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What Are You Watching In May 2018
 
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QUICK HITS

• The Cleveland Browns have been named as the team to be featured in HBO’s 2018 series Hard Knocks. The Browns were 0-16 last season and then selected QB Baker Mayfield with the overall No. 1 pick. This year’s series is schedule to debut Aug. 7.

• The Alliance of American Football named Alliance Salt Lake City as its fourth market (Atlanta, Memphis, Orlando) and Dennis Erickson as the team’s head coach. Alliance Salt Lake home games will be played at Rice-Eccles Stadium, home to University of Utah football. Phoenix is expected to be named the fifth city today.

• For the third year, NFL partner Hyundai is hosting the Hyundai Youth Football Camp giving children ages 7 to 13 the chance to take the field and learn from their favorite teams and players. Sessions will be held in Pittsburgh, South Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, Los Angeles, the New York City area and Houston.

KEEPING SCORE

2018 NBA Draft Presented by State Farm Order (To Date)
(Barclays Center Brooklyn, NY June 21 (ESPN)

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Brooklyn Nets)
9. New York Knicks
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from Los Angeles Lakers)

BUY SELL

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (May 11-13)
1. Avengers: Infinity War $61.8M
2. Life of the Party $18.5M
3. Breaking In $16.5M
4. Overboard $10.1M
5. A Quiet Place $6.4M
6. I Feel Pretty $3.7M
7. Rampage $3.4M
8. Tully $2.2M
9. Black Panther $1.9M
10. Blockers $1.1M
SOURCE COMSCORE

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Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
CFB Title Games '21-24

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
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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