Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gatorade Brand Ambassador Bowling Nite!

What a cast, huh? We're missing James and Phil Yougnhusband, Jeric and Jeron Teng, Juami Tiongson, RR Garcia, Jean Mbe, and newbies Jaja Santiago and Pam Lastimosa.

One of the best feelings and sense of accomplishments ever for me was helping put the Brand Ambassador program for Gatorade (under the superb leadership of Angel Motomal and Mikey Rosales). It was something that was first introduced in 2010 and we've tried to innovate and make changes through the years. We've had over 30 athletes since and have graduated from merely college ball players to include volleyball, football, as well as the endurance sports like running and triathlon.

Last year, when we formally launched the program to the media and the public, we all felt elation. Aside from making the brand the number one sports drink, the Gatorade Brand Ambassador program has jump started the endorsement career of many an athlete from Anthony Semerad to Chieffy Caligdong to Jeric and Jeron Teng to Nikko Huelgas and to our oh-so-popular volleybelles. We are immensely proud of LA Tenorio and Caligdong who have been our first local players to get a television commercial. It was also extremely personal for me (not speaking for the team here). You see when LA Tenorio was freshman in Ateneo, we struck up a friendship and I wrote a long story about him (to borrow his words "has been the foundation for LA Tenorio stories". As for Caligdong, it was covering him way before the Azkals got popular. Aris Caslib was instrumental in bringing us together for that interview in 2005 and a visit to Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo. Chief has been one of our best BAs. Back to the program, we have also featured two non-Filipinos that was a daring move for the brand and it opens up the advertising world to new opportunities. We had Ateneo's Kirk Long for a number of years and NU's Cameroonian player Jean Mbe for a year. That's says something about the brand -- it's aggressiveness and willingness to adapt to the ever-changing world.

The shoots have always been fun but the get togethers have been doubly so because the athletes have become friends along the way. In that first get together last year, we played some games to break the ice and they were fun. Check out the videos below.

After a hectic college sports season, we planned on bringing everyone together once more while breaking in the newbies. With athletes like Aby Maraño, Jeric Teng, RR Garcia, Juami Tiongson, and Jean Mbe graduated, we eyed Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, and Gelo Alolino to come in. Others included NU Lady Bulldog Jaja Santiago (who is in but was out of the country). 

The plan was to get everyone to play in teams in a one-round bowling tournament and play two more icebreakers (including one we call 'Alias Mr. Pogi' where champion tri-athlete Nikko Huelgas showed us some nifty dance moves) at Paeng's Bowling Center in Eastwood while eating pizza, chicken wings, and pasta. And it was fun. It sure was great to see Calvin Abueva make it. Okay din mag-bowling si The Beast. 

Check out the pictures below. I have to say some of them turned out to be pretty good bowlers -- Von Pessumal, Kevin Ferrer, and Jericho Cruz were the best but Aby Maraño, Nikko Huelgas, and Mika Reyes weren't so bad either. The team of Kevin Ferrer, Aby Maraño, Nikko Huelgas, and Ton Gatmaitan won the tournament.

Thanks to our Gatorade team that works super hard on the brand and all our activations -- Bos Mikey Rosales, Smokey was there, Ton Gatmaitan, Marcia Cruz, Anna Romero, Pam Bauza, Gelo Jongo, Arnie Bunagan, Ade Magnaye, Jackie Caruyan and our friends/team from DDB (Hey, Denise and Vina), and all the folks at Pepsico. And of course, Brosi Gonzales. And of course to Oz Arcilla. Miss ya, bud.

Our volleybelles with Da Chief!

Mike Tolomia getting ready to strike down them pins!

Hindi lang pang national team… pang bowling pa. Magaling si tenyente!
Selfie time!

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