by Iain on September 19, 2007
Marc Ecko, he of ‘Tagging Airforce One‘ fame, has come up with another big noisy stunt.
He’s bought a baseball for 3/4 million dollars. It’s a controversial baseball. It’s the ball that was hit by some dude (Barry Bonds) who got 756 home runs (which is a record). But rumour has it he’s on ‘roids so there’s lots of debate around the legitimacy of the record in the US.
So Ecko has a newsworthy baseball. And in his words he’s going to “democratize the ball”. Basically visitors to http://www.vote756.com can vote for what they want to happen to the ball.
- Stick it in a museum
- Stick it in a museum with an asterisk on it
- Or blast it into space
So far 1.5m votes have been cast. And lots and lots of people are talking about it, online, in the press, on TV, and all the other places that people talk about sports (and marketing and culture).
The San Francisco Chronicle report:
“He’s stupid. He’s an idiot,” Bonds said. “He spent $750,000 on the ball and that’s what he’s doing with it? What he’s doing is stupid.”
And they go on to say:
Bonds’ issue with Ecko was not that one of the three choices on the 756-ball ballot is sending it to Cooperstown branded with an asterisk, an implication that his record is tainted by alleged steroid use. Bonds merely suggested the guy could have found a better use for three-quarters of a million large.
I’m not so sure. As the guys over on the Fallon Planning Blog rightly point out, $750,000 don’t get you all that much coverage in the US. And the website looks like it costs peanuts.
Based on the number of votes cast, let alone the PR impressions that he’s had across the US (and the wider world). That ball wasn’t such a stupid investment after all… (But as Igor just pointed out to me Mr Ecko could have tried to do something actually good with the money like cure AIDS, which is true also…)