Thursday, June 08, 2006

Crosby's Magnetic Appeal

So, Sidney Crosby news has obviously been slow the past few weeks. I wonder who he's cheering for in the Cup finals, if he is even watching.

Rick Westhead, a business reporter for the Toronto Star, weighs in on Crosby's marketing appeal.

Both on and off the ice, plucky hockey phenom Sidney Crosby seems to have it all. He's a swift and strong skater, a magician with the puck, and, just 19, he doesn't seem to mind taking a beating when he hovers in front of enemy goalies.

Add the fact Crosby is attractive — he was described by one newspaper reporter who shadowed him in his first NHL season as having hair, "shaped with gel in a perfect tousle and hazel eyes, bright and full lips" — and it's understandable why companies are scrambling to sign him as a corporate pitchman.
Attractive? I wouldn't call Sidney ugly, but attractive? To anyone over 15? Methinks Shawna "The Stalker" Richer was smokin' something.

The Pittsburgh Penguins forward already has endorsement contracts with soft drink maker Pepsi, sports drink Gatorade, Lays potato chips, telecom company Telus Corp., sports apparel maker Reebok International Ltd. and sports card maker Upper Deck Co. Now, his representatives are in talks with sandwich chain Subway Restaurants, the Toronto Star has learned.
Subway? Well, it's healthier than McDonalds and Burger King, I suppose...

Several sources say deals with charge card American Express and a large auto maker such as General Motors Corp. could follow.

Some veteran marketing officials wonder whether Crosby might be too coveted for his own good.

"He already has an enormous stable of companies and it begs the question, what's the prow of the ship, what's the primary brand he has a relationship with?" said John Farquhar, a Toronto advertising executive who once advised Ford with its hiring of Wayne Gretzky as a pitchman. "He's running the risk of becoming a corporate shill."
Somehow, Wayne Gretzky hasn't managed to tarnish his image too much despite the fact he does 300 commercials a day. The problem is that Wayne built up his on-ice accomplishments first, while Crosby is getting everything handed to him before he's really had much of a career. It'll be hard for Sidney to build up 'cred' if he's seen as a shill for his entire career, and the media start raggin' on him for him. Gretzky is coated in so much media teflon that he could shill for both Coke and Pepsi and still get treated with kid gloves. Oh, wait, he has!

To be sure, companies that tie their brands to Crosby run a much larger risk than the hockey star himself.

"Where's the cachet of having Sidney Crosby as your endorser if you're sharing him with six or seven other brands?" said Karen Howe, creative director of Toronto ad agency Due North. "It goes against everything we try to do in advertising. We try to be unique and have different positioning."
Oh please, 99.9% of advertisements are pathetic, mind-numbing, and the same old crap we normally see. Gatorade did a great job with the STICKS commercial, and it doesn't mean that another Crosby company can't do the same. Being unique doesn't necessarily corrolate with 'sharing' Crosby.

Creative Commons License
The Sidney Crosby Show
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
(Based on all work at