Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 279 - TK - 7-11 = Suck

This morning I paid a visit to my stretching therapist, AKA The Mistress of Torture.

After she pulls and twists me like a taffy machine, she tells me I probably shouldn't run for the rest of the day.

Good advice. Which, of course, I ignored. I hadn't run yet, so I kinda had to.

So the run was short, and slow, and thanks to a schedule as dense as room temperature Osmium, it was also in the dark.

Being mentally numb after my Osmiumy* day, I was relying on the run to inspire me with something to write about.

It didn't.

So instead, I'm going to step up on this bully pulpit and preach to 7-Eleven.

Ahem...

Dear 7-Eleven,

I heard a couple day ago that you decided to discontinue your primary sponsorship for the talented IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan.

And then I find out that you have decided to become an associate sponsor for one Danica Patrick.

I know economic times are tough. Slurpee sales are probably sliding. Big Gulps and those hotdogs on rollers probably aren't flying out the doors, either.

But that doesn't mean you should turn stupid.

You were covering the car, and the chest, and last weekend even his adorable young son, and had become synonymous with likely most popular, fan friendly, and media friendly driver in an up-and-coming series. My 17 year old daughter, for example, is a die-hard TK fan. At her insistence, we go to 7-Eleven and buy Slurpees, and gas, and snacks, and Big-Ass mugs with TK on them. She wears her 7-Eleven replica team shirt to races. She notes when the time is 7:11.

Note that she's not a fan of 7-Eleven. She's a fan of Tony and she supported 7-Eleven because you were associated with him. Now, she wouldn't use your restroom.

Were any of you at Indy this year? Tony overcame 2 crashes to qualify, barely. There were TV shots of him in the garage, doing what he could to help his team make repairs. You could feel the fans, in the seats and on TV and Twitter, pulling for him. When he made the field, the cheers were extra loud, because we'd all been holding our breath. And there was 7-Eleven, with all of that feel-good TV time.

At the same qualifications, your new girl, Danica, was roundly booed. Booed. Booed because she chose to blame her lackluster qualifying effort on her team. TK received wild, enthusiastic cheers, not to mention unbridled support and good will. Danica was booed. I have been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on many, many, many days, and before that, I'd never heard a driver booed.

During the race, no one who was there, or watching on TV, could keep their eyes off of Tony, and the 7-Eleven car, as he charged from the back to the front, eventually running second. When he took second place, you could hear the roar of the crowd over the cars. And he did it squarely in the middle of the TV shot.

After the race, when he got out of his car, he got a bigger ovation than Dario Franchitti. You know, the guy who won the race. That's because race fans love Tony Kanaan. These are the loyal fans. The ones who support the people who support their drivers. Not the ones who tune in to see if that girl from the Maxim spread has passed anyone.

Well the good news is that if she blames her team and crew again, your logo won't be nearly as conspicuous, with all the classy Go Daddy branding. Can you name any other associate sponsors on her car? Me either. That's ok, I'm sure you'll sell a lot more frozen burritos and swimsuit issues with a stand-up of Danica by the check-out.

Oh, and I'm going to try really hard not to perpetuate that nasty rumor that 7-Eleven store manages routinely pee in the Slurpee machines. I'm like 53% sure that's not true.

Good running,
Doug

*Osmiumy is fun to say... try it... Oz-Me-Yum-Me. See? Fun.

Numbers: 1.4 extremely tentative miles.