The Games Afoot

What do James Carville, Alan Dershowitz, Joan Jett, Tara Lipinski and Mark Spitz have in common?
All appear in a new TV campaign for ESPN and ESPN2 touting the sports cable networks’ coverage of the soccer Women’s World Cup.
The campaign via Ground Zero, a Marina del Rey, Calif.-based agency, revolves around celebs and sports figures trying to convince President Clinton to attend the Women’s World Cup championship soccer game, in Pasadena, Calif., on July 10th. Each urges in his or her unique way to convince the president to make the date. For example, Carville implores the president, “All I’m asking is that after you kick out the game ball, you stay for three hours in the Rose Bowl.” After a campaign worker whispers in his ear, Carville clarifies, “So you don’t get to kick out the game ball. Big deal.”
ESPN and ESPN2 will run 30 of the matches between June 19 July 10. ABC will air the opening and final games.
After running teaser ads, the campaign kicked off last week with a phone number for the president (or curious viewers) to call. The recording reminds callers to tune in. Hundreds of calls have been logged, but so far Clinton is noncommittal. – Angela Dawson