Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson headlines a media tour of China starting today as part of a strategic plan to market the Patriots and the NFL to the booming population and economy of China. Jesse Noyes of the Boston Herald reports that the Patriots have hired a Shanghai public relations firm called @PR to help coordinate a bootcamp that teaches the basics of football to more than 30 Chinese media representatives. The Patriots will also begin selling official team merchandise at Reebock stores in Beijing begining this week.
An article by The *Sun Chronicles * Michael Gelbwasser outlines the Kraft organizations plans for the Patriots Place development. Among the details include a movie theatre, retail shops, restaurants, a four-star hotel, a sports museum and even a medical facility all brought together by tree-lined walkways on the grounds around Gillette Stadium. The first phase of Patriots Place which opens in November includes such retailers as Bass Pro Shops, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Christmas Tree Shops.
Justin Harper of The Oklahoman offers a great story on Patriots wide receiver Wes Welkers journey to the NFL. Harper writes that Welker has an uncanny ability to pull every ounce of effort from his 5-9, 185-pound frame. Throughout his journey from college to the NFL, Welker was tagged as too-short, too-slow. But the truth is, aspects of Welker's athletic talents rank among the best in the NFL.