Search Results for 'drexler'

No, I haven’t heard yet from Clyde Drexler (or anyone claiming to be him) since writing the “‘I Love China’: Clyde Drexler Cashes In” post earlier this month, but I did get a note from one astute reader (Thanks, Michael) who pointed me to a January 10, 2005 article ( on the People’s Daily Web site that reads:

Clyde Drexler signs with Chinese company

NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler signed Sunday with a Chinese sports promotion company to become the first American NBA player promoting a Chinese sports brand.

Drexler, one of the 50 NBA Greatest Players, signed a two-year contract with Athletic of Fujian Province. The details of the contract were not disclosed.

“I’m excited to be here again,” said Drexler, who came to China for the fourth time. “It’s my ambition to promote the basketball game to more countries, to let more youngsters to like the game.”

The Athletics is planning to bring the Houston University basketball team, which was formerly coached by Drexler, to China for an exhibition game against of China’s Collegiate Super League champions.

“The Houston team is in the Division One (of the NCAA), but I don’t think they have the shot on the Final Four,” Drexler said. “I hope, in the future, we can bring the best American college teams to China.”

Drexler led the Houston Rockets to two consecutive NBA championships in 1993-95. He played 15 seasons in the NBA and retired in 1998.

Well, at least we know now that (1) Mr. Drexler has in fact been in China and (2) he really does have a contract with the Athletic company. I still earnestly would like to learn what he especially loves about China…and whether any U.S. garment manufacturers are sore at him for any sort of unfair celebrity endorsement trade imbalances. (No, wait, I guess that would that be the other way around….)

I’ll keep checking the ol’ Inbox for a message from Mr. Drexler just the same.

It’s no longer a secret that U.S. celebrities (and former celebrities) often pick up some extra “pocket cash” in Asia by lending their celebrity to advertising campaigns. When we were in Tokyo a few weeks ago, in fact, Brad Pitt’s face and wrist were plastered all over the city helping hawk some particular brand of watch or other. My first encounter with this was seeing Brooke Shields staring alluringly at me from a poster advertising some beverage–can’t recall what kind–in South Korea in 1995. (And of course Sophia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannsen has popularized the phenomenon more recently.)

One recent morning, though, as my Mother-In-Law was gathering paper, cardboard and plastic to take to the recycling man for some extra pocket change of her own, I noticed a picture of former NBA star and gold medal-winning “Dream Team” member Clyde Drexler decorating a bag from a particular athletic shoe manufacturing company in nearby Quanzhou, “Athletic.” I think my Wife’s Younger Brother must have bought a new pair of shoes and got the bag from the shoe store.

On one side of the bag, Clyde (or his representative) has written the following:

To Athletic,

Next future dream team. I love China, I love Athletic.

Clyde Drexler #22


On the other side of the bag, same picture, with Chinese that basically just says who he is and his claim to fame and that he is an “Ambassador” for this company’s products. The bag also gives the address, phone number and URL of the “Athletic” company headquarters.

All this got me wondering what exactly it is–apart from the celebrity endorsement fee, of course–that Mr. Drexler loves about China, so here is my…

Open Letter to Clyde Drexler

Dear Mr. Drexler,

I recently saw on a shoe manufacturer’s shopping bag here that you love China, and so since I’m a bit of a Sinophile myself, I’d like to offer some space on my “China Blog” here for you to let the rest of us know what it is that you love about China.

You can contact me on this page–please leave some information I can use to contact you in return and confirm that it’s really you and not, say, Allen Iverson trying to get in on the deal–and we can take it from there.

Best regards,

Mark Baker

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not criticizing Mr. Drexler or anyone else from the U.S. who takes on paid endorsements. In fact, if any Chinese advertisers would like to use my likeness or attribution to endorse their products, I too am available (if the price is right). I’m just genuinely interested in what Mr. Drexler finds in particular to be so endearing here in China, and maybe find out when and where he’s visited here in the Middle Kingdom so we can compare notes. And of course I can offer him or his copywriter some tips to avoid sentence fragments and comma splices.

I also don’t know how much Mr. Drexler might have received for his endorsement, but his bag, filled with paper and cardboard for the recycling man, netted my Mother-In-Law about 15 U.S. cents. I thought the recycling man should have paid more, since the bag itself bore a celebrity endorsement, but the recycling man, still wearing a Chairman Mao-era blue worker’s suit, for some reason was not duly impressed.

Here are a couple photos:

You might have read my little series earlier on Clyde Drexler’s endorsement package for “Athletic,” a Quanzhou-based shoe manufacturer.

But traveling from Qingyang to Quanzhou, you can actually see the Athletic company headquarters.

Apparently Clyde’s endorsement is doing them some good, because their headquarters are looking pretty-darn-fancy-schmancy: statues of white horses, doric column structures, and so on.

These photos were taken from a moving vehicle and unfortunately don’t do the place justice, but maybe you’ll get the general idea…

And here are a couple shots of Drexler billboards nearby. The road from Qingyang to Quanzhou, in fact, is one great gauntlet of Clyde Drexler billboards…