Media, Entertainment, Sports
August 20, 2008
Branding at the Olympics
Photo: Cindy Crawford at the OMEGA Pavilion on the Olympic Green in Beijing on 14 August, 2008.
Photo: American pole-vault athlete Jennifer Stuczynski at adidas Brand Center in Beijing, China, August 11, 2008. At the center's Olympic Brand Launch Area, consumers can get close and personal with the special products, designs and technologies that adidas has developed for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Photo: Women's 200m Olympian Marshevet Hooker of the USA at adidas Brand Center in Beijing, China, August 15, 2008. The new adidas Brand Center showcases and highlights the breadth and depth of the adidas brand to the Chinese consumers as well as to all visitors of the Olympic Games.
As the Olympic Games unfold, the branding experts at Siegel+Gale are commenting on topics such as how the Olympics are affecting the "brand" of China, how companies are using the Olympics to further their brands, specific corporate ad campaigns, branding through sports events in general, and other strategic branding and positioning issues.
Following are some comments by Larry Vincent, Siegel+Gale's Group Director of Strategy in Los Angeles, and Julius Roberge, Siegel+Gale's Strategy Director in New York, most recently relocated from Shanghai:
Why Companies Align With the Olympics - Larry Vincent
• "Most companies align with the Olympics because they hope to borrow equity or transfer goodwill from that of the Olympics to their own brands."
• "Twenty years ago it was a slam dunk. McDonald's and Coca-Cola measured noticeable lifts in preference, favorability, and attitudes toward the brand during the co-brand window of the Games."
• "1984 was the turning point, however. The Los Angeles Games, in some ways, reinvented the sponsorship model (so much so that LA had a surplus of funds after the Games). It was so successful, that more brands wanted in."
• "Today, sponsors have changed quite a bit: there are more of them and the affiliation competes with branded partnerships in vastly more channels and platforms."
• "The Olympic equity is still strong (although research shows that it is the strongest when the Games are actually in progress), but it's harder to transfer or borrow the equity."
• "'False reporting' of 'unaided awareness' of Olympic sponsorships is on the rise (meaning, consumers attribute an Olympic sponsorship to the wrong company) and ambush tactics by other marketers are more prolific. In that context, you have to ask, 'What is the return on investment for a company that spends millions to sponsor the Games, and millions more to purchase the media that activates the sponsorship?'"
Photo: adidas Olympics advertising campaign: Together in 2008 - Impossible is Nothing.
• "It still works for some. We expect Adidas, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's will still do well. Part of that is the legacy. In Adidas' case, it's the innovative way they've gone to market."
"At the Beijing 2008 Olympics, American global giants are blindly following a crude and hazy sponsorship advertising policy. Consequently, their global brand equity enhancement is only a fraction of what they deserve for spending huge money on this pursuit.
While sponsoring the Beijing Games, their focus is on China. Excellent. But they, as well as America's top business commentators and writers, have put the rest of the world into oblivion. They seem to have no idea that without much further expenditure, these multinationals could have utilized this rare opportunity to firmly establish their brands throughout the world.
Localized print advertisements publicizing the company's privileged involvement in the 2008 Olympics, for example, would have won them universal goodwill and respect in all their target markets worldwide."
• "We do think the Olympics is a horrible place to debut new brands, however. There is too much clutter and competition."
• "It CAN be an effective place to reposition a brand, particularly if the brand is in the B2B space and the repositioning can occur onsite at the events. Many of the attendees of Olympic events are executives (just like the Super Bowl). UPS is using the Beijing Games as an interesting venue to debut some of their new international brand activity."
• "Intuitively, we should be seeing international companies getting more involved in the Games in the future. It can become the coming out event for large international companies who wish to elevate brand awareness on a global stage. But the challenge is that for many viewers, the brands will be so foreign they won't know who they are or what they do. It requires the brand to do a lot of seeding work before the Games begin, and very aggressive follow-up work once the brand has launched with the marks."
Photos: Shanghai, China.
The "China Brand" - Julius Roberge
• "Until China, never before has the market potential of the host country on its own been viewed as possibly worth the significant investment. Despite the degree of controversy before the Games began, the market opportunity seems irresistible."
• "The Olympics have a clear purpose for the "China" brand: to prove to the world that China is capable of hosting Games at a quality level that the Olympic brand, the athletes and spectators worldwide demand and expect."
• "The China brand today is often correlated with low quality (products), so the challenge is Herculean. With the world watching their every step, success in Beijing will send a strong new message about China as a world power. If it missteps, it will not soon have such visibility to transform a lagging image."
• "It's safe to assume Americans understand that Olympic sponsorship is not the same as supporting China's political policies. That said, given the ongoing buzz and interest in how China enters the world stage, how a brand behaves in and/or partners with China may draw more attention in the future from international media, thus elevating the potential for a negative effect on a brand's image. This may be more of a concern for B2B organizations that deal more closely with the Chinese government or in government monitored sectors."
Siegel+Gale is one of the world's premier strategic branding companies. The firm has worked with an array of leading organizations, including American Express, AARP, College Board, Cornell University, Dell, Duke University, Lexus, MBA.com, Merrill Lynch, Motorola, the National Basketball Association, 3M, Dow, and The Four Seasons Hotel Group, Sony, and Yahoo! Siegel+Gale has full-service offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Dubai and strategic partnerships around the world. Siegel+Gale is part of the Omnicom Group Inc., a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.
Posted by Editor at 2:02 AM
August 18, 2008
adidas brand shines at Beijing 2008 Olympics
Photo: "adidas by Stella McCartney" Spring / Summer 08 Golf
Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry and the adidas brand is one of the leading sports brands in the world. The brand attitude "Impossible is Nothing" drives all brand communication initiatives.
• As the Official Sportswear Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, adidas has been outfitting more than 100,000 volunteers, technical officials and staff. adidas has also been providing products for more than 3,000 athletes, 214 federations and 16 National Olympic Committees. In total, adidas is providing more than 3 million pieces of products for the Olympic Games including 43 different athletic shoes for 27 out of 28 sports.
adidas will be the Official Sportswear Partner again for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
adidas's Beijing Olympics operation is an extraordinary piece of sponsorship advertising and is the elite launching pad from where it can successfully strike any country, region or sports market it wishes to target worldwide. ©GlobalGiants.Com
Photo: The adidas Brand Center in Beijing.
adidas has opened its largest adidas Brand Center worldwide in Beijing, China, the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games. This adidas Brand Center store is the biggest adidas store worldwide occupying four floors inside the new Sanlitun Village Shopping Center.
"The opening of the world's first adidas Brand Center is another milestone in securing market leadership in China, one of the world's most important markets for the adidas brand," said Erich Stamminger, President of the adidas brand. "The Beijing adidas Brand Center will serve as a role model for our concept stores in key metropolitan cities around the world."
One of the highlights of the new adidas Brand Center is miCoach Core Skills, an interactive zone where customers can utilize innovative adidas technologies that are normally only available in professional level sports facilities. Visitors to the store can test their skills in balance, speed and jump, compare their results to their sporting heroes and get personalized training recommendations based on scientific research, using a number of interactive devices.
The 'Urban' area on the top floor of the adidas Brand Center is a new creative space dedicated to exploring and showcasing exciting trends and ideas in art, music and culture. This area will play host to a series of events, including concerts, art exhibitions, and consumer forums and meetings.
