Red Thread

a Christmas story

Jack Daniels’ Christmas advert shows a 26’ Christmas tree made entirely of whiskey barrels, covered with Christmas lights, surrounded by people. It’s the first time they’ve done it, according to the ad copy. The lead line: It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s what’s around it. The tree is in the main square of their home town, Lynchburg, Tennessee where, one imagines, JD is the favourite tipple. The bit we like best: it’s only 26’ tall. Any self-respecting PR agency would have been looking, at the very least, at a Guinness Book of Records entry – but thankfully this is not PR, this is storytelling. Christmassy.
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foot in mouth marketing

Sex appeal and celebrity endorsement have long been bedfellows. It’s the old adage that sex sells, and it’s no different in the world of sports brand ambassadors. It’s the Anna Kournikovas and David Beckhams who are able to step beyond the traditional world of sports equipment brand endorsements, and into the world of fashion and beauty. Both athletes have had lucrative underwear modelling contracts in the past, and are judged as much on what they wear as how they perform.
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Celebrating a Crusader

First published in SportBusiness Magazine December 2011

As SportBusiness International this month identifies and celebrates the 20 men and women whose innovation have shaped the sports industry in 2011, I want to recognise one of the most influential and yet least talked about names in world sport.

Professor Arne Ljungqvistt’s past lives as a champion high-jumper, doctor, and professor of pathology have made him one of the world’s foremost experts on performance-enhancing drugs, and the tests to detect them.
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