Kobe Bryant

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

In 1931—in the middle of the Great Depression—New York Yankees slugger, Babe Ruth, demanded a salary of $80,000. When Yankee management pointed out that this was more money than Herbert Hoover, the President of the United States, was making ($75,000), Ruth retorted, “I had a better year than he did.” In my opinion, great athletes deserve great paychecks for two reasons: (1) They fill stadiums and produce giant TV ratings, and (2) Their peak earning power lasts only a few years. I was never really aware of British-born European football (soccer) player David Beckham until last week, even though he’s the most recognized sports

By Noelle Skodzinski "Wake up people!" shouts Lily Tomlin—or rather her character "Ernestine"—from the outer envelope of a recent mailing for Web communications service provider WebEx. Ernestine, who rose to stardom in the early '70s on the TV show "Laugh-In," is WebEx's corporate spokesperson. The sarcastic quipster joins the likes of Bart Simpson, William Shatner, Austin Powers and Alf on the seemingly endless list of marketing-bound pop icons. But in direct mail, pop icons seem the exception, not the rule. Are such famed faces ineffective in the postal medium? Is pop culture an abstract vagary best left to ad-agency hipsters targeting

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