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Variety article: Rokit Leaves Trail of Millions in Deserted Deals, Lawsuits and Bankruptcies [split]


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#1 Peat

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 14:34

I guess this kind of fits here: https://variety.com/...ies-1235398095/

Suprised to learn Rokit had "more than 60 fulltime employees". They got alot further around the monopoly board than Ol'Billyboy.

 



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#2 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 15:04

I guess this kind of fits here: https://variety.com/...ies-1235398095/

Suprised to learn Rokit had "more than 60 fulltime employees". They got alot further around the monopoly board than Ol'Billyboy.

 

 

Very interesting read, show how all the smart people in the world really is not smarter than us, and some may be even less so.



#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 15:35

They really missed a trick not turning that article into a book.



#4 Frood

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 15:47

Suprised to learn Rokit had "more than 60 fulltime employees". They got alot further around the monopoly board than Ol'Billyboy.


Not sure many of them would have stayed by the sound of it:

In an email Kendrick sent his staff in late 2018—a copy of which was obtained by Sportico and authenticated by multiple sources—the CEO suggested that he would start making Rokit employees wear badges in the office to denote how useful he perceived them. Those who were the most disappointing would be tagged with the classic four letter f-word, Kendrick wrote, explaining it stood for “Futile Useless C***sucker Tosser.”



#5 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 15:53

I would work there, wear the badge, and retire on the lawsuit winnings. Key is to get out early when there is still liquidity/assets.


Edited by Ross Stonefeld, 11 October 2022 - 15:53.


#6 RSRally

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 16:08

Crikey, makes his Beardiness sound almost ethical.

#7 BRG

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 16:35

I think a lot of us had suspicions about Rokit, especially after the Williams default and then the Foyt default.  A widespread sporting sponsor but with little visible product.  But the sheer scale and scope of this house of (imaginary) cards is breathtaking.   It makes Storey's grubby efforts look like amateur hour.  Now we need to hear the inside tale on those dubious sponsors at the RB Ring.

 

BTCC fans will recall that a Rokit sponsored BMW (Jake Hill) and a Rich Energy sponsored Honda (Josh Cook) took second place finishes last Sunday at Brands Hatch. Rokit had moved on from sponsoring Nic Hamilton in 2021...or was there an issue with the funding? The tentacles of these shysters stretch far and wide.  



#8 Widefoot2

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 16:44

What's a bit confusing is the prime money guy behind Rokit HAS a lot of $$$$. As one person in that article mentioned, it's almost like they were trying to lose money, perhaps in some tax scheme? Damn shady, whatever the motivation...



#9 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 17:43

They really missed a trick not turning that article into a book.

 

I would be surprised if Alana is not already working on that as we speak.



#10 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 18:38

What's a bit confusing is the prime money guy behind Rokit HAS a lot of $$$$. As one person in that article mentioned, it's almost like they were trying to lose money, perhaps in some tax scheme? Damn shady, whatever the motivation...

 

Right, Rokit always looked weird but you figured with DeJoria in the background there was something real going on. At least the money was real. But maybe he got taken for a ride too? Or wasn't that big an investor? 

 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for Williams, they stuck with them for a long time apparently not getting any money. Now they have a massive judgement in their favor, for tens of millions, but will they be able to claim that in any way? Maybe that's why they stuck with it, in the absence of any other paying sponsor fulfill the RoKiT contract to the absolute last letter and last deal, and collect a payout eventually in court.



#11 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 18:49

The Kendrick guy have lived doing this for 20 years?



#12 juicy sushi

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 19:45

Very interesting read, show how all the smart people in the world really is not smarter than us, and some may be even less so.

Survivor bias among the very rich is strong.  They cannot imagine that their success was overwhelming due to luck rather than their own inherent genius.



#13 red stick

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 22:03

Very interesting read, show how all the smart people in the world really is not smarter than us, and some may be even less so.

Timely!
https://www.theatlan...-dorsey/671619/

#14 FLB

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 22:29

You guys know Variety is owned by Jay Penske, right?



#15 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 22:39

 

Again and again I am confirmed in my long held belief that my book should be 'Success despite Management'.



#16 MattPete

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 22:50

 

H20 had, at the time, been working on a two-in-one product combining a cell phone and vape pen... equipped with Rok Mobile’s hodgepodge suite of streaming music, burial insurance and telemedicine services.

“The moment I met with the ROK founders, they got it,” John Cameron said in the press release announcing the joint venture.

 

A vape pen that streams music and provides burial insurance?  Count me in!



#17 Widefoot2

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 02:04

A vape pen that streams music and provides burial insurance?  Count me in!

That's the old version.  The new one includes a spade so you can dig your own grave.



