Weekly, that it places him just behind the $3.7 million that Lena Dunham scored for her book in October and likely ahead of stars such as Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak and fellow P&R star Amy Poehler.

The book, expected in September 2015, will be about the single life and how it has been altered by digital technologies. That would pretty much track Ansari's character on the show, an entrepreneurial sort who is constantly sidetracked by his attachment to his smartphone and incursions into digital-tech startups.Continue reading...

personal brands

Detroit Trust Looks to Raise Money to Preserve Rosie the Riveter Factory

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 31, 2013 11:47 AM

In a touching tip of the hat to nostalgia, a group in Detroit is trying to raise enough money to save some of the factory where Rosie the Riveter helped build nearly 9,000 B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II and became an icon of American female empowerment.

The Save the Bomber Plant campaign has raised $4.5 million of the $8 million required to separate and preserve 175,000 square feet of the Ypsilanti Township plant and convert it to a new home for the Yankee Air Museum.Continue reading...

personal brands

Tesla Grapples with Expectations but Nothing Will Slow Musk's Hunger for Innovation

Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2013 04:22 PM

The stock of his beloved Tesla was battered earlier this week after a leading auto analyst said it already was far overvalued at its current price. But whether he's comparing himself to Henry Ford or promising a way to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes, Tesla founder Elon Musk remains focused on visionary new ideas for the future.

At mid-afternoon Thursday, Tesla shares had recovered much of the 14 percent drop they experienced on Tuesday after Goldman Sachs veteran analyst Patrick Archambault, in a broader research note on the automotive sector, set a six-month price target of $84 a share for the only successful EV brand. That was up from the analyst's previous price target of $61—but far below the Nasdaq stock's peak value of $132.41 on Monday. Archambault left unchanged his "neutral" rating on the stock.

Other Tesla watchers were seemingly more bullish, such as Adam Betancourt, who opined on SeekingAlpha.com that when the company reports second-quarter earnings next week, it "will still be a monumental step in the company's rapid growth cycle."Continue reading...

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