Monthly Archives: June 2008

Team Bear Naked – Viral Marketing

Team Bear Naked

I got an interesting email today from Bear Naked.  Bear Naked is a great line of granola products (I’m partial to the Heavenly Chocolate and Peanut Butter mix) that has always catered to the outdoor enthusiast/athlete. They’ve started a program where they essentially sponsor runners and triathletes. What’s the benefit to the athlete?

  • Discounted or free Bear Naked products
  • Cash bonuses for generating media or assisting with local events
  • Complimentary Bear Naked-branded performance apparel

They are only going to select 100 applicants, but can you imagine how powerful those 100 “brand evangelists” will be. They know the target demo better than anyone because they are part of that demo and, most likely, an influencer within that group.

As an avid cyclist, I’m surprised that more cycling-related companies don’t do something similar. Cyclists love to talk about training, equipment, etc. – ad naseum. Why not give them more reason to talk about your brand than by making them part of your “team”?

Favorite Rides – McDaniel/Kelly Loop

McDaniel-Kelly Loop

So as more and more folks here at ThinkCash get into cycling, I get a lot of questions as the resident “expert” (if you can call a Cat 4 an “expert”). One of the most common questions I get is “where can I ride” or “what’s a good route to ride”. So I’ll start a regular feature by posting some of my favorite Fort Worth area rides. Most of these rides will start from the Trinity Trail at Rogers Rd. (just off University, near Colonial Country Club).

The first ride is the McDaniel/Kelly Loop. This is a 45 mile ride that will take you out to Lake Benbrook (utilizing the Trinity Trail). You will then exit the park and head towards Aledo via McDaniel and Kelly roads (both low-traffic, country roads), before heading back to Fort Worth via Aledo Rd. and Chapin Rd. This is a great route that guarantees you’ll encounter other cyclists along the way.

McDaniel Rd. and Kelly Rd. are deceptively hilly – the 45 mile route has almost 2,500 ft. of climbing (see elevation profile above).

Funny Michael Rasmussen commercial

If you are a fan of professional cycling, you’ll find this commercial pretty funny. If you don’t follow professional cycling, it won’t seem funny at all (especially since it isn’t even in english). You can learn why this commerical featuring Michael Rasmussen is funny here.

Sign the petition in support of cycling in North Texas (the cycling advocacy group for North Texas) has started a petition In response to last week’s car/bike crashes – 7 in all – 2 fatal – in North Texas. This petition is meant to show our city councils, officials, state legislators and national legislators that yes we really are out here. The goal is 100,000 signatures. Please help make the roads safer for cyclists (even if you don’t ride I guarantee you have a friend, family member or co-worker that does). You can sign the petition here.

I’ve got gas . . . saving tips

gas prices

So I’ve been working on some “financial tips” emails for ThinkCash and decided to focus on ways to improve fuel economy this month. It seems like you can’t turn on the news or pick up the paper without mention of rising gas prices and discussions of fuel economy.  So here are a few gas saving tips:

  • Drive the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Driving at 70 mph is like spending an extra 40 cents per gallon on gas!
  • Remove excess weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your MPG by up to 2%.
  • Avoid excessive idling. An idling car gets 0 MPG!  So the more time your vehicle is idling, the worse your gas mileage. Turn your car off when you know you will be stopped for long periods of time.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. You can improve gas mileage by about 3% by keeping your tires inflated to the correct pressure.
  • Use cruise control. Using cruise control at highway speeds can improve your gas mileage significantly. conducted a test test using a Land Rover LR3 and a Ford Mustang, the Land Rover got almost 14 percent better mileage using cruise control set at 70 miles per hour rather than cruising at driver-controlled speeds between 65 and 75 miles per hour. The Mustang got 4.5 percent better mileage.

Some people have taken improved fuel economy to the next level and essentially made it their hobby. Hypermilers make lots of little changes in their driving habits in order to get big improvements in fuel economy. Two great sites for hypermiling tips are and

Historic prices in Dallas, TX

It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2004 gas was around $1.50/gallon and today it is over $4/gallon. Doesn’t seem like the price of gas is going down anytime soon, so these tips will only help to save you even more money as the price of gas increases.

Beauty of the Internet – History of Football Helmets

LSU football helmets

So one of the things that I love about the Internet is that you can find information on any topic. I am a total trivia junkie – I’m often called the “King of Useless Trivia” by friends/coworkers. Therefore, the Internet is the perfect resource for someone like me because somebody, somewhere has compiled the “useless” information that I am looking for already. One such example is The Helmet Project. For 9 years this site has been collecting images of every football helmet ever – pro or college. They have rare  USFL helmets and obscure helmets worn in one bowl game by a college team, etc. I pulled an example image for the two schools I attended for undergrad – LSU (above) and ULL (formerly USL below)

ULL Helmets

It’s actually a pretty cool site for a sports junkie like myself. It actually reminded me of a very cool story. The helmet below was the helmet worn by the Boston/New Orleans/Portland Breakers of the USFL.

Breakers Helmet

You can read the history of the Breakers here, but we were living in a suburb of Portland (Lake Oswego, OR) when the team went defunct. My sister’s high school (Lakeridge High) was a football powerhouse in the area and someone had a connection to the Breakers and somehow managed to get most of the pro team’s equipment for the high school – including the helmets. So the helmet you see above was the helmet for the Boston/New Orleans/Portland Breakers and the Lakeridge Pacers. Like I said, I love the Internet – guess that’s why I’ve worked for iChoose,, Blockbuster Online and ThinkCash!



No Annoying Commercials – Top Gun Motors

Someone sent me this great spot for Nelson Mazda in Tulsa, OK. The agency that did this spot nailed it. It’s funny, memorable and . . . well . . . come on . . . it even uses “Top Gun” font – classic.

We are working on TV for PayDay One right now (we already developed some great TV spots for ThinkCash), so I’m love getting other spots like this to get the creative juices flowing.

Future Iron Chef

Future Iron Chef

Grant loves to cook. So his Granny June got him this sweet chef’s outfit. Now Grant and Mommy can take their cooking to the next level.

Turn it up to 11!

I love this clip from Spinal Tap. Sometimes in life (or racing) you just need to take it up a notch. Could you “adjust” and make your “10” more powerful – sure you could. However, there are times when you need to break the rules and take it up to “11”.

Evolution of arcade games . . . ThinkCash party

Fun at Main Event

This past weekend we had our ThinkCash summer party at Main Event in Fort Worth. We basically had the run of the place for 4 hours and had unlimited bowling, video games, laser tag, etc. Grant had fun bowling with his friends Abby and Allie (Kevin D’s kiddos). However, he and I really had fun playing the video games. We played truck driver, jet ski, fireman, and airplane simulator as you can see above. When I was Grant’s age the top arcade game was Asteroids. The game you see us playing above was a commercial airline simulator and the realism of the game was pretty incredible – games have come a long way in 30 years.

But of all the games we played, Grant’s favorite was also the simplest game. The game was a glass box with a handle that stuck out, connected to a net. Inside the box was a honey pot and a bunch of “bee” balls. When the game started a fan blew the bees and they “buzzed” around the box. The goal was to catch as many bees as possible with the net and pour them into the honey pot. Grant loved it. Goes to show that in gaming the best technology, graphics, etc. don’t always translate into the most fun.  It’s a good analogy for our business at ThinkCash. We can have the best looking website, TV spots, etc., but if we can’t truly help customers with their emergency cash needs and provide great customer service, then it doesn’t matter. I’d rather be the “honey bee” anyday.