retail news in context, analysis with attitude


by Kevin Coupe

I like people and companies that look for the odd angle, the offbeat approach to traditional business models. They just make things more interesting and, when things go well and they do things right, manage to achieve advances that might otherwise be missed.

I thought about this the other day when I was reading a piece in Forbes about Luke Bonner, a retired professional basketball player (in Europe and the D-League), who has just debuted a new YouTube web series called “Shooting the Sh*t."

The premise is simple: Bonner is inviting candidates who are campaigning for the New Hampshire primary to join him at an old brick gym near his home in Concord and shoot baskets while chatting - often, but not always, about politics.

"“It doesn’t matter if the candidate doesn’t know anything about basketball or has any experience with basketball,” Bonner tells Forbes. “That’s almost enriching. Being bad at basketball is extraordinarily relatable to most people. It brings a realness to whoever the guest is, humanizes who they are.”

First up was Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur who is hanging in around the edges of the Democratic primaries, raising enough money and getting just enough support in the polls to remain a possibility, if not yet a truly viable candidate. Forbes writes that the show results in "an engaging look at a candidate who is still little-known in mainstream politics," and one who is educated about basketball, even if he can't dribble to save his life.

I agree with Forbes. At a time when there is a lot of sameness in the rhetoric, this actually is something different - well-executed by a local production company, smart, and both informative and informed.

Bonner already has shot another segment with candidate Joe Sestak, and apparently there are several other folks campaigning for the nomination who would like a shot at the gym. (I for one want to know who has a better three-point shot, Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar.)

My observation here has less to do with politics and more to do with innovative thinking. “Shooting the Sh*t," I think, is a good example of what every business needs to do. Look for the odd angle, the offbeat approach. And then, take the shot, and see what happens.

Could be an Eye-Opener.

KC's View: