Darren Rovell today has a video interview with American gymnast Nastia Liukin, who unwittingly provides the definitive metaphor of what the modern Olympics have become.
As part of the report Rovell said, “Liukin told us that seeing her image on advertising before the games actually gave her confidence.”
(Nastia was inconsolable after learning of those pesky ATM transaction fees)
So her Visa ads boosted her up before her Olympics appearances? Sounds a little far-fetched, until you hear the same thing come out Liukin’s mouth: “I walked into the Olympic athlete village, seeing the Visa ATM machine with my picture on it and the Chinese character saying “destiny” … for some reason it just boosted my confidence.”
Liukin’s Olympic dream is inspired by an ATM machine? Perfect.
And this isn’t a case of me taking an obscure comment out of context (2,922 mentions of it at Google News!). That same ATM machine storyline has been covered by just about every media outlet, thanks to Liukin continuing to bring it up.
The whole thing is almost as ridiculous as if Nastia had her picture on a NASCAR entry whizzing around Talladega.
Oh, wait, she does.
Also, Liukin’s plans after her gymnastics career is over will shock you. She wants to get into “modeling and acting.”
(Nastia is ready to pounce on the myriad adult modeling opportunities sure to roll in!)
I know, I had my money on E! entertainment reporter, too.
Jorge Sedano of 790 The Ticket in Miami with yet another cool find:
Apparently a YouTube user recently claimed to have found a glitch in Tiger Woods’ EA Sports video game, which had Woods being able to hit the ball while standing on water. So in response, EA shot this cute reply with Woods walking on water.
Haven’t confirmed if EA concocted the whole idea out of thin air (and created a fake account to set up the spot), but it really doesn’t matter. Great idea.
Fun clip from an old SNL Olympics bit:
Much funnier: Dennis Miller looks like Gene Simmons after a hydroxycut bender.
On NBC’s “Today” show this morning, NBC’s Meredith Vieira read this promo: “We’ve seen them run and jump and swim and tumble, but what do the Olympic athletes do behind closed doors?”
It wasn’t made immediately clear what the segment was about. Perhaps Al Roker with an investigative report on the Albanians’ flossing habits. Now when I heard the read, this is immediately what popped. Into my head, that is:
Russian track & field athlete Yelena Isinbayeva.
FedEx is a longtime sponsor of Memphis’ St. Jude Classic PGA tour stop. As St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes, it also makes perfect sense that FedEx is the main sponsor of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup.
Jon Show of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL has this today:
Commuters pouring out of Penn Station this morning in N.Y. will find a “live billboard” promoting the second annual playoffs for the PGA Tour FedEx Cup, which start tomorrow with The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. FedEx erected bleachers and hired fans to cheer and generally call attention to themselves and the FedEx Cup signage around them.
Time to update the “World’s Most Irrelevant Jobs” list:
1) Construction site security guard
2) Baltimore Orioles beat reporter
3) South Beach Real Estate Agent
4) Participant: FedEx Cup “live billboard”
Whenever I start to mope about my gig, I always think, you know, it could be worse, I could actually know who the manager of the Orioles is.
Speaking of our beloved O’s, before a game last night against Red Sox, the beleaguered franchise tried its best to distract fans from the field by welcoming its “50 millionth fan” in Camden Yards history.
A random fan named Kevin Gracie was awarded $50,000, season tickets for five years, a commemorative jersey and limo service. Knowing the game last night was against the Red Sox, I guess the limo service is for Gracie’s daily commute to the games from Boston.
One year? So I suppose if he’d won the silver medal, it would’ve been two years?
God forbid I had to goto the Olympics to cover The Games. But if I did, I would’ve certainly looked into the veracity of Usain Bolt’s last name. Everyone is accepting implicitly that “Bolt” (marketing gold!) is his given surname. Don’t know about you, but much like the L.A. TIMES, I don’t believe a damn thing that comes out of Kingston.
SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY notes today that a company called “Clear, which is a provider of fast access cards for airports, has partnered with the Broncos to deliver fast entry lanes at Invesco Field. Clear also will provide fans with special-offer coupons.”
Fast-tracking passengers through airport security? I’m assuming that means the company has to complete a background check of card purchasers. This must be the first time in sports marketing history that fans have a better shot of landing an endorsement deal than the players.
The NFL is now offering profiles of all 32 league teams as a free download on the iTunes Store at iTunes.com. The profiles include highlights from last season, off-season updates and ‘08 season previews.
As a Chiefs fan I’m a little jazzed about it, as surely a free download of this will accompany our *highlights* package: