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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Marc Ecko: "The Ball Is Now Yours"

Fashion designer/entrepreneur/pop culture maven Marc Ecko, the man who tagged Air Force One, has made his next move.

Revealing himself Monday as the winning bidder in the online auction for Barry Bonds' record-breaking 756th home run ball (cost: $752,467), Ecko appeared on The Today Show to announce that he is turning the fate of the ball over to the fans.

"I bought this baseball to democratize the debate over what to do with it," Ecko said. "The idea that some of the best athletes in the country are forced to decide between being competitive and staying natural is troubling."

Visitors to can choose between three options:

1. "BESTOW IT" (as is into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown)

2. "BRAND IT" (with an asterisk before delivering it to the Hall)

3. "BANISH IT" (by sending it into outer space on a rocketship, never to be seen or heard from again)

Now Ecko is at the center of the greatest sports debate of our time. Every major sports media outlet is reporting on this story and will continue to do so. Whatever the public chooses, he will again make news by honoring the results of the vote.

He has successfully written himself into sports history using his bank account and his brain.

Ecko could have easily spent as much on a TV branding campaign, but instead he has honored his audience with something more -- a voice in a matter they care about.

I wouldn't have guessed that he could've topped his Air Force One stunt, but he has. That was a provocative piece of entertainment that struck a chord. This is democracy at work.

And all of it is perfectly, elegantly branded. Cheers Mr. Ecko. You're my marketing hero of the moment.

(PS - I voted for the asterisk as a statement against an era, an era facilitated by greed and leveraged by men of low moral character)


salina said...

This is awesome. I really respect Marc Ecko: beyond his style that's typified by continual reinvention, he pulls stuff like this. One of those minds that thinks differently.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant indeed. I wonder if this was his doing or that of his equally brilliant ad firm, Droga5.