Bryant says 'proud' to be THY envoy, resisting Armenian pressure

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has begun appearing in Turkish Airlines (THY) commercials as the national carrier's "global brand ambassador".

Bryant says 'proud' to be THY envoy, resisting Armenian pressure

World Bulletin / News Desk

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has begun appearing in Turkish Airlines (THY) commercials as the national carrier's “global brand ambassador,” despite pressure from some Armenian-American groups that have threatened to boycott the star.

The first televised advertisement, in which Bryant expressed that he is “proud” to be THY's ambassador, is part of a two-year contract signed on the occasion of THY launching its first non-stop flights to Los Angeles from İstanbul. In the same commercial, Bryant says he and his team are excited because they will be able to enjoy the beauty and cultural richness of Turkey thanks to these flights.

The commercials with Bryant will be shown globally, but the focus of the campaign will be on the US market and on the Far East and the Middle East, where the player is more poplar. Bryant also posted a video of the first commercial on his Facebook page.

California has 600,000-700,000 Armenians, with a heavy concentration in Southern California. The influential US-based Armenian diaspora organization the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has exerted intense efforts to put pressure on Bryant by threatening to boycott his matches.

Some Armenian groups called on Bryant to use his fame to push US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to schedule a vote on House Resolution 252 -- which would recognize the killing of Armenians during the final days of the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20th century as "genocide" -- before Congress began its recess last week.

Turkish hackers attacked the website of the ANCA early Wednesday in response to the ANCA-initiated campaign calling on Bryant to cancel the contract with THY, briefly posting messages supporting Bryant.

Last Mod: 29 Aralık 2010, 17:44
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