June 15, 2009: Nike, General Mills and adidas were quickest to the draw to help the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate the team's 2009 finals victory over the Orlando Magic, while the NHL ramped up more than 100 items to celebrate the Pittsburgh Penguins defeating the Detroit Red Wings to win the 2009 Stanley Cup. The sweat was still evident on NBA finals MVP Kobe Bryant's face when ABC ran a Nike spot from the "Most Valuable Puppets" series which, although not stating that Bryant and the Lakers had won the title, had the LeBron James puppet shouting, "It's Kobe time!" The spot, "Quickness," has James asking Bryant to prove how fast he is, with Kobe accomplishing several tests of speed and, ultimately, appearing to be in two places at once. Immediately after the buzzer sounded on the Lakers 99-86 Game 5 victory, a spot ran on ABC touting adidas goods at www.NBAstore.com as the destination for a Lakers NBA championship package: T-shirt, cap, towel, DVD for 79.99. And soon there after, General Mills was out with the news of a Wheaties box that will arrive at retail in July to honor the Lakers. The 15.6-oz box will include head coach Phil jackson, Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza and other members of the squad.
Meanwhile, NHL.com was up and running with Penguins championship gear, touting "over 100 championship items to choose from, including T-shirts, hats, pucks, magnets and a Sidney Crosby bobblehead. And the Pittsburgh Fan, a Pittsburgh-based retailer of licensed products for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates, unveiled Pittsburgh Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup Champions merchandise on Friday night. Merchandise is available to purchase immediately at www.ThePittsburghFan.com, and will be available at their retail store, located across from PNC Park in Pittsburgh.