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Sports

FIFA President: ‘Qatar World Cup? My Bad.’

sepp blatter fifa

From the Olympics to the Super Bowl, cities around the world have made it a mission to win “announcements.” You know? When the desired event (e.g., RNC 2016, DNC 2016, Tea Party, well, you get the idea), holds a press conference, opens an envelope, and immediately creates millions of dollars in economic impact for a city?

Yeah, Futbol (or Soccer, if you are so domesticated) does this in a big form.

Getting the World Cup for its quadrennial global championship means huge money for the host city in tourism, shopping, dining, lodging, and of course, sport watching. FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently announced that Qatar — a rumored opulent peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia — would host the 2022 World Cup.

Except now, he wishes he never said a word.  Read more

Bears Receiver Announces His New Contract on The View

We never thought an athlete would choose The View to make a major career announcement, especially in the middle of the off-season.

Today, however Bears receiver Brandon Marshall brought the news to Whoopi, Sherri and company before the rest of the world: he was going to re-sign with the team for another three seasons.

There’s more to the story than that, though–and it may explain his choice of venue.
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Donald Sterling (Obviously) Never Sought PR or Legal Counsel

We know, we know: words can’t express how little you want to read yet another post about Donald Sterling and the many stupid things he’s done to ensure his own date with infamy.

We do, however, feel it’s appropriate to point out one painfully obvious thing revealed by the Anderson Cooper interview and subsequent analysis via Sports Illustrated:

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#PRFail: Shaq Thinks Making Fun of Disabled Kids Is Good for a Laugh

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ICYMI–and by the lack of response from American sports media (MEMO to TNT ‘Inside the NBA’: We see you) you have–a funny thing happened to Shaquille O’Neal the other day. You see, Shaq is a certifiable legend in basketball among his peers, the teams, and the fans. Everyone loves Shaq because he is self-admittedly just a big kid at heart.

Like with most kids, from time-to-time, even Shaq needs a parent to take him aside and put that big 7’2″, 350 lb. ass over a knee and get to whoopin’ up on him. Why? Look at the picture. One of those kids are just “making a funny face.”

And then it was put on the other kid’s Instagram account for the entire world to see.

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The NFL Is Now Officially LGBT-Friendly

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We’re all aware that Michael Sam just made history as the NFL‘s first openly gay player.

Beyond the shiny headlines, our own Shawn Paul Wood explained this morning that, while Sam’s signing is unquestionably a significant moment for the league and for pro sports in general, he’s really just a guy who plays great defense…and happens to be gay. Which is how it should be.

Since Fifteen Minutes PR CEO Howard Bragman first organized Sam’s announcement in February, we’ve heard many (anonymous) insiders speculate as to whether owners would take a risk on him. But for the Rams, the question seems to have been “what risk?”

Now we have our answer to a more interesting query: how will the corporate world and the league itself react?

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Two Weeks Later: Donald Sterling ‘Apologizes’ for Racist Rant

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Dear Donald, We look forward to seeing you at our next pep rally. Love, Grandmaster of the KKK.

Arguably, the most important rule to crisis communications is own it quickly. In fact, be the first to comment! Donald Sterling had a crisis with his NBA team, Los Angeles Clippers, because of a few (dozen) bigoted comments about black people. (MEMO to Donnie: You are so not in the right business.)

Understanding he was losing interest in the team, experienced in-fighting among his team, and his own coach even refused to lead said team if Sterling still owned it, he had a major crisis on his hands. So, he does what most rich people do, “Meh!”

And then apologizes two weeks later. Kinda.

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Michael Sam: The (Gay) Guy Who Could Change the NFL

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Get ready, haters. He’s coming to get your team!

FULL DISCLOSURE: As an avid baseball fan and blogger, I can’t stand the “He’s the Jackie Robinson of [insert this industry or sport].” Yet there is really no other way to describe the addition of Michael Sam to the NFL and the St. Louis Rams.

And before anything is said, can we just kill the noise about Jason Collins? He was a so-so player (at best) despite being drafted by the Nets in the first round. After travelling the continent as part of five different teams, he received attention in the twilight of his career for making an admittedly b0ld decision that still had very little to do with the way he played the game.

Again, Michael Sam is not that man. Let’s learn who he is…

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14 Brands Wanted to Be Picked in the NFL Draft

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Have you ever asked yourself whether any pop-culture event could theoretically make for a real-time marketing moment?

The answer, obviously, is “oh yes.”

See, we didn’t watch yesterday’s NFL draft drama because we didn’t need to: we got all the news from our corporate and celebrity friends on Twitter!

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Report: Under Armour Wasn’t Really Responsible For Sochi Speedskating Losses

under armour tweetThe Sochi Olympics were sooo long ago right? But Under Armour is still feeling the icy sting of what should’ve been a shining moment for the company at a high-profile sporting event. Instead, it turned into an epic fail and a design flaw in the company’s new super suits were held responsible.

Now Under Armour can enjoy a little vindication. An internal investigation finds that a big part of the US team’s problems stemmed from timing. Athletes got the suits too late to thoroughly train in them. Moreover, the training they did was in Italy at high altitudes and outdoors. The Sochi competitions were held indoors at sea level. There was even an issue with some new skate polish athletes were given.

Once the competitors started losing, they got frustrated and frustration begat further losses even when they went back to their old suits. The report also points out issues with too much travel for the athletes, etc. In the end, the team had its worst showing in three decades.

So, whew! Not really Under Armour’s fault! Problem solved right? Eh.

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Oklahoma Newspaper that Trashed Kevin Durant Apologizes … Finally.

Mister UnreliableICYMI: The NBA Playoffs are in full swing. Teams are leaving it all on the court and sports reporters are becoming huge homers for the local team. Well, most of them.

Last week, The Oklahoman decided that perennial All-Star Kevin Durant hasn’t really been pulling his weight on the Oklahoma City Thunder, so on the front page of its sports page, they called him “Mr. Unreliable.”

The sports world blew a gasket. “Unjustified,” “Shameful,” and “Smoking crack” were a few of the sentiments out there. Durant didn’t blame them because he’s more of a gentleman — and about to be a free agent.

So, he goes out the next night scoring 36 points and leading the team to victory and a Game 7. After a day hearing the news world still blowing up the paper, that’s when the paper apologized.  Read more

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