SBD/Issue 216/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

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  • Landis Claims Innocence, Blasts Leaks Of Testing Results

    Landis Lashes Out At UCI, WADA
    Officials For Leaking Test Results
    Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, whose “B” sample tested positive for synthetic testosterone and an unacceptable testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio, appeared on several morning shows today to deny using performance-enhancing substances. On NBC’s “Today” show, Landis said, “These tests have been somewhat misrepresented in the press. ... They’re subjective tests and we’re going to find out exactly why these phenomena have occurred.” When asked about clearing his name and racing again, Landis said, “If I had to choose between the two, clearing my name is the more important one” (“Today,” NBC, 8/7). After his “A” sample came back positive, Landis said one reason could have been that he drank Jack Daniel’s the night before Stage 17. But Landis, appearing on ABC’s “GMA,” said “Number one, the whiskey idea was not mine from the beginning. And the dehydration was a theory from the lawyers, which I must say I hired in Spain to represent me at the opening of the ‘B’ sample, but was not authorized by me to say something like that” (ABC, 8/7). Landis, on how confident he is of being vindicated: “Based on how many times the rules have already been broken, I’m not confident that the system works. But I know the truth, and ... we’re going to do whatever we can do to fix it” (“Cold Pizza,” ESPN2, 8/7). Landis also appeared on CBS’ “Early Show” (THE DAILY).

    FIX THE LEAK: Landis also “lashed out at officials” from the Int’l Cycling Union (UCI) and WADA “for giving information on his case to the media while not providing him with reports on his test results.” Landis: “I just got the information on the A sample a day-and-a-half ago. I had to find out about the B from reading it in the media.” Landis “pointed out that American sprinter Justin Gatlin’s positive A test for an illegal testosterone ratio was not announced by track and field officials for three months.” Landis said that the “biggest mistake he [made] was responding to media reports as they surfaced, giving the impression he was coming up with new excuses daily.” But he added, “There’s some kind of agenda there. I just don’t know what it is” (Sal Ruibal, USA TODAY, 8/7).

    TWO OPINIONS: OLN cycling analyst Phil Liggett “still believes Landis did not cheat and called for the French lab conducting the test to be decertified by the [UCI] for repeated violations of confidentiality protocol.” Liggett, citing leaks to French newspaper L’Equipe around Landis and Lance Armstrong, said, “The lab has proven it’s very unethical in the way it does its testing” (PALM BEACH POST, 8/6). But former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond said, “I doubt very much that (Landis is) going to win an appeal. It’s pretty black and white. ... This is going to be a hard one to make an excuse for.” More LeMond: “This conspiracy theory of the Europeans against the Americans (is unwarranted). ... They’re very ethical” (“Nightly News,” NBC, 8/5).

    ROGGE SUPPORTS UCI: IOC President Jacques Rogge, before reports of Landis’ positive “B” sample surfaced, rose “to the defense” of the UCI, “which he says is one of the federations ‘doing as much as they can’ to fight doping.” Rogge noted that UCI “supplied information to Spanish authorities [which] led to a number of top riders being banned from the Tour de France.” Rogge: “It would be wrong to throw the baby with the bathwater” (AROUND THE RINGS, 8/5 issue).

    Phonak Severs Ties With Landis
    Following Results Of “B” Sample Test
    CUTTING TIES WITH LANDIS: The AP’s Jerome Pugmire reported Landis’ Switzerland-based Phonak team “immediately severed ties” with the cyclist, and the UCI “said it would ask USA Cycling to open disciplinary proceedings.” Phonak in a statement said, “Landis will continue to have legal options to contest the findings. However, this will be his personal affair, and the Phonak team will no longer be involved in that.” While Tour de France Dir Christian Prudhomme said that Landis “no longer was considered champion,” the UCI must rule on any decision to strip his title. UCI attorney Philippe Verbiest said that he “would officially remain Tour champion pending the U.S. disciplinary process.” The case is expected to go before USADA, which “could take months, possibly with appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.” Landis’ attorney, Howard Jacobs, “plans to go after the UCI for allegedly leaking information regarding the sample testing” (AP, 8/5).

