News: It turns out the news of the death of newspapers, in the Internet age, has been greatly exaggerated. At least for one day, newspapers have been flying off the stands, with several extra printings necessary to meet demand. The reason: people want to collect the newspapers as historical memorabilia of Barack Obama’s election. Copies of the New York Times are selling for $100 on eBay. (More from Bloomberg)
Analysis: This makes me wonder what other parts of the economy the Barack Obama brand could help revive. Clothing sales? Hart Schaffner suits? T-shirts? Basketball shoes? Posters? Buttons? Movies? Artwork? Cologne? Puppy sales?
Certainly, the economies of Denver, Colorado, and Chicago, Illinois benefited a great deal from Obama’s major convention and post-election speeches, including hotel, travel, restaurants, and other local businesses. And the greater D.C. area will have a financial boon with the Inauguration on January 20, as all hotels may already be sold out and charging exorbitant prices for the Inauguration period.
I wonder if there’s any ethical or legal rule against President-elect Obama using his name on a new hybrid car — the “Obamamobile“–with a cut of the proceeds going to the U.S. government to help bring down the debt. This all may sound pretty fanciful, but I have no doubt that “Barack Obama” serves as a powerful brand today. Obama’s campaign operation was like a hot startup company in Silicon Valley, raising oodles of capital (over $600 million) and attracting devoted followers. If Barack Obama were himself a business, he could be the next Google.