By Saying He’d Draft a Female Player Mark Cuban is a Publicity Genuis

Mark Cuban is a Newsjacker

Last Sunday Baylor Universities Women’s Basketball team lost in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Baylor Star Brittney Griner played her last college game ever.

This was small news story since the Men’s tournament steals all the press.

Big deal right. What does this have to do with marketing? Quite a bit actually.

You see, Dallas Mavericks owner, Shark Tank “Shark” and all around awesome guy Mark Cuban says he would consider drafting Griner in this June’s NBA draft.

This has caused the media outlets and fans everywhere to talk about Cuban, the Mavericks and the possibility of Brittney playing in the NBA.

It’s brilliant really. You see, Cuban most likely isn’t going to draft her. But he’s taken a very small news story and blown it up.

It’s great for Brittney, Mark, the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA and the WNBA where she’ll end up playing professionally.

What Mark Cuban did here was jack the news. He took a small story and made it HUGE! Because of that he’s created a bunch of free media impressions for his team and himself.

This is known a newsjacking.


I’ve talked a bit about newsjacking on my Facebook page.

Why? Because it’s an awesome way to get some free PR. Especially on a local level where slow news days are common.

But what is newsjacking? David Meerman Scott coined the phrase and even wrote a short book about it.

It’s really simple.

It’s the art of spinning a news story in a unique way. So much so that media outlets have to talk about your angle of the story because it’s unique.

Why and How it Works

Here’s why it works. Reporters from all over are always looking for a different angle. After all what reporter wants to pitch the same angle of a story? And who wants to listen to the same story over and over.

So reporters will begin to search for that different angle. My suggestion is to start cuddle up and build relationships with reporters in your city. When a story hits and your ready to jack the news, you can contact your reporters and pitch your angle with ease since you’ve built a relationship with them.

The other option is your blog.

Kind of like this post your reading. If I was quicker to the party, I might have been able to jack the news away from Cuban with my angle. Who knows I still might.

By Saying He’d Draft a Female Player Mark Cuban Is A Publicity Genuis – Click to Tweet

Since you and I are not Mark Cuban, we don’t have full access to the media. This is why a blog post comes into play. Reporterts will head to Twitter or Google to see if anyone has a different angle on a story.

You need to blog about it and spread the word via your social platforms.


It can be hard trying to figure out ways to newsjack. You need to be fast and creative. My suggestion is to learn from other examples.

Here’s two examples of newsjacking to help you.

Since I’m a big sports fan, I’ll use another story from the NBA.

A few months back the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat were set to face off. It was a marquee game and nationally televised on TNT.

The Spurs head coach Gregg Popivich sent the teams top three players back home to rest. Big deal right?

Larry McGuinness

Well a couple of weeks later a lawyer who bought a resale ticket jacked the news. Larry McGuinness filed a class action lawsuit saying the Spurs and Popovich because they “violated a state law“.

As you can tell this created a news story that hit just about every major sports and news outlet. So this lawyer created massive waves because he was smart. Of course the suit wasn’t going to go through.

But who cares, he created endless media impressions. Don’t believe me? Click here to see the Google search results for “Larry McGuinness Miami lawyer”.

McGuinness is probably all over the media in Miami. He started out small I’m sure. Over the years I bet he has made solid connections with reporters to help him break the story above.

Here’s another example from Wynn Resorts spokeswomen Jennifer Dunne.

Back in 2010 Hilton Hotel Heiress Paris Hilton was arrested on drug charges. Dunne saw this as great opportunity to newsjack.

So she told the AP that Hilton was banned from all Wynn properties! David Meerman Scott wrote about why it was such great move.

Imagine Wynn Hotels banning the Hilton Hotel Heiress. The nerve!

More importantly what an angle and news story for media outlets to pick up.

Wynn’s free media impressions went trough the rough. And they took a story with only a tiny hook (the Hilton Hotel Heiress) and turned into something big.

To prove that it was done for the PR, the ban as lifted a year later. So they had no real intention of banning her for life but merely to create some impressions.

I love it!


Since I read Newsjacking a few months back I’ve been praciticing. Whenever I read a news story I try and see what business could jack the news.

More often than not the ideas are not that ground breaking. But they’re effective because of the timing. You have to be quick and get your angle out there.

My suggestion is to do the same. Scan any news story and think about how you could create a unique angle.

It should be noted that your angle has to have some sort of meaning. Or else no reporters will care to write about it.

Or worse you could be like Kenneth Cole and really outrage people after this tweet.

Kenneth Cole on Twitter, you're doing it wrong!

I’ll be blogging about other opportunities on newsjacking so be sure to follow me along and subscribe to my email updates.

What Do You Think?

What do you think about newsjacking and how could your business benefit from it?

Mark Cuban image courtesy of Keith Allison