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LeBron’s Appearance In Finals
Added Interest For League
THE RING'S THE THING: In DC, Tim Lemke writes it “likely will take several rings, along with a half-dozen performances similar to Game 5 [of the Eastern Conference Finals, where he scored 29 of the Cavaliers’ final 30 points] along the way, to cement his status as one of the game’s all-time greats” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/6). In San Jose, Ann Killion there are "two things we like most in sports: fresh faces who fulfill the hype, and classy champions. LeBron has the chance to be both, though it’s unlikely,” as the Cavs are a big underdog in the Finals against the Spurs (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 6/6).
Tournaments, Pro-Am Partners
Upset With Wie’s Recent Actions
WRIST SHOT: These reports follow Wie’s withdrawal at last week’s Ginn Tribute when, after being 14 over par through 16 holes, she withdrew citing a wrist injury. Some have speculated that she withdrew because of an LPGA rule that states any player shooting 88 or higher is barred from competing in another event for the rest of the season. With Wie pulling out of the tournament on Thursday, but practicing at Bulle Rock, site of this week's LPGA Championship, on Saturday, LPGAer Annika Sorenstam said yesterday, "It’s a little funny that you pull out with an injury and then you start grinding.” But Wie said of speculation that she withdrew because of the rule of 88, “I don't think about 88. I mean, that's just ridiculous” (WASHINGTON POST, 6/6). Read Wie's full explanation for the withdrawal (ASAPSPORTS.com, 6/5). For a link to Wie's full explanation of her withdrawal, visit SportsBusinessDaily.com.
Radical Media Signs Deal
For Overseas Distribution
NEW STRATEGIES: Anheuser-Busch VP/Digital Entertainment & Branded Content Jim Schumacker said that A-B has enlisted New Media Strategies “to reach out to bloggers and make them aware of Bud.TV content.” For example, the agency “might contact NASCAR blogs when video” on Budweiser endorser Dale Earnhardt Jr. is posted (ADWEEK, 6/4 issue).
TMS Using Wheldon-Patrick
Incident To Promote Race
BIFFLE TO DEI? There have been reports that DEI is interested in signing driver Greg Biffle to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season, and ESPN.com’s Blount added Budweiser "may stay at DEI." Blount: “If that’s true, that gives (Biffle) an automatic sponsor to jump in the (No.) 8 car” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 6/5).
JUST DUCKY: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Michael Smith cites sources as saying that Aflac is “on the verge of securing a multiyear team sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing,” and the company is also talking to NASCAR “about acquiring official status” in the supplemental insurance category. Allstate currently holds rights to the auto, home and life insurance categories, but declined an offer for supplemental insurance. Aflac plans to be the primary sponsor of Biffle’s No. 16 Ford for four Nextel Cup races this year. Ameriquest is Biffle’s main primary sponsor, but the company is looking to “sell off races and get out of the final two years of its deal” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/4 issue).
The Association of Independent Commercial Producers held their 16th annual awards show last night at MoMA in N.Y. Sports-related honorees for '07 were as follows (THE DAILY).COMPANY/PROUDUCTAD TITLECATEGORYAGENCY
Nike Zoom LeBron IV “Pool” Visual Style Wieden+Kennedy Nike Air Max 360 “Defy” Cinematography Wieden+Kennedy/Amsterdam HP Pavilion Notebooks “Shaun White” Graphic Design Goodby, Silverstein & Partners HP Pavilion Notebooks “Jay-Z” Graphic Design Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Nike Golf “Swing” Original Music Wieden+Kennedy adidas Adicolor Podcast “Red” Sound Design IDEALOGUE adidas 1 Basketball “3 Courts” Low Budget Cutwater
A complete list of winners and clips is available at aicpshow.com.
USA TODAY’s Tom Pedulla, in a sports section Cover Story, notes Patriots QB Tom Brady’s current relationship with supermodel Gisele Bundchen and his baby, due in mid-August, with actress Bridget Moynahan. Univ. of Oregon Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Dir Paul Swangard sees the relationship with Bundchen “as a positive, making Brady as compelling for ‘Entertainment Tonight’ as he is for ‘The NFL Today.’” Swangard: “His new celebrity status may create crossover opportunities that wouldn't normally be available to him” (USA TODAY, 6/6).
SKATER BOYS: In N.Y., Matt Higgins reports the California High School Skateboard Club, a league of teams from seven schools in the L.A. area that began competing in April, is being backed by Nike, which will provide the league’s most valuable skater with two pairs of shoes per month for a year. Nike Skateboard Division Marketing Manager Kevin Imamura said that the company “chose to back the league, in part, because its structure hews to skateboarding tradition.” Imamura: “It becomes less about being a team and more about being a crew or a group of friends” (N.Y. TIMES, 6/6).
CROCS: Crocs yesterday unveiled its new You by Crocs line of women's fashion footwear, which includes nine boots and shoes priced from $149-299 a pair. That is “far above the $30 price on Crocs's standard shoes.” The line, designed by Crocs’ Italian subsidiary, EXO Italia, will be available at retailers and online this fall (WSJ.com, 6/5).