Archives for 2009

Want To Liven Up Your Super Bowl Event? Hire A Football Legend

The Super Bowl is the biggest single sporting event in the United States each year. It’s become an unofficial holiday and tens of millions of people tune in not only for the game but also the commercials, halftime musical performance and all the other revelry surrounding the game. Even non-sports fans become fans for a day around the Super Bowl. The upcoming game will be played in Miami, FL on Sunday, February 7, 2010.

Miami has been the host of The Super Bowl nine other times, starting with Super Bowl II in 1968 and most recently Super Bowl XLI in 2007. Miami seems to be favored often for the site of The Super Bowl because of their ideal weather conditions during the winter season along with a variety of outdoor activities that Miami offers its visitors.

Many companies, casinos and organizations host Super Bowl parties to entertain clients and raise money. And while such events can offer a lot of fun and comraderie, one of the best ways to make an event even more exciting is to hire a retired football great to sign autographs, meet/greet guests and give a pre-game and halftime chalk talk.

PFP Sports & Celebrity Talent arranges for a number of such appearances around each Super Bowl. For instance, last year former Dallas Cowboys great Ed “Too Tall” Jones appeared at a casino in California. That same casino has hired Cowboys Hall of Famer Randy White for the upcoming Super Bowl. A couple of years ago, PFP procured former Denver Broncos linebackers Karl Mecklenburg and Randy Gradishar for a Super Bowl party to raise money for a local charity. Both legends spoke about their experience of playing in the Super Bowl and gave a chalk talk about the upcoming game. PFP has also booked Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders appearances at various functions around the Super Bowl.

If you’re interested in livening up your Super Bowl event and creating an unforgettable experience for your guests, contact PFF Sports & Celebrity Talent. Call 1.800.966.1380.

Has Tiger Woods Hurt The Athlete Endorsement Market?

I’ve read on more than one occasion since the Tiger Woods story broke last month that the endorsement market for all athletes will suffer as a result of his indiscretions. The thinking goes that if companies can’t trust someone like Tiger, who for years had the cleanest image among all athletes, who can they trust?

Tiger Woods continues to endorse Nike. The organiztion stands behind him.

Tiger Woods continues to endorse Nike. The organization stands behind him.

I don’t agree with this assessment. There’s an inherent risk whenever a company utilizes an athlete. He could get hurt, traded, arrested or, in the case of Tiger, caught with his pants down. Athletes have been endorsing products for close to 100 years and will continue to do so.

For every high-profile scandal such as Tiger or Kobe Bryant earlier this decade that resulted in companies either cancelling or not renewing their endorsement agreements, there are countless examples of endorsement deals that have been successful. Do you think Nike was disappointed with Michael Jordan or Gatorade with Derek Jeter?

Over the weekend, I was watching CNN and three commercials in a row featured athletes – Howie Long for Chevrolet, Dan Marino for NutriSystem and Chris Berman for Applebees. So will there be any fallout from “Tigergate”?

My guess is that companies will scrutinize potential endorsers even closer. Morality clauses, which give companies the ability to opt out of an endorsement agreement should an issue arise, will likely be tightened even more. And most importantly, companies likely won’t build their entire advertising campaign around just one athlete, which is what Accenture did with Tiger. Some people have estimated it will cost Accenture tens of millions of dollars just to remove all the advertising featuring Tiger. How many times have you been in an airport and seen an Accenture billboard with Tiger?

Speaking of Tiger, his fall from the mountaintop has been historic. Never has an athlete of Tiger’s stature fallen so far so fast. Just a month ago, ask someone to describe Tiger’s image and you would likely hear such words as squeaky-clean, trustworthy and integrity. To date, among his sponsors who have either cancelled or scaled down their involvement with him  include Tag Heuer, Accenture and Gillette. Gatorade is phasing out its Tiger product, although it made the announcement a few days prior to the start of Tiger’s problems.

