Sports Illustrated's Scorecard section has an interesting feature this week on how NBA teams are using viral marketing to promote players for the All-Star Game and Slam Dunk Contest.
It started last year with Toronto forward Chris Bosh's hilarious impersonation of a used-car salesman in this YouTube video campaign.
This season, others have followed suit:
Amare Stoudemire's video includes celebrity endorsements from Beyonce, among others. There are several video shorts, but they lock the creativity of Bosh's video.
Devin Harris does a parody of George W. Bush's Iraq press conference complete with teammates throwing shoes at him. The quality's a little poor, but it's pretty funny.
Bucks rookie Joe Alexander campaigns for the dunk competition in a series of videos at SeeJoeDunk.com. This is one of the most creative uses of viral marketing I've seen with an athlete. It's done in the spirit of the ESPN "This is SportsCenter" ads without looking like a knockoff.
And Portland's Rudy Fernandez campaigns with some bilingual ballads. He raps in one and tries to sing in another. Overall, it's pretty weak.