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Posts Tagged ‘sports’

More Lance Armstrong Fail: He Offered Rival $100,000 to Throw Race

lanceCalamitous falls from grace in sports are unfortunately commonplace.

There was Pete Rose’s gambling and A-Rod incessant whining, Tiger’s addictive philandering and Michael Vick’s dog killing, Aaron Hernandez murdering and Kobe Bryant’s alleged pillaging. It happens every year, as it seems.

These darlings of the media are given spotlight, fame and a truck load of cash for playing a game. So, of course, they start jonesin’ for more and think they are incapable of being caught doing no wrong. Such is life for these insipid athletes who need to spruce up their image by taking advantage of others.

And then there is the dingleberry in the roto-rooter of humanity, Lance effin’ Armstrong. (Technically, I think that is his legal middle name.) And wait until you hear this…

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Highlight Your Clients in Sports Illustrated For Kids

SIKidsSports Illustrated For Kids is the perfect mag for showcasing products, people or places to the young sports fan.

The pub has plenty of sections ripe for PR pitching, including the “Gotta Get It Guide,” which features sports equipment and other paraphernalia. The mag is also keen to get special access to high-profile athletes. More about the pub:

Sports Illustrated for Kids, launched in 1989, is turning 25 in January 2014. The little brother to Sports Illustrated serves mostly boys (65 percent of its readership) ages 7 to 14, “the age when you’re the most passionate as a sports fan,” says managing editor and publisher Bob DerSI Kids does more than appeal to young sports enthusiasts with cool pictures of their baseball and football idols, pull-out posters, sports cards and games — it also encourages kids to read.

For more pitching advice and editors contact info, read: How To Pitch: Sports Illustrated For Kids.

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Foot Locker’s ‘Week of Greatness’ Begins with Genius

weekofgreatness-collageAdvertising. Marketing. PR. This is the triune of communications, and when it all works together (like it’s supposed to do), life is wonderful.

We’re talking magic — rainbows that don’t run away when you chase after one, unicorns that fly over head with cherubs singing its praises, and maybe even getting a fortune cookie with lottery numbers that are actually worth a damn. Sounds too good to be true, until you meet the adroit minds with Foot Locker. Yes, Foot Locker.

They have a campy campaign to drive shoes into early Christmas budgets called the “Week of Greatness.”

Its advertising partner, BBDO in New York, envisioned what a true week of sports greatness would be … and, oh dear Santa Baby Jesus, did they get it right just in time for the holidays! This truly would be a week of greatness kicked off with Mike Tyson actually returning Evander Holyfield’s ear that he devoured in a boxing ring in 1997.

If you love sports, specifically the Cleveland Cavaliers stud point guard Kyrie Irving who stars in this spoof video, you will adore this. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Second Serving: Serena Williams Shows Paula Deen How to Apologize

REUTERS/Sergio MoraesThe entire country watched in horror this month as Paula Deen’s deep-fried, butter-soaked career came crashing down in a mess of outrageous statements and one of the most painful non-apologies we’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.

Mrs. Deen’s fall was so epic, in fact, that it distracted us from another perfectly served case study in poor media relations. This one came courtesy of clay court champ Serena Williams, who ruined what should have been a complimentary Rolling Stone profile with a few ill-advised comments and a passive-aggressive “apology.”

While visiting a nail salon with reporter Stephen Rodrick, Williams saw a news report about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case that sent two high school football stars to jail and led to a PR fail for CNN when anchors Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley appeared to express more sympathy for the rapists than their victim.

Serena said of the perpetrators: “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know.” Beyond classifying the rape of a 16-year-old girl as “something stupid” and wondering whether the offenders were punished too harshly, Williams also had some less-than-flattering words for the victim:

“I’m not blaming the girl, but…why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? She’s lucky… she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Did she really need to throw a “but” in there?

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More Charges Filed in Penn State Case

Another chapter in the long, sundry case of Penn State and Jerry Sandusky further emphasizes the challenges faced by Edelman PR, La Torre Communications and the institution itself as all work to restore the school’s previous reputation for greatness in both sports and academics.

Unfortunately, this latest update will undoubtedly inflict more damage on the school: it concerns staff attempts to cover up, deny or, at the very least, minimize the scandal. Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly just announced charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, endangering the welfare of children, and failure to report suspected child abuse against former University President Graham Spanier.

That’s quite a list–and we didn’t even mention the additional charges brought against the school’s former athletic director and vice president of business and finance, both of whom await trial in January.

Spanier’s greatest offense? After stepping down, he claimed that no one had ever mentioned the possibility of ongoing child abuse during his time at Penn State–but the email trail told a very different story.

Penn State’s board members and PR reps have been wishing Spanier would slink away and disappear for some time: first they argued over whether he’d resigned on his own volition after “going rogue and altering a press release that had been a collaborative effort”, and then he participated in this very ill-advised interview for some unknown reason.

Penn State and its PR organizations will never have to defend Graham Spanier again. Unfortunately, the law is far from done with him–and his case will expose the public to yet another angle on a tragic tale that can never be untold.

Lance Armstrong: What Price Reputation?

Readers: today we’re excited to feature an exclusive op-ed by Gerard F. Corbett, chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Corbett, who is accredited in Public Relations (APR) and is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, has been a member of PRSA for more than 35 years. He also serves as CEO of Redphlag LLC–a strategic public relations, marketing management and executive coaching consulting firm that he founded–and chief marketing officer of Producers Forum, Inc., a real estate Web startup.

Like many folks, I wondered if the world really needed another opinion piece about Lance Armstrong and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)’s allegations against him.

In case you’ve just returned from six months manning the International Space Station or conducting research in the Amazon River basin, the USADA released a report on Oct. 10, which cited witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results to support its accusation that Armstrong had participated in a complex, systematic doping program and used other illegal methods to gain competitive advantages in the international sport of competitive cycling.

The seven-time Tour de France winner has faced doping allegations throughout his career, but he’s managed to dodge those accusations by pointing out that he’d been tested for banned substances hundreds of times in the past, without ever producing a positive result. Of course, it didn’t hurt that a two-year U.S. Government investigation that examined Armstrong’s role in possible doping-related crimes was closed earlier this year, with no charges brought.

Perhaps by virtue of his adamant denials, cancer-surviving story and charitable work with the Livestrong Foundation, Armstrong always found a way to push aside the accusations and preserve his credibility (and sponsorship dollars). Then, metaphorically speaking, the wheels came off.

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