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Volume 24 No. 157

Marketing and Sponsorship

The NBA's Christmas Day marathon of games "always produces a wave of new advertisements," and Tuesday's quintuple-header "brought new spots" from Thunder F Kevin Durant and Clippers G Chris Paul, according to Ben Golliver of Other recent spots starring Clippers F Blake Griffin and Heat F LeBron James also were "featured heavily in the rotation, as were the NBA's own Christmas-themed commercials which trickled out over the last month." Durant was "featured in an ad for Sprint, which opens with him dressed in pajamas that are far too small, surprising a mother and her son as they begin their day in the kitchen." Durant, "embodying the family’s husband, astounds the boy and apparently excites the mother, before his height is put to good use around the house in a twist ending." Paul "starred in a State Farm ad that played off his skills as a distributor" and included "his long-lost twin 'Cliff.'" Griffin's recently released ad for Kia shows him with an adolescent version of himself and "suggests the younger Griffin should play a basketball-themed arcade game while riding a mechanical horse." Meanwhile, director and Knicks fan Spike Lee "paid homage" to former NBAer Bernard King in a spot that debuted last week. Finally, Durant and his mother, Wanda Pratt, "star in a black-and-white advertisement that explores the trust built up in their mother/son relationship" (, 12/25).

CHRISTMAS CRITIQUES: The 10 teams that played on Christmas Day all wore special uniforms that primarily featured one color. In California, Kevin Ding wrote if you "loved the Lakers' nearly all white uniforms Tuesday, sorry." If they "hurt your eyes, good news" as the team is "not wearing them again this season." It was a "Christmas-only uniform production by the NBA" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 12/26). ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy said, “Put on your sunglasses for these Knicks uniforms. Carmelo Anthony must feel he’s back at Syracuse” (“Knicks-Lakers,” ABC, 12/25). But in Boston, Gary Washburn wrote Celtics G Rajon Rondo "liked the Christmas variation." Rondo said, "These are the best ones, the green on green. I just don't like the original. It's time to change it up" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/26).

The Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association has "revoked its contract" with spokesperson and former U.S. Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton after she confirmed she worked as an escort, according to the AP. The association's BOD cited the "moral turpitude clause in the contract, saying the situation would reflect unfavorably" on the organization (AP, 12/26). In Madison, Dee Hall reported other organizations were "re-evaluating their ties" with Favor Hamilton. Spokespersons for the Univ. of Wisconsin School of Education, Foot Locker and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series "all said they were reconsidering Favor Hamilton's promotional work for their groups in light of the bizarre revelation." Foot Locker Cross Country Championships Midwest Regional Coordinator Peter Henkes said that it is "unlikely Favor Hamilton would be allowed to work -- even as a volunteer -- for company events involving children." Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series PR Dir Dan Cruz also said that Favor Hamilton's role with the company "will likely end." Cruz said that she had "participated in four or five health and fitness expos for the organization in the past year." UW School of Education Associate Dean Dawn Crim said that the university "has worked with Favor Hamilton for 'several years' in a one-week summer camp to encourage middle school-age students to pursue college." Hall reported Favor Hamilton was "scheduled to lead the 'Movin' Minds' camp in July," but her name "had been removed" from the camp's website by late last week (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, 12/22).

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