At the center's Olympic Brand Launch Area, consumers can get close and personal with the special products, designs and technologies that adidas has developed for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
View the "Made for Beijing" Footwear from adidas:
Posted by Editor at 10:31 AM
August 14, 2008
eos Products of New York City Partner With Olympic Hurdler Lolo Jones
Photo: US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones shaves with eos ultra moisturizing shave cream.
A new beauty products company, eos(TM) "the evolution of smooth", today announced an exclusive partnership with Olympic Hurdler Lolo Jones. Launched in May 2008, eos' ultra moisturizing shave cream hurdled into Lolo's Olympic beauty routine.
In support of Lolo's on and off-track feats, eos is donating a portion of their sales during the Olympics to a charity near and dear to the Olympic Medalist hopeful's heart: Embrace Iowa - 2008 Disaster Fund. As an Iowan native, Lolo feels strongly about giving back to her home state, and has already done so by donating her prize money from the Olympic Trials to Iowan victims who desperately needed help because of flooding and other endured hardships.
For every bottle of eos ultra moisturizing shave cream sold on Drugstore.com between August 8, 2008 and August 24, 2008, eos will donate $1 to Embrace Iowa. Additionally, if Lolo medals in the Olympics, eos will donate a multiple of her time - if Lolo wins the Gold, eos will donate $1,000 per second, if she wins the Silver, eos will donate $500 per second, or if she wins the Bronze, eos will donate $100 per second - to Embrace Iowa. Embrace Iowa receives contributions from individuals, business and organizations to benefit Iowans who have experienced significant hardships as a result of the storms and floods of 2008, as well as promotes private sector contributions from Iowans and seeks funds outside of Iowa.
"My legs can help me win the Olympics, but being able to use them to help those suffering in my home state means more to me than winning a medal," says Lolo, "eos helps keeps my legs in medal-shape, by leaving them smooth, moisturized and glowing."
According to the company, "eos ultra moisturizing shave cream delivers a closer shave and leaves skin smooth long after shaving. The rich cream formula features a unique blend of natural ingredients including aloe, oat and shea butter to soothe and soften the skin, so women can now shave wet or dry. Antioxidant vitamins C + E are added to help skin look radiant and healthy, and its non-foaming formula does not contain harsh detergents that can dry out the skin. eos is packaged in a sleek, ergonomic bottle made of soft-touch, recyclable plastic that won't leave a rust ring in the shower. eos is available in three fresh, modern fragrances - Pomegranate Raspberry, Island Blue and Vanilla Bliss."
Based in New York City, eos Products LLC is a new company that makes "innovative and stylish beauty products to meet the needs of the modern woman". The company's first product, eos ultra moisturizing shave cream, is available in select Target stores, Wegmans, and on drugstore.com. In Canada, eos is available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Source: eos Products LLC
Posted by Editor at 11:41 AM
August 13, 2008
Advertising Agencies and their Clients are Watching the Olympians
Photo: Ad agencies are analyzing the Olympians.
Photo: Top U.S. Olympian Natalie Coughlin signing a multi-year endorsement deal with swimwear brand leader Speedo(R).
Brands and their advertising agencies are carefully watching the Olympic Games in Beijing to see which athletes are capturing the attention and hearts of consumers.
According to Scott Sanford, a senior client director for Dallas-based Davie Brown Talent, to be effective as a celebrity endorser, athletes need to be familiar to consumers, though familiarity alone doesn't guarantee influence.
"Being recognizable is just the start," said Sanford, whose agency created the Davie Brown Index (DBI) to quantify celebrities' ability to influence consumer behavior. "Are they likeable? Trustworthy? Influential? Do consumers find them to be aspirational? Do people sit up and pay attention when they come on TV? Awareness is a good first step, but there are other attributes that are more powerful when it comes to motivating consumers."
Photo: Panasonic and former Olympians: Al Oerter, four-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist and abstract artist, poses in front of the "Art of the Olympians" logo projected on the News Astrovision by Panasonic in New York's Times Square (Tuesday, November 28, 2006). Oerter, along with eight other athlete artists were in New York to help spotlight the "Art of the Olympians" traveling exhibit of sculpture, paintings, drawings, and photography by 14 Olympians representing 7 countries. Exhibit was shown at a variety of venues including the United Nations. Oerter won gold medals in the discus throw in '56, '60, '64, and '68. (Source: PANASONIC)
Photo: PowerBar signed an endorsement contract to be the exclusive energy bar sponsor to U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.
Sanford analyzed several U.S. Olympians who, based on their performances in Beijing to date, are likely to land endorsement deals after the 2008 Summer Games conclude:
• Michael Phelps (swimming): "He was an obvious choice even before the Games and he's lived up to the expectations thus far. Even before the Games began, he was among the best-known U.S. Olympians. From an endorsement perspective, what's not to like? For starters, he's a winner. In fact, he'll likely earn an unprecedented tenth Gold Medal today. The phrase 'golden boy' certainly applies here. Phelps is exactly what marketers are looking for in an Olympic athlete: Focused but still fun; authentic; hard-working; handsome. His reaction -- sans cap and goggles -- as teammate Jason Lesak made his way down the homestretch in Sunday's relay was priceless. It's an image we'll see for years to come."
• Natalie Coughlin (swimming): "Natalie's spent a lot of time on the medal stand, which has kept her in the spotlight. Off of it, her personality has really shone through. I think she's connected with many Americans. She handles herself wonderfully in press interviews. And her good looks don't hurt either from an endorsement perspective."
• Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin (gymnastics): "In terms of marketing potential, I'd say they're on equal footing right now. They have good energy and terrific smiles; good personalities. Nastia is the veteran; Shawn is newly dominant in the sport. They complement each other. With the U.S. team and China the clear favorites, there's a good storyline in place. Although they both have several sponsorship deals in place already, success tonight could push up their stock."
• Dara Torres (swimming): "Dara's been a major story because of her age. The 'Supermom' image makes her unique -- it sets her apart from all of the other great athletes at the Games and gives her a strong hook or identity. It's what's fueled the buzz around her, which is one reason she's known by about a quarter of U.S. consumers. Those who know her tend to find her likeable and trustworthy. Endorsers are drawn to that. A Gold in the 50 meters would enhance her marketability, but she's in good shape as it is."
• Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball): "As demonstrated by celebrity-athletes like Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, and Michael Phelps, dominance -- when done right -- is extremely marketable. Misty and Kerri do it right. Their ability to work as a team is appealing to brands. Their sport is more fun than many of the more traditional Olympic sports, which appeals to a younger audience. They've also gotten a lot of TV time, so they're familiar to a lot of U.S. consumers. Of course, that's no accident. NBC has clearly recognized their appeal."
• Jason Lesak (swimming): "His remarkable come-from-behind performance on Monday morning may not win him a slew of endorsement deals, but I wouldn't be surprised if he picks up some because of it. At 32, his success ensures him of a post-Games career in some capacity whether it's as a broadcaster or motivational speaker."
• The U.S. Men's Gymnastics Team: "Collectively, I think they may have some marketability, especially if the U.S. women do well tonight. It would've helped their cause, collectively and individually, if they could've held on to the second position last night and won the Silver. Regardless, they did something in the team competition that no one would have believed possible as they overcame injuries to two key teammates, including former Gold medalist Paul Hamm. That's the kind of inspirational, against-all-odds, unscripted Olympic story that appeals to Americans and our values. It's also what makes the Games, and sports in general, appealing to brands. The 1980 Hockey Team, Mary Lou Retton, Kerri Strug -- these are the stories that really captivate an audience and provide a platform for creating instant and sustained marketability."
