Tag Archive: Michael Jordan


Muhammad Ali was the self-proclaimed, ‘Greatest of All Time.’

And then Joe Frazier walloped him with a massive left hook, sending Ali and his pretty red tassels sprawling on the canvas.

The lesson: Be careful about labeling someone, anyone — particularly anointing yourself — as the ‘Greatest.’

As an on-and-off naturalized Oregonian since 1975, Almost DailyBrett believes it’s now safe to make the call about the state’s greatest-ever citizen.

Hands down, it has to be Phil Knight.

Happy Birthday #82, Uncle Phil.

Some may want to immediately contend that Knight is being named Oregon’s greatest simply because he the 16th wealthiest in the world with an estimated fortune of $35.9 billion (Forbes). Bernie Sanders says billionaires should not exist. Oregon should be proud that Phil Knight more than exists; he thrives and cares.

To be considered by Almost DailyBrett for this lofty honor, one has to be born in Oregon. Salem lists among its most influential: President Herbert Hoover, Governor Tom McCall, trail blazers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, but alas … none of them were born in Oregon.

Some worthy native Oregonian candidates for the ‘greatest’ designation include: Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman, Senator Mark Hatfield, author Ken Kesey, Senator Wayne Morse, runner Steve Prefontaine and democratic socialist John Reed.

Sorry being the only American to be buried in the Kremlin Wall (played by Warren Beatty in the interminable “Reds”) does not put Reed at the very top of the greatest Oregonians list.

Why is Phil Knight the greatest? Let’s Just Do It.

Never In Recorded History Have So Many Oregonians Owed So Much To One Man

If one Googles (21st century verb) the word, “entrepreneur,” the image of one Philip Hampson Knight should serve as the definition.

His best seller, “Shoe Dog,” tells the story of how he turned a $1,000 loan from his father and almost failing about nine times, he actually turned the proverbial corner with his athletic apparel company, Nike.

Today, Almost DailyBrett is a happy-camper-investor for many moons in the global athletic apparel market leader by far, Nike (NYSE: NKE).

The total amount invested in Nike stock is $156 billion (e.g., Feb. 21 market capitalization figure) with shares trading at 35 times multiple compared to the prior year’s earnings (P/E ratio).  Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike reported annual revenues of $39.1 billion in FY ’19. In total, 70,000  employees work for Nike globally, 8,000 of them in Oregon.

Without any doubt, Phil Knight’s Nike is the largest and most influential publicly traded company in the history of the State of Oregon. Think of Nike this way, great company, great products, great employer and great publicly traded company. How’s that for fiduciary responsibility?

Nike pioneered its much copied marketing campaigns celebrating The Athlete: Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, LeBron James,  Rafael Nadal, Kevin Durant, Rory McIlroy, Stephen Curry and many, many others.

Almost DailyBrett has not always agreed with Nike’s marketing decisions (e.g., Nike Takes A Knee), particularly designing and selling apparel associated with NFL persona non grata, Colin Kaepernick. Your author has never expected perfection with any individual or organization (impossible distinction to achieve, let alone maintain), and the same is true with Nike.

Giving Back To His Native State, Oregon

“And here at home in Oregon, we believe the potential to arm our talented young people with the skills and tools, they will need to have a lasting impact on the world and to pursue rewarding careers, make such (charitable) investments essential.” — Phil Knight upon making a $500 million pledge to the University of Oregon for a new science center

When discussing Uncle Phil’s financial impact you are reaching the end of the beginning of the Phil Knight story, not the beginning of the end. Knight’s legend particularly revolves on his giving back to his native Oregon and the world.

Preparations for the opening of the Knight Cancer Research Building, August 21, 2018. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

Considering that Phil’s business strategies and his company focused on sports (e.g., track and field), it’s only natural to first emphasize his sports philanthropy, particularly for his alma mater, the University of Oregon (e.g., BA in Business Administration, 1959). He has given more than $300 million (and counting) to the school’s Athletic Department, including $100 million to the UO Athletics Legacy Fund.

Academically, he contributed the lion’s share to the $27 million renovation to the University of Oregon Knight Library. The name of his late father and 1932 Oregon Law grad, William W. Knight, adorns the 68,000-square foot UO law school.

He has also directed $500 million-plus to Oregon Health Sciences University’s (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute, and $125 million more to establish the OHSU Cardiovascular Institute.

Knight’s generosity is not limited to Oregon universities, as he gave $105 million to the Stanford Graduate School of Business (e.g., MBA, 1962). Recently, he pledged another $400 million to Stanford to establish an on-campus new graduate scholarship program.

With all due respect to the memories and accomplishments of Governor McCall and Senators Hatfield and Morse, Bowerman, Pre, Kesey and Kremlin Wall fixture, John Reed … none of them rose to the level of entrepreneurial and philanthropic success and impact on Oregon’s past, present and future than Phil Knight.

Yes indeed without any conceivable doubt, Phil Knight is the greatest Oregonian of all time.

https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/explore/notable/knight.aspx

https://sos.oregon.gov/blue-book/Pages/explore-oregonians.aspx

https://www.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/erry-2018/07/227b06fbff2915/the-100-greatest-oregonians-ev.html

https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#39cd30857e2f

https://www.businessinsider.com/athletes-endorsements-nba-golf-tennis-2019-6

https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2016/10/phil_and_penny_knight_will_giv.html#incart_river_index

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/taxing-uncle-phil-to-death/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/nike-takes-a-knee/

In your author’s teenage years, there was only one item on the bucket list: See the Rolling Stones live before buying the ranch.

Last week, Almost DailyBrett was digging down/smashing the piggy bank (choose whatever metaphor works best) to purchase two precious pieces of card-board with the quintessential QR (quick response) bar code for the band’s upcoming “No Filter” tour.

If you are scoring at home, the May 12 Vancouver, BC show (e.g., BC Place) will be your author’s seventh time getting satisfaction, once again checking off my bucket list, the “Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World.” And for the first time, seeing the Stones outside the friendly confines of the United States.

Who says you can’t always get what you want? Sometimes you even get what you need.

Growing up in the 1960s, the raggedy Stones featured an edge and a rhythm and blues sound the Beatles did not possess. Some contend the Beatles were the best ever. Others opt for the Stones. Macht nichts!

Let the eternal Baby Boomer arguments continue.

Approaching six decades on the road, the Stones are touring here and now. Incredibly pricey tickets are available for 15 stadium shows from San Diego to Pittsburgh and from Austin to Atlanta.

There is a certain risk that comes from seeing the Stones here and now, and its not because this tour could be the Last Time.

From a public relations standpoint, it’s wise to not announce a farewell tour because any aging performer/band (e.g., Michael Jordan, Katarina Witt) can change their minds. There is always a danger when a way-too-mature band can no longer bring it and still charges top dollar (e.g., see Almost DailyBrett’s B.B. King post).

This tour may indeed be the last simply because of the sands of time (i.e., Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood turn 78 and 73 respectively in June, Mick Jagger is 77 in July and Keith Richards is 77 as well in December). As long as the Stones can still perform their magic, particularly with an energetic Mick Jagger prancing the stage to the riffs of Sympathy for the Devil, whatever price they charge is … more than fair.

A prime example is the incredible Blu-Ray of the Stones Havana Moon concert March 25, 2016. Just as the Stones were finally given permission to play Shanghai, the Cuban government allowed the band to play a free concert that drew anywhere between 200,000 to 1 million souls (no turn styles … no problem).

What’s The Over/Under On The Stones?

“I love the man 99 percent of the time.” — Keith Richards on Mick Jagger

Almost DailyBrett is not objective when it comes to the legacy, the legend, and the earned place in history of the ‘Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World.’ After six live concerts, at least 12 DVDs of performances/documentaries and more than 20 CDs spread over five decades, it’s impossible for your author to be fair and unbiased when it comes to assessing the Stones.

With this consumer warning in mind, your author contends the Rolling Stones are a huge net positive when it comes to their historical impact on global society.

Certainly there were well-documented legal troubles in the 1960s, including the highly publicized drug busts. Your author earlier  wrote about the public relations disaster associated with the December 1969 “free” concert at Altamont, when someone, anyone in authority needed to simply say ‘no,’ … but didn’t.

The Hells Angels were hired to provide “security” and they brought their pool cues to make sure no one touched their Harley Davidsons parked in front of the make-shift stage.

There was the infamous Mick-Keith feud in the 1980s, which almost tore the band apart … but thankfully, they kissed and kind of made up. Mick and Keith are smart enough to know they need each other, and the Stones’ passionate fans demand they stay together (Mick or Keith solo albums don’t sell).

When your author went online last Wednesday for the Rolling Stones presale at precisely 10 am PST, there were already 2,000 folks in the digital queue. ‘What the …. “. There is little doubt the Stones after five-plus decades on the road will fill to capacity all 15 stadiums on the upcoming tour. What other band is as relevant as ever and maintains staying power after more than five decades in the business?

