Why do I care?

October 4, 2007

bonds ball

I’ve never voted on American Idol.  I never call-in on talk radio.  I don’t feel the need for my voice to be heard.  Why then, did I take time to vote on what should be done with Barry Bonds’ 756 home run ball?  I’m not even that big of a baseball fan.

I have what I like to think of as a finely honed sense of fairness.  (My wife  tends to call it self-righteous indignation.)  Whatever.  Still, I was taken by Marc Ecko’s purchase of the home run ball for $752,467.  He put up a website asking people to vote on what he should do with the ball.  There were three options: 1) Send it to Cooperstown. 2) Brand it with an asterisk, and then send it to the Hall of Fame.  Or, 3) Launch it into space.  In the end, 47% of the people (including me) voted to brand the ball and send it on to Cooperstown.  (See all the results here.)

I love it.

Barry Bonds does not love it.  He thinks Ecko is “stupid” and “and idiot” for giving away the ball. I beg to differ with Mr. Bonds.  Ecko’s site drew more than 10,000,000 cathartic votes in just eight days.  He inserted himself (and his brand) in the midst of a pop culture phenomena — indeed, history — and brought some sense of closure to the mess.

I don’t know how you would have ROI’d this marketing move on the front end, but it sure looks pretty damn smart to me.

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