Sanford added that a number of other U.S. Olympians, including track, boxing, and wrestling athletes, could develop into strong endorsers over the next several days and into the medal rounds.
Source: Davie Brown Talent
Posted by Editor at 8:56 AM
August 10, 2008
Polo Ralph Lauren designed U.S. Olympic Team Parade Outfits for Beijing Opening Ceremony
As American athletes took to the stage during the commencement celebration in Beijing, the Polo Ralph Lauren 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Opening Ceremony Parade Outfits were unveiled to spectators around the world.
Inspired by the rich past of the Olympic Games, and in keeping with the time-honored tradition of this historic event, Polo Ralph Lauren brought an elegant and contemporary style to the U.S. Olympic Team.
According to the company, "Reflecting the brand's trademark sporty sophistication and refined sensibility, the Opening Ceremony uniforms evoke the heritage and legacy of the 1920's and 1930's. Featuring a polished and tailored silhouette, the ensemble is comprised of a crisp white cotton shirt and ivory cuffed pants, complemented by a timeless navy blue blazer in tropical wool, adorned with the iconic Polo Pony and the 2008 U.S. 'Look of the Team' logo. The chic outfits are accented by Americana-infused accessories with red, white and blue silk ties and scarves and classic canvas sneakers with red and blue lateral stripes, topped off with a white twill hat."
In addition to designing the Official Opening Ceremony Parade Outfits for the U.S. Olympic Team, Polo Ralph Lauren has also created their Closing Ceremony Parade Outfits and an assortment of Olympic Village Wear pieces to be provided to the U.S. Teams.
The Olympic Village Wear designs offer more casual sportswear looks with zip-up hooded sweatshirts, sleek track jackets and brightly colored cotton polo shirts all displaying the official U.S. Olympic Team logo and the classic Polo pony logo. Incorporating the theme of the Games' location, Chinese characters reading Beijing also decorate the apparel, while red, white and blue accents mark the pieces as quintessentially American.
The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games are being celebrated from August 8 to August 24 with an estimated four billion viewers watching global-televised coverage, which is expected to be the largest audience ever to view the Olympic Games.
Source: Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation
Posted by Editor at 8:24 AM
August 8, 2008
United States Postal Service Issues Most Popular Stamp Series of All Time -- The Art of Disney: Imagination
Photo: U.S. Postage Stamp on 2008 Olympic Games
Photo: The United States Postal Service delivers 212 billion pieces of mail to over 144 million homes, businesses and Post Office boxes every year. It handles more than 44% of the world's mail volume--delivering more mail to more addresses and to a larger geographic area than any other postal administration in the world.
Although Elvis remains king as the single most popular stamp subject of all time with an estimated 124.1 million collected, Mickey Mouse and his friends rule as the most popular stamp series with 211.5 million collected. Originally scheduled to be introduced as three sets during a three-year period, the fifth and final debut for the Art of Disney series took place Aug. 7 in front of the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland when the Postal Service dedicated the Art of Disney: Imagination stamps. The 42-cent first-class commemorative stamps went on sale nationwide that day.
"The Art of Disney stamps have connected many Americans with friendship, celebration, romance, magic and now imagination through the mail," said U.S. Postal Service Chief of Staff Mike Spates, who joined Mickey and his friends in dedicating the stamps. "It's easy to add an imaginative touch to cards and letters with these beautiful stamps. We want to thank the many Disney characters for helping the Postal Service commemorate Walt Disney throughout the years."
Spates said 125 million Art of Disney: Imagination stamps were printed and are available in sheets of 20 and include four stamp designs:
• Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie. Walt Disney once said that Mickey was "created for the purposes of laughter." From the moment Walt Disney first imagined him, Mickey has been a happy reminder that a little laughter goes a long way; it's hard to imagine the world without his familiar smile.
• Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and her helpers Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty. Everyone dreams of living "happily ever after," but not everyone has such enchanting helpers as Princess Aurora's tiny guardians, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Despite their delightfully dithery ways, the good fairies protect the princess and help her find the true love she has always imagined.
• Pongo and one of his pups from 101 Dalmatians. Imagining a dog's emotional life requires a brilliant creative leap, but 101 Dalmatians gives us a unique dog's eye view of the world. In the loving bonds between Pongo and his pups, we see our own human ties brought to life -- spot on.
• Mowgli and Baloo from The Jungle Book. Who could imagine a jungle as jazzy as in The Jungle Book -- or a more free-wheeling, upbeat buddy than Baloo? His lighthearted relationship with Mowgli reminds us that friendship and laughter really are among the "bare necessities of life. "
Spates added the series has proven to be popular with both stamp collectors and Disney enthusiasts.
"After the success of the first two Art of Disney sets with 47.7 million Friendship stamps collected in 2004 and 52.8 million Celebration stamps in 2005, we sat down with the Disney team to explore the possibility of extending the series. We feel the Art of Disney: Imagination stamps will finish the series as a cherished collectible."
The Postal Service randomly surveys approximately 10,000 customers four times annually to gauge the number of stamps collected. Spates said 57.2 million Romance stamps were collected in 2006 and 53.8 million Magic stamps in 2007.
The Disney relationship with the U.S. Postal Service began in the summer of 1918 when Walt Disney sorted and delivered mail in the Chicago Post Office. Next, Mickey Mouse worked for the Post Office when he starred in the 1933 animated short "Mail Pilot." The achievements of Walt Disney were first recognized on a stamp in 1968. On the stamp, a parade of children, hand-in-hand, appear from a tiny castle to surround a portrait of Walt Disney. The children, representing many nations of the world, are garbed in national costumes.
Source: U.S. Postal Service
Posted by Editor at 1:43 PM
August 6, 2008
Haier's 'Making the World a Home' Experience Center Opens in Beijing Ahead of the Beijing Games
Haier, the world's fourth largest white goods manufacturer and the official white goods sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, today opens the Haier "Making the World a Home" Experience Center in Chaoyang Park, Beijing. The Experience Center will be open to the public for the duration of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where visitors will experience Haier's vision of the future of home appliances and its "U-Home" technology.
Photo: Haier's "Making the World a Home" Experience Center in Chaoyang Park, Beijing will be open to the public for the duration of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The Experience Center, located at the south entrance of Chaoyang Park, Beijing, will allow visitors to experience 16 hours of a person's life in the future showcasing Haier's solutions to ease the life of the user from morning to evening. At home in the morning, while the consumer is exercising, his jogging machine will monitor his pulse rate or energy consumed. When leaving home, "U-Home" technology will automatically shut down lights to save energy and start the security system. In the office, Haier brings wireless interactive devices, making the office environment more clear and efficient. On the way home after work, the user can check the content of his refrigerator on his mobile phone and make a detour to the store accordingly. Finally, at home in the evening, the intelligent bed will recognize when the user has finished his day, and will shut down the lights, the television and close the curtains.
The bubble shaped building also serves as a giant screen where evening light shows will introduce Haier's history, Olympic sponsorship, and efforts for environmental protection. The entertainment area of the Experience Center will offer virtual sport games that will allow visitors to test Haier's technology while playing.
