The Underdog Days of Summer

With the NFL and NBA both embroiled in lock-outs while owners and players negotiate new collective bargaining agreements, the hottest tickets in sports these days belong to some unlikely matches.

It seems some of the lesser talked about sports have discovered their recipe for PR success and the key to popularity – violence and scandal. It has long drawn in the crowds for the raw force of football, the precision of basketball and, of course, baseball. While not violent in itself, baseball is certainly full of money, drug and gambling scandals. It’s amazing any of them are still eligible for the Hall of Fame. We love you Pete, even if you did bet on your own teams!

Taking a PR lesson from Spider-Man the Broadway musical, the Tour De France has found itself amidst a flood of disaster, and with it, media activity. And, with that much attention, the masses are tuning in! While Lance Armstrong has lent a good amount of appeal to cycling over the past years, it is nothing compared to the broken bones, near death experiences and doping scandals surrounding the race this year. Hell, the media are so into this thing they ran down one of the competitors. OK, it didn’t go exactly like that, but regardless the press has had plenty to fuel the Tour de France fire!

After a much needed day off to rest and put the drama behind them, the race took off again Tuesday. With many competitors out of the race, and the dreaded climbs in the  Alps still to come, the fight is on to the finish line, which cannot come fast enough most likely.

And, let’s hear it for the ladies of soccer, who are causing a bit of a stir themselves. After their victory over Brazil on Sunday, the celebrity tweets keep rolling in. Stars such as Tom Hanks, LeBron James, Seth Meyers, Aaron Rodgers and Lil Wayne were sending their love and admiration through Twitter for the U.S. women.  They even won an Espy award last night for that last-minute goal — as the network sponsors of both FIFA World Cup and the ESPYs, looks like ESPN is grabbing the spotlight while they can.

The women’s soccer team has made a different play to gather some attention. Beautiful women that kick ass, you can’t ask for a better PR campaign.

Even with as much attention as the Tour De France and women’s soccer have gotten, don’t count our favorite traditional sports out just yet. The NCAA continues to trend on Twitter as people still continue their chatter. But, it’s nice to see the underdogs get some time in the spotlight. And, if they keep up the crashes and the drugs, they might just stay there.

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