‘Banned’ Ad: Tennis, Breasts, Desperation Collide

Last week 2K Sports rolled out the latest version of its Top Spin tennis simulation video game.

Serena Williams 2K Sports Commercial

(Video game trailer or marital aid advert? You make the call.)

Right, no idea.

Yesterday, a week after the official unveiling of the game, a racy promotional trailer featuring Serena Williams and actress Rileah Vanderbilt suddenly appeared online. The cover story pushed by 2K Sports to various gaming sites was that actress Vanderbilt had deliberately leaked the video after 2K Sports decided not to distribute the ad.

From the site Joystiq.com:

An advertisement for Top Spin 4 has made its way onto the internet, but it’s not what one would call “official.” Featuring Serena Williams, the ad was definitely made with 2K Sports’ money and effort. We’ve attempted to get an official statement from 2K Sports, but the company doesn’t appear to want to talk until it’s eliminated every instance of the video from the internet.

The ad was originally posted on YouTube by the actress featured in the commercial — apparently she wasn’t satisfied with 2K Sports’ decision to cancel the public release.

Update: 2K Sports’ official statement: “As part of the process for creating marketing campaigns to support our titles, we pursue a variety of creative avenues. This video is not part of the title’s final marketing campaign and its distribution was unauthorized.”

Translation: 2K Sports deliberately created an absurdly racy ad to drum up interest in the game but didn’t have the courage to officially endorse the commercial because of possible public backlash.
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2K Sports Developing NBA Draft Combine Game

In 2002, Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson sat at a press conference after his team lost in the NBA Playoffs and launched into a famous diatribe about practice. You know the one, we don’t need to explain. While coaches and old white people everywhere were horrified at the brash young man’s attitude, practice-hating kids everywhere rejoiced at someone giving voice to their concerns.

Allen Iverson Practice

(NBA 2K10: “This time…we are talkin’ bout practice!”)

Fast forward seven years. The world is a very different place. Athletes communicate via Twitter instead of press conferences. Allen Iverson is a grizzled journeyman at the end of his career. And 2K sports just announced plans to create an entire freaking video game devoted to practice, “2K10: Draft Combine.” The world has gone completely mad.

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