Do the Stones need the money? Not really. Is their legacy secure. You bet ya. Why continue? They truly love what they do.

“I want to touch as many people as I can.” — Stones philosopher Keith Richards

The Stones have made millions of people night after night … “Happy,” to quote a song title. Upwards to 1 million will check out the continuation of the “No  Filter” tour this spring/summer.

Will the Stones finish each concert with a series of knockout songs that no mere mortals can match, such as for the last stop on the 2019 tour in Miami? The list: Miss You, Paint It Black, Midnight Rambler, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, and encores Gimme Shelter and I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.

If they come anywhere close to this lineup of songs and play with their customary energy and sound, Almost DailyBrett and about 54,000 of his most intimate friends will be achieving Satisfaction, swirling in a rock n’ roll Crossfire Hurricane.

https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/the-rolling-stones/2019/hard-rock-stadium-miami-gardens-fl-639f6e8f.html

https://nypost.com/2016/05/11/mick-jagger-and-keith-richards-cant-stand-each-other/

Keith Richards on his relationship with Mick Jagger: “I love the man 99% of the time”

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/gathering-moss-for-five-decades/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/satisfaction/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/you-cant-always-get-what-you-want/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/the-permanency-of-altamont/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/the-thrill-is-almost-gone/

 

 

 

“Billionaires should not exist.” — Millionaire U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)

“Every billionaire is a policy failure.” — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York)

“Personal wealth is at best an unreliable signal of bad behavior or failing policies. Often the reverse is true.” — The Economist

Super talented and accomplished media superstar Oprah Winfrey is worth $3 billion.

Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan’s net worth is $1.9 billion.

Hip-hop star/investor Jay-Z just made into the three-comma club at $1,000,000,000.

Did government fail when Oprah, Michael and Jay-Z all succeeded and thrived, each because of their hard work, fortitude, perseverance and incredible talent?

Did anyone of them trade on their … privilege?

Almost DailyBrett doesn’t remember Oprah engaging in insider-trading.

Do you, Secretary Reich?

Ditto for Michael Jordan profiting from a monopoly unless Mr. Reich is pointing to Michael’s near-monopoly of talent against the competition he faced night-after-night in the NBA?

Is Jay-Z guilty of fraud, a political payoff or did he inherit his wealth?

Wonder if any of these “basically 5 ways” to accumulate a billion dollars in America apply to Nike founder/Philanthropist Phil Knight?

Have you read “Shoe Dog,” Professor Reich? Nike almost went under about nine times.

The former Labor Secretary’s “5 ways” Twitter screed is intellectually dishonest, and remarkably easy to discredit.

Alas, it is beneath the respect normally afforded to Robert Reich. Next time go high Mr. Reich instead of racing to the bottom. Talented and hard working people can earn their wealth on their own without resorting to nefarious deeds.

From a policy standpoint, we need to ask:

Should we punish Oprah, Michael, Jay-Z, Uncle Phil and so many others who worked their tushes off to legitimately make their fortunes with a punitive Elizabeth Warren 6 percent wealth tax (up from the original 3 percent proposal), and income tax rates reaching 90 percent or beyond?

Whattyathink Senators Sanders and Warren?

Class warfare — born out of jealousy — is not new.

The effective tax rate for achievers in the United Kingdom in the 1970s once reached 98 percent. If you don’t believe Almost DailyBrett, ask The Beatles … ask The Rolling Stones, who fled to France and recorded “Exile On Main Street.”

Can a near 100 percent confiscatory tax rate, which was thankfully eliminated in the UK by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, happen in the United States of America? Let’s hope not.

Celebrate Instead of Hate?

Almost DailyBrett remembers boys and girls practicing basketball, so they could be “Just Like Mike.”

Your author can imagine girls admiring and wanting to be the next Oprah.

You should check Ellen’s interview with Bill Gates. They discussed the works and deeds of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, donating a cumulative $50.1 billion to fight global childhood poverty and to improve public schools in our country.

According to Forbes, Gates is worth approximately $96.5 billion — give or take a shekel or two — making him the second wealthiest homo sapien on the planet. Virtually everyone in the first world is using Microsoft’s Windows Operating System, inspired and written by Gates. And his charitable foundation has contributed more than any other non-profit ever to make our world a better place (more than most governments).

His former company Microsoft is valued at $1.14 trillion, generates $96.5 billion in annual revenues, and employs 144,000 in well paying positions with full benefits and stock options. Taken together, the performance of Microsoft as a company and the generosity of the Gates Foundation, puts Bill’s wealth into perspective.

