Basketball star Kobe star Bryant "Proud" to serve as THY ambassador
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 such commercial, in which Bryant says that he is "proud" to be THY's ambassador, is part of a two-year contract signed to mark THY's new non-stop flights to Los Angeles from Istanbul. 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 the flights. California has some 700,000 Armenians, mainly in Southern California. The influential Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is working to pressure Bryant by threatening to boycott his matches.