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Archive for August, 2010

How Do You Practice? Actually Do You Practice?

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The other day I was driving around and actually drove past a football field with some kids in it and something looked a little odd. I decided to turn around and take a closer look. I saw a number of groups on the field but the one I was most interested in was two kids that looked about 15-16 playing together. One of the kids was on the 40 yard line while the other one was standing close to the goal line. The one on the 40 was alternating between kicking field goals and punts while the other kid was catching the balls and running back the ball. I watched this for about 15 minutes and was amazed that this was happening WITHOUT a COACH! Just the two boys:

  • Practicing
  • Getting better
  • Laughing and enjoying a sport they love

To me that was amazing. I don’t see that as much as I did when I was growing up. Lots of kids are inside playing on the web, watching TV or on their iTouch. Good for these kids to be outside and practicing.

It got me to think about how I practice. Here are a few ways:

  • If I haven’t played baseball or softball for a while I will go to the batting cages.
  • Before I go into a new business development meeting with colleagues I will review what we want to say and accomplish
  • Before an industry presentation I will review the PowerPoint deck for timing, videos and animation

Practicing is how you get better!

Practicing is critical to your success!

  • So how do you practice?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Fun Friday Logo Trivia – Trust Me This Is REALLY Amazing And You Will Want To Check This Out.

Friday, August 27th, 2010

This was sent to me from K.W. and I couldn’t wait to share it with the blog readers.

All I want you to do is look at the 7 logos for 5 seconds and then read some interesting information about it and let me know if you noticed it.

Click here for the logos

I hope you enjoyed looking at these logos.

Thanks for your comments.

Time To Find Out What Organizational Boards You Have Been On And How Was The Experience?

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

A year ago I remember feeling a little melancholy, a little emotional after the MRA conference in Chicago. Yes the conference was great, networking was fantastic and yes I even found time to get a burger at the Billy Goat tavern. The reason I was a little melancholy was that at the end of the conference I knew I wouldn’t be on the national MRA board anymore. After six years of sharing hours and days of board meetings with friends like Colleen Mezler Moore, Jon Last, Ed Sugar, Steve Schlesinger, Amy Shields, Kim Larson, Merrill Shugoll and many, many others I knew that those days were over and it was time for new leadership.

Being on an organizational board and representing the industry is one of the most important positions I have ever held. I always took it very seriously and was honored to represent the membership. Over the years I have been on a number of boards which has included:

  • A.C.Nielsen Center
  • American Marketing Association
  • Baylor University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Texas at Arlington

To me there is nothing like being around total strangers who share a common goal, join together on a board and accomplishing things — it’s a wonderful feeling!

  • What boards have you been on or currently on?
  • How was/is the experience?
  • What advice would you give people who are thinking about joining a board?
  • Was the experience as rewarding as you thought it would be?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Music & Sports They Seem To Go Hand In Hand — By Guest Writer Ed Sugar

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

It is a custom of mine to always check the Major League Baseball schedule whenever I have an out of town business trip during baseball season. So when the 2010 schedule was released last November I made a quick check to see if Merrill’s beloved Red Sox were going to be in town during June’s Marketing Research Association’s Annual Conference. Well sure enough they were coming home the last day of the conference to play the Phillies. Thanks to my good friend JM, I was able to get two tickets for Friday night’s game and took my friend GB. GB is a big baseball fan, but this was her first visit to Fenway Park. We got there early enough to walk around Fenway twice, soaking up the pre-game buzz, sample some of the local Italian sausages and spent time in Twin 47. The game was over by the 2nd inning as the Red Sox clobbered Jamie Moyer with 9 runs, but we still had a great time enjoying the views and listening to the crowds carry on with their hard “R’s”.

Then came the middle of the 8th and I realized I had not mentioned anything to GB about Boston and “Sweet Caroline”. For those of you who do not know, at every Red Sox home game, Neil Diamond’s classic Sweet Caroline is played on the ballpark’s PA system before the bottom of the 8th inning and all the loyal Red Sox fans engage in one of the most fascinating sing-alongs known to mankind. Sensing something special, GB whipped out her camera and recorded most of the audio for her family back home.

This incidence got me thinking of the different ways music and sports are connected. As many regular readers of this blog know I have a passion for both.

At first I thought of those classic team fight songs such as “The Notre Dame Victory March” or University of Oklahoma’s “Boomer Sooner”.

