Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 20, 2012 11:18 AM
Back when Shaquille O’Neal was in his NBA playing days and couldn’t seem to sink a foul shot to save his life, there were plenty of coaches and fans who likely could have used a drink after watching him botch another attempt. Shaq has since retired from playing the game, of course, but he’s still ready to help people find a drink, though in a totally different way this time.
O’Neal is about to launch his own line of vodkas, the New York Post reports, that will be coconut-flavored, sugar- and gluten-free, hit store shelves early in 2013 and be called “Luv Shaq.” (One wonders how the B52’s are taking this.)
Drew Adelman, the founder of Devotion Vodka, which will produce the Shaq-branded sugar-free and gluten-free liquor, says that the plan is to go up against Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Ciroc vodka. Devotion was also responsible for a vodka that had Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino’s name on it.
O’Neal, who now makes big bucks as an analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA, has been on a self-promotion bender this year — or as he calls them on his Twitter bio, "random acts of Shaqness."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 16, 2012 01:14 PM
Even though we haven’t yet had Halloween, retail brands are gearing up for the holiday season. Target raised eyebrows by releasing its holiday TV commercial before Halloween, which is the marketing equivalent of wearing white after Labor Day in the U.S. But even that hoary old rule no longer applies, so get ready for the holiday blitz to start earlier than ever this year.
Toys “R” Us is already promoting its Marine Toys for Tots Foundation campaign, which is back for the ninth year with Shaquille O’Neal ("Give Back With Shaq!" for the fourth year) offering “Shaq’s Santa Sack,” the first-ever Toys for Tots Wish List filled with donation suggestions.
More than 16 million children are living in poverty in the U.S. according to the United States Census Bureau, and now through December 2, consumers can “Give Back with Shaq” by donating new, unwrapped toys at Toys“R”Us and Babies “R” Us stores or online through Christmas Eve.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 11, 2012 10:14 AM
In China, it's been a late week whirlwind of pro basketball moves, both on and off the court. Just as news hit that NBA star Tracy McGrady had signed to play for a Chinese team — Yes, in China! — Dwayne Wade officially confirmed the rumors that he had switched sneaker affiliation from Nike to China's Li-Ning brand.
Timed to coincide with the much anticipated two games Wade's team, the Miami Heat, will play against the Los Angeles Clippers in Beijing and Shanghai this week, the Li-Ning announcement was long in the making. In fact, maybe a year in the making. Now, will Wade lead Li-Ning back to glory, and will it drag the reputations of China's brands with it?Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 14, 2012 10:07 AM
If yo-yoing was a major sport, Chinese athletics brand Li-Ning would have a lock on the market for yo-yo gear. In the last four years, the brand has gone from potential global dominance to firing its CEO to moderate success at the London Olympics.
But struggling Li-Ning may be about to catch a big break. If rumors are true — and they appear to be — Li-Ning just drafted NBA superstar Dwyane Wade.
As first reported, and then confirmed, by blog Sneakerwatch, two-time world champion, NBA Finals MVP, and Miami Heat star Wade is going to pass on renewing his deal with Michael Jordan's Nike-backed Jordan Brand and instead sign onto Li-Ning's roster. That's huge news for Li-Ning, and a blow to Jordan Brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 12, 2012 05:01 PM
Peyton Manning brought back his aw-shucks charm and dry wit this week, resurfacing as a pitch man for the Buick Verano compact car. He's still got that commercial appeal, however he fares in his new football uniform.
After a year off from football because of a neck injury, and his release by the Indianapolis Colts and subsequent signing by the Denver Broncos, Manning is mounting a comeback on TV already that has nothing to do with NFL games. On the ESPY Awards on ESPN Wednesday evening, Manning introduced a video tribute to Pat Summitt, recently retired head coach of the women's basketball program at the University of Tennessee, Manning's alma mater.
During the telecast, Manning also appeared in the new spot for Verano, pretending to call "audibles" in the car using its voice-activated navigation system. The spot is the most notable bit of marketing for the new Buick entry since its recent TV campaign starring Shaquille O'Neal.
Meanwhile, in other developments in an auto industry where news remains hot even in the depths of a summer in the Northern Hemisphere:Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 11, 2012 10:07 AM
"Sharpness is a state of mind," said Chow Yun-Fat (Master Li Mubai) in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. But sharpness might also might be a perfectly fitted Hugo Boss suit, like the one Chow is now sporting as the first ever Asian face of the brand.
Chinese consumers may still be trying to "find" Leonardo DiCaprio and his Oppo handset, but more and more, brands looking to reach the Chinese consumer — especially luxury ones — are opting for local celebrity.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 21, 2012 02:57 PM
As the NBA playoffs shift into high gear, the NBA's new beer partners in China are hoping business, and their brands, do likewise. Indeed, the most prominent of the NBA's new beer brand partners, Harbin Brewery, is stepping up, giving 110 percent and leaving it all on the court to peak at the right time and finally get the consumer respect it deserves.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 27, 2011 09:39 PM
Basketball fans are rejoicing following this weekend's news that the end of the 149-day NBA lockout is nigh. As AP reports, following intense negotiations the makings of a deal between the NBA and NBA players is now in place, with a tentative agreement starting the delayed season on December 25th.
"Barring either side rejecting the deal, training camps will open Dec. 9, with the league's first three games set to be played on Christmas Day," AP notes. "The Utah Jazz invited fans to start calling again to discuss ticket options, the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks wrote 'Go Mavs' on Twitter shortly after the middle-of-the-night news conference to announce the breakthrough, and Shaquille O'Neal recorded a brief video to show his excitement."Continue reading...