Can we have more “policy failures” just like Bill Gates, Phil Knight, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z and so many more?

Instead of hating people who are wealthy, let’s celebrate and cheer for the achievers (e.g., Michael Jordan).

If we are concerned about billionaires, our policies should focus on stimulating competition (i.e., über-tough content streaming, video game, smart phone markets…), not limitless redistribution or punitive taxation.

If our political intent is to further divide, demonizing billionaires (as others have been publicly denigrated for ages) is a good way to engender one of the seven Deadly Sins: Envy.

If our goal is growth and prosperity, then let’s encourage Millennials and the generations, who will follow, to shoot for the stars. Let them become tomorrow’s Oprah, Michael, Jay-Z, Bill Gates and Uncle Phil.

And if they succeed financially, let’s celebrate them and at the same time root for competitors to keep them on their toes.

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/11/09/billionaires-are-only-rarely-policy-failures

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/11/07/have-billionaires-accumulated-their-wealth-illegitimately

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/who-we-are/general-information/foundation-factsheet

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-lonely-guy-standing-in-line-for-a-burger/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/taxing-uncle-phil-to-death/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/three-comma-club/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/taxing-the-fab-four-exiling-the-stones/

“Marcus Mariota told NFL it is ‘important to him, personally and culturally,’ to be in Hawaii to celebrate the next step in life. No draft for him.” – ESECPN Draft Analyst Adam SchefterMarcus Mariota

There is no joy associated in being picked last for kick ball.

There are permanent scars for some not being asked to junior prom – if you don’t believe Almost DailyBrett, just ask former Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

And then there is the spectacle of the celebrated college football stud, the ultimate BMOC, sitting in a nouveau riche suit bought by his sleaze-ball agent, waiting hours upon hours for his name to be called … and ESECPN cameras covering every nanosecond of the agony.

Does this scenario sound familiar Johnny “Rehab” Manziel? Surely, the home state Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t pass on the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M with their 16th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft?

Oops! They did exactly that.

Finally, the Cleveland Browns rescued Johnny with its first-round selection in the 22nd position, ending the sordid spectacle of Manziel being passed up by almost two-dozen teams. In basketball, two teams forever regretted passing on Michael Jordan. Considering that Manziel just emerged from rehab, one can postulate that Cleveland is regretting awarding him with a four-year pact at $8.3 million; $7.55 million guaranteed and a $4.38 million signing bonus.manziel1

Remember storming out of Radio City Music Hall at the 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith? Your agent confidently projected you would be picked in the first round. Hmmm? Turned out it was the next night, Round 2, pick #39 overall, before your name was mercifully called by the New York Jets.

The good news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets. The bad news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets.ginosmith

Why Be There?

Let’s ask the obvious football public relations/reputation management/personal branding question right here and now: Why even show up for the first round, let alone be present for any of the NFL draft?

Do you (e.g., football hero) really need a picture taken of yourself in another new ball cap, a jersey with #1, with the NFL commissioner? Isn’t what you really want, is a contract with as many guaranteed dollars as possible to play a violent game for four years or maybe longer?

Maybe 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is making a smart public relations move for once by so far deciding to not attend the NFL Draft festivities, even though he may be tempted by his agent to venture to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre this coming Thursday.

The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota from Oregon, will not be in Chicago. Instead, he will be home in Hawaii with dad, Toa Mariota, and mom, Alana Deppe-Mariota, and his family and friends. Mahalo!mariotaparents

Yes, the author of Almost DailyBrett is a tad biased when it comes to the joys of Oregon football. Having dispensed with that obligatory consumer warning, it is still a great personal and PR move for Marcus to stay away from the draft.

Besides where would you rather be: Hawaii or Chicago?

Character Matters

After the notorious antics of the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, Mariota is refreshingly boring with his refusal to take any glory upon himself and ALWAYS thinking of his teammates.

Who can forget Mariota breaking down in front of mom and dad, his coaches, and all the past Heisman winners as he accepted the most hallowed trophy in college football? Some wonder whether Mariota is too nice to play in the NFL. The question in some respects is an indictment of the league with its warm-and-cuddly owners, such as Jerry Jones.

When and where to will Marcus be drafted on Thursday? San Diego? Tennessee? Cleveland (bye, bye Johnny no good(e)?) New York Jets? Philadelphia? Some days it seems that Mariota’s draft stock is up and some days it seems that it is down.

