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IS RUSSIAN ROCKET READY TO TAKE OFF? CANUCKS, NHL HOPE SO
Published March 27, 1995
The marketing appeal of Canucks winger Pavel Bure is examined by Neil Campbell of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, who notes that two months of "lackluster play and controversial headlines have done little to smooth the Bure sales pitch." Glen Ringdal, VP/Marketing for the Canucks, who take an undisclosed percentage of any endorsement revenue: "There are going to be ups and downs during any long-term period, times when an athlete is hot and times when he's not. Our estimate is that within five years Pavel's full marketing potential should be understood." Campbell notes that the team, along with New York-based marketing firm J. Michael Bloom, have been working to "milk" Bure's potential: A Vancouver-based author is being sought to write a pictorial bio of Bure for the holidays; a video biography will be released in late summer; Bure has landed a bit part in Disney's next Mighty Ducks movie; the NHL has bought marketing rights to seven Russian hockey teams -- with Bure to pitch uniform jerseys; Canstar is launching an equipment campaign based around Bure and the "Pavelocity" slogan; Nike is apparently "extremely interested" in using Bure for both cross-training and street-hockey campaigns; and, Coca-Cola and GM are possibile endorsements. Ringdal: "We have reason to believe he could achieve the levels of Mario Lemieux, perhaps even Wayne Gretzky at some point. ... Because of his language barrier and his personal demeanor he comes across in a James Dean sort of way. He's got the look and the attitude" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/27).