The Real Athlete Blog


Category: Image Branding

  1. The Limits of Loyalty: How Far Should Friendship Go for Pro Athletes?

    by Dr. Timothy Thompson 02-04-2011 12:52 AM Trusted Athlete Educator | Athlete Career Development | Human Relations | Image Branding

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    The Oregonian columnist John Canzano raised an important point in his January 5 piece about a New Year’s Eve murder allegedly committed by one of former Portland Trailblazer Zach Randolph’s running buddies (at least while Randolph was with that team). Although nothing links Randolph to the murder, for Canzano the incident raises serious questions about which kinds of personal demons a professional sports franchise should accommodate and which ones should be deal breakers. 

    My understanding of the columnist’s main answer to that question is that he believes sports teams should consider the types of people in a player’s inner circle as a major clue about the player’s true character. Canzano goes further to suggest that the Portland Trail Blazers and all other professional sports teams should stay away from signing any player who hangs around with people who are likely to be involved in criminal activities, despite how talented such a player might be.


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  2. LeBron James' "What Should I Do?" Nike Commercial

    by Dr. Timothy Thompson 11-03-2010 01:06 AM Public Relations | Athlete Career Development | Human Relations | Image Branding | Sports Business | Sports Psychology

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    I see nothing wrong with this message from LeBron James, especially since he appears to be answering the critics whose perspective was championed by Charles Barkley. I strongly disagree with what Barkley and his supporters were saying about the future implications of LeBron’s team selection, and I believe Charles’ reasoning was historically irrational and misguided. Essentially, Charles said LeBron should have chosen to stay with the Cavaliers primarily because that would’ve allowed him to be the undisputed leader rather than just a super cog. Furthermore, Charles argued that by not staying in Cleveland, LeBron was somehow dishonoring the cultural status of NBA basketball by rejecting the notion of competing with superstars like D-Wade for the top NBA dog spot. According to Charles, this was the true effect of LeBron joining a team that already featured another player of roughly equal star status. Never mind that Charles, who never won an NBA championship, was thinking about his own ego needs, and wasn’t really speaking from first-hand knowledge of what makes LeBron tick.


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  3. Randy Moss Proves You Can Go Home Again

    by Wesley Mallette 10-11-2010 05:39 PM Public Relations | Athlete Relocation | Image Branding

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    Contrary to what many fans believe, professional sports is not just about “the game.” It is a multi-billion dollar business where athletes are high-priced commodities who can be traded and released all in the name of what’s best for the bottom-line. And for many of today’s celebrated athletes, salary demands, winning, losing and their performance both on and off the field are key factors in their ability to remain part of the teams that have selected them to be part of their organizations.

    There are no guarantees and getting released or traded is all part of the business. But what happens when you’re traded back to the team where it all started? A team where you achieved some level of success or lack thereof? Can you really go home again?


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  4. Athletes in Trouble: PRepare for Crisis Before it Happens

    by Wesley Mallette 09-26-2010 05:07 PM Public Relations | Crisis Management | Image Branding

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    Once again, the sports headlines of the past week have been filled with high profile athletes finding themselves embroiled in controversy.

    New York Jets' wide receiver, Braylon Edwards, was arrested earlier this week for driving while intoxicated. Following a semi-tumultuous exit from his former team, the Cleveland Browns, Edwards reportedly got into a physical altercation with a member of former Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James' entourage.


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  5. Reputation Management in the Digital Age: What Will You Be Remembered For?

    by Wesley Mallette 09-12-2010 09:51 PM Public Relations | Crisis Management | Image Branding

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    The digital age clearly provides tremendous opportunity for growth on all levels. But, it also has created a certain “reality TV meets the Internet” type of world, and those in the spotlight should be aware of the long-term effects. For athletes, it will most certainly impact their legacy and ultimately, how we will remember them.

    Eileen Wisnewski, a fellow contributor at Access Athletes, makes several great points in her article “Image Strategy for Celebrity Athletes – What About YOUR Image?” She poses the question to college students and recent grads and asks if they have thought about how they are presenting themselves in the public space. Eileen’s piece, combined with the recent passing last month of the late Giants’ baseball great, Bobby Thompson, gave me reason to pause and think about how today’s athletes will be remembered.


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  6. 12 Reasons Why Athletes Should Partner with a Strategic PR Team

    by Wesley Mallette 08-10-2010 11:58 PM Public Relations | Trusted Athlete Educator | Crisis Management | Image Branding | Marketing

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    The start of the 2010 college and professional football season finds us at the intersection of social media, reality TV and sport. Rarely have we seen so many professional and collegiate football players front and center in the media – and not just as the subject of the interview or feature. Given society’s obsession with all of the above, this should not surprise anyone.
    Former and current players are trading in their cleats for their dancing shoes and showcasing their talents on ABC’s ever-popular “Dancing with the Stars.” All-Pros Jason Taylor, Warren Sapp and Chad Ochocinco, as well as Hall of Famers, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and Lawrence Taylor, have not only done well on the show, they have boosted their public profile and in most cases, increased their endorsement and business opportunities.


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  7. Image Strategy for Celebrity Athletes – What About YOUR Image?

    by Eileen Wisnewski 08-05-2010 01:40 AM Life After Sports | Athlete Career Development | Image Branding

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    Have you given any thought to what YOUR public image looks like?


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  8. Reputation Rehab: Jeremiah Masoli's Road to Redemption Runs Through Mississippi

    by Wesley Mallette 08-04-2010 12:53 AM Public Relations | Crisis Management | Image Branding

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    Reputation Management, Rehab and Redemption


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  9. It's Really About NBA Brand Imaging; Not LeBron

    by Dr. Timothy Thompson 08-03-2010 12:44 AM Public Relations | Image Branding | Sports Business

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    Focusing on LeBron James' human imperfections may make us feel better, but it doesn't help NBA fans to understand what we're really dealing with.


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  10. The Power of Perception: 5 Reasons Why Athletes Should Care

    by Wesley Mallette 06-21-2010 11:47 PM Public Relations | Crisis Management | Image Branding

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    Perception is everything


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