Then there are walk out or entrance songs like “Enter Sandman” by Metallica which is played as Yankee ace reliever Mariano Rivera heads out to the mound or Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra (theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey”) which many athletes, like pro wrestler Ric Flair, have adopted as their entrance music.

And of course there are songs about the athletes themselves such as Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs Robinson” with its classic line “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?”, Bob Dylan’s ballad “Hurricane” or The Marroons “Lester Hayes”

I gave this some thought and came up with my three favorite sport related songs.

“Ole Ola” by Rod Stewart. Now you have to be a very big fan of “Rod the Mod” or lived in Scotland during the late 1970’s to know of this song. Though he was born in England, Rod Stewart has been one of Scotland’s biggest supporters. In 1978 before the Scots made their run for the World Cup, the shaggy–haired one released this gem. Definitely up there with his classics “Mandolin Wind”, “Maggie May” and “Gasoline Alley” in my book. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4bqACNrVqs

“D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song (Oh, Really? No, O’Malley)” by Danny Kaye. Pure genius is all I can say. This whimsical song captures Kaye’s love of the Dodgers, details the classic Koufax/Drysdale Dodger teams of the 60’s and their epic battles with their dreaded rivals from San Francisco. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7qYcyUjDPU

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” started out as a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel. In England, the song’s most successful performance was recorded in 1963 by the Liverpool natives Gerry & The Pacemakers. It quickly became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club and is invariably sung by its supporters moments before the start of each game. In fact, the words “You’ll Never Walk Alone” are included in the club’s crest! I have not attended a game at Liverpool’s home, Anfield, but in 1981 I did see them play in Brighton and was just floored as their fans sang this song in unison without any formal direction. Click here and see for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I_crD6Oqsw
So now it is your turn.
Do you have a favorite song associated with sports or athletes?
Are you a fan of:

  1. The Chicago Bears “Super Bowl Shuffle”
  2. “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III
  3. “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”
  4. “Rock and Roll parts 1 & 2” by Gary Glitter

Do you have an old college fight song that touches your soul?

Or have a heavy metal favorite that is played as your favorite player enters the game?

I look forward to hearing what is on your hit parade.

Attention Researchers: 10 Seconds – What Are The First Words That Come To Your Mind When You Hear The Words Marketing Research?

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Today I only need your attention for 30 seconds, 10 seconds to read this posting, 10 seconds to think about your answer and 10 seconds to type in your comment.

Here goes please take 10 seconds and let me know what are the first words that come to your mind when you hear the words marketing research?

I truly look forward to reading all of your comments.

Do You Always Try Your Hardest Or Are There Times You Do Try A Little Harder?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Another day in Dallas and another day that the weather approaches 100 degrees. I will admit I truly love the heat and dislike cold weather and HATE snow! As I am getting dressed and stretching for my softball game tonight I am a little more excited than normal. I have a little more bounce in my step than most other days. Why you ask? Because I have an early game and my son will be watching me play for the first time. He has become a really good baseball player and I watch him as much as I can and now he gets to watch Dad, the old man and see if I can play this game.

I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy having him there, cheering me on. It was cool to be in the field and see him in the dugout. He was actually watching me, trying to understand the game a little more and NOT playing his iTouch! That in itself was a shock.

I pride myself on always giving my all, trying 110% every time I am playing a sport but I realized that might not be the case! Ugh I found myself digging a little deeper, running a little harder and concentrating a little more because my little guy (thanks J) was watching, cheering and hopefully was going to be a little more proud of me and my athleticism.

Do you try a little harder when:

  • Your friends or family are watching?
  • You are playing the first place team?
  • You are playing a team or person you lost to a few weeks earlier?

I thought I always played hard and at the same level and intensity game after game but actually that doesn’t appear to be true.

  • Is it true with you?

PS – This story isn’t about how I did – but if you are curious I had a really good game and went 3 for 4, drove in a couple of runs and played well in the field.

Sign A Contract – Honor The Contract! Is That Too Much To Ask?

Monday, August 16th, 2010

As I read the sports page or an online article I read another story of an athlete who is asking to be traded! Yes he is under contract but for some reason he doesn’t want to play for that team anymore. Then I flip the page and read another article that Lane Kiffin is being sued by Tennessee for luring away Kennedy Pola who was under contract with the Tennessee Titans and by the way had only been with them for 5 months.

