Monday, April 17, 2006

Sidney Crosby: The Next Great Endorsement Shill

If you haven't seen any of Sidney Crosby's print or TV ads, you must be living in a cave.

Being the face of the New NHL is a lucrative gig, and Sidney Crosby is set to follow in Gretzky's footsteps endorsing any product that will shove a large paycheque in his agent's face.

Keith McArthur of The Globe and Mail (Report on Business) has a look at Crosby and his endorsements.

Just 18 years old, the Pittsburgh Penguins star is regularly compared with Wayne Gretzky for his prowess on the ice. Mr. Crosby is also following in the Great One's footsteps when it comes to celebrity endorsement deals.

"He's priming himself to be the next great pitchman in the game," said Jeff Jackett, marketing manager for Gatorade Canada, the Canadian sports drink division of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc.

"It's something that he's seemingly been ready to do for quite some time. There's just something about him that the public seems to love."

According to his agent, Pat Brisson, Mr. Crosby is already the most expensive active hockey player in the sponsorship game -- with each deal commanding six or more figures. And it's just his rookie season.

In addition to Gatorade, Mr. Crosby has signed endorsement deals with Vancouver-based Telus Corp., Canton, Mass.-based Reebok International Ltd. and Upper Deck Co., a sports card and entertainment enterprise based in Carlsbad, Calif.

I'm glad to see Crosby's agent say something like this...

"Last year, he could have signed with five or six brands. He could have been everywhere. But he's not a deal junkie," said Mr. Brisson, Mr. Crosby's agent. "When he does something, he's got to feel right about it."
One thing that has always bothered me about Wayne Gretzky is that he'll endorse ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that pays him to. Gretzky has endorsed both Coca-Cola AND Pepsi. Once you start endorsing the 'enemy' product, you lose all street cred.

Also, why would any pro athlete, who needs to be in peak performance, endorse a fast food company like McDonalds? Does Sidney eat Big Macs? Not in this lifetime.

Full article here.

(assist to James Mirtle)

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