One step onto the practice court Tuesday, and Serena Williams went viral again. People were so happy to see her playing tennis after a year of injury and sickness? Hah! It was the bright pink body suit. Did you see it? It was outrageous. It was incredible. It was genius. Williams is a brand all to herself.
Two days earlier, Tiger Woods, whose name, and brand, had turned to mud, made a run to the lead at the Masters, and everyone went nuts. He was back! The red shirt. The killer attitude. The fun. Forgive and forget what? Who could remember? He didn’t win. And here’s a question for you: What is the name of the guy who did?
Come on, I’m waiting. It was only two days ago. I’ll spot you his first name: Charl.
What we’ve seen in the past few days is a prime example of our celebrity culture, yes. But that culture seems to be on steroids now, partly because of the immediacy of modern media. If you want to be an athlete who transcends your sport, you’d better be ready for the world of Twitter and iPhone cameras. On top of that, everything is calculated now for the brand. It’s the TMZing of American sports.
April 13, 2011