Melky Cabrera: Digital Marketing Disaster

Internet Marketing

Last week, I wrote that Melky Cabrera must rebuild his brand.

Over on LinkedIn, Gail Sideman, Owner of PUBLISiDE commented:

Cabrera tweeted and issued a statement of guilt within an hour of his suspension being made public (that alone puts him in a club with few members). While he didn’t elaborate on why he took PEDs, I think he’s smart to take a day or two away from media. He cheated, he let his team down and tarnished Major League Baseball as the reigning All-Star MVP. He needs to get his public persona in-check before he says another word. The first ones were welcome and fresh. As far as his brand, that will be forever tarnished. There will be many that question his numbers for as long as he plays baseball.

I still haven’t seen the Tweet and have asked Gail to clarify. A Google search for it returns nothing.

I don’t agree that his brand will be forever tarnished. Americans have the attention span of a gnat and can quickly overlook transgressions.

Manny Ramirez is remembered much more for being goofy and off the wall (Manny being Manny) than for his two PED pops.

That said, Cabrera certainly isn’t doing himself any favors and just created the cardinal sin of marketing.

He got caught trying to manipulate the public.

In case you missed it, in an effort to beat the rap on his 50-game suspension, Melky and his “associates” devised a scheme that included purchasing a website for $10,000, making this website appear to sell a fake product and pretending Melky purchased and used the product, unaware that it contained a banned substance.

To be fair, Cabrera’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, say they had no knowledge of the deception and had nothing to do with it. That designation falls to Juan Nunez, a consultant (not employee) of the Levinsons’ company (Athletes’ Career Enhanced and Secured, Inc.).

Juan Nunez is NOT a salaried employee of ACES and does NOT receive the benefits that all ACES employees receive,” Levinson said. “Most importantly, any and all calls, texts and emails that he sends come from his own PERSONAL devices (BlackBerry).

I sincerely doubt, however, that Nunez acted on this without consulting someone. Cabrera, ACES or otherwise, and if not, Nunez just committed career suicide.

Now, though, Cabrera is left holding the bag, and now, more than ever needs to rebuild his brand.

But not yet.

Right now, he needs to disappear for a while. A long while. Let other news happen.

When he re-emerges, it should be around a nobile cause or other philanthropic endeavor free from self-promotion.

Then, he needs to slowly engage with his fans – become known for something other than a lying, deceitful cheater.

But that’s a long road to walk.

About Cody Swann

Cody Swann is an entrepreneur, developer, strategist, banged up ex-football walk-on, retired body builder and former journalist born and raised in South Florida. He currently splits his time between his hometown of Stuart, FL and Los Angeles, CA. Cody founded Gunner Technology, a highly sought after digital agency, specializing in helping companies maximize profits through custom web development, technology efficiencies, social media strategy and search engine marketing. As a manager and developer at ESPN for nearly six years, Cody led development and vision for two of ESPN’s most popular online features: Sports Scoreboards and GameCasts. Additionally Cody oversaw all aspects of MyESPN and ESPN’s social network, ESPN Fan Profiles. Cody worked with Technology, Editorial, Sales, Marketing and relevant business stakeholders to mold ESPN’s social media strategy, develop custom applications for it and execute it. Under his direction, ESPN successfully ported large portions of its core product from a proprietary Java stack to an open source Ruby on Rails stack, capable of standing up and performing under the tremendous load world's most popular sports site delivers. Cody began forging his technological knowledge more than 10 years ago, developing and designing websites in college. His development work has included web development, web design, content writing, digital photography and digital video production for award-winning sites like, and He has helped set digital strategy and direction for companies in the New York Times Regional Newspaper group, ESPN, ABC and Disney. He is a recognized expert in web development, social media strategy, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, analytics tracking and business planning. He has worked with large interactive media companies to small and medium sized businesses. Cody motivates and inspires creative teams to deliver superb, polished work under tight deadlines.

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