Manny Ramirez Strikes Out as a Hero

April 11, 2011

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @NYCA

This past Friday, April 8, 2011 Manny Ramirez suddenly retired due to allegations that he was using illegal, game-enhancing drugs for the third time in his career. We first ran this blog in May of 2009. We figure another look at values and integrity was worth a second read, even for Manny fans.

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Full disclosure: I never liked Manny Ramirez. Not when he was a hero of the Red Sox Nation. Not now as a Dodger.  Not because he was good at playing baseball because I do have an appreciation for his machine-oiled swing and his carefree clutch play. But Manny being Manny was two too many Mannys for me.

Manny Ramirez

So that takes me to a news show the other day reporting that Manny Ramirez’s Dodger jerseys are being bought at a record pace since the news broke of his steroid violation. He’s been suspended for 50 games but sales on Manny mania is up.

Tell me, why would anyone want Manny Ramirez’s name on their back – even more now than before – after he was cited for illegal drug use?

Full disclosure number two: I feel the same way about A-Rod. And anyone else who cheats in or out of a Yankee uniform.

I have no issues with success and the riches and fame earned from it if one gets famous for doing decent things, for winning fair. You don’t have to be a working class guy to be a hero. Talent and fame aren’t enough to make you a person to look up to. You can be admired for your physical beauty and social powers but to become a hero, character should count more than homers.

So here’s to the heart-pounding excitement of playing by the rules.

To the miles after miles of straight and narrow.

To delivered-as-promised accountability.

To doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching. And when they are.

Here’s to the guy who holds his trash to toss it in the garbage can and picks it up and tries again when he misses a fall-away jumper. With no stadium, no cheers, no two fingers to the lips and up to the heavens when it goes in.

Here’s to celebrating ordinary goodness at a time when celebrity is so prized and so attainable.

Here’s to aspiring to be that kind of everyday hero.

Hallmark ought to make a day for it.

Everyday Hero Day.

When you care enough to send the very best to those who care enough to always do their best.

Goodness doesn’t need a posse.  If a good act is executed and no one sees it each of us is made better.

It’s easy to see a ball smashed in the ninth inning fly over the wall to win the game. Should you miss it, they will replay it on the jumbo screen, on the sports shows, on the local news, in the paper, online, in the blogs, fan sites.

You think we can tell goodness without a batting average? Without a stage or if it didn’t step out of a limo in a $1,000 suit?

This requires more action on the spectator’s part.

We have a responsibility to see, point out and to judge who we each want to put on the pedestal. If anyone.

My heroes’ names might not be in lights above all others. Some are, though.

She may not be able to sing or dance or run at record speed.

He may not have the mind to understand advanced strategy.

And, then again, they may have all of that. They may be famous for their talent and a nobody for their deeds.

They may be famous for their goodness. Like I said, being famous for doing the right thing is a good thing. It inspires more good stuff since fame is such an aspiration.

Give me the common good guy.

I will be proud to wear his jersey.

I will wait outside his workplace for his autograph.

I will point him out to my kids.

And put his poster over our bed (especially if my wife thinks he’s sexy).

You do the right thing under the intense pressure of an ordinary day or in the dark when the spotlight is off then you’ll have my respect and my thanks.

Now it may not be worth millions so I will also send you a hero card.


NYCA president, Michelle Edelman, contributes to Progressive Grocer’s report on Baby Boomers

March 16, 2011

…”Recent research has uncovered a trend called ‘boomer bummers,'” notes Michelle Edelman, boomer expert and president of NYCA, a Solana Beach, Calif.-based integrated marketing and ad agency. “As [older] boomers pass into the typical retirement ages — as they get their AARP cards and turn milestones — they start to get depressed.”

Edelman, also a contributing author/editor for two baby boomer-related books, notes that the rates of suicide and clinical depression for these older boomers are rising. After all, they were part of the generation that wanted to change the world, but now are facing realities they cannot alter.

“Much is not controllable,” she adds, “particularly as age affects health and appearance.”

In contrast, younger boomers are still in the “family forming” stage, Edelman says. Many still have children at home; they are actively pursuing careers and were not greatly impacted by the turbulent times of the 1960s…

To read the full article, click here.


To make the biggest changes, focus on the smallest things.

March 1, 2011

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @ NYCA

“It’s all too complicated.” We’ve all felt and sighed that. Life moves fast and can have so many layers, one can get paralyzed under the tonage.

Same with work. With so many channels of information constantly being updated even as we’re analyzing it all, we can get caught up in just staying current instead of creating change. When we get overwhelmed, we can’t be our most effective or happiest. If you want to change the direction of your life, of a company, of a brand, try to focus on one thing only. You have to block out the noise to hear the music. It’s that easy. Sure it’s an oversimplification. But oversimplifications can get you moving — and action wins.  So, instead of the entire web of intricate behaviors, see only the action of a single movement.

For example, since I’m hungry, let’s say sales are down 24% on your global company’s frozen turkey slices. You’ve stared at the data for days and the turkey still isn’t moving. So forget the data, the percentages, the fact that your company produces turkey for most of the meat-eating world, and imagine a single person in a single store passing by the rack and reaching for another brand’s product. Your entire mission goes back from this moment — all you need to do is get that consumer to reach just a few inches over for your brand. For right now, it’s not about the changes in distribution, the trucking contracts, rising cost of turkey feather pluckers, shifting trends in eating habits, new entrants to the marketplace — so much, too much. Just focus on moving that customer’s hand over to grab a cold handful of your turkey. That’s the entire mission.

In all matters it comes down to one thing more than any other: what is that one thing that will make the customer move? It’s not everything, but for this jump-start it is the only thing. If you can bite-size the matter, you can handle it more easily, you get unfrozen yourself. Same in your personal life: if you want to stop smoking, you need to see yourself not as a child being brought up in the house of a smoker, not a smoker yourself for 17 and a half years who has tried to quit and now will lose the love of your life if you don’t. You just have to see yourself simply not putting a cigarette in your mouth. Once you master the image, you are on the way to doing the action, repeating it. Where do you not put a cigarette in your mouth? In church, your kid’s classroom – see that; it’s a starting point. Small movements, no matter how small, shape all things. Small makes a big difference. All the difference.


Michelle Edelman featured in Ad Age

February 25, 2011

By Michelle Edelman, President @ NYCA

Want to Move Your Agency Forward? Try Moving – Adventure in Real Estate Leads to Reflection on Our Business Practices

At our small agency, we want to be bigger. We’re restless characters. We like to solve different problems. Our metabolism is just built that way. Growing ourselves is a big part of what we think about during the 16 hours we aren’t at the office (OK, maybe more like 12).

So surprisingly enough, one of our greatest growth spurts as an agency came when we decided to move our headquarters location. When I read that last sentence, it sounds like there was some sort of grand plan. Far from it. We looked at our lease renewal price, looked at each other, and said, “Well, I guess we better go then!” It’s what happened after that ball started rolling that grew the agency.

Read the full article here.


How a sporting good became an ESPN Play of the Day

February 17, 2011

By Michael Mark, CEO/Creative Director at NYCA

Yesterday a non-athlete, a non-athletic activity, was celebrated as an ESPN SportsCenter Top Ten play. The Play of the Day is the domain for spectacular efforts on the playing field. So how does a piece of sporting equipment make it into that pantheon?

It must capture the imagination. It must tap into a truth in sport and culture and fantasy. Of course, it starts with the product, the remarkable innovation that is R11. It’s white in a world of dark sameness. That is a story in itself. It’s a great performing golf club, perhaps the greatest.

Sergio Garcia at the white-out event in NYC

But what makes this story trespass the boundary of sporting goods equipment to a play-of-the-day is a marketing effort that was completely engaging and incomplete – to allow the media and the consumer and retail to join. A true 311 degree campaign that will be 360 degrees when done. Initiated by an activation plan featuring public relations, mass advertising, experiential, retail – where entire store fronts were whited-out — the best professional athletes, a famous celebrity ambassador who ‘happens’ on to the scene, top level corporate and public support at TaylorMade, site white-out takeovers, associating with a great and relevant cause – all coming together at a time when the golf industry is searching for a way to the future, enthusiasm, passion. A brave voice, a great story told in many ways.

White-Out TaylorMade Tour Truck

Whiting-out retail stores beyond the golf section was a breakthrough. Having an event on the streets of New York with Martin Kaymer, Sergio Garcia, TaylorMade Golf CEO Mark King and Donald Trump in the cold of winter brought together business, golf, the biggest city in the world – in the off-season. Bang-bang-bang, barriers busted, at the premier event on the PGA Tour, the big black TaylorMade Tour Truck was whited-out, the players were dressed head to foot in white and so were fans of the brand on the other side of the ropes. Advertising ran that broke tradition by using famous kid tunes sung by children in the broadcast – in a serious game of golf?!  Yes, “one of these things is not like the other things.” The combined messaging that focused on the fun and intrigue of a renegade attitude of the product, and then supporting the technological leaps and performance founded in the science of the product – we call it the 3 Dimensions of Distance: balancing emotion and the rational.

This is part of what it takes to go from a piece of equipment to ESPN’s SportsCenter Top Ten Play of the Day. Breaking boundaries, from the performance of the product to the communications. A team that includes all partners powered by dramatic imagination. And, like all other plays of the day, inspiring execution. Breathtaking displays, this time not on the green grass of the playing field but on the marketing playing field.

And the MVP – Most Valued Performance indicator: according to retailers, the R11 is “the fastest selling golf club in the last 10 years!”


ESPN lists TaylorMade’s whiteout as Top Ten Play of the Day

February 17, 2011

NYCA and TaylorMade marketing camps made ESPN’s Sportcenter Top Ten Plays of the Day. Check it out!


NYCA & TaylorMade Golf in the news for latest driver launch

February 14, 2011

TaylorMade Golf launched it’s white driver, the R11, earlier this month with an aggressive campaign including a “white out” at the Farmers Insurance Open. See Waggle Room’s article here.