sports in the spotlight
Posted by Andrew Chan on December 6, 2012 09:28 AM
On Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant became the fifth and youngest member to enter the NBA's exclusive 30,000 point club. He joins Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as the NBA celebrates in its video recounting Bryant's journey.
Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 5, 2012 10:29 AM
Uncle Drew (Cleveland Caveliers' breakout star Kyrie Irving) and Wes (Minnesota Timberwolves' star Kevin Love) are back and on a mission: to go out and get the old team back together. The players and spectators at a Los Angeles basketball court had no idea what was about to happen and were told that they would be filmed for some "basketball B-roll footage" for a local TV station. The resulting video, a mix of product placement and branded entertainment, was uploaded by Pepsi MAX on Oct. 30 and already has more than 1.5 million views.
The LA crowd is in disbelief when these two old-timers give it a go in the court, and reveal how much better they really are. It's quite a spectacle, the second in the series so far, and a definite win for Pepsi MAX — although surely they can't keep fooling locals with NBA All-Stars in disguise much longer. The PepsiCo-owned brand released the first "Uncle Drew" video with Irving earlier this year, which was then turned into a 30-second commercial that ran during the NBA finals last season. More details in the ESPN interview and behind-the-scenes clips below.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 14, 2012 10:07 AM
If yo-yoing was a major sport, Chinese athletics brand Li-Ning would have a lock on the market for yo-yo gear. In the last four years, the brand has gone from potential global dominance to firing its CEO to moderate success at the London Olympics.
But struggling Li-Ning may be about to catch a big break. If rumors are true — and they appear to be — Li-Ning just drafted NBA superstar Dwyane Wade.
As first reported, and then confirmed, by blog Sneakerwatch, two-time world champion, NBA Finals MVP, and Miami Heat star Wade is going to pass on renewing his deal with Michael Jordan's Nike-backed Jordan Brand and instead sign onto Li-Ning's roster. That's huge news for Li-Ning, and a blow to Jordan Brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 26, 2012 01:01 PM
The fever pitch of Linsanity has died down a bit since mid-February, when every move New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin made was scrutinized and revered. His spot on his brother’s couch was ballyhooed as the mark of a man who overly impressed with himself and his status as an NBA player. His entire manner was an antidote to the general self-promoting boorishness that is generally expected from his fellow NBA players.
Plus, the guy went to Harvard! And helped build the Asian market even further and bring in more bucks for the sport! Not to mention being the very model of a modern Asian American. What else could the league ask for?
A few others, of course, saw Lin’s rise as a big opportunity to make some money for themselves as well and went ahead and filed for the “Linsanity” trademark. As we recently noted, Lin — who is not yet confirmed to be returning as a Knick — did the same in an attempt to keep himself from potentially seeing his own name on hot pads and t-shirts and ice-cream flavorings (and, naturally, make a few dollars down the road as well).Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 29, 2012 02:55 PM
New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin couldn’t take the court for the final five weeks of the regular season or the initial round of the playoffs due to a partially torn meniscus in his left knee, but the guy certainly left his mark on NBA basketball and the world this season, even if his gear is half-price in the NY Knicks web store.
For most of the month of February, Lin was seemingly unstoppable both as a basketball player and as some sort of cultural healer, bringing together people (and punsters) of all stripes, as well as cable TV execs who needed to get a deal done pronto. The guy could do no wrong. Everywhere you turned: Linsanity.
There were more than few people who jumped at the chance of making money off the pun-worthy moniker name, of course. And a few ever filed to get the trademark “Linsanity.” One of them, though, was the guy with the degree in economics from Harvard, Jeremy Lin himself. The Huffington Post reports that Lin is the last man standing in the battle for the “Linsanity” trademark.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 1, 2012 04:02 PM
The New Jersey Nets have pretty much stunk for a few years now. The last time the team had an actual winning record was way back in 2005-'06.
Since May of 2010, they’ve had a new majority owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, the first foreign owner of any NBA team and the recent loser of the Russian presidential race to Vladimir Putin. And next season, they will have a new home and a new look. The team is moving to Brooklyn to a brand-spanking-new arena and the team took two measures to celebrate the change now that their New Jersey days are over.
The Brookyn Nets also unveiled a video, entitled “Hello Brooklyn,” to celebrate the transition to the team's new home and stadium as well as the new logo — which was designed, by the way, by Nets minority owner Jay-Z.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2012 10:01 AM
As lawyers try to shut down Linsanity-branded medical marijuana (from the you can't make this stuff up files), Jeremy Lin's brand appears to be thriving under new New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
So it should come as no surprise that the world’s largest beverage maker (and #1 best global brand) would like to have a little chunk of the Linsanity action for itself.
No, Coca-Cola isn’t going the Volvo route and signing New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin to an endorsement deal. Instead, the company is capitalizing on the sudden interest in the team from Asian fans by investing in some Chinese-language ads that will be placed in Madison Square Garden.
The ads placed inside the Garden will be placed on rotating signboards courtside, a prime perch because they will be seen on broadcasts of the game, which have been getting a lot of attention this season from Lin fans in China, the Associated Press notes.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 14, 2012 03:05 PM
Sure, the New York Knicks are on a six-game losing streak (their second this season), leading to the ouster/resignation today of head coach Mike D'Antoni. Sure, point guard Jeremy Lin hasn’t been topping 20 points as consistently as he did when he came into the starting lineup back in early February and led the team to a seven-game winning streak. Sure, Linsanity isn’t quite as intense in the Big Apple as it once was, where his merchandise is being marked down in Times Square.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who still love the guy, who you may have heard is the first Taiwanese- or Chinese-American to play in the NBA. Some of those folks are execs at Volvo, which is reportedly considering signing the Harvard grad to an endorsement deal in China, the company’s “fastest-growing market,” according to Bloomberg, and a huge market for Lin. Volvo is hoping to be selling 800,000 vehicles there by 2020.Continue reading...