#18 Afterburner

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 02:38

Very strange. My knowledge of corporate finance is limited, but could they have been using a network of doomed shell companies to promote a brand whist not having to follow through on payments for any of the advertising due to the bankruptcies? That's what it looks like to me at least.



#19 SophieB

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 07:01

You guys know Variety is owned by Jay Penske, right?

I absolutely did not know this! Fascinating, Variety has been around since the dawn of Hollywood.



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#20 Beri

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 07:24

If, and it is a very big if now that Penske seems involved with Variety, this all is true, I will have to eat my humble pie and swallow my pride. As I have always defended Rokit as being a sponsor that simply had no choice than to bail out on Williams during the Corona pandemic. Seems as it falls nothing short from a Ponzi Scheme.



#21 RedRabbit

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 07:58

ROK = Return of Kendrick 🤣

The ego on this guy

#22 BRG

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 10:00

You guys know Variety is owned by Jay Penske, right?

Just for clarity, are you suggesting that Jay Penske made up this whole story and forced his editor at Variety to print it?



#23 William Hunt

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 10:23

Rokit seems like Rich Energy 2.0, a ponzi scheme



#24 FLB

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 10:32

Just for clarity, are you suggesting that Jay Penske made up this whole story and forced his editor at Variety to print it?

Not at all. The opposite, in fact. I think the story may have been known for a while, but that nobody had dared to put all the pieces together. Until now.

 

The fact that Jay Penske is an actual stakeholder in the sport gives the story more credibility, IMHO. He can tell his editor what questions need to be asked and, more importantly, to whom they need to be asked.
 


Edited by FLB, 12 October 2022 - 10:46.


#25 Widefoot2

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 10:45

ROK = Return of Kendrick

The ego on this guy

I Googled to be sure, and you're not kidding:

 

https://www.expressa...-rok-the-world/



#26 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 11:32

Not at all. The opposite, in fact. I think the story may have been known for a while, but that nobody had dared to put all the pieces together. Until now.

 

The fact that Jay Penske is an actual stakeholder in the sport gives the story more credibility, IMHO. He can tell his editor what questions need to be asked and, more importantly, to whom they need to be asked.
 

 

I'm not sure he does more than any solid journalist. I did momentarily mix up Dragon(Penske's FE team) with Venturi(which had RoKiT 'sponsorship') and wondered if he did guide it a bit, but I think this is just Sportico doing their job rather than any Penske stardust. 


Edited by Ross Stonefeld, 12 October 2022 - 11:33.


#27 cpbell

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 15:26

Not sure many of them would have stayed by the sound of it:
 

What a love :lol: ly chap he sounds...



#28 loki

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 20:51

If, and it is a very big if now that Penske seems involved with Variety, this all is true, I will have to eat my humble pie and swallow my pride. As I have always defended Rokit as being a sponsor that simply had no choice than to bail out on Williams during the Corona pandemic. Seems as it falls nothing short from a Ponzi Scheme.

Penske Media has owned Variety for a while (the kid, not El Capitan) The Rockit deals have been cratering for about 5 years. It’s now that it’s caught up with them.  



#29 Obster

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 21:03

They also own Rolling Stone magazine...



#30 red stick

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 21:07

I always thought, "The floggings will continue until morale improves" was just gallows humor, but to some it's evidently a business model . . .

#31 FLB

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 21:33

They also own Rolling Stone magazine...

There are days when i think Jay Penske is sort of a latter-day Ted Field, though he doesn't seriously race himself.

 

 

One thing's for sure: He's built an empire for himself, out of his father's shadow.



#32 Widefoot2

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 21:48

 

One thing's for sure: He's built an empire for himself, out of his father's shadow.

I was under the impression that Sr. set up Jay to keep him out of his hair (i.e. messing with the important stuff).  Did Jay really do this on his own?



#33 potmotr

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 22:04

I was wondering why the Hilderbrand/Caulderon shared entry vanished this year. Bummer for them. 



#34 red stick

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 22:17

More of a bummer for Bourdais, whom Rokit essentially moved along to make room for Calderon, but he seems to have landed on his feet.

#35 loki

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 00:45

I was under the impression that Sr. set up Jay to keep him out of his hair (i.e. messing with the important stuff).  Did Jay really do this on his own?

The Variety, Billboard, Rolling Stone et al is a management partnership with Eldridge Industries.  Eldridge bought the media properties then entered into a partnership with Penske Media.  Penske’s company runs them, the capital was from Eldridge.  Eldridge owns several other sports, media and entertainment operations.



#36 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 12:46

More of a bummer for Bourdais, whom Rokit essentially moved along to make room for Calderon, but he seems to have landed on his feet.

 

It'd be good to know, given that car ran for a season and a half, how many checks were sent and actually accepted by a bank.



#37 potmotr

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 14:05

It'd be good to know, given that car ran for a season and a half, how many checks were sent and actually accepted by a bank.

