The Crackle Wonders: Michele Steele

Justin February 8, 2010 3

Peter King plays Monday morning quarterback. So, let’s play Monday morning CEO. For that, we are joined by Michele Steele. She’s a reporter for Bloomberg TV, focusing on media and sports business (and she uses twitter @MicheleSteele)

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SCP: Who had the best day yesterday from a business standpoint? Was it a player, a company, a network?

MS: A lot of people would say Drew Brees – and this win is going to translate into larger and more national endorsements for him. A lot of other people might say the Saints, because now they can charge more for luxury boxes and get bigger deals from sponsors. But I say the NFL – ratings for yesterday’s game are expected to be HUGE, the league is coming off its best-rated regular season in 20 years – and let’s not forget, from a merchandising point of view, the win for the Saints is going to result in much larger sales than the Colts for two reasons – one, the Colts don’t have a lot of appeal outside of Indianapolis, two, everyone that wanted Colts-related Super Bowl gear got it the last time. (As a Bears fan, I’m still a little sore about that loss.) And all that merchandising revenue is shared.

SCP: What about the Who? Tom Petty’s halftime performance a few years ago spurred a massive surge in his record sales in the subsequent days. Can we expect a similar spike for Pete and Roger?

MS: The Super Bowl is the biggest media platform, period. 100 million people tuning in should result in a sales spike for them – particularly if a younger generation of fans latches on. The question is – will they? That laser light show was pretty awesome, so hope they can take that with them on the road because the big money will be from a tour.

SCP: Which advertisement do you think will be remembered as the best? How about the worst?

MS: No offense to the Doritos kid and Betty White but the Google ad wins this contest. It was a surprise to see in the third quarter from a company that doesn’t really advertise plus it was cheap to produce and had a memorable message (you can get a French lady friend by just googling her!) Worst ad – tie for Toyota insisting the “Moving Forward” tagline in its commercial (NOT the message you want to send when you have problems with sticky accelerator pedals) and the U.S. Census Bureau ad, which left a lot of people saying one thing: HUH?

SCP: After a week of controversy and concern, now that you’ve seen the Tim Tebow ad, was it worth all the attention?

MS: Snooze. A lot less political than everyone expected. That said, I talked to EA Sports President Peter Moore last week and he was very supportive of Tebow taking a stance on a controversial topic. (There’s a lot of speculation right now that Tebow may be on the cover of their next college football game.)

SCP: CBS premiered Undercover Boss after the Superbowl. Do you think that was a good choice? The concept for the show seems like a good one, during a time of populist outrage against corporate executives.

MS: Yeah, and they also mentioned CSI roughly 949 times.

SCP: Ordinarily a massive winter storm would translate into higher television ratings across the board. Obviously, that doesn’t apply during an event like the Superbowl. But do you think the fact that much of the East Coast was snowed had any affect on anything? Maybe higher ratings for the pre-game show? I would imagine the big loser in this case might be sports bars or restaurants who planned on having big crowds for the game.

MS: Yes- you’ve got the biggest media market in the country buried under snow – and while there may have been one or two Jets fans who decided to boycott watching, there will be a ratings bump. CBS is expecting 100 million+ – we’ll hear later today what ratings were. The big thing for advertisers isn’t the weather – it’s that the game remains competitive until the fourth quarter so people stay glued to their screens, which it basically did yesterday.

SCP: Your name is very similar to Michael Steele, chair of the Republican National Committee. Do you agree that he looks remarkably similar to the Muppet on Sesame Street who always sent his soup back when Grover was a waiter?

MS: And – according to my best estimates – I’ve never seen the two in a room together… a little suspicious, right?




  1. Aashish February 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm -

    How is the Google ad the best? It’s been out for 3 months on YouTube! No ad was a 10, but plenty were in the 6-7 range.

    Doritos had a good variety of “ha ha” funny ads (Nacho Samurai!). Bud Light did as well, but they weren’t as funny.

    Business wise, Vizio showed off internet connected HDTVs. That may have been the first ad showing it off.

    Coke had the Simpsons which tends to draw smiles.

    The Betty White ad was funny, but forgettable (plus, try eating a Snickers while playing, it’s not going to help at all, just like drinking milk after playing basketball in those stupid Got Milk? ads).

    Motorolla’s ad with Megan Fox were okay (mom banging on kid’s door).

    How does KGB have money for a Super Bowl ad?

    And what’s up with Joe Montana’s voice over for Sketchers?

    The winner I think was Taco Bell’s ad with the Chuckster. They did a good job of releasing the first one earlier this month and this one wrapped it perfectly, even though I think Lamar Odom is a bum.

    Oh yea, and that Tim Tebow commercial, almost forgot about that one. No one will remember it by next week. And I’m quite sure Mrs. Tebow is tougher than Tim, it’s not that hard since Tim is a pussy.

  2. Cynthia De La Torre February 9, 2010 at 3:24 am -

    Americans love a good comeback, a rags-to-riches story, an innocent man who gets justice or, a victory for a city that has been living in turmoil.

    This is why yesterday’s Super Bowl win tasted like Pecan Pie for New Orleans and for many Americans. For the first time in NFL history the Saints came up and conquered, restoring hope to a city that has been in a struggling economy for the last four years.

    After Hurricane Katrina, Americans showed solidarity and assisted New Orleans by setting up relief funds, medical aid, rebuilding houses, and donating time to America’s city in chaos.

    New Orleans hung in there, took their handouts and did what was necessary to survive after such a devastating event. But, yesterday it was different.

    The Saints sent out one big thank you to all of America and finally won back their city fair and square. No more handouts. It was symbolism at its best. Maybe even a fairytale…the stories my mom would prelude with, “remember this is only imaginary.”

    After the game, I thought… finally some good karma, some divine intervention for this city. This is a perfect scenario for an economy that has been suffering for so long. This victory is sure to give New Orleans a good boost.

    However, my cynical side kicked in, the one where they yell, no! not another conspiracy theory! No, they are not the voices in my head that yell, but the die-hard Saints’ fans and of course my friends who always cheer for the underdog.

    I started to think… was this another handout given out by Corporate America? Was this an Ode to My Mum: putting out that disclaimer at the beginning of the fairytale?

    The NFL is big business… Did Peyton Manning take one for the other team? Or, did he take one for his home town?

    And, if the Colts did lose this Bowl for the betterment of society aren’t they the real heroes or are they just gettin paid.

    Didn’t this sort of thing happen with boxing too? After a while, we pretty much knew a fight might be fixed? It’s hard to believe that we can’t just have a good ol’ fashion American Football Fairytale rather than a Corporate American Hand-Me-Down Dream.

    Or, perhaps I’m still dealing with mommy issues?

  3. Jeremy February 15, 2010 at 4:53 am -

    I believe the game’s outcome was fixed using electronic harassment. The players seemed like they weren’t themselves. The electronic harassment is invisible, exactly how it works is only known to a handful of agencies, and those agencies have an interest in fixing games to fund clandestine operations off the books (using sports gambling).

    I would love to talk to the guys on the losing team and find out what they were experiencing and feeling in the hours before the game, and during the game.

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