Feature

Contribute Now to the Biggest Night in Sports: The ESPYS

This Wednesday, July 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, The 2016 ESPYS Presented by Capital One will once again unite the world’s premier athletes, its biggest stars and the very best sports stories of the year. Hosted by John Cena, this 24th annual celebration supporting ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research will be televised live from LA’s Microsoft Theater.

In the meantime, ESPN Radio’s 12th Annual ESPY Day Auction to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research is officially underway on eBay, where it will run through July 13. This year’s auction of more than 100 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and behind-the-scenes experiences with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike and sports-related experiences with ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith, Jon Gruden, Julie Foudy and more. To date, the ESPN Radio ESPY Day Auction has raised more than $8.4 million. To participate in the Auction and/or donate to the Jimmy V Foundation, go to http://www.ebay.com/rpp/espn or call 1-800-4-jimmyV.

Another way for fans across America to participate in The ESPYS is to help determine exactly who will be selected for these and other ESPY Awards: Read more

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Feature

It’s time to catch-up with Sam Jones, “Off Camera”

This has been a spectacular day for me. I began preparing for it a couple of years ago, when I was able to reconnect with one of the most phenomenal people I’ve met in my career – the acclaimed photographer and director Sam Jones, who is the force behind Off Camera. Sam launched his original on-camera interview series back in 2013 as a website, magazine, TV show and podcast, and when I wrote about it, he sent me a warm response. Knowing that the show is now beginning its fourth season, today I made a plan to look-in on it again. After spending the whole day binge-watching clips from the show’s YouTube channel, here is my takeaway: Sam Jones is profoundly influential to me, and I am certain that everyone else watching his show must feel the same way. Here’s why. Read more

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“Off Camera” enters year three of the best conversations

It’s been a year since I last spoke with the acclaimed photographer and director Sam Jones, who is the publisher, host and editor-in-chief of the Off Camera website, magazine, TV show and podcast. Sam launched his on-camera interview series in 2013 with these words: “…as much as I have tried to create a multi-platform technologically relevant episodic blogpodzine, I am really just using new tools to do the same thing I have always done; which is follow my interests, and try to get in the room with some really interesting people.” Last February, I published a story about Off Camera’s first anniversary, and Sam surprised me with a call to touch-base. That connection with such a respected and accomplished artist inspires me every day.

Over the past 12 months, new print/iPod issues and episodes of Off Camera have appeared with these fascinating guests… all sharing insights from in-depth conversations with Sam, who is their trusted friend: Michael B. Jordan, Sarah Silverman, Matt Damon, Ed Helms, Jackson Browne, Judy Greer, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Goldsmith, Laird Hamilton and Jon Brion. Sam’s thoughtful Off Camera theme builds on his experiences working with high-profile luminaries… where they would regularly discuss various subjects, including their work. The best conversations were happening off-camera, Sam observed… and this passion project is the result. Read more

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Success builds for Sam Jones on and off camera

One of the many highlights of my work handling PR for Tool of North America back in 2004-2006 was having the opportunity to meet the acclaimed photographer and director Sam Jones, and handling the campaign announcing him joining Tool for commercial representation. Since then, Sam has hooked-up with RSA Films for commercial representation, while also following his passions to very impressive new heights in the fields of publishing and production.

Last year, Sam launched Off Camera as a website, magazine, television show, and podcast drawing upon his passion for the long form conversational interview, and his connections with a myriad of high-profile artists, actors, musicians, directors, skateboarders, photographers, and writers. In May, Rob Haggart – the former director of photography for Men’s Journal and Outside Magazine – ran a story about “Off Camera” on his popular website, A Photo Editor. Here is an excerpt:

Sam Jones is a go-to photographer for many magazines, studios and ad agencies when it comes to shooting actors. In over 20 years of shooting he’s noticed an unfortunate trend working for magazines. Less time; less control over wardrobe, location, heck even what side of the face you get to shoot; less choice in what to shoot with; which in his mind equals less exciting pictures. No unguarded moments or glimpses into their real lives. So, he decided to do something about it and created his own vehicle for “more” called offCamera. Read more

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CGTV update: “Tales Of Us” and much more

CGTVAs announced this week on Cap Gun TV (CGTV), Goldfrapp, director Lisa Gunning and Cap Gun Collective have come together to tell “Tales Of Us” — a journey through five individual stories, each based on a song from the cinematic new Goldfrapp album. This featurette consisting of the films presented here (via Goldfrapp’s YouTube Playlist) and many others yet to be released will be showcased in theaters internationally later this year.

You can now purchase “Tales Of Us” and updated tour information is appearing here: http://goldfrapp.com/live

Also from CGTV, “Night of the Foxes” from Cap Gun director Tom Haines will screen at BFI’s London Film Festival Read more

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Update

Avoiding Babylon in the land of celebrity tie-ins…

Sometimes, marketers just need to make their products and services stand out, and one of the standard tools for doing so is the celebrity spokesperson or tie-in. Each month, scores of items on the approach brim from professional industry trades and — in the best and worst cases — the mainstream press. Here’s a list of articles on the subject that are worth checking out.
. “Celebrity branding suffers a slump in star quality” from the Sunday Herald Online (UK)
. “Cashing in on celebrity: how to achieve a brand’s perfect fit” from Media Week (UK)
. “Celeb image or brand credibility –it’s truly a game of two halves” from Media Week (UK)
. “Record drop in number of ads using celebrities” from Brand Republic (UK)
. “Celebrity Ads Get Attention But Don’t Always Deliver” from Research Brief (US)
. “Stargazing; The celebrity endorsement, driven more by gut feel than hard data, remains a bit of a black box for ROI-focused marketers” from CMO Magazine (US)
. “Cross Media Case Study: Stylin’ Hair” from OMMA Magazine (US)
. “Marketing Focus: Catherine Zeta-Jones on Line One” from Business 2.0 (US)

Though each of these stories features mission critical highlights, Thomas Mucha’s Business 2.0 piece is a brief case study of a successful approach. Since 2002, T-Mobile has featured the glamorous Ms. Zeta-Jones in their TV, radio, online and print campaign elements as their spokesperson. But this development came only after the firm’s principals realized that they needed to promote their brand shrewdly to steal market-share from their competitors, and they needed to focus on educating consumers on their unique solutions and customer service. So, with a sound strategy in place, the company then found the right individual to address their specific agenda — and have since poured an estimated $400 million per year into a poised, polished campaign.

A few more links to check-out from the high-stakes celebrity endorsement casino: Kobe Bryant; Steve Madden; Martha Stewart; Rosie O’Donnell; Oprah Winfrey; Lance Armstrong; Lebron James; Paris Hilton; Donald Trump.

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