Marketing Lessons From 'Loud Mouth' Lavar Ball

There's been plenty talk about this rambunctious basketball dad. If you haven't heard of him by now, then clearly you don't watch sports. He's the hottest athlete's parent since Richard Williams and Earl Woods. It's starting to feel like Lavar Ball is becoming the Kris Jenner of basketball, and If he keeps at this pace he'll be doing more than just "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"...

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No Choice But To Say "Thank You"

There's nothing more rewarding than to reflect on the many riches I have to be thankful for - in present and past, in good or bad. Every day I learning to go a little deeper, reinvent and rediscover. To every single person in my figurative village who has helped shape and inspire me, I thank you. 

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6 God(ly) Needs I'm Thankful For

It's delightfully that time of year again! You know the time of year when sales prices are as enticing as a 2nd (maybe 3rd) slice of your Aunt's special peach cobbler. A time where food, family, and gratitute are confluent. Merged together in one place, for hopefully, at least a few hours.  And thanks to #thanksgivingwithblackfamilies or #thanksgivingclapback we can hilariously see how it can go awry. But in the essence of the holiday, i've decided to go a slightly different direction and express my thanks. Built on the six needs we all possess, explained best by Tony Robbins

  1. I am so thankful for CERTAINTY. The reality is, there aren't many certainties in this transient life, but I've always been able to count on a few things; the love of my Mother and the grace of God. No child can escape the love of God, and I've truly felt that manifested in the love my Mother has always shown. This assurance and security provides the opportunity to take risks confidently. True creativity is built on secure ground, and I'm more than grateful for the sturdy platform of grace I've been provided.
  2. With my next breath I am just as thankful for SURPRISE. 2015 has been filled with plenty, but what's life without uncertainty? I've truly began to learn our happiness is acquired in the midst of the pursuit; it has no destination. We tend to live for the next this and that, but the shifts of the journey is what we should celebrate most. Our plan for ourselves would be way too boring without God's manipulation. So forgive yourself for not quite understanding God's timing and rest in the fact that, "He [God] may not come when you want him, but he'll be there right on time!"
  3. Who would I be without the affirmation of my SIGNIFICANCE? I alone cannot provide that feeling. Trust me I've tried! Even with hours and hours of mirror pep talks and self love. It is the people God has strategically placed in our lives that provide this feeling. I am most thankful for these relationships. For the people that cared enough to go out there way, have concern in my dreams, support me, and take interest in my opinion; I'm thankful. People like (of no particular order); Patricia Tyree Miles, Alfred Tyree Jr. & the III, Austin Tyree, Alexia Tyree, Aniya Strader, Clifford Tyree, Lincoln Stephens, Donovan Potter, Andre Rudolph, Dalian Banks, James Lowry, Bob Perez, Jim Walter, Eddie Tyree, Cassandra Lloyd, Rhonda Lloyd, Stacy Lloyd, Mike Lassiter, DV Williams, Jason Campbell, Brandon Stephens, Jeff Beckham, Kristin Williams, Melody Thuston, Ron Stephens aka "Uncle Muscles", Vaughn Stephens, and many more. The older I get the more I realize, no man is an island. His significance is defined not just by his merit, but his connection to the group. 
  4. I am so very thankful for the overwhelming levels of CONNECTION I've built. No matter how weak or strong, I've come to learn I am a part of you as you are of me. I'm grateful for the ability to build with like-minded individuals from the brotherhood of Kappa Alpha Psi, to Miami University, to The Marcus Graham Project, to Fifteen Hertz, to Popz Topz, and now Spike DDB. From the interactions on the basketball court to even old flames that lost their flicker, they have helped me grow.
  5. As I take inventory of my experiences over the year, I couldn't be more thankful for GROWTH. This year has a been year of "Catch Me If You Can". Moving from Chicago to Dallas, then back to Chicago, and now landing in New York. Some of you reading this still aren't caught up with changes in my life. And in some aspects I haven't either. I don't have it all perfectly together yet, but who's to say we're suppose to? What I do have is hindsight from over a year ago. A time where I was not living a life fulfilled. Now TODAY I stand with a look at me now attitude, ready to give more to this world than before.
  6. We are not here for ourselves, we are here for the benefit of others. There is no feeling of fulfillment, without the benefit of others. There is no true reward without selfless intent. I've come to find we live in an interdependent world, that is merely a reflection of what we give to it. I am so thankful for the opportunity to CONTRIBUTE. To continue to be a part of something bigger than me is a level of self-actualization I am desperate for. In the micro or the macro we all are given this opportunity. So if you leave with anything from this post, know that our actions are of no consequence without an unselfish concern for others. If we are to be thankful, it is through the contribution of giving. Let this note be a small token of my thanks.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