Where is Marcus in the mock drafts? It changes from day-to-day. Seems remarkably similar to rolling tracking polling for political campaigns going down to the wire.

These questions all point back to the wisdom and the genuineness of Marcus watching the draft back home in Hawaii with mom, dad, siblings and friends.

If it turns out to take a little longer than expected (who really understands the vagaries of NFL scouting?) at least he will not look like Johnny Manziel or Geno Smith waiting for someone, anyone to draft him.

And that includes the New York Jets.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25130998/report-marcus-mariota-will-not-attend-nfl-draft

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25149193/26-players-to-attend-2015-nfl-draft-no-jameis-winston-marcus-mariota

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Manziel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geno_Smith

http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heisman_Trophy_winners

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000350347/article/2014-nfl-draft-firstround-signing-tracker

 

 

 

 

 

That used to be the punch of the joke about what liberal arts majors will be doing after college? You didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

For those who are the butt of this joke (maybe not English majors), the tide may be turning…or at least there is a glimmer of a real shift in traditional thinking.

According to an Association of American Colleges and Universities survey of chief executives, 74 percent of C-level respondents recommend a 21st-century liberal arts education in order to create the dynamic workers needed for the modern workplace.

This report brought into question why everyone is getting their knickers in a collective twist over STEM skills or the focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Is the proverbial paradigm shifting? Maybe not.

The Economist recently reported that once again the way-too-low U.S. allotment of 85,000 H-1B visas for the best-and-the-brightest technology Wunderkindern from overseas (mostly East Asia and the Subcontinent) were snatched up in the first five days of April. Recognizing this paltry number, some technology trade associations are lobbying to raise the H-1B visa cap back to 195,000 annually, but it is tough sledding in the face of predictable opposition from organized labor.

At the same time, the national unemployment rate (measuring only those who are actually looking for work) remains stubbornly high at 7.7 percent, and it does not include the millions of underemployed Americans.

How many contradictions can you count in these reports?

There is an increased demand for articulate and talented graduates in the written and spoken word. Does that mean that our digitized society should not put so much time, treasure and effort into STEM?

And yet we need to import those particularly adept in science, technology, engineering and math from overseas…because there is a talent shortage in this area.

Let me ask: Where are the Americans?

There are literally 14 million…give or take…who are unemployed and underemployed…and recent reports indicate that only 50 percent of those with college degrees or some degrees are finding work.

And yet there are obvious shortages for STEM-winders and now (gasp) liberal arts graduates…and what seems to be a permanent, unacceptable unemployment rate.

Got that?

At the risk of being completely off base (wouldn’t be the first time), let me offer that education should be seen as the answer, albeit there are no guarantees. At a minimum, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree or better yet, a master’s degree is better positioned to compete in today’s lifelong learning society.

NYSE_Building,jpg

Consider that the venerable New York Stock Exchange has 2,304 listings. The “Big Board’s” edgy competitor, NASDAQ, has 2,784 listings. Together, there are more than 5,000 publicly traded companies in the US alone that are required by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to report quarterly earnings releases, issue annual report letters, hold choreographed shareholder meetings, and send out any “material” news on a crash basis that could influence investor buy, hold or sell decisions.

These mandated disclosures alone are testaments to the need for liberal arts graduates with an understanding of how business works to fulfill these requirements.  These complex announcements about how a company makes money and competes cannot be effectively outsourced. Not only are there thousands of corporate jobs supporting these disclosure mandates; there are thousands more at public relations agencies and trade associations that are related to these activities.

And let’s not forget the public relations/marketing supporting the sale of the products and services these companies create and offer.

Reflecting upon my years as the Director of Communications for the Semiconductor Industry Association and as the vice chair of its Communication Committee, I distinctly remember our efforts to stimulate more middle-school and high school students, particularly young women, to pursue careers in engineering. That of course meant more math and science. There was no engineering Michael Jordan to serve as a role model.

We obviously have more work to do.

And when it comes to fast food, McDonald’s is offering university-style training for those who want to start flipping burgers and eventually working their way up the corporate ladder to the C-suite. Reportedly, only one out of every 15 applicants is accepted.

Yep, there may be a day when liberal arts graduates are not electing to “receive” when it comes to a javelin throwing competition. The ability to write well, speak well and tell the story well should always be in demand.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100642178

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21575782-how-hurt-economy-needlessly-not-working

http://www.economist.com/news/international/21576656-degree-burgerologyand-job-too-fries

%d bloggers like this: