Nov 16

Killing for a Living

How do you like global tobacco companies such as Philip Morris and British American Tobacco suing Third World governments and spending oodles of cash to lobby for smaller warning signs on their packaging? That's right, Big Tobacco is once again on the offensive to make sure it continues to maim and kill as many people as possible in the name of free enterprise. 

Cigarette I'm not surprised tobacco is targeting the Third World. That's where the growth and profits are (that said, though, an amazing 21 percent of Americans still smoke). But, to think that Philip Morris, for example, is actually suing the government of Uruguay for excessive tobacco regulations is beyond the pale. 

Could you imagine being head of marketing for one of these death merchants? Talk about making a pact with the devil. 

Peter Nixon of Philip Morris is one such merchant of death. He's quoted in the Times as saying his company '…agreed that smoking was harmful and supported reasonable regulations where none exist.' Gee, what a swell guy. 

Yes. Nixon agrees cigarette packaging should have some sort of warning (the smaller the better, I'm sure). But, he takes exception with the new, larger warnings being placed on cigarette boxes around the world. 'We thought 50 percent was reasonable,' he told the Times. 'Once you take it up to 80 percent, there's no space for trademarks to be shown. We thought that was going too far.' So, covering 80 percent of a cigarette box is going too far, but killing half a million people each and every year isn't? Methinks Mr. Nixon is smoking something other than cigarettes. 

More to the image and reputation point of this blog, though, how can someone, anyone, work for an organization that knowingly manufactures and sells a product that kills? How can PR and advertising agencies represent them? And, how can all of the above look at themselves in the mirror each and every morning?

Maybe the answer lies in another, smaller NY Times article from the November 2nd Health section. It reported that 'middle-aged smokers are far more likely than non-smokers to develop dementia later in life, and heavy smokers — those who go through more than two packs a day — are at more than double the risk.' I'll bet Mr. Nixon and his heavy smoking, middle- aged peers at Philip Morris, BAT and the other Big Tobacco players are just suffering from early onset dementia. They'd have to be certifiable to do killing for a living.

 

Nov 08

If I were a miller (Part II)

PepperMill_Banner Small Here is Part II of my Q and A with Peppercom's "Miller" Lauren Begley.

4) REPMAN: What's your POV on the breakthrough marketing campaigns you cover in the Mill? What's the secret sauce or ingredients that every great campaign contains?

LAUREN: The most innovative campaigns are not necessarily the largest or most expensive. Nor do they always come from big brands or agencies. In fact, many of the most successful campaigns are often quite simple. Honest Tea is a great example. They recently launched an ‘unscientific study’ to find the most honest city in America. They placed cases of Honest Tea in public areas with a sign asking for passerbys to leave $1 if they took a beverage. In the end, Boston topped the list with Los Angeles at the bottom. Aside from the small cost of product, Honest Tea was able to create buzz in both print media and online when they released the results of their test along with a series of videos on YouTube. In terms of a ‘secret sauce,’ the key seems to be interactivity; successful campaigns often call on the general consumer audience to participate in an activity or movement that spreads online. Then the media take notice.

5) REPMAN: How has our staff (and your external audiences) reacted to the Innovation Mill? Are you at the point yet where you're refining what runs and what doesn't?

LAUREN: The Peppercom staff has been incredibly supportive. Several employees have become proactive in sending us case studies or articles of interest. Others have found the Mill to be a great tool worth sharing with clients. In either case, the employee feedback has helped us tweak our process and focus our research on topics that resonate with our employees and clients. This team effort has helped us create a more useful end result.

6) REPMAN: How would you advise any organization, large or small, to create their own Innovation Mill?

LAUREN: I think all agencies should have some sort of system in place to track industry trends – it will only make them more informed and, ultimately, more competitive. To get started, here are a few suggestions:
• Involve people within your organization who are genuinely interested in creative thinking and industry trends.
• Encourage all employees to read, circulate and discuss industry news.  Try to find a lesson in everything you read.
• Listen to ideas employees share and green light the good ones. Whether it is starting an innovation team or initiating ‘board game Fridays,’ hear them out. You never know where those initiatives could lead.

Nov 05

If I were a miller (Part I)

Every organization should have its own miller. To be more precise, every organization should Lauren - RepMan have an individual who ‘owns' the latest and greatest innovation news and creates a 'mill' with which to disseminate best practices.

