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NEWS REAL

• The Professional Fighters League has formed a partnership with Mike Tyson, with the first initiative "Mike Tyson's New Fight Game: The PFL." Tyson will provide “fighter perspective, inside analysis, and irreverent discussion never before experienced in combat sports. The series debuts tonight (Oct. 10 10 PM ET) on PFL and Tyson digital and social platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

• Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, said she would represent Japan, where she holds a citizenship, in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

• NBC Sports Regional Networks has signed a partnership with Religion of Sports — the media company founded by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra — to develop and produce "Head Strong: Mental Health and Sports," a “comprehensive multi-platform content initiative on mental health as well as men’s health issues.” The joint project will launch in November.

• Per NFL Media: Consumption figures through Week 5: More than 142 million people have watched NFL games. Viewership is up 6%. The entire list of Top 20 TV shows this season are NFL games.

The Top Three games to date all involve the Dallas Cowboys: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys (Fox, Oct 6) 24.6M; New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (Fox, Sept. 8) 24.3M; Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints (NBC, Sept. 29) 24.2M.

• PGA Tour Champions and Ascension signed a four-year partnership to host a new pro golf tournament in St. Louis. The Ascension Charity Classic will debut Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2020 at Norwood Hills Country Club in North County. It will be the first time the PGA Tour has hosted an annual event in the St. Louis region since 2001.

• Zenni Optical, based in San Francisco, whose alliances include being an official partner with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, has expanded its role with the Bulls, which features a five-year deal as the team’s jersey patch logo partner.

Zenni has unveiled its Off-Court Style collection, supported by Bulls members and brand ambassadors including Zach LaVine, Robin Lopez and Wendell Carter Jr. being outfitted with their “favorite Zenni frames and matching them with their off-court style to give fans an exclusive look at what they wear when they aren’t in uniform.

• Halloween this year is Oct. 31, and retailers, marketers and consumers are ready for another season of trick-or-treat. Total spend on Halloween 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC. Full story here. 

• The Paley Center for Media, NY, will honor the 100th season of the NFL with a new exhibit: "A Century of Football: Celebrating the NFL’s 100th Season," free and open to the public (thru Oct. 27).

POLL POSITION

Best Chance To Win 2019-20 Stanley Cup Based On Player Voting Via NHL.com

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 45%
  • St. Louis Blues 11%
  • Dallas Stars 10%
  • San Jose Sharks 7%
  • Boston Bruins 4%
  • Colorado Avalanche 4%
  • Washington Capitals 4%
  • Nashville Predators  4%
  • New Jersey Devils  2%
  • Philadelphia Flyers 2%
  • Toronto Maple Leafs 2%
  • Vegas Golden Knights 2%
KEEPING SCORE

Most Popular NBA Player Jerseys (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
5. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
6. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
7. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
8. Zion Williamson New Orleans Pelicans
9. Carmelo Anthony (most recently with Houston Rockets)
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets

Most Popular Player Merchandise (based on eBay sales October 2018-October 2019)
1. LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
3. Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets
4. Kyrie Irving Brooklyn Nets
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
6. Paul George Los Angeles Clippers
7. James Harden Houston Rockets
8. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat (retired)
9. Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
10. Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
SOURCE: STUBHUB.COM

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Oct. 11-13
1. Joker $55M
2. Addams Family $30.3M
3. Gemini Man $20.5M
4. Abominable $6.2M
5. Downton Abbey $4.9M
6. Hustlers $3.9M
7. Judy $3.3M
8. It 2 $3.2M
9. Jexi $3.1M
10. Ad Astra $1.9M
BoxOfficeMojo.com

SEARCH

NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

Nike Mo Farah Marathon See More Ads Below

COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Wednesday
Jan242018

LeBron James Pitches Sprite as Baseball Alter Ego Big Taste In New Campaign

By Barry Janoff

January 24, 2018: MLB pitchers and catchers are not scheduled to report for Spring Training until the week of February 12, but don’t tell that to LeBron James, who gets his MLB groove on in a new multi-media campaign from Sprite in which he stars as ace relief pitcher Big Taste.

The effort, "Big Taste Cuts Through,” is intended to show "Sprite's ability to cut through thirst with its cool, crisp, clear, caffeine free taste,” according to the brand.

James, who has been a product endorser since joining the NBA in 2003, has openly talked about being a fan of the New York Yankees.

Here, he gets to channel former Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera (albeit with facial hair closer to Baseball Hall of Fame relief pitcher Rollie Fingers), coming out of the bullpen in a close game to strike out feared hitter Thirst.

“It was fun to do something different and play the role of what felt more like an alter ego in Big Taste,” James said in a statement.

“Sprite is always coming up with creative ways to tell their story that connect with fans, and this time that meant pulling on the stirrups and taking the mound for that big strikeout, which is something you dream about doing as a kid.”

A 60-second spot that anchors the campaign will be supported by Internet and social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hash tag “#WannaSprite.”

Sprite said that we would “continue to see Big Taste over the next few weeks” as the real 2018 MLB season approaches.

Lead agency is Wieden + Kennedy New York.

The spot also features Oakland-based rapper Kamaiyah (Interscope Records), who plays James’s catcher, “Ice-Ya.”

Kamaiyah this past summer was part of the Sprite Cold Lyrics Series, featuring limited-edition Sprite packaging that displayed lyrics from six musicians, also including Vince Staples, Lil Yachty, DRAM, Vic Mensa and Kap G.

Each artist was chosen by Sprite “because of their unique perspective and reputation for staying true to themselves.”

According to Dipal Shah, director of integrated marketing content, Sprite, “Bringing a basketball player and hip-hop artist together to cut through thirst unmistakably makes for a lot of fun content.

“For us, it’s always 'Sprite Season,' so we’re excited to kick this campaign off and to share all of the refreshing moments that we’ve captured with Sprite fans over the next couple of months,” said Shah.

The lead spot, which takes place in a nondescript stadium outfitted with Sprite signage and lemon-lime colors, is filled with baseball images integrated with Sprite references.

“If you’re just joining us we have a scorcher of a Sprite commercial here,” a voiceover/game announcer says as the door to the bullpen opens.

We see the back of a player, with Big Thirst and number 12 oz. on his jersey. “He looks a lot like LeBron James,” says the voiceover.

As James faces the batter Thirst (wearing jersey 99-degrees), catcher Ice-Ya/Kamaiyah gives a sign by shaking a glass filled with ice cubes.

James, wearing a Spirite lime-green glove that has been chilled in a freezer and a pair of custom Nike baseball cleats, uses a Sprite can instead of a ball. When he pitches, and the batter swings and misses, the umpire calls, “Sprrrrrrr-ite.”

The crowd cheers and then each of the fans drink a Sprite in unison.

"Continuing the lightheartedness of the ‘Wanna Sprite’ integrated marketing campaign, we wanted to find a fun way to remind consumers of the big taste that a cool, crisp and refreshing Sprite has,” Bobby Oliver, brand director, for Sprite, said in a statement.

“We decided to put LeBron James and Kamaiyah together in a larger-than-life environment that we’re not typically used to seeing them in, and the result is pretty refreshing.”

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