Friday, May 19, 2006

An emerging brand...the Rooney Metatarsal

For a chic that's less than enthusiastic about soccer (sorry, football), the fact that the World Cup is about to crank into even higher levels of hysteria for the next 6 weeks, is a torturous one. It’s all over the media. It’s EVERYWHERE!

Not even escaping back to Australia for two weeks in mid-June will let me get away from soccer (argh! Football!) speak – it will be just as manic there, with the Socceroos playing in the World cup for the first time in ages.

Now…what about this metatarsal thing? Wayne Rooney’s Broken Metatarsal seems to have become a celebrity of its own. I didn’t even know what a metatarsal was until I looked it up in the dictionary. And for your information, its:
“of, relating to, or being the part of the human foot or of the hind foot in quadrupeds between the tarsus and the phalanges.”
Ok. So the dude has a broken foot, and I guess that’s a bad thing if you’re a World Cup soccer player. But did it warrant more than 1,000 articles in the mainstream news and business media? Truly…according to Factiva Search 2.0, that’s how many articles referencing the Rooney Metatarsal have been published. And there are more than 3,000 articles dedicated to Rooney’s “injury”.

In the entire 2 seconds it took me to research that fact, I came across an article discussing the Liverpool winger (and fellow Aussie), Harry Kewell’s Groin Injury. Eeek! I didn’t need to check that in the dictionary… Another second of research told me that there had been over 200 articles dedicated to the Kewell Groin so far – and it hasn’t even had as much time to manifest as the Rooney Metatarsal. So are we going to be subjected to hundreds more articles on this ahem…rather sensitive issue? Lord, I hope not.

All this got me thinking…what effect are these cataclysmic injuries having on the players’ sponsors? Looking up “Nike and Rooney” resulted in just 222 articles in the last 90 days (only 20% of the volume that The Metatarsal generated!)

So perhaps sponsors should consider thinking of sponsoring specific bits of their favourite players – the players could get heaps more money that way, and the sponsors could hedge their bets and spread their risks. The Nike Navicular, The Mastercard Metatarsal, The Philips Phalanx and the Toshiba Talus and all have quite a nice ring don’t you think?

Enough of this football-speak. Go the Aussies, and bring on August!

PS. You can also find these and other far more business-critical insights via the Factiva Search 2.0 experience available on


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