Meet Lauren Begley. She created our Innovation Mill. (The Innovation Mill Vol 5)  Lauren came up with the idea, presented it to me, assembled a team and became an editor/publisher overnight.

She now routinely trolls the web in search of the best and brightest marketing programs, condenses them in an easy-to-read format and shares the findings with her peers every month. Her Innovation Mill is one of my ‘must reads’. And, it's becoming popular with clients and friends of the agency as well.

I wanted to know more about our miller, so I put together a Q and A. Here's part one. Check out Repmanblog.com for part two on Monday.

1)   REPMAN: I'm not exaggerating when I say the vast majority of the PR industry group I recently addressed were amazed to hear you'd created an 'Innovation Mill' on your own. Tell me what the Innovation Mill is, what prompted you to come to me with the idea and how you went about launching the first issue.

LAUREN: The Innovation Mill is Peppercom’s monthly recap of the most cutting edge campaigns and best practices from the fields of public relations, marketing, advertising and more. It includes a variety of case studies, trend analysis and summaries of how this information directly relates to our clients’ business.

As is every mid-sized agency, we are faced with a constantly changing media landscape, client demand for results, and a need to stay competitive among other agencies vying for new business. I created the Innovation Mill to help Peppercom employees stay abreast of industry trends, stimulate creative thinking among account teams, and identify best practices relevant to our agency and its clients.

2) REPMAN: As is the case with all Peppercommers, you're a very busy person. How do you find the time to uncover Innovation Mill-worthy stories? Also, tell me about the team that works with you to edit the 'Mill.'

LAUREN: Time is yet another reason I felt so strongly about starting the Innovation Mill. With everyone strapped for time, many find it difficult to set aside even 30 minutes each day to read the news, let alone explore interesting case studies or best practices.

To remedy this, I pulled together the innovation team, a group of employees spanning every Peppercom office and specialty practice area. We all now have dedicated hours each week to spend researching and writing, which essentially removes the guess-work for the rest of the agency. We circulate interesting articles and hold discussions – and sometimes debates – over interesting campaigns. The result is an Innovation Mill with an interesting mix of information on everything from the latest new digital platform to a crazy guerilla marketing stunt overseas.

3) REPMAN: You've published five Innovation Mills to date. If I pinned you down, what would you say is the single coolest story you've reported on?

LAUREN: We’ve seen several interesting campaigns over the past few months. One of my favorites was the Volkswagen ‘Fun Theory’ campaign in Sweden. Created by DDB Stockholm, this campaign set out to see if making activities more fun would influence consumer behavior. This included transforming a Swedish subway staircase into a giant, functioning piano, which resulted in 66 percent more people choosing the steps rather than an escalator. Other elements included creating the world’s deepest trash bin to see if more people would stop littering and a speed camera lottery to see if more people would obey the speed limit. This campaign is smart for many reasons. First, it encourages consumer participation, which has resulted in mass media interest and a spreadable online component (see this excellent YouTube video). Second, it reinforces the brand’s messaging that Volkswagen vehicles make driving fun.

CHECK BACK MONDAY FOR PART II OF REPMAN'S Q&A WITH LAUREN.

Oct 25

Name any business that not only rejects the majority of its prospective customers, but also boasts about doing so

That was the question posed by Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun Thursday at a 14_seal meeting of the University's "Corporation", a group of 50 or so alumni and benefactors that I'm proud to say I've joined.

The answer to President Aoun's provocative question is colleges and universities. He spoke specifically about N.U. which, under his guidance the past four years, has skyrocketed its way up the most important national rankings, attracted some of the world's most gifted academics and become a real player among the elite universities. Indeed, of the nearly 38,000 applicants received this past year, Northeastern rejected nearly two-thirds!

But, Northeastern isn't content to rest on its laurels. The President advised us of some serious global competition from China, Korea, Australia and the United Kingdom that's keeping him up at night. The latter two, deprived of government funding for higher education, have become extremely aggressive in their marketing. The former two, supported by government monies, are fast becoming major factors in higher education. China, said Aoun, has doubled its number of colleges and universities in just 10 years (and the average university is the same size as the city of Boston!). Korea, he said, is making a major push at recruiting international students and is competing with our best schools for the very same talent pool.