Haier's technology, named "U-Home" for "Ubiquitous Home", will accompany users in every step of their day-to-day life, keep them connected to the world when at home and to home when outside. Haier "U-Home" equipped home appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners or washing machines use the internet, mobile communication and fixed telephone networks to allow users to communicate with their home appliances anytime anywhere to control them and retrieve information remotely.
Photo: Haier service staff make a daily check on Haier washing machines installed in the Olympic Village laundry, Beijing China.
"Haier's Experience Center matches the excellence of Haier's products and services offered to athletes, journalists, visitors and staff in the Olympic venues. Haier has provided the Beijing Olympic Games with state of the art appliances in terms of energy efficiency and environmental protection. At the Experience Center, visitors from around the world will enjoy a taste of the future imagined by Haier," said Mr. WU Shouzhang, Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC).
"The Olympic Spirit advocates mutual understanding, friendship, unity and the spirit of fair competition, and stands for harmonious, free, healthy and active lifestyles. By means of household appliances in line with the Olympic spirit, Haier 'Making the World a Home' Experience Center endows the visitor with a harmonious and joyful 16 hours life experience," said Haier Group SVP Mr. ZHOU Yunjie.
Founded in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, in 1984, Haier Group is the world's fourth largest white goods manufacturer. Haier is one of the best known Chinese brands in the world, with distribution in over 160 countries.
Source: Haier Group
Posted by Editor at 11:48 AM
Empire State Building Celebrates Countries Competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
World-Famous Icon Displays Flags of the World With Its Iconic Tower Lights.
The Empire State Building (ESB) announced today that it will celebrate the countries competing in this year's Olympics by lighting each of the four sides of its famed tower -- north, south, east and west -- the colors of participating countries' flags each night throughout the summer games. This marks the first time ESB has split the tower's sides with four separate country's lights in its history.
For the 17 nights of the games, the monumental lightings will honor the top 66 countries participating in the Olympics, based on the number of athletes attending from each country.
"The Empire State Building is honoring the athletes that have trained and worked their entire lives to make it to this international stage of competition where unity, athleticism and sportsmanship are revered," said James Connors, General Manager for the Empire State Building. "We are proud that the Empire State Building can be a part of this international celebration and hope that its tower lights are another source of pride for the athletes and their countries taking part in the summer games."
For 17 straight nights, the ESB electricians will be working around the clock to change the 182 floodlights that will make the world-famous ESB tower glow in each country's colors. A typical color change takes six electricians, six hours; the country lightings will require a team of electricians, each dedicated to one side of the building -- north, south, east or west -- to change the lights. Each team will manually fit the colored plastic gels over the floodlights to create the appropriate color combination for that day's four countries being honored.
In the spirit of unity and teamwork, the ESB is also working with each country's Consulate to spread the news, and giving citizens from each respected country a chance to experience the national pride that goes along with having their national colors lit up prominently on the Empire State Building and in the New York City skyline.
Empire State Building Country Lighting Schedule:
• Colors are listed from bottom to top.
August 8, 2008 (Friday)
North: Red, White, Blue - France
West: Red, Blue, White - Great Britain
South: Red, Red, Green - Portugal
East: Green, White, Orange - India
August 9, 2008 (Saturday)
North: Red, White, Blue - Czech Republic
West: Red, Blue, White - Russia
South: Red, White, Green - Italy
East: Green, White, Green - Nigeria
August 10, 2008 (Sunday)
North: Red, White, Blue - Chinese Taipei
West: Red, Red, White - Poland
South: Red, White, Green - Mexico
East: Green, White, Red - Hungary
August 11, 2008 (Monday)
North: Blue, White, Red - Croatia
West: White, Red, White - Japan
South: Green, Yellow, Green - South Africa
East: Black, White, Red - Egypt
August 12, 2008 (Tuesday)
North: Blue, White, Red - Netherlands
West: Blue, Red, White - New Zealand
South: Green, Yellow, Blue - Brazil
East: Red, Yellow, Blue - Romania
August 13, 2008 (Wednesday)
North: Blue, White, Red - Cuba
West: Blue, Red, White - Slovenia
South: Yellow, Yellow, Blue - Ukraine
East: Red, Yellow, Red - Spain
August 14, 2008 (Thursday)
North: Red, White, Red - Denmark
West: Blue, Red, White - Australia
South: Blue, Yellow, Blue - Kazakhstan
East: Yellow, Red, Black - Germany
August 15, 2008 (Friday)
North: Red, White, Red - Austria
West: Red, Green, White - Belarus
South: Blue, Yellow, Blue - Sweden
East: White, Blue, Red - South Korea
August 16, 2008 (Saturday)
North: Red, White, Red - Canada
West: Red, Green, White - Bulgaria
South: Blue, White, Blue - Greece
East: White, Blue, Red - Serbia
[The final list will be available on August 9, 2008]
In 1976, colored lighting was first introduced in the Empire State Building as the tower was lit in red, white and blue to celebrate the American Bicentennial. The Empire State Building's tower lights are internationally recognized and are illuminated to commemorate holidays, events and causes that are of importance to New Yorkers, Americans and citizens of the world.
Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the "World's Most Famous Office Building." With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world.
Source: Empire State Building
Posted by Editor at 5:16 AM
July 31, 2008
List of Top 10 Green Cars from Kelley Blue Book Website
Kelley Blue Book's Web site Kbb.com, which provides new and used vehicle information, today announced the launch of KBB Green, a new section designed to guide new-vehicle shoppers on environmental and fuel economy issues.
Kelley Blue Book's new Green section allows new-car shoppers to obtain information about alternative-fuel technologies, such as hydrogen cars, diesel cars, hybrid cars, natural gas cars, electric cars and flex fuel/ethanol vehicles, as well as fuel-sipping gasoline cars.
The editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com have named their inaugural picks for the Top 10 Green Cars. With skyrocketing gas prices and growing environmental consciousness, Americans are seeking more fuel-efficient vehicles. While automakers are working to increase fuel efficiency, many economical standouts are already available in many categories to meet the needs of almost any new-car shopper.
In compiling the 2008 list of the Top 10 Green Cars, the kbb.com editors looked at more than just fuel economy and price. As would any new-car buyer, they also considered factors like comfort, performance, utility and technology. In addition to the three most fuel-friendly cars available today -- Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid and smart fortwo -- the list includes exceptionally efficient vehicles from a variety of categories, all the way up to a full-size SUV, like the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. The Top 10 Green Cars list also includes a sampling of the variety of drivetrains and Green technologies currently available to American consumers.
"In today's rapidly changing economy and environment, KBB Green is a one-of-a-kind resource for anyone interested in learning more about hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Our list of the Top 10 Green Cars shows consumers that there are fuel-friendly vehicles available in almost every segment to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, so you don't have to sacrifice much, if anything, to go Green."
