The Marketing Opportunity We All Missed

Duke Lacrosse T-ShirtsEvery so often, stories that garner a lot of press attention tend to spin off excellent marketing opportunities. Remember God Warrior from Trading Spouses?

I’m the kind of guy who gets a kick out of spotting these opportunities in real time. In fact, I don’t even care to profit from most of them; I just view it as staying on my “marketing toes.” The point of this post, however, was not to tell you about my armchair marketing habit.

The point was that I totally missed the most recent (and probably strongest) piece of spin off marketing to hit the streets since – well, I guess I haven’t really been around that long. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I didn’t even see this one coming!

Duke Lacrosse T-Shirts

The Duke Lacrosse scandal was an odd story from the word go. Couple a lack of DNA evidence with prosecution credibility that continues to drop faster than Google stock, and you get a twisted case that looks to be headed straight for the “fraudulent piece of crap” department.

Of course, this is where the clever marketers out there should have received their cues.

Dave Evans from the Duke LAX teamThe second that the perception of the case swung from “the Duke LAX guys are guilty frat-boy boozers” to “the accusers have pulled this stunt in 17 states,” we all should have sent out orders for 50,000 T-shirts. Oh, and when Dave Evans, the third player accused, gave his rock-solid “not-guilty” speech on national TV? I should’ve had a cadre of Indonesians whittling away at bobbleheads.

Why didn’t I think of that?

A quick perusal of the web reveals that at least a few clever folks jumped all over this emerging market.

As for me? Well, I was doing my best impersonation of a lobotomy patient, and I, uh…

Right. I totally missed the boat.

This past weekend, I was working a festival selling “marijuana” hats to 14 year old kids (I said hats), and I began to notice a few people running around in blue t-shirts. I finally got a good look at the front of one of these babies, and lo and behold – Duke Lacrosse!

Naturally, I loved the shirts. In fact, I loved them so much that I bought four of them.

But dammit, I can’t get over the fact that such an obvious idea went whizzing right by.

As for the festival and the marijuana hats? Get a load of the clientele, and maybe you’ll be able to draw some conclusions ;-)

A weirdo wearing a Hulkamania outfit at the Portland festival. He was totally serious, too.

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