Northeastern has a distinct competitive advantage over virtually every other college and university in the world. It's called 'Co-op' and stands for cooperative education. It's a somewhat clumsy phrase to describe THE perfect blend of classroom and real world experience. N.U. pioneered co-op more than 100 years ago and has perfected the model, creating deep and long-lasting relationships with such major global employers as General Electric (no school has more alumni at GE than N.U.). As a result, the vast majority of Northeastern's graduates land jobs. In fact, the school placed no fewer than 83 percent of its June graduates in the midst of the worst recession in 80 years. Compare that number with some state and small liberal arts schools that struggle to place 30 percent of their graduating classes (and are just now getting around to formalizing their intern programs).

N.U.'s success is due, in part, to Aoun's contrarian approach. While other schools were retrenching, Northeastern was investing and expanding. Since 2006, it's hired no fewer than 204 new faculty and improved a campus that is now rated, along with Harvard, as Boston's greenest (a huge factor in attracting the best and brightest Millennials, BTW).

Speaking of the best and brightest, Northeastern is making its acceptance standards even more rigorous. The majority of incoming freshman graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school classes and N.U. now boasts more national merit scholars than ever before.

It's nice to see a real American education success story. It's even nicer to be playing a role in helping President Aoun and his staff take the school to even greater heights.

That said, Steve Cody, Northeastern University class of 1977, wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever being accepted to the world class institution that is the N.U. of today.

Oct 22

Some stunts should never see the light of day

Buried_aliveIn this time compressed, ADD-addled, 24×7 news cycle world of ours, marketers are going to ever  greater extremes to break through the clutter.

Some, like the Old Spice campaign, are remarkably smart and successful. Others, though, such as the stunt I'm about to relate are downright dangerous, if not completely harebrained.

So, to publicize the screen debut of a new Ryan Reynolds' thriller called “Buried”, the Alamo Drafthouse theatre chain came up with an unbelievable stunt. They found four local Texas women who agreed to be blindfolded, driven in silence to a burial site 30 minutes away from Austin's 'Fantastic Fest' and, get this, be interred in wooden caskets, lowered into the ground and have shovelfuls of dirt dumped on top of them. The specially-equipped caskets contained flat screen monitors attached to the coffin roof that enabled the women to view the movie.

I wonder if popcorn and a supersized Coke with flexible straw were provided as well?

Wow. That is just so, so wrong. Suppose one of the women just freaked out, had a major panic attack or, god forbid, suffered a fatal heart attack? I'm all for smart, guerilla marketing, but this stunt deserves a special place in hell.

At my firm, we're long on strategy and short on stunts. We'll do them. But only if they leverage a client's strategy and deliver measurable results.

And, while we've never produced anything that could cause potential bodily harm, we have had our share of clunkers. Quite a few years back, we launched an 'innovation tour' of college campuses to underscore one client's commitment to innovative thinking. We constructed huge white boards, took them to college campuses and invited students to write down any and all ideas for making America more innovative. Smart, no?

We received some great ideas from the college kids. But, we also got some unbelievably nasty, X-rated comments about the client and the client's CEO that our team had to quickly delete. All in all, it turned out to be a terrific learning lesson about the unpredictability of stunts.

Burying four people alive may generate some buzz for the movie (hey, I wrote about it), but at what cost? I know nothing about the director or his movie, but I've taken an immediate, visceral dislike for both. And, in my book, that's the antithesis of smart marketing. Why alienate a potential audience with a tactic that may resonate with a few core constituents?

Bury the buried alive stunt, Mr. Reynolds.

Oct 11

Prospecting 101

There are right ways and wrong ways to develop new business. Alaska-state-library-photograph-pca-44-3-15-sourdough-in-stream-panning-for-gold-skinner

The right way is to first conduct deep research on a prospect organization, arrive at some sort of possible 'white space' opportunity and then 'ask' the prospect's permission to discuss the findings.

The wrong way is to spam the prospect. One of our clients, who leads communications for a global brand, says she is literally being deluged by spam pitches from myriad public relations firms. They're arriving in ever-increasing numbers, are 'inside out' in their approach (i.e. “We're a great agency and you'd be smart to hire us.”) and are actually counter-productive since they damage the firm's image and reputation.