Listed below, in order of combined EPA-estimated fuel economy, are the kbb.com editors' choices for the 2008 Top 10 Green Cars:
TOP 10 GREEN CARS:
Vehicle --------- City MPG --- Highway MPG --- Combined MPG
2008 Toyota Prius -------------------- 48 --------- 45 --------- 46
2008 Honda Civic Hybrid ------------ 40 --------- 45 --------- 42
2008 smart fortwo ------------------- 33 --------- 41 --------- 36
2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid ---------- 35 --------- 33 --------- 34
2008 MINI Cooper -------------------- 28 --------- 37 --------- 32
2008 Ford Escape Hybrid ------------ 34 --------- 30 --------- 32
2008 Honda Fit ----------------------- 28 --------- 34 --------- 31
2008 Mercedes E320 BLUETEC ---- 23 --------- 32 --------- 26
2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid ---- 27 --------- 25 --------- 26
2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid ------ 21 --------- 22 --------- 21
Following are the Kbb.com Editorial Comments on the Top 10 Green Cars:
Of all the vehicles sold in the United States by all the major manufacturers, none is more fuel-efficient than the Toyota Prius. Not surprisingly, the green-car poster child also is the best-selling hybrid on the market. With exceptional average fuel economy of 46 mpg, seating for five and optional goodies like a rearview camera and navigation, the Prius remains the "it" car for everyone from green-leaning celebrities to commuters just looking to save some green at the pump.
Honda Civic Hybrid:
Although the Civic Hybrid plays second fiddle to the Toyota Prius -- and only the Toyota Prius -- in terms of fuel economy, many buyers prefer the Civic's more traditional sedan shape to the Prius' "flashier" ovoid styling. Whether it pencils out financially compared with a gas-only Civic depends on a number of factors, but a Civic Hybrid owner will buy and burn around 30 percent less gasoline than his or her voltage-deficient counterpart.
Instead of horsepower and handling, it might be more useful these days to measure a vehicle's "bang for the buck" in terms of its fuel economy. On that scale, the smart fortwo is without equal. The tiny two-seater delivers 41 highway miles per gallon for the low, low starting price of just above $12,000 (add about $2,000 for conveniences like a stereo, air conditioning and power windows). Starting around $17,000, the convertible version easily qualifies as the most fuel-efficient, lowest-priced drop top on the road today.
Nissan Altima Hybrid:
Using hybrid technology licensed from Toyota, the Nissan Altima Hybrid combines impressive fuel-economy with much of the same sporty character that has helped establish the Altima's reputation as one of the most fun-to-drive mid-size sedans. The advanced technology isn't confined to the engine bay, either, as the Altima Hybrid offers a slew of electronic comforts and digital conveniences like push-button start, navigation with traffic info and a rearview camera.
Cars that consume less fuel don't necessarily have to sacrifice style or driving excitement. Need proof? You won't find a more convincing argument than the lovable MINI Cooper. On the highway it can travel up to 37 miles on a single gallon. In the mountains, it demonstrates road-holding acumen on par with some much thirstier and more expensive performance cars. Offering one of the most distinctive designs on the road to boot, the MINI Cooper is a smart choice for cost-cutting, fun-seeking and fashion-conscious buyers alike.
Ford Escape Hybrid:
Rising gas prices have been particularly troublesome for drivers who've grown accustomed to the raised seating position and added interior flexibility of SUVs. With the Ford Escape Hybrid, those so inclined can have their cake and haul it, too. The Escape Hybrid sweetens the sensible balance of a compact crossover SUV with lower fuel costs and the amusement of quiet, all-electric operation in parking lots.
The littlest Honda isn't the most fuel-efficient car in its class - a distinction that belongs to the Toyota Yaris -- but it is the most versatile and most fun. An exceptionally flexible rear seat maximizes cargo- and people-hauling abilities, while an available Sport model offers a performance-tuned suspension and paddle shifters. Combined with a starting price of less than $15,000, the five-door Fit is a well-rounded economy car that's good at everything from long commutes to long weekends.
Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC:
"Mercedes diesel." Can't you just see, hear and smell it idling so obtrusively before you at the stoplight? Now, forget that ever happened and picture a smooth, quiet and clean E-Class diesel that returns 36-percent better combined fuel economy than its gasoline-swilling counterpart. Like many new diesels on the way, the E320 BLUETEC combines cleaner diesel fuel with new engine and emissions technologies to deliver all the punch and efficiency of a diesel powerplant, but without all the shake and soot.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid:
For families that demand the added capacity of three rows, the Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient option available. The gas-electric version of Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV combines available seating for seven, impressive average fuel economy of 26 mpg and proven reliability. The standard equipment list even includes four-wheel drive, so you can commune with nature with the added peace of mind that you're spewing less into the air.
Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid:
Owners of full-size SUVs are suffering more than most at the pump, and many are trading the excess capacity for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. But what of the large, active families that really do need all the size and towing ability of a large SUV? Now there's a hybrid for them, too. The Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid can be equipped with seating for eight, four-wheel drive and can tow more than 8,000 pounds - all while seamlessly transitioning between gasoline and electric power and delivering 50-percent better city mileage than its gasoline-only counterpart.
• Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book has been providing vehicle buyers and sellers in America with the new and used vehicle information. The company's Web site KBB.Com displays new-car prices, car reviews and news, used-car blue book values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations.
Source: Kelley Blue Book
Posted by Editor at 1:40 PM
July 30, 2008
Siemens Velaro High-Speed Trains in Beijing
Five Siemens Velaro trains are to start running between the two Olympic sports venues from August 1 onwards. China Rail ordered a total of 60 Velaro trains. Three of them have been built in Krefeld in Germany, while the other 57 units are being built at Tangshan Locomotive & Rolling Stock Works in Tangshan. The above two pictures show the Velaro CN on the high-speed route near Beijing.
The Velaro high-speed train is fast, economical and safe for the environment. The Velaro is considered the most successful high-speed train in the world. By 2008, over 160 trains based on this platform will be operating all over the world, including the ICE 3 in Germany, the Velaro E in Spain, the Velaro CN in China and the Velaro RUS in Russia. According to Siemens, not only does the Velaro minimize operating and maintenance costs, but emissions are also extremely low in relation to the high transport capacity. In addition, low energy consumption and the use of environmentally friendly materials help save valuable natural resources. The Velaro is also the fastest series-produced train in the world. In September 2006, the Velaro reached the world record speed of 404 km/h.
Source: Siemens AG
Posted by Editor at 12:48 PM
July 23, 2008
2008 New York International Latino Film Festival: Suzuki Auto Hits Red Carpet With Actors Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz and Jay Hernandez
Rising Latina star Melonie Diaz receives Suzuki 'Way of Life!' Award.
Automaker presents NYILFF opening night film 'American Son,' starring Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz and Jay Hernandez.
Photo: Melonie Diaz arrives at a screening of her new film "American Son" at the New York International Latino Film Festival's opening night, presented by Suzuki Auto, Monday July 22, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Suzuki Auto, Jason DeCrow)
Suzuki Auto made a star appearance as the presenting sponsor of the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) opening night film "American Son," featuring rising stars Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz and Jay Hernandez. Suzuki's sponsorship of the NYILFF, which runs from July 22 through 27, 2008 in New York City, is part of the carmaker's ongoing effort to connect its brand and products with a wide range of Latinos -- a segment that represents nearly 10 percent of Suzuki new vehicle sales.
As part of the festival's opening night activities, Suzuki presented its first ever "Way of Life!" Award to Latina star on the rise Melonie Diaz. The award recognizes Diaz as a flourishing young Latina actress that embodies the authentic, bold and dynamic qualities of Suzuki's "Way of Life!" brand philosophy. Included with the award, the automaker presented a $2,500 cash donation on Diaz's behalf to the Manhattan-based Latin American Theatre Ensemble/El Porton del Barrio (LATE), a not-for-profit theater group responsible for the development of dramatic and literary talent from within the Hispanic-American community of New York City.