 

I'm never quite sure how this works, but I've always presumed the stickers wouldn't go on, and the car wouldn't move an inch, until a very substantial first payment is made?



#38 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 14:22

You'd think. But teams are desperate sometimes and they might be fulfilling their side of the agreement and hoping for the best. And keeping the stickers on the car gives them legal cover in the eventual dispute. But if no money was forthcoming(and this applies to Foyt Indycar, Williams, and Venturi{?} in Formula E) you wouldn't think it'd last into the second season. 



#39 BRG

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 14:41

This remains one of the mysteries of this whole dodgy sponsor theme.  Both Rokit and Rich Energy MUST disburse some cash to the many team and sports that they sponsor, or nobody would give them the time of day.  



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#40 Sterzo

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 21:13

I'm never quite sure how this works, but I've always presumed the stickers wouldn't go on, and the car wouldn't move an inch, until a very substantial first payment is made?

I join you in not knowing, but way back in the seventies I read of entrants putting stickers on for a race or two to convince the sponsor. In the nineties, the company I worked for discussed the possibility of sponsoring the local circuit. They put our posters and banners all round the track for a significant meeting, free of charge. It was slightly embarrassing, as the board members then decided everybody got killed racing, which wouldn't help our image.



#41 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 21:57

I think the first payment happens, the next one is delayed, when arrive not in full, discussions as to proper payment, next payment does not arrive... something like that.



#42 GreenMachine

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 22:53

You'd think. But teams are desperate sometimes and they might be fulfilling their side of the agreement and hoping for the best. And keeping the stickers on the car gives them legal cover in the eventual dispute. But if no money was forthcoming(and this applies to Foyt Indycar, Williams, and Venturi{?} in Formula E) you wouldn't think it'd last into the second season. 

 

... helped by wanting something to be true, and acting as if it was/is true.



#43 FLB

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Posted 13 October 2022 - 23:19

I think the first payment happens, the next one is delayed, when arrive not in full, discussions as to proper payment, next payment does not arrive... something like that.

That seems to have been the scenario exprienced by Haas with Rich Energy.

 

 

The first check cleared easily.


Edited by FLB, 13 October 2022 - 23:19.


#44 Dolph

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 05:41

But Rokit was with Foyt for more than a year. They hardly started 2022 without 2021 money arriving, right? Maybe not.

#45 BRG

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 08:14

And I doubt if you play silly games when you are dealing with AJ!



#46 red stick

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 13:19

I'm assuming some money arrived, as, if the reporting is to be believed, Rokit essentially got to dictate personnel.  From all reports, Bourdais wished to stay at Foyt and Larry wanted to keep him.  But Kellett was in with the K-Line money, Kirkwood was talked about as a driver Andretti wished to park at Foyt for a year, under whatever financial agreement was arrived at, and Rokit insisted on promoting Calderon.  Which meant that when the music stopped, Bourdais was out at Foyt and it was once again too late to find a seat elsewhere.  I'd have to hope that the Foyts didn't permit all of this to take place on a mere promise of funding.


Edited by red stick, 14 October 2022 - 14:21.


#47 red stick

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 13:23

Also, given all the players involved, I'd have to wonder if the Foyts were caught out by the fact of Rokit's evident success in sports sponsorship.  Even if you suspected the financials were screwy, you'd probably think to yourself, well, they passed muster with Williams F1, NBA and NFL teams, and surely they did their due diligence . . .  

 

Why would Foyt think it was any smarter?  These things tend to become self-reassuring.  Until they're not.


Edited by red stick, 14 October 2022 - 13:24.


#48 juicy sushi

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 14:05

More of a bummer for Bourdais, whom Rokit essentially moved along to make room for Calderon, but he seems to have landed on his feet.

Given what Mike Hull had said in the past about Ganassi having wanted to sign Bourdais for years, but contract timing kept getting in the way, I think this was a case of a much-delayed but eagerly desired move for all parties.



#49 red stick

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 14:23

Given what Mike Hull had said in the past about Ganassi having wanted to sign Bourdais for years, but contract timing kept getting in the way, I think this was a case of a much-delayed but eagerly desired move for all parties.

Agreed.  Except I don't think sports cars was what Hull was taking about.  They'd already had Seb for that.  One of the great "What ifs?" in IndyCar is what Bourdais could have done with CGR five or six years ago.



#50 juicy sushi

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Posted 14 October 2022 - 15:06

Agreed.  Except I don't think sports cars was what Hull was taking about.  They'd already had Seb for that.  One of the great "What ifs?" in IndyCar is what Bourdais could have done with CGR five or six years ago.

Oh, definitely.  Bourdais instead of Kanaan in the 10 is a great "what if."  But yeah, they didn't mean sports cars, but it was definitely a very good landing pad for Bourdais when Rokit ruined things for everyone.