I have the great fortune to serve on several boards populated by some of the best and brightest corporate communications chiefs in the world. I would never, ever allow my firm to blindly spam these individuals. To do so would violate a business relationship and, even more importantly to me, a personal friendship. That said, I've been able to win new business with some of my board peers but only after a long period of building mutual trust.

So, here's a heads-up to all the new business people at all the PR firms in the world. Stop spamming prospects. Step back and be more thoughtful in your approach and suggest solutions instead of pitching your incredible capabilities. My client will tell you those unsolicited mailers are going straight in her trash can, as is any chance of being considered for future assignments.

Oct 01

Toys don’t contain calories. Or do they?

Guest Post by Maddy Gale, Peppercom

Happy meal This week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is meeting to discuss an ordinance concerning toy giveaways in fast food meals marketed to children. The toys won’t be eliminated completely, but will be limited to children’s meals that fit into a set range of calories, fat, salt, and sugar decided on by the city.

Living in San Francisco, and watching a similar situation unfold concerning sugary drinks and city vending machines, I am not at all surprised by this news. But I am a bit torn.

I’m a good liberal arts college grad, having attended school in southern California where fruits and vegetables are bountiful year-round, and whose student body regularly spoke with school administration about where we sourced the food for our dining hall. Now that I live in San Francisco, I frequent the weekly farmers’ market clutching Michael Pollan’s newest sermon while stuffing my reusable bag full and discussing the biographies of my produce with the growers. I’m revolted by fast food chains and often find myself in conversation about the likes of McDonalds and Burger King and their ability to literally make a killing manufacturing highly processed, chemically flavored products and selling them as “food.” 

I seem like the type who would whole-heartedly support something that would upset and potentially damage the sales of fast food. But I’m not—at least not in this situation. Despite my desire to rally the type of enthusiasm I have for swiss chard and eggplants in the hearts and minds of all Americans, I do not think limiting the number of plastic toys that lay coated in French fry grease at the bottom of a child’s Happy Meal is the best way for city officials to encourage San Francisco’s youth to eat healthier.

Neither does Mayor Gavin Newsom who, according to his spokesman Tony Winnicker, believes dictating “what plastic toys can be put in a cardboard box is not the right way to achieve [getting kids to eat better].”

So who besides the Board of Supervisors thinks this ordinance will do any good? I can only guess the parents who are allowing their children to have the final say on what’s on their dinner plate—or tray in this instance. Perhaps these parents who are unwilling to withstand the tantrums and demands of their little cherubs every time they drive by a fast food chain are hoping that the city can suppress their kids’ desires by eliminating one part of the advertised meal. The part they can’t even eat. 

A child can’t make it to the drive-up window or down the street to sit inside the restaurant by themselves—a caregiver is the one taking them and asking if they want extra cheese on their burger. 

I appreciate what the Board of Supervisors is trying to do – encourage healthy living and keep health care costs in check. But this potential ordinance is just one of the many examples of children being victimized in the “obesity epidemic.” When is the country going to realize parents and caregivers are the ones who play the key role in supporting their growing kids – not the government? 

Aug 20

Misspelling the word ‘Manhattan’ isn’t helpful to one’s job search

Having just finished a hilarious novel entitled, “The Pursuit of Other Interests”, my sensitivities Death-of-a-salesman-logo towards middle-aged, out-of-work job seekers is at an all-time high. The book, which profiles a 50-year-old advertising executive named Charlie, paints a bleak, if heartwarming, picture of the current landscape for middle-aged, unemployed white collar workers.

So, knowing how few employment opportunities exist as well as how thin the margin for error is, I was totally flabbergasted to receive the following note from a guy I’ll call Buck.

Dear Seekers of New Revenue:
I am currently seeking a full time, salary plus commission New Business Position in Manhatan. I would address these personally, but with over 2,300 names, I need to solve the challenge  quickly. I am the most dedicated, energetic, and knowledgable person in the Tri-State Area with respect to opening doors for corporate pitches.
I have been in the business for over 15 years and I work from 7 to 5 and can make at least 100 calls per day. I can very quickly develop a custom database for cold calls for your firm and set 2 pitch meetings per week.
Should my skill sets meet your requirements, I would love to speak furthur. Also, should you have a person or people in place to handle cold calling, I also work as a consultant on a per diem basis to upgrade their best practices.
Best Regards,
Buck McDesperate
(800) 555-1212 DesperateBuck@ISPProvider.com

To begin with, it was e-mail addressed to Sally Kennedy of Cossette Communications in Canada. Sally: sorry to be reading your spam. Second, Buck lets it be known that he’s an accomplished business development dude looking for a full-time salary plus commission gig in Manhatan. Yes, that’s Manhattan minus one ‘t’. Ouch. Misspelling Manhattan in the opening sentence of one’s pitch letter doesn’t augur well.

