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SBD/Issue 163/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing
Published May 19, 2003
James Reportedly "Loved" The Signs
LOVE FROM LEBRON: In Akron, Tom Reed wrote adidas' outdoor ads aimed at LeBron James, which will continue throughout May, received a "ringing endorsement" from James. James' family publicist Alexandria Boone: "LeBron loved them. He thought they were the coolest thing." Akron-based Malone Advertising VP/Media Carol Howell: "It's an interesting idea, and whoever came up with it did their homework." Hill & Knowlton worldwide head of sports marketing John Eckel "doesn't recall ever seeing a similar campaign." Eckel: "These ads are not designed to sell a brand or build a product. They do nothing to connect anyone else other than LeBron. It shows the extra mile they are going to get him" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/17). James' agent Aaron Goodwin: "I'm sure he enjoys the fact that he's being courted by Adidas. I think Adidas is making it known they want LeBron" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/17).
NOTES: In Phoenix, Tom Zoellner noted the city of Phoenix "is considering opening up the halls of government to corporate sponsorship" by adopting an official drink for "about $1[M] a year, plus a cut of the profits." The deal "would likely involve a soft drink company gaining exclusive distribution rights in city buildings and parks, plus the right to advertise as 'the official drink of Phoenix'" (AZ REPUBLIC, 5/18)....NBC's Jay Leno, on car companies like Honda, Jeep and Hummer marketing footwear lines via licensing deals with shoe companies: "Car companies selling shoes? Doesn't say much about the reliability of the cars, does it? 'Here's some shoes. You're gonna need them!'" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 5/16)....In DC, Steve Nearman wrote the '04 Vaultgirls Calendar "showcases elite women pole vaulters in action, some even in pole vaulting action." Profits from the sale of the calendar, which features athletes Mel Mueller, Tracy O'Hara, Mary Sauer, Jillian Schwartz, Jill Starkey and Kellie Suttle, will be used to "support the costs of preparation for the" '04 Olympics. Nearman: "The 12 monthly shots are divided evenly among vaulting poses and glamour beach shots, revealing but not over the bar" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/18).