    EFFECTS ON CYCLING: OLN commentator Frankie Andreu said the sport of cycling “is in as big a mess as it’s ever been. It’s not up to the Tour or anyone else to clean up cycling. It’s up to the riders. They are killing the sport by cheating, and it takes away from sponsors and fans who want to be involved” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6). More Andreu, on Landis’ story: “This is more than a blemish. It’s a major stain. The Tour will survive. Other races will go on. The sport won’t come to a screeching halt. But I don’t know how it’s going to bring in new sponsors” (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/6). Liggett: “There are one or two races that I knew were being planned that I think might be scrapped because it’s too close to the controversy and it might be reintroduced in one or two years’ time. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the sport has probably dropped back one or two seasons” (PALM BEACH POST, 8/6).

    REAX FROM PRINT: In N.Y., George Vecsey: “Cycling has become professional wrestling. ... It’s hard to imagine why reputable companies continue to sponsor cycling for the purpose of publicity” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6). But in San Jose, Ann Killion wrote, “Can cycling recover? Maybe, but it will take a while. ... Still, the Tour de France is epic and enthralling and won’t turn into pro wresting overnight” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/6). A USA TODAY editorial states, “Punishing athletes alone doesn’t seem to work; trainers, coaches, owners, managers, sponsors and other enablers should also be held accountable” (USA TODAY, 8/7).

    DRUG CULTURE: In Miami, Greg Cote wrote, “We have reached a place in sports where we understand with some regret that almost any feel-good story — any unlikely hero or great accomplishment — is subject to scrutiny and skepticism, pending the next test result” (MIAMI HERALD, 8/6). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote while Landis could be telling the truth, “Five years ago, we might have bought his excuses and insistence of innocence. Not now. The liars and cheaters have worn us down” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/6). In Chicago, Jay Mariotti: “Because so many athletes are using steroids despite the investigations and publicity risks, they have cast aspersions over the innocent who never have used juice. No one can be trusted anymore” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/7).

    Print | Tags: IOC, NBC
  • Flashy Entrance: Dwyane Wade To Star In New Lincoln Spot

    Heat G Dwyane Wade is featured in one of four new ads, via Y&R Detroit, for the ’07 Lincoln Navigator, which arrives in dealerships in September. The ad shows Wade driving the redesigned SUV through an urban section of town when he sees a makeshift basketball court with children looking up at a broken hoop. Wade steps out of the car and calls the kids over to help pull out a new basketball hoop and basketballs for everyone. Wade then pulls a bike out of the car and throws the keys of the car to the coach and says, “My dream is to leave the world better than I found it” (Ford Motor Co.).

    Print | Tags: Miami Heat
  • College Football Videogame Bringing In Money For EA, Schools

    EA Sports’ “NCAA Football 07” is “expected to produce millions [for the company] and six-figure paydays for some institutions whose football teams are traditionally strong,” according to Andrew Carter of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Last year’s version of the game generated franchise-record revenue of over $79M, up almost $65M from ‘01. The ’06 game made “more than enough for EA to spread royalties among every school represented in the game.” There are different tiers that determine how much each school collects. Florida State received around $130,000 from last year’s game, while Florida received $112,000. Reports had Texas receiving $110,000. The money is given “for the use of their school colors, logos, uniforms and for the depiction of their stadiums.” College Licensing Co. (CLC) COO Derek Eiler said that EA Sports, which also has college basketball and baseball games, “is now the company’s single largest licensee.” The T-shirt category is CLC’s “most profitable product category, followed by headwear,” with electronics ranking third, and “no game is as profitable as NCAA Football.” EA Tiburon VP/Marketing Todd Citrin said that “NCAA Football” “ranks behind Madden and alongside the NBA Live franchise in popularity.” Carter notes the NCAA forbids the use of player names to be in the game, but it allows “their uniform numbers and physical attributes and talents –- like height, weight and speed, for example -– to be represented” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/7). The game also includes a feature where users can enter in the names of each player (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: EA Sports, NBA, NCAA
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