 

How to connect an audience nearly 5x the continent of Australia

It's Sunday, and I know it happened. Another Sunday School teacher, wondering why she can't get more than the lowly 5 faithful students to attend 9am classes. Today's the lord's day! Have people lost their religion? It's been documented more than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all. However, I'm not so sure these people have left religion all together. It's quite possible football has displaced faith.

Growing up under the pews of the church, I know too well the spirit of the evangelical. You know the one that's knocking on your door Saturday morning? Or the one who mentions the "Lord" in conversation twice the times you could cycle once to your own social tic. Yeah those people, we all know one. If you live in a place like Philly, Chicago, or Texas you know a few more people like that. The only difference is their conversations are packaged with words like yards, quarterback, and touchdowns. Add all that up and it equals the value of social currency. On Sunday, football and faith may have a fairly equitable exchange rate. Come Monday through Saturday no one's talking scriptures, but they are talking fantasy. A day like today, Super Bowl Sunday, and you can forget about it! Football wins. 

Okay we get that, sports and our beloved "American Football" is cool. Much cooler to enjoy and talk about than the Heritage choir that sang at service last Sunday. But what's the hook? No quasi-religion can thrive on touchdowns alone. If you want a 115 million person audience you need an ideal trigger. CC'ing: coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, porn, your favorite song on the radio, love, and other drugs. Some triggers are physiological; witnessing the silhouette of coke bottle shaped woman naturally triggers the testosterone in a man. Meanwhile other triggers are emotional, and for the past 60 years I can't think of anything that's been more synonymous with Sunday. 

It's a reality that people reach semi-depression every Sunday after the Super Bowl. Descending from the high of the "Big Game" and realizing it's gone for 6 months. A sport that is tied to our country's culture code. A culture of adolescence, where the top 1% of the masculine gene pool combat for prize of being called the best. The perpetual narrative of our competitive society. Our values are defined in ordered lists, rankings, and polls. Primarily interested in what ends with "-st"; First, last, best, and worst. 

Want to bring 115 million together? Start a religion. It doesn't necessarily involve a God, but "gods". Curate a narrative attached to our regional identities, share the stories of the gladiators we can relate with, and involve habit forming activities. Toss out some Tostitos chip or savory snacks to dip, dipped with emotional attachment and impressions. Involve the culture's favorite ale (beer), and its consumption will re-fuel their covenant and keep the party going! 

While you're on the way to the party, rooting for your favorite team, or enjoying the commercials take a few seconds to wonder. How else can we connect 115 million people?

 

Why NYE is so beautiful.

As I sit on a warm couch in the waning moments of 2014. I'm aware it's now 2015 somewhere, specifically in one of my favorite places in the world, Kyoto, Japan. I'm holding on to the precious moments I have in 2014, while in the Central Standard Time Zone. Not because of fear of the unknown in 2015, nor the subtle reminder that time is passing ever so quickly. It's for the same reasons I can explain why I enjoy  30-40 minute bathroom breaks. Friends and acquaintances often wondering where I went missing for so long, but it's not in the where its in the why. As the moments of 2014 drip like a drying faucet, I am able to appreciate the peace of reflection and intellection.

Reflection of the wonders, joys, and lessons i've experienced during the year. Intellection, an introspective and internal conversation of growth. The beauty of New Year's Eve Day is the ability to sit and think of where you started and where you are now. The hustle and bustle from the spring cleaning, summer travel, to fall relationships, reaches its peak during the holiday season. Yet, NYE is unofficially accepted as a moment of calm. 

This calm can be frightening, how often were we excited at the punishment of timeout. Sit in the corner to think, we're told, but oh how rewarding it is. In these moments are the fruit bearing ideas produced. With the remaining time left in 2014, take a chance to reflect. 2015 won't be the same, as no 2 days ever are. 2014 has come and gone and as we enter a new year with a boom, the calm will fade. May these quiet moments of reflection produce posterity in 2015. Happy New Year!