Dale Begg-Smith: Olympic Medalist and Ad Guru?

February 15th, 2010 by Greg Goodson Leave a reply »
  • SumoMe

The Olympics have been on television now for three days and have been the hot topic of blogs, tweets, and searches across the internet. To say the least, it’s been fun following the winter Olympics this year. The internet has made this Winter Olympics probably one of the most interactive Olympics yet.  During the Olympics in 2006, Twitter was just an idea; now you can follow the Olympics in real time. At the games in Torino, internet television wasn’t openly accepted and Hulu hadn’t been created yet. Now, NBC is frantically trying to stop internet users from finding live video and illicit video clips, essentially playing a game of digital whack-a-mole (serves them right… this time delay is no good!)

Missed the opening ceremony? Not a problem! It’s a new age to say the least.

All of this aside, I had the television on in the background earlier, where the medal ceremony for the men’s mogul freestyle skiing event was taking place. Then I heard about the silver medalist, Dale Begg-Smith, who was a skier who had helped fund his training through his internet marketing company, which essentially made him a millionaire.

I looked into it and found some articles about his business. It seems that he started several companies with his brother when he was a teenager years ago that was based around pop-up and pop-under internet advertising. While no one likes pop-up ads, we’re talking about the internet just after the dot-com bust. The internet in 2001. I can’t believe how much has changed since then.

Regardless, it seems that Dale Begg-Smith’s company was controversial – not because of pop-up ads (as annoying as they are), but because of the adware and spyware associated with it. I am not going to pick a side, but considering he was able to scheme this while training to become an Olympian (he won gold in 2006), and become a millionaire all while he was a teenager, that’s just beyond me. As a wide-eyed teenager sitting in front of my computer in 1999 picturing all the opportunities the internet could provide me, whose to say I wouldn’t have done the same thing. I mean come on, my group of friends had our own money-making schemes (think AllAdvantage.com… man, that’s old school).

It was funny finding out about all of this. I never thought I would be reading about a gold medalist who was into this kind of form of internet advertising. My opinion: Dale Begg-Smith is a smart guy. The internet back in 2000 was like a free-for-all in some respects. Of course, I don’t condone adware and spyware. I think it would be cool to sit down with Dale and talk internet advertising over lunch.


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