But, it gets worse. Buck lets me (or, Sally to be precise) know that he has a Rolodex with 2,300 names on it and is the most dedicated, energetic and knowledgeable person in the Tri-state Area (I wonder if that includes Toronto where, I assume, Sally is headquartered?). Buck’s been in the business world for 15 years, works from 7am to 5pm daily (he later amends it to 6am to 5pm daily), makes at least 100 calls each and every day (and that has to start hurting the fingers after awhile) and can produce “…a minimum of 2 valid pitch meetings over week.” Talk about Always Be Closing. Wow.

But, here’s the rub. If Buck is really that good and can produce a minimum of two valid pitch meetings per week, why is he blasting unsolicited e-mails to me (via Sally, of course. Sorry Sally). The sad truth about Buck, and the hundreds of thousands of other Bucks out there, is that he’s desperate. He’s probably been out of work for at least a year and has no solid prospects whatsoever. So, driven to desperation, he creates a rambling, semi-lucid, almost laughable pitch that is chock full of typos, poor grammar and inconsistencies.

Buck is not unlike the fictional character Charlie in the aforementioned Jim Kokoris book. Whiling away his time in an outplacement firm’s offices, Charlie puts together a database of former co-workers, clients, prospects and friends and blasts out a periodic e-newsletter entitled, “The Charlie Update!” Its subtitle is “Charlie B. Out on the Street.” One by one, the people on his hit list asked to be removed from the unintentionally hilarious mailings as Charlie becomes increasingly desperate and despondent.

Buck and Charlie are part of what a recent New York Times article called the 99ers. If memory serves, there are some 1.4 million unemployed, middle-aged, white collar workers who have passed the 99-week mark and no longer qualify for unemployment benefits. That’s when, driven to the brink of despair, they hit the send button and distribute embarrassingly bad missives like the one from Buck. I feel for these people and I wish I could help. But, sadly, I don’t have an answer except to suggest a dictionary and Thesaurus.


Aug 04

Timeless academia in need of re-publishing

TODAY'S GUEST POST IS BY MICHAEL DRESNER, CEO, PEPPERCOM'S BRAND² SQUARED LICENSING DIVISION.

Long before I entered the workforce I read an article in college called “Marketing Myopia” by
Usps-USPostalService Theodore Levitt. It was laborious reading– not because of complicated subject matter, but because I was two years out of high school and acting my age. I never forgot it. And, in the same way readers refer back to “Catcher in the Rye” or “Huckleberry Finn” (other books I didn’t understand the first time I read them), there are profound lessons that can’t be missed.

“Marketing Myopia”– first published in 1960– provokes a businessperson to rethink and sharpen the definition of the industry in which they have a presence. The more narrow that industry is defined, the more risk a businessperson applies to her or his future. Fact is, too many industries become obsolete once new innovations fulfill the same customer needs– more easily, more quickly, more cheaply. The classic example from “Marketing Myopia” is the railroad ecosystem of the 19th century. Railways and train manufacturers alike had a grip on the industry of getting people from points A to B. But they always (and still) define their industry as one of train travel. If they considered their industry as one of people travel– and leveraged their engineers, government relations, cash position accordingly– they could have been the automobile and highway conglomerates of the 20th century. Henry Ford and Alfred Sloan would have simply worked for Union Pacific. The rest is history there.

I was reminded of this analogy in a Newsweek article last month, quantifying the electronic communication trend from 2000 to 2010. Unsurprisingly, 12 billion e-mails sent in 2000, 247 billion in 2010.  Four hundred thousand texts in 2000, 4.5 billion in 2010. Here’s another trend: 208 billion letters mailed in 2000, and 176 billion in 2010. Where was the US Postal Service (either the service, the infrastructure or the brand name) in all of this?  They rode the contraction train for sure. If they have anything to do with society’s expanding e-mail and texting activity, I haven’t seen them.

