remembering brendan



If you didn’t get the chance to read the ESPN.com piece written by John Buccigross in December about hockey’s royal family the Burkes, now might be a good time to do so. It told of their 21-year-old son Brendan, who had courageously come out of the closet both privately and publicly in a sport that likens itself more to back woods pond brawls than it does to modern-day queer culture.

On Friday, young Brendan’s life was cut tragically short by a vehicle accident in Indiana. TSF honors those – like Brendan – who strive for equality in our society at large, and in cultures – like hockey – where the fight remains dauntingly uphill.

You will be missed, Brendan.

(Burke family photo via the AP)

in print and online, serena steps up



While CNBC’s Darren Rovell has spent a lot of energy covering the many marketing moves of Ana Ivanovic (and what a great job he’s done), I feel like the recent developments in Serena‘s world deserve mention…

Back on the web: First, after being MIA at least since the beginning of 2007, her official website is back up and running. I’m not in love with that cursive font she uses in her note to fans, but hey it’s a start. Not sure what’s going to happen with her blog. (It’s been cited in a few media outlets — who I can only assume fact-check — so we’ll go with it.)

HP’s “Hands”: Serena is also the latest star of HP’s ads which have previously featured Shaun White and Vera Wang. The TV ad focuses on her passions, “including tennis, fashion, movies, video games, animation, and music.” They’ll run on USA and ESPN (and online at SI.com).

The ad also plays when users visit the “Serena Web Experience” — a mash-up of vlogs (from friends and family), downloadable ringtones (her grunts!!), and clips of her Jackass moment with Wee Man — involving a pineapple, of all things.

FYI: The ads were created by Omnicom Group‘s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

How does Serena choose endorsements?:

I don’t take every offer that comes along — I get a lot of them. I think sometimes my agent (Jill Smoller) gets mad at me! Not really; she understands, but she does kid me about it: “Are you going to turn down everything?” I don’t want to attach my name, like some athletes or celebrities or whatever, to just anything. It has to fit my values, my personality. … And my partners are always involved in philanthropic things. They’re companies that give back, and that goes well with me. It’s not really about the money. … [The brand of] Serena Williams is not for the now; it’s for a lifetime. (via Ad Age)

Boobs, schmoobs: And Serena takes part in a series of ads by Nike Women which comment on the place of women in sports. Manhattan got a billboard from the campaign in time for the U.S. Open. It’s a picture of Serena Williams wearing a blue shirt printed with the word “ATHLETE”. The accompanying text asks, “Are you looking at my titles?” Titles, titties — get it?

AdRants wonders why Nike would stoop to the level of objectifying women if the point is to move away from that. (But female fans drool over male athletes all the time, so I guess it’s okay…)

FYI: As a part of the campaign, Nike founded the Let Me Play Fund with $425,000 in cash and equipment. The fund will benefit women’s sports orgs.

(via DTL)

potito watch 2007



potito starace at the mexican open

Potito Starace got knocked out of the Pacific Life Open yesterday. He lost to journeyman Dusan Vemic in the qualies.