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POLL POSITION

Nominees For 2018 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year

Winner to be selected by fan votes now thru Jan. 21 (3 PM ET).\

The 2018 Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award will be recognized in Atlanta during Super Bowl LIII activities.

• Saquon Barkley RB New York Giants
• Nick Chubb RB Cleveland Browns
• Darius Leonard LB Indianapolis Colts
• Phillip Lindsay RB Denver Broncos
• Baker Mayfield QB Cleveland Browns

Finalists For 2018 NFL FedEx Air (QB) and Ground (RB) Players of the Year

2018 FedEx Air NFL Player of the Year

• Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs
• Drew Brees New Orleans Saints
• Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers

2018 FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year

• Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams
• Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys
• Saquon Barkley New York Giants

Now thru Jan. 31 (3 PM ET). people can vote for each category here on via Twitter @NFL

KEEPING SCORE

NFL Head Coach Signings For 2019 (To Date)
• Arizona Cardinals Kliff Kingsbury
• Cincinnati Bengals TBD (former coach Marvin Lewis)
• Cleveland Browns Freddie Kitchens
• Denver Broncos Vic Fangio
• Green Bay Packers Matt LeFleur
• Miami Dolphins TBD (former coach Adam Gase)
• New York Jets Adam Gase
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bruce Arians

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Jan. 11-13
1. The Upside $19.6M
2. Aquaman $17.3M
3. A Dog’s Way Home $11.3M
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse $9M
5. Escape Room $8.9M
6. Mary Poppins Returns $7.2M
7. Bumblebee $6.8M
8. On the Basis of Sex $6.2M
9. The Mule $5.5M
10. Vice $3.3M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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NYSportsJournalism.com + Topic Of Requested Search

NBA Chinese New Year '19 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
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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