DQ to Cuban: Try Managing Our Stores

Dairy Queen has a message for Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: You also might have trouble managing one of the fast-food restaurants.

Cuban, who was fined an NBA-record $500,000 Tuesday for his criticism of NBA officials, said the league's director of officials Ed Rush "might have been a great ref, but I wouldn't hire him to manage a Dairy Queen."

Minnesota-based Dairy Queen's response came Thursday in a news release:

"We are certainly impressed that Dairy Queen is top of mind with Mark Cuban. We like the publicity he's generated for us. But Mr. Cuban may be surprised to find out how much it takes to manage a Dairy Queen. We invite Mr. Cuban in to manage a Dairy Queen for a day."

And Cuban said he'd give it a shot.

"Actually I would love to do it for a day," Cuban told ESPN.com's Darren Rovell by e-mail Thursday. "I brought up DQ because I love 'em. Any additional pounds I have are due exclusively to Blizzards and Blizzards alone.

"I want DQs to continue to be as professionally managed as they are, which when combined for my love of Blizzards led me to issue my public warning to their senior management about potential employees."

Meet 'Tony,' He Specializes in Blizzards

Cuban will work with the company to figure out when and where he will manage a DQ. He said said he wants to wear a uniform with the name "Tony" embroidered on it, for no reason other than he would consider it funny.

Cuban said he's looking forward to making his favorite DQ item: A Blizzard, the restaurant's signature milkshake. Whichever location he ends up at better order plenty of Butterfingers and Reese's Pieces, his favorite flavors.

The NBA has fined Cuban eight times for a total of just over $1 million since he purchased the team in January 2000, mostly for his criticism of referees.

The publicity generated by Cuban's remarks and fine was worth as much as $1 million to $2 million in equivalent advertising for Dairy Queen, Eric Wright of Joyce Julius & Associates, a sponsorship evaluation firm, told ESPN.com.

"Maybe next time a sports fan is looking for some ice cream, Dairy Queen might pop into their head first because of Mark Cuban," Wright said.

Wright suggested Cuban might be able to offset his future fines by featuring companies in his future tirades.

"It wasn't something I even thought about," Cuban told ESPN.com by e-mail. "(Dairy Queen) just came to mind because I love Dairy Queen Blizzards."

Information from ESPN.com sports business writer Darren Rovell and The Associated Press was used in this report.