Actually UFC legend Randy Couture and big wave surfing android Laird Hamilton never went anywhere. But, as the commercial spotlight shines on these two sportsmen yet again, its hard not to marvel at the marketing engine available both to the product (Laird and Randy) and consumers today.
Couture's memoir: Becoming The Natural: My Life In and Out of the Cage is set for a July, 22, release from Simon Spotlight Entertainment (SSE), a division of publishing uber-house, Simon & Shuster, Inc. SSE is responsible for other literary works of genius like Pimpin' Ken's definitive treatise on macking, Pimpology: The 48 Laws of The Game and He's Just Not That Into You: The No Excuses Guide to Understanding Guys- which is also available in a re-released (and yet another ingenious marketing ploy) "newly expanded edition".
Randy will embark on a mini-book tour beginning July, 21 (full schedule available on MMAPayout.com) in New York City and ending August, 5 in Cincinnati. The tour hits both coasts of the U.S. and 2 locations in the Midwest, Chicago and Cincy. It would be interesting to see the investment put up by SSE for the tour and the ROI for book sales. Randy is an extremely popular fellow among a fast growing subculture that draws that most coveted demographic, the 16-34 year olds. But are these guys reading entire books these days?
Amazon.com lists Becoming The Natural at $25.95 and, at last search, discounts The Natural's memoir to $17.13.
Laird Hamilton is helping French surfwear company- and his longtime sponsor- Oxbow, with their official clothing line release in the United States. On July, 20 Hamilton will be at Oxbow's only U.S. store in Santa Monica, CA, from 2pm to 4pm to sign shirts, shorts and whatevers. According to Oxbow's press release, Laird's appearance will also be accompanied by a "25% off on all purchases" sale. Will the investment be worth it? Only time will tell. (And I have no idea how much Oxbow has invested in their U.S. store, marketing, R&D, and Laird's appearance.)
Oxbow has to go up against heavy hitters, Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy and numerous other companies, both corporate and independent, for a slice of that lucrative surf and snow apparel pie. And they currently only have one location in the States to show Americans why they should switch brands. But, like that creepy sensei-guy said in the beginning of Big Trouble in Little China, "That's always how it begins, very small."
Keep it simple. Watch that marketing spin. And always wonder where'd you be without it.