PFP Sports and Celebrity Talent Agency is a top booking agent for athlete endorsement deals,  athlete appearances and sports speakers. For more information on how to book an athlete endorsement or appearance, call 800.966.1380

Sportscaster George Michael Dies Of Cancer At Age 70

WASHINGTON, DC – George Michael, Washington, D.C. legendary broadcaster who was famous for  sports television’s  “The George Michael Sports Machine” show, has died of cancer. He was 70 years old.

Legendary broadcaster George Micahel dies of cancer at age 70.

Legendary broadcaster George Micahel dies of cancer at age 70.

Michael, who always had a confident and boisterous style while on the air, worked in radio and television for more than 40 years. He worked on the sports desk at the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., from 1980 to 2007.

Michael’s daughter, Michelle Allen, said Michael was surrounded by family and friends when he died Thursday morning from complications of chronic lymphocytic leukemia at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

“He waged his battle against cancer with the same drive and determination that made him a one-of-a-kind in the broadcasting industry,” the family said in a statement. “Whether it was covering a sports story, working on his horse farm, or spending time with family and friends, he approached everything in life with passion.”

“Sports Machine” began shortly after Michael’s arrival at WRC TV in Washington in 1980 as “George Michael’s Sports Final,” a late-night local feature. Then in 1984 it grew into the first nationally syndicated sports highlights show, eventually airing in 194 markets across the United States and in 10 foreign countries.

WRC TV called Michael a pioneer in sports broadcasting and a dynamic force in its newsroom.

“He was a gifted interviewer, a master storyteller, and one of the hardest working journalists out there,” the station said.

PFP Talent extends its deepest condolences to the family.

NFL Star Chris Henry Dies From Fatal Truck Accident Injuries

CHARLOTTE, NC – NFL star Chris Henry, 26, who suffered grave injuries in a truck accident in North Carolina yesterday, has died. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report Henry died at 6:36 AM EST this morning. Henry played wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Chris Henry, wide receiver for The Cincinnati Bengals, died Thurdays morning Dec. 17, 2009

NFL star Chris Henry died Thursday morning Dec. 17, 2009

It was previously reported that Henry jumped into the back of a pickup truck yesterday in an attempt to stop his fiancee from leaving a “domestic situation” at her parents’ home in North Carolina.

Henry was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after being found on a residential road “apparently suffering life-threatening injuries,” according to police.

Police said at some point when his fiancee was driving, Henry “came out of the back of the vehicle.” They wouldn’t identify the woman, and no charges were immediately filed.

“Detectives continue to work diligently on this active investigation,” police said in a statement today.

Tiger Woods Releases Statement Regrets Infidelity

Tiger Woods has responded to the media onslaught due to a voicemail released by his alleged mistress Jaimee Grubbs. Grubbs claims she had an affair with Woods and has produced a  voicemail Tiger left for her on November 24 asking her to remove her name from the outgoing message on her voicemail because Elin was becoming suspicious.

Tiger Woods release statement on his website regarding his alleged affair

Tiger Woods releases statement on his website Dec 2,2009 regarding his alleged affair

Tiger Woods released the following statement on his website:

“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.

But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don’t share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one’s own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions.

Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it’s difficult.

I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.”

Woods pulled out of his own golf tournament this week after being injured in a car accident outside his home in Florida.

Tiger Woods Injured in Car Accident Released From Hospital

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

ORLANDO, Fla. – According to authorities, Tiger Woods was injured when his car hit a fire hydrant which then struck a tree outside his waterfront mansion in Isleworth early on Friday morning.

The accident occurred at approximately 2:20 a.m. after Woods pulled out of his driveway in his 2009 Cadillac sports utility vehicle, according to The Florida Highway Patrol.

Although we do not have all of the details of Woods’ condition, the Florida Highway Patrol reported his injuries as serious and said that he was taken to Health Central Hospital.

WESH 2 News reported that he was treated for facial lacerations and hospital officials confirmed he was treated and released on Friday in good condition.

Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, told CNBC in an e-mail that the golfer is “fine.” Woods’ spokesman, Glenn Greenspan, said the golfer was treated at the hospital and released in good condition.

The Highway Patrol report said alcohol was not involved, though the accident remains under investigation. No one else was in the car, patrol spokeswoman Kim Montes said.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that the airbags in Woods’ Cadillac Escalade did not deploy, meaning the vehicle was moving at a speed under 33 mph.

Dorothy Hamill Now A Popular Speaker Remains Olympic Icon

Each Olympics seems to produce a handful of stars that will remain popular for years to come, one of whom is almost certainly Dorothy Hamill,  the Olympic gold medalist in figure skating. However, few Olympians have enjoyed the enduring popularity ofDorothy Hamill.

Olympic Gold medalist Dorothy Hamill remains a popular speaker today

Dorothy Hamill, Olympic Gold medalist and breast cancer survivor,  is a popular  speaker today.

As a 19-year old, Hamill won the Gold Medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. In so doing, she joined other figure skaters such as Peggy Fleming and Kristi Yamaguchi as American icons.

After the Olympics, Hamill turned professional. She skated with many productions, including eight years with Ice Capades. She had four ABC television prime time specials produced in her honor and produced and starred in her own touring productions of “Cinderella – Frozen In Time”, “Hansel, Gretel, the Witch and the Cat”, and “Nutcracker On Ice”. She won an Emmy for her starring role in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Hamill was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame and was honored by being asked to run the torch into the Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City in 2002 and skate the closing ceremonies with vocalist Harry Connick Jr.

Hamill is very involved in charity work including the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the International Special Olympics, Big Brothers & Sisters of America, Buoniconti Fund, Olympic Aid, Vaccine Fund, American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House and teaching blind children to skate through the March of Dimes.

In late 2007, she released her memoir entitled “A Skating Life: My Story”, which made the New York Times Best Seller List. The following year, Hamill was diagnosed with breast cancer, which was reportedly caught early.

She’s remains one of the most popular Olympic speakers and has become one of the most sought-after cancer speakers as well. PFP Sports & Celebrity Talent recently procured her to speak at a cancer conference in the Washington D.C. area. She currently splits her time between Nantucket, MA, where she runs the Dorothy Hamill Figure Skating Fantasy Camp, and Maryland.

If you would like to find out how to hire Dorothy Hamill for a speaking engagement, appearance, endorsement, autograph signing or special event, request Dorothy Hamill booking agent information from PFP Sports and Celebrity Talent Agency. PFP is a top celebrity booking agent for sports stars, athletes and celebrities. Call 800 966.1380.

Is Picabo Street The Greatest American Skier Of All-Time?

Picabo Street

Picabo Street, Olympic Gold Medalist

In part one of my Winter Olympics blog, I profiled Mike Eruzione, the captain of the 1980 U.S. “Miracle On Ice” Hockey Team. In this blog you’ll learn about Picabo Street, one of the greatest American skiers of all-time. The next blog will feature figure skater Dorothy Hamill.

A three-time Olympian, Street joined the U.S. Ski Team in 1989 and earned a silver medal at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in ­the downhill. She made her mark at Olympic history at Negano in 1998 by taking gold in the super G by a mere hundredth of a second.

Street medaled in three World Championships and earned a combined silver in 1993 and super G bronze and downhill gold in 1996. Street became the first American to win a World Cup season title in a speed event after winning six of nine World Cup competitions in 1995. After suffering a leg injury and two years of rehabilitation, Street returned to compete in the 2002  Olympics in Salt Lake City before retiring. With nine career victories, she was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2005.

Since retirement, Street has remained in the public eye. She’s had broadcasting assignments with NBC’s Today Show, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, OLN and the FineLiving Network. In 2003, she hosted a 12 series winter sports show for OLN entitled Picabo Street’s Snow Zone and in 2006, Street was a Special Correspondent to NBC’s Today Show throughout the Turin Winter Games. She’s once again scheduled to work for NBC at the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver.

