Chapter 6: Hit Em Where They Ain't
Ground rule #6: If you mimic the market leaders, you'll just add to their dominance.
The author discusses how in the early 1980s the Portland Trail Blazers tried to move their radio broadcasting of games "in-house." While doing this they sought out a fast food chain to sell its radio commercials to. McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's all declined so they decided to go for a more local chain Burgerville. The partner ship turned to be quite profitable for both as the "Blazer Meal" was a big hit for Burgerville and it allowed them to build more stores. The Trail Blazers made $900,000 with the business adventure.
He goes on to talk about how AOL used an outrageous marketing strategy of sending out 250 million AOL computer disks into homes across America with a free month trial of the online service. The disks were given away everywhere and at all kinds of places. This shot them into the number one slot without CompuServe and Prodigy being able to realize it. He noted that before they took such a risk they tested their product in a smaller group of people before taking it to the extreme level they did.
When he was in New Jersey with the Nets he tried the fast food sponsorship market again but with White Castle after being told McDonald's would never associate themselves with the Nets. A few years past by and McDonald's came calling about getting the same deal that White Castle had and the author told them they would have to wait and be the option if White Castle chose not to renew the promotion. The same also worked when he took the idea with him to Sacramento working as a consultant for the Kings. He just told the regional advisor in Sacramento to call the one in New Jersey and ask him about the promotion working.
Chapter 7: Horse of Opportunity
Ground rule #7: When a rare big opportunity comes along and you can't test it, fly without a net.
The author talks...