Athletes and the Power Of Celebrity Can Make A Difference…

The success in athletics is usuall.measured in fractions of a second…therefore the “little things” that the professional athlete does in his or her prep to close that gap can make champions into challengers and vice versa. Not a surprise of course for anyone who loves the drama of sport. However sometimes in the loss of that prep and the power of celebrity are those “little things” that can make the difference off the field, especially in the life of a's Arizona Republic that shows over time how a meeting with Cards QB Matt Leinart and a young boy named Brandon Emmons altered both of their lives for the better (Emmons passed away this past weekend).?These chances meetings, and the opportunity that athletes have to effect lives for the greater good, happen every day, and sometimes we as publicists and marketers have and should use the media to tell these stories, not for self-promotion, but to humanize these stars and give inspiration to others around.Seahawks T.J. Duckett, who has started a foundation that not only rasies money for cancer, but finds ways to teach survivors how to deal and then overcome the obstacles in their way. Once again, not about the money, but about the power of celebrity and doing the “little things” to change the course of lives around us. We fully realize those are two very small examples, but they highlight two athletes efforts, with many more examples to come.

Another great charity “branding” effort was pointed out by Bill Dwyre in today's LA Times with the running of a horse named “Autism Awareness” yesterday.Atlanta Journal Constitution has a piece today on the NFLPA's program to give athletes the opportunity to sharpen their business skills in the offseasonOn the March Madness promotion side, Promo Magazine has a cool online activation put forth by Papa John's Pizza, where fans are invited to post their best NCAA fan photos. Winners get discount coupons and a host pf prizes.

Lastly, found another blog worth taking a look at, not just for good sports branding perspective but also to get the lowdown on what is effective and unique in the entertainment branding world. The site is First Call, and it has already touched on a variet of topics from baseball in Japan to Bobby Flay's role at the Kentucky Derby.