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I was wrong on Zidane


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September 22, 2006

I was wrong on Zidane

Stephen Baker

It hurts me even to read what I wrote. In a blog post right after the World Cup, I boldly predicted that Zinedine Zidane's foolish head butt in the final was going to cost him $20 million in endorsements. Turns out, according to The Wall Street Journal, that head butt enhanced his appeal, adding an intriguing layer to his persona. Zidane is swimming in endorsement deals. In very lively comments to my blog post, readers laid into me for not knowing soccer. Now I think I understand soccer better than advertising.

10:35 AM

advertising

I remember when you wrote that. And I remember thinking, after reading some of his comments, that he might be viewed as Authentic; as someone who refuses to perform for the sake of endorsements. There is real appeal in being genuine; in *not* being owned by a brand. It's "cool" ( http://brand.blogs.com/mantra/2006/08/trying_to_be_co.html#comment-22227774 )

Posted by: csven at September 22, 2006 11:27 AM

are you reading this abercrombie and fitch? tom cruise? ashlee simpson? we care more about controversy than talent. and we'll pay you for it.

Posted by: schadenfreudisch at September 22, 2006 04:36 PM

Zidane won lot of respect for his action, it show a man defending his personal honor. On the other hand the Italian player is the true loser.

Posted by: Michael Chung at September 25, 2006 11:18 AM

What a lot of people don't understand, especially Americans and others from non-footballing nations, who are casual observers and don't know much about football (soccer) or Zidane himself, is that Zidane has always been much more than just a footballer. He is an icon of generosity, modesty, multiculturalism and genuineness. It is not only in France where he is viewed this way. He has passionate, devoted, deeply loyal fans worldwide -- including in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East -- who love him not just for his genius and profound artistry on the pitch. But for the way he conducts himself off it. He has earned an enormous amount of goodwill and respect and admiration for his skills on the pitch and for his character and humanitarian work off the pitch. That's why people so easily forgive him. We have known about his "dark side" for years, it is not new to us. We do not excuse it, we have often been disappointed by it, but we always forgive. If you don't understand the magic of Zizou, then you'll never understand this.

Posted by: sandrahn at September 27, 2006 03:31 PM

That is amazing. To do something at a world event and get rewarded for it? What kind of message does that send? I do believe in 2nd chances and that it was a mistake and he shouldn't be entirely punished for it but kids growing up are just going to think doing something like that is cool and makes a name for yourself.

Posted by: quickbooks 2007 at September 30, 2006 01:15 PM


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