As one of the most recognizable Olympians, she has served as spokeswoman for Giro helmets, Bolle eyewear, Park City Mountain Resort, Walk EZ and Bogner of America. She’s also one of the most popular Olympic speakers and stays busy making personal appearances and speaking around the country. Corporations will often hire Street to ski with clients and then deliver a keynote presentation afterwards.

If you would like to find out how to hire Picabo Street for a speaking engagement, appearance, endorsement, autograph signing or special event, request Picabo Street booking agent information from PFP Sports and Celebrity Talent Agency. PFP is a top celebrity booking agent for Olympic speakers,  athlete appearances, sports stars, endorsements and celebrities. For more information call 800.966.1380.

Is Mike Eruzione The Most Popular U.S. Winter Olympian?

I know the Winter Olympics aren’t far off when I start receiving inquiries about Olympic speakers. They seem to be especially popular this year because the Olympics will take place in nearby Vancouver, British Columbia. So who are the most popular Winter Olympians? Over the next couple blogs I’ll profile a couple of them – Mike Eruzione, Picabo Street and Dorothy Hamill. First up is Eruzione.

Mike Eruzione sports motivational speaker

Mike Eruzione, Olympic hero & sports motivational speaker

A graduate of Boston University, Eruzione captained the hockey team his senior year and is among the school’s all-time leading scorers.  Little did he know that what lied ahead would change his life forever.

Entering the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid, NY, the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team werent’ considered medal favorites. They were a bunch of college players competing against stronger and faster teams from Europe, including the mighty Russians who had NHL-caliber players on their team and had won every gold medal but one since 1956. How good were the Russians? In exhibitions that year, Soviet club teams had gone 5–3–1 against NHL teams and a year earlier, the Soviet national team had routed the NHL All-Stars 6–0 to win the Challenge Cup.

In what became forever known as the “Miracle On Ice”, the U.S. stunned the Russians, 4-3, in the semifinals and went onto to win the gold medal after defeating Finland, 4-2. The win against the Russians is considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympics history and was named the Greatest Sports Moment of the Century” by Sports Illustrated.

Eruzione was (and still is) the face of that team. Not only did he serve as captain but he also scored the winning goal against the Russians. Ask anyone about their recollection of that historic event  and you’ll likely either get a rendition of Al Michaels’ memorable call “Do You Believe In Miracles” or a mention of Eruzione.

Eruzione and his team have become American icons. In 2002, Eruzione and his teammates had the honor of lighting the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were also inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Today, Eruzione resides in Massachusetts and serves as Director of Development for Athletics at Boston University. He also stays busy making speaking engagements and personal appearances around the country. His inspirational story of what it takes to be a champion make him one of the sought-after sports speakers in the country.

If you would like to find out how to hire Mike Eruzione for a speaking engagement, appearance, endorsement, autograph signing or special event, request Mike Eruzione booking agent information from PFP Sports and Celebrity Talent Agency. PFP is a top celebrity booking agent for sports stars and celebrities. Call 800.966.1380.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has Cancer

NBA legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 62, has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia called chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that produces cancerous blood cells. The disease was diagnosed in December. He is taking oral medication to treat the disease.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 62, revealed during an interview Monday that he has Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that produces cancerous blood cells.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar revealed in an interview Monday that he has Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that produces cancerous blood cells.

“The word ‘leukemia’ is a very frightening word,” he said in a phone interview from New York. “In many instances, it’s a killer and it’s something that you have to deal with in a very serious and determined way if you’re going to beat it.”

“If it wasn’t for my health-consciousness, I would have just passed on the effects as something I could ignore,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “But I felt it didn’t make sense to ignore it.”

“The fact that you can manage the disease means that you can live your life,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “The fact that you have to go and get your blood analyzed and consult with your doctor might be a minor inconvenience, or you have to take your medication every day. But if you do these things, you can lead a normal life.”

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