Shaq hitting Hong Kong to party, and push energy drink
Ex-NBA star and current player Mike Miller have a packed schedule, including parties at Dragon-i and Southorn Stadium
Retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and current player Mike Miller will be in Hong Kong for a few days early next week to plug a new energy drink. Its producer is looking for “aggressive expansion” in Asia, with Hong Kong and Macau the first markets in which the drink will launch. The two basketball stars will conduct what is essentially a marketing full-court press during their three days in the city, starting late on August 17 with the 2.16-metre tall, 150kg O’Neal - better known as “Shaq” - hosting a party at Dragon-i in Central. Miller will appear on Bloomberg TV the following morning, after which there'll be a media event at The Ritz-Carlton in Kowloon, followed by another party at Southorn Stadium, Wan Chai, on the night of August 18. They’ll wrap it up the next day with visits to 7-Eleven stores.
The beverage was first released three years ago in the United States as Let it Fly, but has been rebranded as L.I.F.E for Asia. The brand’s managing partner, Christian Waters, tells 48 Hours the drink will be stocked by Circle K, ParknShop and Wellcome by the end of the month — and will soon spread to the Philippines and other parts of Asia. The NBA’s popularity in Asia - especially China - is well known, and in recent years its players have made China and Hong Kong a marketing priority every off-season. O’Neal, one of the best players in the history of basketball, is a pioneer on that front, having first teamed up with Chinese apparel company Li-Ning back in 2006.
Sundance returns to Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s version of the Sundance Film Festival is back for a second year, running from September 17 to 27. Eleven films, including Rick Famuyiwa’s hip hop coming-of-age comedy Dope and Asian-American Jennifer Phang’s sci-fi drama Advantageous, are on the bill.
There will also be workshops for filmmakers and film music composers. The first workshop is a panel discussion featuring visiting directors, including Phang and Crystal Moselle, who directed the intriguing documentary The Wolfpack (about six home-schooled brothers who were shut away from the outside world until breaking out as teenagers). The second workshop is a music lab led by Hollywood composers Peter Golub (whose work includes scores for The Great Debaters and Frozen River) and George Clinton (Austin Powers). Both workshops are open to the public. Admission costs HK$30 (discussion) and HK$150 (music lab). For details see hk.sundance.org