Sports celebs in commercial spotlight

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Stars of DDB’s new “Power of Cheese” campaign are baseball Hall of Famers Sparky Anderson and Johnny Bench, manager and former catcher of the Cincinnati Reds, respectively. They were booked by Nova Lanktree of CSMG, Skokie, the power-house sports agency that bought her 12-year old company a year ago.

Naturally, since Lanktree always knows these things, we asked her about Michael Jordan’s future in advertising, now that he’s retiring and combating a multi-million dollar sex scandal lawsuit. Not to worry, she assures.

“Michael is set for life and many lives beyond that. His deals, with Nike and Gatorade, for example, were always structured very long-term,” she said. “When he officially retires, those advertisers will think of different and more integral ways to use him, such as appearances at board meetings, sales meetings and executive golf outings.” As for the lawsuit, Lanktree predicts, “It won’t harm the interest that advertisers have always had in him.”

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