Jul 18, 2008

Roger Federer stars as Greek hero in Olympics ad

A global campaign for Beijing Olympics is out! The dramatic global TV promotion called "Heroes" features tennis player Roger Federer and runner Haile Gebrselassie as mythic Greek heroes. Also in the TV campaign is basketball legend Yao Ming.

China hopes this campaign that apes the film 300 will heighten interest in the Beijing Olympics.

It was developed by the International Olympic Committee for use internationally by broadcasters who have the TV rights to air the Beijing Olympics.

The BBC, which holds the TV rights in the UK, will not be running the promotional clip.
"We only use our promotional airtime for BBC programmes and BBC content," said a spokesman for BBC Sport. "All of our campaigns are tailored for a particular audience."
Hence, this video could be taken off youtube anytime.

The 60-second clip, by WPP-owned ad agency United, opens with a bearded sage-like character gathering together an array of the world's best athletes in a temple.
"Welcome all, the time has come, all eyes are on you," he booms to the assembled throng. He then highlights each athlete's skills, comparing their abilities to God-like feats.

"You all make us proud to be human beings regardless of race, religion or nationality," the sage says at the end. "Because if you are able to achieve such greatness nothing is unreachable. Go and amaze us."
The overall campaign, called The Best of Us, aims to highlight key tenets of the Olympic games.

The IOC, which makes promotional campaigns for every Olympic games, will be keen to present a good image of the event after negative media coverage around China's treatment of Tibet protestors during the Olympic flame relay.

The latest promotion, which also includes Swedish star Carolina Kluft and Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, follows a previous advertisement, called Teens, that pushed sport as an antidote to youthful insecurity.

The Best of Us campaign also includes press and digital ads and a viral promotion called Puskitas.

(Mostly text via

Jul 17, 2008

Ashley Harkleroad's Playboy spread revealed

A couple of months ago, Ashley Harkleroad created a huge sensation in the tennis world not because of her accomplishment on the tennis court, but because of her announcement to be the latest athlete to pose for Playboy.

So there you go a sneak peek at Ashley Harkleroad's much-talked about August Playboy spread.

I haven't got much information about the article nor have the time to surf for it but here's what Downthelinetennis says:

The mag gets down to the nitty-gritty with the 23-year old baller discussing sex, locker room looks and Anna Kournikova. Some choice quotes:
“I do think athletes have better sex,” she asserts with a bashful giggle. “Who wants a waify girl with no definition to her body? I like that I have some power and that everything’s tight.”

“Tennis players don’t mind showing off their bodies,” she said. “Often in the locker room I feel other girls’ eyes on me.”

“Anna [Kournikova] is stunning to look at, but she’s probably a bit damaged from what she’s been through. That’s how she acts — a bit damaged.”
(Image via

Jul 14, 2008

Michael Chang inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame

With the Beijing Olympics less than a month away, Michael Chang finds it appropriate to receive his sport’s highest honor. On Saturday, the Chinese-American athlete was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Michael Chang poses with his fiancee, Amber Liu, after he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

He won the 1989 French Open at age 17—the youngest man to win a major—as the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing were escalating into bloodshed.
“For me, at the French Open, if I wasn’t playing my match I was glued to CNN watching the events unfold,” Chang said during a news conference before his induction. “The crackdown actually happened that Sunday of the French Open.”
“I think it’s a very special year for Beijing. I’m really excited for what’s going to happen for China,” Chang said.
Chang was an ambassador who helped China get the bid to hold the Olympics.

(Images by
AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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