Photo: Suzuki Equator
Photo: Suzuki Forenza
"The Suzuki brand is about confidently exploring the world and discovering one's ability to live life to the fullest, and we're glad we've found a like-minded partner in the New York International Latino Film Festival," said Gene Brown, vice president of marketing for American Suzuki Automotive Operations. "Just as Suzuki is dedicated to providing fun and exciting products that reflect our customers' 'Way of Life' attitude, the festival shares a similar commitment to providing exhilarating and culturally relevant entertainment for film fans."
The 2008 NYILFF is presented by HBO (Home Box Office, Inc.), and made possible with the additional support of Official Sponsors HBO Latino, Heineken, Suzuki Auto, TBS & TNT, American Airlines, The Hollywood Reporter, Daily News/VNY, Telemundo, Time Warner Cable's New York City Region, 103.5 WKTU, WNBC and Impre.com.
The NYILFF is one of the leading film festivals that focuses on the urban Latino experience and presents the work of the hottest emerging filmmakers from the U.S. and Latin America. This year's festival includes screenings throughout the day and evening, industry panel discussions, music showcases and an exclusive partnership with Australia's Hola Mexico Film Festival, all tailored to reach the diverse and generational Latino audience.
Source: Suzuki Auto
Posted by Editor at 12:01 PM
Music: Sony Ericsson launches three new Walkman™ phones and the next generation music accessories
To coincide with the Walkman™ phone's third birthday, Sony Ericsson has unveiled three brand new mobile phones giving music on the go to more users.
Photo: Listening to Song with Sony Ericsson W595 Walkman™
Today, Sony Ericsson unveiled its latest innovative additions to the Walkman™ phone family: the W902, W595 and W302, and seven new music accessories. Sony Ericsson is unveiling phones and accessories with superior sound quality and pioneering features, which, according to the company, "Take Walkman™ phones beyond music and expectations with fantastic extras such as great imaging and video capabilities."
Photo: Sony Ericsson W595 -- Listening to Music
"Since the launch of our first Walkman™ phone in 2005, Sony Ericsson has continued to pioneer a superior mobile music experience - and the 77 million Walkman™ phones sold to date are testament to this commitment," says Ben Padley, Head of the Music Category at Sony Ericsson. "With this latest range of phones and accessories, we are offering high quality sound and a rich feature set that cements our position as a leader in the music phone category. We are pushing the boundaries of what people think is possible and are offering best-in-class sound quality and our most exciting Walkman™ phones to date. The list of pioneering and innovative features found on Walkman™ phones continues to be unmatched in the industry. Features like the music recognition application TrackID™, SensMe™, for matching your mood to the music and Shake control to change tracks with the flick of your hand make Walkman™ phones stand out from the rest."
Photo: Sony Ericsson W902 Walkman™
Photo: Sony Ericsson W595 Walkman™
Photo: Sony Ericsson W302 Walkman™
According to Sony Ericsson:
• The W902 makes the users listen to music the way it should be heard: true to original. It's also a mobile phone for those that want it all, with a five megapixel camera and great video capturing and sharing capabilities.
• The W595 Walkman™ is for those who want to share sounds with their friends. Store and play more than 1,900 songs through the built in stereo speakers. Plug in the in-box sharing jack to listen silently to your tunes with a friend or Bluetooth™ your sounds to Sony Ericsson's range of wireless speakers.
• The new W302 Walkman™ is packed with impressive features in an affordable no-compromise slim handset. Targeting all audiences, the phone comes complete with a two megapixel camera, FM radio, TrackID™ and 512MB Memory Stick Micro™ (M2).
• The next generation of accessories includes three new sets of speakers, the MBS-200, MBS-400 and MPS-100, to help music lovers go beyond the individual and play music directly from their mobile phone. Enhancing its music accessories collection Sony Ericsson has also introduced three new stereo headphones, HBH-IS800, HPM-88 and HPM-66 for the optimal listening experience.
Sony Ericsson is a top global industry player with sales of over 100 million phones in 2007. With operations in over 80 countries including manufacturing in China and R&D sites in China, Europe, India, Japan and North America. Sony Ericsson was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London.
Source: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB
Posted by Editor at 3:18 AM
July 18, 2008
Blog Influence in Print Media is Growing Rapidly: Cision
Print Media Needs to Develop Strong Blogger Relationships.
Photo: A Professional Blogger
Rapid acceleration of blog and blogger mentions in top mainstream print publications emphasizes the importance of proper blogger relations.
Cision, the leading provider of media research, distribution, monitoring and analysis services, today released figures that clearly demonstrate the growing influence of blogs in the mainstream print media. A study of the top 20 national magazines and newspapers shows that over the last 5 years, the number of times blogs and bloggers are mentioned in articles has increased more than 16-fold.
Photo: A College Blogger
Cision discovered that the top 20 national magazines and newspapers mentioned blogs and bloggers 13,066 times in the one-year period ending June 30, 2008. That compares to only 795 times in 2004 and 2,179 times in 2005.
"This stunning growth in blogger influence magnifies the importance of employing common sense when contacting bloggers," said Peter Granat, Cision Executive Vice President. "Knowing the blogger and his/her focus is the critical element in a successful blog relations campaign. While many blogs are highly visible in their own right, the growing influence with the mainstream media elevates their importance."
Photo: Newspaper Readers
Photo: A Magazine Reader
"As stories with origins in the blogosphere begin to spill into magazines and newspapers, the benefits of developing relationships with bloggers continue to grow," Granat said.
Photo: A Journalist using Blogs for information
Other recent research confirms the growing reach of the blog. Brodeur Partners, a leading public relations and communications firm, noted in a January survey that 57 percent of 178 journalists contacted said they read blogs at least two to three times per week, while 18 percent said they spend at least one hour per day reading them. The PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey revealed that nearly 40 percent of the participating journalists employ blogs to find topics for stories, 30 percent use them to find experts, and nearly 58 percent use them to measure sentiment.
Photo: Man at Newspaper Stand
Publications included in the Cision research are:
• Arizona Republic
• Chicago Tribune
• Dallas Morning News
• Entertainment Weekly
• Financial Times
• Houston Chronicle
• Los Angeles Times
• New York Times
• USA Today
• Vanity Fair
• Wall Street Journal
• Washington Post
Cision provides integrated services and software solutions for reputation and campaign management, media monitoring and research of media contacts. Cision operates in the US, UK, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Portugal, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and China, and has partners in another 125 countries.
Posted by Editor at 6:39 AM
Sneak Peek from Beijing
Photos: Sneak Peek from Beijing: New Satellite Images of National Stadium and Aquatics Center captured by DigitalGlobe. (Photo Credit: DigitalGlobe Inc.)
Posted by Editor at 6:02 AM
July 15, 2008
Americans Viewed 12 Billion Videos Online in May 2008
U.S. Internet users viewed more than 12 billion online videos during the month of May 2008, representing an increase of 45 percent versus year ago. This was disclosed today by comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) through its Video Metrix service.
In May, Google Sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property with 4.2 billion videos viewed (representing a 35 percent share of all videos viewed), with YouTube.com accounting for more than 98 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 778 million videos (6.4 percent), gaining 1.3 share points versus April. Yahoo! Sites ranked third with 347 million (2.9 percent), followed by Microsoft Sites with 246 million (2.0 percent). Hulu.com, a joint venture of NBC and Fox featuring full-length broadcast TV programs, debuted in the tenth position with 88 million videos being viewed (0.7 percent).
Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Videos Viewed
Total U.S. -- Home/Work/University Locations
(Source: comScore Video Metrix)
Property ------------------ Videos (000) ----- Share (%) of Videos
Total Internet ----------------- 12,086,273 ---------- 100.0
Google Sites -------------------- 4,205,700 ------------ 34.8
Fox Interactive ------------------- 778,168 -------------- 6.4
Yahoo! Sites ---------------------- 346,825 -------------- 2.9
Microsoft Sites -------------------- 245,899 -------------- 2.0
Viacom Digital -------------------- 206,047 -------------- 1.7
Time Warner [Excl. AOL] -------- 145,113 -------------- 1.2
ABC.COM -------------------------- 126,589 -------------- 1.0
Disney Online ----------------------107,876 -------------- 0.9
AOL LLC -----------------------------104,681 ------------- 0.9
HULU.COM --------------------------- 88,284 ------------- 0.7
[Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks. Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.]
Nearly 142 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 85 videos per viewer in May 2008. Google Sites also attracted the most viewers (83.8 million), who watched an average of 50 videos per person. Fox Interactive attracted the second most viewers (60.8 million), followed by Yahoo! Sites (40.2 million) and Microsoft Sites (29.5 million).
Top U.S. Online Video Properties by Unique Viewers
Total U.S. -- Home/Work/University Locations
(Source: comScore Video Metrix)
Property --------- Unique Viewers (000) -- Average Videos per Viewer
Total Internet ----------------------141,657 --------- 85.3
Google Sites ------------------------- 83,828 --------- 50.2
Fox Interactive ---------------------- 60,760 --------- 12.8
Yahoo! Sites ------------------------- 40,197 ----------- 8.6
Microsoft Sites ----------------------- 29,471 ----------- 8.3
Time Warner [Excl. AOL] ----------- 24,612 ----------- 5.9
AOL LLC ------------------------------ 21,670 ----------- 4.8
Viacom Digital ----------------------- 21,260 ----------- 9.7
Disney Online ------------------------12,385 ----------- 8.7
ESPN ----------------------------------- 8,425 ----------- 8.9
ABC.COM ------------------------------ 7,747 ---------- 16.3
[Rankings based on video content sites; excludes video server networks. Online video includes both streaming and progressive download video.]
Other notable findings from May 2008 include:
• 74 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
• The average online video viewer watched 228 minutes of video.
• 82.2 million viewers watched 4.1 billion videos on YouTube.com
(50.4 videos per viewer).
• 54.8 million viewers watched 703 million videos on MySpace.com
(12.8 videos per viewer).
• 6.8 million viewers watched 88 million videos on Hulu.com
(13.0 videos per viewer).
• The duration of the average online video was 2.7 minutes.
Source: comScore, Inc.
Posted by Editor at 10:27 AM
July 6, 2008
THE 2008 BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES AND 'THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR' TO BE PRESENTED IN MULTI-NETWORK 'TAKEOVER' BY NBC UNIVERSAL
Beijing Olympics and Upcoming Epic Adventure Starring Brendan Fraser and Jet Li Receive Joint Promotion with Innovative Co-Branded Feature.
NBC Universal announced that it has assembled all of its family units to promote two enormous August events in China -- the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the next chapter in the blockbuster Mummy adventure series. According to NBC, this is to be done through a co-branded spot that represents "the most comprehensive synergistic effort ever mounted by NBC Universal". The piece features settings and characters from "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" and athletes seamlessly blended in sequences in which the action from the film transforms into Olympic events. It premiered on July 1 on all NBC networks and will run throughout August.
The NBC announcement says that "THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR" hits theaters worldwide on August 1, and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games coverage begins on NBC on August 8. The blockbuster global Mummy franchise takes a turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor". Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O'Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China to the neon-lit streets of post-war Shanghai and high into the spectacular Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O'Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service.
Doomed by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity in suspended animation, China's ruthless Dragon Emperor and his 10,000 warriors have laid forgotten for eons, entombed in clay as a vast, silent terra cotta army. But when dashing adventurer Alex O'Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must seek the help of the only people who know more than he does about taking down the undead: his parents.
As the monarch roars back to life, our heroes find his quest for world domination has only intensified over the millennia. Striding the Far East with unimaginable supernatural powers, the Emperor Mummy will rouse his legion as an unstoppable, otherworldly force...unless the O'Connells can stop him first. Now, in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor", the trademark thrills and visually spectacular action of the Mummy series will be redefined for a new generation.
"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" is helmed by director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, xXx) and written by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (Spider-Man 2, television's Smallville). Reprising their roles as producers in the series are Bob Ducsay, Sean Daniel, Stephen Sommers and James Jacks.
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios. Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBC, "America's Olympic Network," owns the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Olympic Games, television's most powerful property, through 2012, which includes Beijing in 2008, Vancouver in 2010 and London in 2012. The 2008 Olympic Games from Beijing, China, will represent the 11th Olympics broadcast by NBC, a record for the most Olympic broadcasts by any network. From August 8-24, 2008, NBC Universal will present an unprecedented 3,600 hours of coverage, highlighted by NBC in primetime with live swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball and more than 2,200 hours of live streaming video for the first time on NBCOlympics.com. In August 2004, 203 million viewers watched as the networks of NBC Universal -- NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, USA, Bravo, Telemundo, and NBC's HD affiliates -- offered a then record 1,210 hours of Olympic coverage from Athens.
Source: Universal Pictures
Posted by Editor at 9:35 AM
June 21, 2008
U.S. Olympic Team Advertising Campaign by Bank of America
Advertising celebrates America's strong voice of support for Team USA.
Bank of America, the Official Bank Sponsor of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, has announced the debut of its U.S. Olympic-themed advertising campaign.
The multimedia campaign rallies support for Team USA(TM) through the company's signature Olympic-themed programs -- America's Cheer(TM) and U.S. Olympic Team Banking -- and includes a new national television commercial, as well as print, radio, online and point-of-sale advertisements.
"Unlike any other sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games are the only time when an entire nation cheers for one team," said Anne Saunders, Brand and Advertising executive, Bank of America. "Our new campaign captures the passion and spirit with which Americans everywhere are cheering on the extraordinary athletes who will represent the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games."
Created by BBDO New York, the campaign features images of Americans showcasing their spirited expressions of patriotic support for Team USA, with a voiceover that enlists America to "cheer your head off with America's Cheer dot-com and the U.S. Olympic Team will hear you all the way to China."
In addition to America's Cheer, the new campaign promotes U.S. Olympic Team Banking only available at Bank of America. The suite of U.S. Olympic Team-branded checks and Visa(R) Check Cards and credit cards enable customers to support America's Olympic athletes with every purchase with their card, while earning special rewards.
Photo: An image from Bank of America's U.S. Olympic-Themed TV commercial.
Bank of America's new campaign makes its debut on June 21 in conjunction with NBC's coverage of the U.S. National Team Trials for Diving. Thereafter, the new campaign will continue to run leading up to and during NBC's national broadcast of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and on NBC affiliates around the country in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
America's Cheer: America's Cheer is Bank of America's grassroots campaign that provides an opportunity for all Americans to cheer on the nation's finest athletes as they prepare to compete at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Whether it's an energetic video or audio recording, heartfelt letter or inspiring photo, America's Cheer invites the entire country to express their support for Team USA(TM) through the act of cheering.
