Shanoff's W.U.C.: Starbucks W.U.C.? Sold!

Today's Calls: LifeLock vs. WNBA, Yankees vs. Thome, Roy Oswalt vs. Rich Hill, Vince Young vs. Jeff Fisher, Memphis vs. NCAA, Tim Tebow vs. the Field and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: How about the "Starbucks Wake-Up Call?" (Worked for MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show.) ↵

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↵Dunkin' Donuts Wake-Up Call? ↵
↵Holiday Inn Express Wake-Up Call? ↵
↵This-Space-For-Sale Wake-Up Call? ↵

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↵The NBA is on to something, cutting a deal for LifeLock to be prominently displayed on the front of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury jersey. In this economic environment, the most valuable marketing location left is across the chest of players in the major sports leagues. ↵

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↵Shill, Baby, Shill. ↵

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↵MLB, NBA and NFL fans can save their outrage over the sacrosanct (and irrational) separation between sponsors and jerseys. Soccer fans across the globe -- who are as big of fans as it gets -- have thrived with sponsored jerseys for years. ↵

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↵Besides, we already have massive corporate branding on major sports league jerseys: College football and basketball have ubiquitous logo coverage -- jerseys, shorts, shoes, headbands, wristbands, bicep-bands, chinstraps, you name it -- from apparel-makers. ↵

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↵The WNBA experiment is a Trojan horse -- I predict you will see logos on the front of at least some versions of NBA game jerseys by the time LeBron is two years into his Knicks career, if not sooner. ↵

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↵This is not drilling for oil in wildlife preserves; this is a heavily marketed, heavily commercialized product creating a valuable new marketing proposition. It won't offend your sensibilities -- Kobe is still Kobe, Brady still Brady, Pujols still Pujols. ↵

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↵That doesn't change if we replace "Celtics" with "PapaJohns.com." Or if we replace "Shanoff's" with "Starbucks." ↵

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↵Did I say "if?" Obviously, I mean "when." Shill, Baby, Shill. ↵

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↵LeBron as sore loser, cont'd: We don't get closure until there is a YouTube parody. And this one is quite good. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points ↵

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↵• Milestones (Defense): NYY 18 games w/o E. ↵

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↵• Milestones (Offense): Thome hits career HR 550. ↵

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↵• Oswalt Ks 8: Ks ChiSox, too. ↵

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↵• Vote for Manny Update: Dropped to 5th! ↵

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↵• Fantasy Stud: Rich Hill (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7 K). ↵

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↵Women's CWS: Washington's football team might be one of the worst programs in the country, but its softball team is about to become national champs. The Huskies throttled Florida 8-0 in Game 1 of the best-of-3 WCWS. ↵

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↵Memphis Scandal, Cont'd: Supposed to get back to the NCAA today. Like they're going to say: "OK, we admit it!" Prepare for "See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil." ↵

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↵More scandals: Auburn football. Just once I'd like for a university to not say "we have not determined if any violations have been committed" and just admit that, yes, the football team overreached. Like everyone isn't doing it! ↵

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↵(Is it me or is the NCAA getting worse, not better, at enforcement -- particularly in keeping up with media coverage that is only getting more aggressive and disseminating faster. Then again, maybe the NCAA's rules are archaic in today's recruiting world.) ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: Florio has the 10 worst offseason moves -- in the case of No. 1, what one team didn't do was their biggest mistake. ↵

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↵Vince Young wants out? Only if he can't start (which -- in Tennessee, under Jeff Fisher, right now while the Titans are contenders -- he won't). Why are people not talking about VY as the ultimate Wildcat option? On another team, deployed more creatively, he could be a tremendous asset. ↵

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↵Tom Brady "exceeding expectations" in rehab? Of course he is. ↵

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↵CFB Preseason: Tebow's minions. Who is the best player in college football? Tim Tebow, obviously. Yes, but who rounds out Matt Hayes' intriguing Top 25? You may find at least one intriguing name in the Top 10 -- is Oregon's Masoli the new Tebow? ↵

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↵USC Scandals: Why do you think USC would drag their feet in handling the investigation of the Bush-Mayo scandals? Maybe they are stonewalling, but the irony is that the NCAA isn't stonewalling, but has gotten just as far -- nowhere. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "It was a bad joke." -- Danica Patrick, on her "joke" that she would totally use PEDs to win races if she could get away with it. ↵

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↵It's a pretty close competition: Who was more disingenuous in their explanations for their public relations missteps -- Danica or LeBron? ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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