As both the Lakers make their playoff run and the Royals continue their surprising start, we take a look at the glories of YouTube past and present to see the potential for a new kind of one on one competition, ala ABC's legendary series “The Superstars.” (although it may be just a virtual one but one that could afford some unique branding oppts). It is car jumping, as we have seen recently with the Lakers star Kobe Bryan.?”jumping” over a speeding car online last week. While the authentic YouTube stunt of Royals outfielder Joey Gathright.has been documented since 2002, when the athletic outfielder became one of the first internet legends by jumping over a stationary car, Bryant's stunt, real or virtual obviously drew more attention. So the next level of “challenge” occurred Friday on ESPN, with Gathright challenging Bryant to an offseason car jump. Nice move by the young outfielder looking to make his own stake, a smart move to issue the challenge whether it plays out or not…hopefully there will be a Bryant response an.some trash talk after the Lakers season ends that could play out in a nice branding opportunity as well as some new media hijinx in the summer, so long as no one actually tries the competition this time..?
On to some other good reads…as we head into NFL Draft week, we found two pieces that remind all involved in football how much an impact top collegiate programs and the success of the NFL can have in urban environments…first was a great piec.Kurt Steeter had in the LA TimesUSC coach Pete Carroll, and his trips into urban areas to work with people and spread good will…the second was the New York Times piece on Cleveland Browns linebacker Leon Williams and his experiences playing football on the streets (literally) of Brooklyn. Bot. give us great insight int.high profile individuals in football who are willing to make a difference by going above and beyond in the community, which we will hopefully see more of as the next new crop of potential stars hear their names called this coming weekend…also on th.hoops front, ESPN.com's Jeff Pearlman had a great piece this week on the long road back to the limelight that former Duke star and Missouri coach Quin Snyder is taking, using the D-League as his way to get back to the top. Another great piece set up and delivered by the NBA D-League PR staff.?