Sidetracked: Athlete Websites—How Far Is Too Far?

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Jared Allen

By: Melissa S. Wollering

Jared Allen, you’re nasty and I mean that in the vilest way possible.  Viewing your website is such a sleezgusting act (sleezy/disgusting), that I contemplated whether I would dive headfirst into my own vomit if given the choice between the two. How did your PR consultants let you get away with this?

Mr. Allen has found a cheeky way to market his jersey number and sell a few overpriced t-shirts in the same dogbreath. It is also an incredibly entertaining website, so I can’t completely disregard it.  And therein lies the problem. 

Jared Allen 69, Inc. introduces your 2nd favorite Minnesota Viking via video with an open and honest discussion about mullets.  YES, MULLETS. Whether you have a baby mullet or mature mullet, Jared tells his fanbase that it should be growing one. If a Jared Allen fan is not, one is then instructed to start the process. If you’ve already lost your hair, don’t fret my pet.  Grow a skullet.

If you haven’t joined the Mullet Militia, you’re allegedly missing out on a quality lifestyle. “One county, one haircut, one young baby at a time—Mullet Militia.” What you’re not missing out on is the self-worshipping sex-marketing Jared Allen has embarked on, complete with trashy babe-enticing merchandising and a logo that was ripped off from Anheuser-Busch. 

His photos are priceless.  A gun stuffed in his crotch, secured by a cowboy belt buckle.  A dreamy Baywatch pose of Allen, slicking back his mullet with a little grease and sporting a Sax Machine t-shirt.  Get it, SACKS….  Okay, that was bad form, even for me.

So how much is overkill? When does over-the-top become outright flop? This week in Sidetracked, we take a closer look at what works and what doesn’t for athlete websites.

We know one thing helps an athlete get away with a little bit more: production.  If the player contributes on the field, court or ice, if they are a major factor week-in and week-out, helping his or her team put more W’s up than L’s, he or she can probably get away with a bit more.

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Jared Allen led the league in sacks in 2008 with 15 and is poised to shatter it in 2009.  Heck, he may break the 15 mark with Aaron Rodgers sacks alone. (Okay, I exaggerate.) Alex Rodriguez  can kiss himself in a mirror and get away with it partially because it was always possible for he and his team to win another the World Series. Michael Vick has not only moved forward in the NFL, but is using his new Website to rebuild his image and address his past openly. His actual production stats matter less. After all, just playing again equates to production for him this first season back.

What about chick athletes?  Maria Sharapova’s website offers an “Off the Court” section, complete with a photo gallery of her on red carpets around the world, a list of her 10 favorite books (she reads?) and a t-shirt design that looks an awful lot like “I balled Maria” complete with tennis ball icon. Hmm…I know what I can get you guys for Christmas this year.

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Having a nickname for your website though, is the ULTIMATE. KB24 is hands down the best name for your website, Kobe.  Kobe has a logo-icon of royalty, resembling a family crest that rests alongside Kobe in aviator shades. Kobe Academy is cool for kids, who can sign up for his basketball camp (space is limited).  Kobe’s site might be the kobe beef of sashimi. That one’s for you, Mr. Banks.

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And when your athletic career flops on its face and you need another way to bring in income, do what Shane Warne did.  Shane Warne used to be the biggest global name in the sport of cricket. Crickets chirping is the only thing you can hear on his athletic front these days, but he’s repurposed his website to convince people he’s now a world-class poker player.  He wants you to come to his sponsored events and after all, why not? Indirectly, you’ll be supporting his Aussie tykes, or “billylids” in Aussie slang. 

You can always follow your favorite athlete on Twitter, but athletes who still want the most up-to-date websites haven’t stopped blogging.  David Beckham still writes weekly, if not daily on his site.  He wrote me on Friday the 13th and told me all about the Western Conference final against Houston. He also sounded genuinely disappointed about not being able to represent England who played Brazil in Doho on Saturday. Oh wait, he wasn’t just writing on there for me?  See, that’s how you pull fans in and make your website relevant.

I hope Jared Allen’s website is relevant to someone. It’s both train-wreck amusing and ridonkulously creepy to me. But a Website is purely self-serving and those visiting them generally realize this. Mullets are a powerful haircut, 69 is a powerful number and the Vikings are a powerful team in the league this year. Just don’t let the team image mirror that of its best defensive end.

 
Thank you for reading our new column Sidetracked, where we branch out to bring you the best in non-mainstream Midwestern sports talent and off-the-beaten-path discussion topics. Remember, you read it here first at The SportsBank.net.

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Comments

  1. Packer fans should be jealous! If it weren’t for the Pack’s O-Line Jared Allen would be another over-hyped average guy.

  2. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this web page is in fact good.

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