What a shame. For centuries, the USPS had a near lock on the industry in which they are now a dinosaur. Like the railways of old, USPS had (and has) staff by the thousands. Consumers across every demographic go out of their way to stand in line and prepay for the service. Its balance sheet is a practical ATM machine that most CFOs would kill for. And the universal experience of pressing a fresh stamp on an envelope is a brand moment no other entity has ever been able to replicate. No doubt– they have stayed atop the mail business. 

Except that’s not what their business is or ever was. The USPS was a driver (and now follower) of the written communication business. And by sticking to paper, envelopes, stamps and metal boxes, they were wedded to the feature instead of the benefit. Imagine having an electronic “stamp” option to credentialize every e-mail. (MS Outlook does have that option, hidden obscurely.)  It may sound inconvenient, but we’ve been doing it for centuries. The USPS could have brought their leadership from traditional postal service to digital communication. Their brand equity was far more embedded in consumer psyche even 15 years ago relative to Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, and most every other way we now express ourselves in writing. Postal service personnel still abound, but let’s face it– en masse at least, they’re on borrowed time. Kind of like trains.

Nearly twenty years after I first read “Marketing Myopia” I spend my days trying to convince brand owners that by testing their relevance in new categories they can rethink the industry definition in which they must thrive. It shouldn’t be this tough.  But lots of managers have noses to the grindstone, putting out the fire du jour, with so little time to step back, putting their company’s futures in peril. Is the New York Times in the newspaper business or the information distribution business?  Are PR firms in the media placement business or the client repositioning business?  Are these legitimate questions?  Does anyone go back to re-read business articles from the early 1960s?  “Marketing Myopia” is worth a re-look.  Unlike the industries it laments, Theodore Levitt’s treatise will never go out of style.

Jun 15

Do I want my ashes placed in an urn with a Mets or Jets logo?

There's a fascinating article in today's New York Times sports section about the inroads being
Casket1102 made by licensing in such sports as baseball and football.
 
For a mere $4,000, one can now choose to spend eternity in a casket emblazoned with his favorite team's logo. Logo-adorned urns, which would be my vessel of choice for traveling to the after world, cost a mere $799.

Talk about a bargain!
 
Licensing is a big business for sports leagues. (Note: in the interests of transparency, I should report that Peppercom is one of the few, if not only, PR firms with its own licensing division.) According to The Licensing Letter, Major League Baseball alone will rake in $2.75 billion in sales of licensed goods this year. That enough to fill an awful lot of cemeteries.
 
Of course, branded merchandise extends far beyond burial items, but why not go beyond just caskets and urns and create a fully-branded death and bereavement experience? I'd probably opt for a Jets afterlife experience (since they've killed my joy less often than the Mets have). So, I envision the following:
 
  – Joe Namath jerseys for those kind enough to eulogize me
  – Freeman McNeil sweat pants for mourners who will be spending the weekend at my wake and funeral. Why not provide some branded casual wear for their use during downtime?
  – I'd like the funeral home to use green and white bunting instead of the usual funeral purple
  – How about having the priest wearing throwback New York Titans vestments? Now, that would be cool.
  – I'd like Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer to be available to comfort my immediate family.
  – Fireman Ed would be on hand to lead one last cheer of “C-O-D-Y. Cody! Cody! Cody!”
  – Last, but not least, I'd like my green and white urn to contain the signatures of every player from the Super Bowl-winning 1968-69 Jets, including Ridgefield Park's very own Hatch Rosedahl.
 
Licensing types need to think large. Besides paying taxes, death is the only thing we can count on. So, why limit the afterlife merchandise to caskets and urns? The sky's the limit. Actually, since we're talking about eternity, even the sky isn't the limit.
 
I'd be open to any and all licensing suggestions: how about a green-and-white hearse emblazoned with Joe Willie's “We'll win. I guarantee it” Super Bowl III boast. Or, maybe a reunion of the fabled Sack Exchange? They could tackle someone from my life who caused me grief (i.e. a particularly heinous client or former employer, etc.). How about a grave dug to resemble the exact proportions of the new Jets-Giants Meadowlands stadium? I don't know about you, but I'd want to be laid to rest right on 50-yard-line. No nose bleed seats for this cadaver.
 
Put me in charge of afterlife licensing for major league sports and I'll make that $2.75 billion figure seem like chump change.