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Oakland Is Right to Keep Refusing to Bend to the Will of the NFL

8 Mar

“But by placing its taxpayers’ needs ahead of the NFL’s stadium-building desires, the city is likely to lose its beloved Raiders”

Source: Oakland Is Right to Keep Refusing to Bend to the Will of the NFL

It’s a shame it comes to this as Raiders fans could be the most loyal of any NFL team. However, there’s not a single stadium deal out there that’s close to fair and equitable to taxpayers, that makes financial sense to anyone other than the billionaire owners who covet their fans’ bank accounts – yet expecting everyone to pad the teams’ bottom lines by subsidies and sweet deals, loans, etc.

How Cool Would It Be If Your Favorite Band Did This?

20 Sep

I’M A HUGE FAN OF PODCASTS, as anyone who takes a look at that category here will see. I also love music, and marketing, and used to be in the music industry and my brain is often thinking of different ideas.

So what if, while your favorite band was recording their newest album, they did a weekly (or twice or three times weekly) podcast about the process?  It could be a video podcast, too, with footage shot from the studio, rehearsal space – behind the scenes of making new music. Each episode could feature the artist or different band members, the producer, engineer…they could talk about the writing process, what was recorded that day/that week, what instruments, what songs.  Which songs were coming along easily? Which were really hard to write, record?  Any that are turning out much differently than when it was originally written?  There’s a ton of questions and things to talk about with the band members involved.

Week after week, the band’s new music would be promoted. The band could release some tracks during or towards the end of the recording sessions. Help get the word out about upcoming tour dates…introduce new merchandise…there’s a lot of possibilities with this idea.

This could become a real geek fest depending on the band, I see this working best for veteran classic rock bands, as well as alternative rock artists and bands – it’s this kind of insider access fans want. Though the more I think of it, this idea could work for almost any artist with a fan base. Look at the popularity of Live at Daryl’s House – my idea isn’t that far removed from this – it’s showing the world the creative process, an inside look at music being created.

I would bet there’s plenty of podcasters that would jump at the opportunity for an opportunity to host each episode, or guest host different casts.  This sort of thing would definitely help get the word out about a band’s new music. When I think of my favorite bands, if something like this was going on during the recording of, say, Cheap Trick’s Bang Zoom Crazy Hello I know I’d be really excited about it, would share episodes and news about it at social media, etc.

Today, the traditional ways to set up an album are ineffective – releasing a single to radio weeks ahead of the album, securing as much publicity right when the album comes out. Its time the old dogs keep learning new tricks. For the right band this could be a great way to get their fans excited about their new music and related activities.

Slate: An Inside Look at Comcast’s Efforts to Make You Hate It Less

16 Jun

Or, can a zebra change its stripes? An interesting read on what Combat is doing to try and improve their image and customer service…and why that might not be enough.

Slate: An Inside Look at Comcast’s Efforts to Make You Hate It Less.

“It Slices, It Dices, and More!”

11 Apr

Each year for work I attend a couple of the Mother Earth News Fairs. If you’re unfamiliar, Mother Earth News is a 40+ year old magazine covering how to live a sustainable, eco-friendly, back-to-the-land, healthy lifestyle. The fairs feature dozens of exhibitors ranging from healthy organic food companies to tool manufacturers to book publishers.

My favorite exhibitors are anyone who is a great pitchman. Yes, just like the guys on late night infomercials, they’re the direct descendants of those state fair guys and Ron Popeil. Fast talking, hokey, funny and charismatic. The ones at the Mother Earth News Fairs aren’t too far removed from those guys,  especially the ones hawking cooking ware.

There’s always a knife guy or the no-stick frying pan guy. I love watching them because it’s a performance. They’ve got a script, they hit the high points, keep the audience and cook, too.


Doing this at these shows is not easy work! Over a weekend, they might do seven or eight or more demos each day. They’ve got to get people to their booth before the demo and hopefully convert the spectators to buyers. Each time they do their demo they have to be enthusiastic and not sound like their going thru the motions.

My favorite of late is the Suhi Maker guy.  The Sushi Maker is a horizontal plastic box where you pack your rice and other ingredients inside and compact it down with the top. There’s slots on the side where you slide your knife in and out and voila! Perfect sushi! (a patent – pending version of the knife the guy invented is also available). I was mesmerized as he said now sushi at home can cost as little as 50 cents!  What I love is that he wasn’t Japanese and he kind of had the demeanor of a hack nightclub comic. The family watching was mesmerized, too. The dad was stone faced and would not crack anything close to a smile, no matter how many jokes and a puns Sushi Guy threw is way.


Got to give it up for these pitch folks. They’re triple threats – entrepreneurs, sales people and performers.

And I came real close to buying the Sushi Maker.

Shameless Self-Promotion Department: “Johnny Football”

7 May

Been having a blast doing the PR & Marketing for the new book, “JOHNNY FOOTBALL: JOHNNY MANZIEL’S WILD RIDE FROM OBSCURITY TO LEGEND AT TEXAS A&M” by Mike Shropshire

Given that just about every pro football fan is interested in the draft, and there’s a ton of interest in Manziel,  I’ve managed to get a lot of press for the author.  This has included the NFL Network morning show, “NFL A.M.” last Monday, some print and lot’s of local sports radio.  Upcoming this week and next, Shropshire will be on:

  • KGO/KSFO in San Francisco – taped interview Tuesday, will be used throughout the week in sports updates/news casts
  •  WHBC/Canton – TODAY, May 7 on the Sam Bourquin Show at 4:35 central time (cst)
  •  KRLD – “THE FAN”/Dallas – Thursday, May 8, 1:15 cst
  •  NBC Sports Radio AM1060/Phoenix – Thursday, 5:30 cst
  •  ESPN Radio/Las Vegas – Thursday
  •  WDBO/Orlando – Thursday, May 15 – 1:00 p.m. cst

Mike is a witty and sarcastic old Texan – and sounds great on the radio.  Its a cool perspective to pitch – a Texan writing about a Texan (Manziel) and the book itself is really fun and interesting.  “Johnny Football ” gives an inside look at Manziel’s meteoric rise from rural Texas to becoming a star with the Aggies and being the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Shropshire’s wit is all over it, giving a Texan’s look at the second religion in the state (football) and what Manziel meant and accomplished during his two seasons at Texas A&M.

The book is hitting stores now – or at least should be – and is available at all outlets that sell books on the interwebs.  Alternately, you can also enter to win the book – just click on the picture!


Johnny Football



Two Thoughts On Marketing

11 Apr

Marketing is essentially two inter-related functions:

1.) creating demand for a product, service, etc.

2.) anything and everything that makes a salesperson’s job easier.

Pop-Ups, Revamped, Reinvented, Refined.

2 Aug

I love this idea:

The Pop-Up retail location has been a successful trend for several years now, for both retailers large and small. Target has dones some, so have boutiques, book-stores etc.

A program called SQFT in San Francisco is doing something unique and different with the pop-up concept. Their concept is to connect people with cheap, short-term office space in the Mid-Market neighborhood. Their online rent calculator and application process is very cool as well.

For the aspiring and serial entrepreneur this offers a a huge array of possibilities. A one-week Yoga studio? Or coffee shop? Two-week temporary space for a play? Lecture series? Think of it!

This reminded me of an idea I’ve had for awhile, for several empty storefronts around and near my neighborhood. What if a space became a temporary artist-in-residence gallery/shop? Artists can display their works and sell them. The place would be open during the day, with signs and info about the space for prospective commercial tentants. Thinking more of the SQFT idea, what if I presented a similar concept to a landlord? The ideas are starting… Continue reading

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On the Corner

Ken Shane's personal blog



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