SBD/8/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

THE WINNER, AND NEW MARKETING HEAVYWEIGHT -- GEORGE FOREMAN

     George Foreman's knockout punch Saturday night "appears to
have created a new advertising star out of an aging, rotund
athlete. ... Analysts say Foreman's unlikely win, coupled with
his reputation as a 'clean-cut' family man and ordained minister,
are just the ingredients needed to make him one of the most
successful celebrity product spokesmen" -- ranking alongside
Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson.  Henry Holmes, who handles
endorsements for Foreman, said he had "no less than 150 telephone
messages from people wanting to make deals" (Lisa Respers, L.A.
TIMES, 11/8).  New offers  offers could double Foreman's annual
endorsement fees to $6M over the next year, with the possibility
of an additional $2M in motivational speaking fees.  Jay Coleman,
president of Entertainment and Marketing Communications
International, who helped put Foreman in his existing deal with
Frito-Lay, is trying to match Foreman with a truck-maker.
Coleman:  "He's a tough guy who can take a lot of punishment.
That has truck marketing written all over it" (Bruce Horovitz,
USA TODAY, 11/8).  BOXING ILLUSTRATED Publisher Bert Sugar:
"This is a great moment for every old, fat, bald person in the
country" (Tom McCollister, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/8).  A survey
by American Data Sports last year showed Foreman 11th out of 77
athletes in terms of consumer recognition, and 17th in terms of
influence as an endorser.  American Data Sports' Harvey Lauer
expects Foreman's endorsement potential to increase
"exponentially" (AP/N.Y. POST, 11/8).
     HBO'S MEAL TICKET:  Time Warner Sports President Seth
Abraham was "in orbit" over Foreman's win:  "George is going to
change the boxing business.  Only Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali and
Michael Jordan have changed the business of their sports. ...
It's unfathomable."  HBO now will have to pay Foreman more per
bout, and "will gladly do so."  Foreman's appeal could push his
future bouts against big name heavyweights to pay-per-view on
TVKO (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 11/8).  ESPN's Bob Ley:
"Foreman the Champion has the largest persona, the broadest
image, and the most juice of any champion since Mike Tyson"
("SportsCenter," 11/7).
     NOT TOTALLY ON THE BANDWAGON:  Steve Zipay doesn't buy the
comparison of Foreman to athletes such as Jordan ("Moorer
regained his senses faster than some of the boxing media ...
Foreman looked his age"), but he does believe Foreman can help
boxing.  Zipay writes, "It's one sport that doesn't need a senior
tour, like golf, to keep its legends available for public
consumption" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/8).
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