Have you ever been fined $30,000 for saying a dirty word? You must not be Mark Cuban.
The famous entrepreneur was competing in a League of Legends tournament on Saturday, an event sponsored by Intel that involved the online battle game. Cuban is well-known as a trash-talker when he plays, but the story is not as nefarious as you might think.
According to the rules of the event, if you swear during the tournament (Cuban dropped the F-bomb) you will get a fine of $15,000 but the money goes to charity. On stage, he discussed the incident with the hosts and they gave him a little prompting and he said it again. You can see the whole thing right here, including the hosts prompting him and the F-bomb. Fair warning to the kids, this is an unedited video.
The crowd roared with laughter and applause, and it's a good example of what a celebrity entrepreneur can do to warm up a crowd and get attention. The money goes to a good cause, the event organizers get a nice story to tell, and Cuban looks like a hero.
It's also a good example of his Teflon coating and ability to say and do things because he has built up a name for himself. I was trying to imagine someone else at a tournament purposefully saying a swear word in order to donate money to charity, and I don't think it would come off quite the same way. Everyone knows Cuban can donate a little cash, and his attitude about sports is to pose and posture in a way that's mostly for show.
Could Bill Gates have pulled it off? Maybe not--but then, we all know he is not a competitive gamer. How about some famous investor or dot-com guru? Not sure. For someone less famous, we'd say the person had to give up a huge chunk of cash even if it means the charity can help those in need. In fact, there aren't many people whom we would give such a free pass for stirring up some (harmless) trouble at a gaming event.
It's also a good example of reverse marketing. He did what? He said what? Now, suddenly everyone knows about this event and it has drawn attention to pro gaming.
Too bad he didn't say the word several times in a row, just to show he can.