I don’t understand! Please help me understand all this! Please shed some clarity on all of this! This post isn’t about the examples I gave you but really about follow through! If you sign a contract, honor the contract! Isn’t it as simple as that? I get that athletes and to some extent coaches only can play or coach for so long and they need make as much money as they can. Honoring a contract is something you should think about prior to signing and certainly when you have a pen in your hand. I am getting very tired of professional coaches who are under contract jumping ship, going to another team! If you always wanted to coach for your alma mater than here is an idea (not that creative) put that in your contract. Sign a five year deal plan to stay for 5 years and if for some reason you teams don’t do well and you get fired then that team will pay you the remainder of your contract.

I really don’t get it!

  • Am I the only one tired of this?
  • Does anyone have any answers?
  • Am I looking at this the wrong way?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Are You Kidding Me…..!!!! Why Didn’t I Use My Hat To Catch The Ball?????????

Friday, August 13th, 2010

So there I am at the ballpark, eating a hot dog TRYING hard not to get mustard on my shirt. The weather is beautiful and I am getting ready to watch two teams go at each other for 3 plus hours while one of them goes home with a victory! Aw!

In the past month this same story has actually happened three times! Yes three times! I can’t believe I didn’t learn from at least the first two times but no I didn’t …. Ok I know you have no idea what I am talking about but here guys. In my mind I am a pretty good baseball player, I grew up with the game (thanks Dad) and still love playing and going to this day. In the past month I have had a shot at catching a foul ball — yes three times. All three times there was NO ONE SITTING in front of me and all THREE times I didn’t have a baseball glove handy! And by the way all THREE times I didn’t get the ball! I booted it! Error on Dubrow! Nice catch is something I didn’t hear! Why you ask because I never got the ball! Not even close — all THREE times the ball was in the hands of someone else! The funny thing is after I booted the first two I realized I had a hat on and should have used that to catch the ball. If I had I would have gotten all THREE balls for sure!

The funny thing is I have caught one foul ball in my life and actually got a number of other balls but those were thrown to me by players as they were entering the dugout — not sure really that counts.

Ok most of you are probably now chuckling a little bit but I want to know:

  • Have you ever dropped a ball at a baseball game?
  • Have you ever caught a foul ball
  • What about other sports — have you ever got a football or basketball in the stands that you had to give back
  • And of course what about a runaway bat that slipped out of someone’s hands?

I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully other people who have dropped and fumbled foul balls.

I Like New Products… But Sandwich In A Can?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Being in the research industry for over 25 years has given me the opportunity to see and taste lots of new products. Over the years some of those products were a complete success while others fell by the way side. Someone on our team shared an article (thanks D.S.) regarding a new product.

The inventor is Mark Kirkland and the product is Sandwich in a can or actually Candwich.

He actually has a few different concepts:

  • Sandwiches in a can.
  • Pizza in a can.
  • French toast in a can.
  • Cinnamon rolls in a can.

Mark chose a can because, when combined with techniques similar to those used to preserve Meals Ready-to-Eat for soldiers, an aluminum can keeps food fresh for a full year or even longer.

Another benefit is they can fit into a soda vending machine so the Candwich products can easily be sold in both stores and vending machines. Assuming one thing he has consumers who are willing to try the product that will be selling for $2-3.

Some of the Candwich’s are peanut butter and jelly, BBQ Chicken and the BBQ Beef Candwich.

Ok I will go first. I would say no to a sandwich in a can no matter how good it tastes. To me it just doesn’t sound right. There is NO way I would eat pizza from a can. I want my pizza rolled out with toppings and piping hot. I might consider French toast in a can for a minute but I think I wouldn’t do it. However Mark sign me up for a Cinnamon roll in a can — to me that sounds reasonable and I would buy that product.

Assuming it tastes ok would you buy the product.

What about you? Would you buy:

  • Sandwiches in a can.
  • Pizza in a can.
  • French toast in a can.
  • Cinnamon rolls in a can.
  • Have you seen or bought these products or similar ones

I look forward to reading your comments.

PS: Mark good luck I hope your Candwich is a complete success!

Attention Sports Fans ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Are you kidding me:

  1. Terrell Owens (TO) showed up late for his first practice with his new team!
  2. Billy Hall (11) has more home runs than Manny Ramirez (8)
  3. Albert Haynesworth has flunked how many conditioning tests in a row!
  4. Fenway Park has had over 600 sellouts in a row!
  5. Bengie Molina is listed at 225 pounds!

Your turn:

  • What makes you scratch your head and say ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
  • What do you think of my list?

I look forward to hearing from you.