Photo: Soccer Spectators looking at a Large TV Screen
To upload a cheer, individuals or groups can visit http://www.americascheer.com/. Cheers can also be recorded by visiting the America's Cheer(TM) mobile tour which is currently visiting 19 cities and 26 events, traveling 27,000 miles before its final stop in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 24, 2008, a date that coincides with the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games.
U.S. Olympic Team Banking: In recognition of what the U.S. Olympic Team means to its customers, Bank of America has developed U.S. Olympic Team Banking, a new suite of Team USA-branded checks and Visa(R) Check Cards and credit cards that enables customers to support America's Olympic athletes with every purchase with their card, while earning special rewards for themselves. With every U.S. Olympic Team credit card purchase, customers can earn points to redeem WorldPoints(R) rewards for cash, airline tickets, hotel stays and for Bank of America U.S. Olympic Team merchandise, memorabilia and exclusive experiences. Customers can also generate contributions to the U.S. Olympic Team when they open a new U.S. Olympic Team checking account and with every U.S. Olympic Team Visa Check Card or credit card purchase at no additional cost to themselves. (One may visit http://www.bankofamerica.com/olympics to sign-up or to learn more about the many features and benefits of U.S. Olympic Team Banking.)
Bank of America's U.S. Olympic Team Sponsorship: Bank of America is widely recognized as a major corporate sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, creating opportunities for the nation's best athletes to represent the United States in world-class competition. Bank of America's earliest known involvement with the U.S. Olympic Movement dates back to 1921, when the bank provided leadership and financing for the Los Angeles Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. In 1992, Bank of America signed on as an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Barcelona, Spain, and has supported every U.S. Olympic Team since, including the American athletes who will compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries and has relationships with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 83 percent of the Fortune Global 500.
Source: Bank of America
Posted by Editor at 6:13 AM
June 14, 2008
Paris Beach Volleyball Grand Slam: Henkel is the Main Sponsor
The Henkel Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Tournament 2008 will be held in Paris from June 16-22. This year is the fourth time the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Tournament will be held in the French capital. And for the third time, Henkel is the main sponsor of the event, and will present its corporate brand name and seven product brands: Fa, Mir, Le Chat, Pattex, SuperGlue, Loctite and Schwarzkopf.
More than 200 matches will take place on the grounds of the "Champs de Mars," against the fantastic backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. The arena has a capacity exceeding 6,500 spectators, who will be able to experience world-class beach volleyball free of charge. The best 130 teams from 40 countries will travel to Paris to pit their skills against each other. For the athletes, the tournament is important in terms of the qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in August. The winners will not only qualify for the Summer Olympics, but also earn 600,000 euros in prize money. Accordingly, the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam Tournament in Paris ranks among the most lucrative beach volleyball competitions worldwide.
As the main sponsor, Henkel also offers fans a diverse range of fringe events. These include instructions given by Le Chat on maintaining health at the same level as top athletes, the opportunity to relax in the wellness zone hosted by Fa, or a visit to the Henkel Cafe.
Beach volleyball attained the status of an Olympic sport in 1996. Since the 1980s, the game has emerged as a highly popular sporting event, which appeals to a large audience. In addition to the playing surface, the main difference compared to indoor volleyball is the number of players on the team. In beach volleyball, each team consists of two players, not six as is the case with its indoor counterpart.
Henkel has been sponsoring national and international sports events for many years. Besides the Beach Volleyball Grand Slam tournaments in Paris and Klagenfurt, Austria, Henkel has also been involved with the Ice Hockey World Championship in Canada and the World Handball Championship in Germany last year.
Henkel, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, has about 55,000 employees worldwide and counts among the most internationally recognized German-based companies in the global marketplace. People in approximately 125 countries around the world use the brands and technologies from Henkel. Henkel is organized into three globally operating business sectors: Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics & Toiletries, and Adhesive Technologies.
Source: Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
Posted by Editor at 7:19 AM
June 1, 2008
Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09: Fan Pier Boston is U.S. Stopover Venue
Photo © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Photo © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Photo © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
The Volvo Ocean Race has confirmed Fan Pier in Boston as the sole North American stopover when the race visits the US East Coast port city in April-May 2009.
Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping in 11 ports around the world and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier global race for professional racing crews.
Agreement between race organizers to bring the race to Fan Pier has been backed by the city of Boston and has been made possible by the efforts of the local developer Joe Fallon, who is working closely with city officials to ensure a successful, world-class event at the coveted waterfront location - Fan Pier.
The entire stopover facility including berthing for the seven-boat fleet, race village, entertainment complex and haul-out area will be accommodated on a five-acre Volvo Ocean Race zone within the development site.
Two weeks of festivals and local events are planned for the beginning of May 2009, to celebrate the arrival and departure of the Volvo Ocean Race, Boston's maritime history and the sport of sailing.
The Fallon Company is owner and developer of the large-scale, 21-acre Fan Pier site. Fallon's plans for the area include a five-star hotel, offices, designer boutiques, restaurants and luxury condominiums with 360-degree views of the Boston skyline and harbour.
Fan Pier also brings to life new public parks, a Harbor Walk, a state-of-the-art marina and the internationally acclaimed Institute of Contemporary Art. It is a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly area, and as the newest neighborhood in the city of Boston is the ideal spot to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to Boston.
The visit of the Volvo race, Fallon says, will bring heightened awareness to Boston's waterfront, Fan Pier, extreme ocean racing and the sport of sailing in general. "I'm extremely proud and excited that Fan Pier and the city of Boston will join world-class ports like Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Singapore and Stockholm as hosts of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race," Fallon said.
"Fan Pier represents the best of Boston's ability to bring new global events with international audiences to historic Boston Harbour," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "We believe this race will showcase Boston and the waterfront as a global destination to residents and tourists alike."
Photo: © Oskar Kihlborg. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Photo: © Rick Tomlinson. Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Boston is the only North American port stopover for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race. PUMA, which headquarters its North American operations in the greater Boston area, has entered the race with their boat il mostro representing the U.S. The boat is skippered by Ken Read who has strong ties to the greater Boston area.
At the completion of its stopover at Fan Pier, the re-start of the race continues onto its next port stopover, Galway, Ireland.
The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008, it will, for the first time, take in Kochi, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia.
Source: Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Car Corporation
Posted by Editor at 3:36 AM
May 20, 2008
Jennifer Hudson Steps Into the 'Spotlight' With New Single on Arista Records
After her critically-acclaimed performance in Dreamgirls, Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson makes her long-awaited foray into the music scene with "Spotlight," her official first single from her self-titled debut album, set for release in September on Arista Records. "Spotlight" impacts radio June 9 and will be digitally available at iTunes on June 10. An all-star team of writers and producers have been assembled to contribute their talents to Hudson's highly-anticipated debut album, including Timbaland, Robin Thicke, The Underdogs, Diane Warren, Tricky Stewart and more.
"I'm beyond ecstatic about my new album," says Hudson. "I think people will be pleasantly surprised, because it shows a side of my work that no one has heard before. This album has a huge variety of sounds and one of my favorite songs is 'Spotlight' because it has this great infectious groove. This is completely new territory for me and I can't wait for people to hear it."
Source: Arista Records
Posted by Editor at 2:59 AM