SBD/Issue 103/Olympics

Inside Pitch: Jimmy Shea Jr. Benefits From Name Equity

THE DAILY continues "Inside Pitch," which profiles athletes and their endorsements. Today we feature U.S. skeleton racer Jimmy Shea Jr., who becomes the first third-generation athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. Shea's agent, Edge Sports Int'l's Keith Kreiter, told THE DAILY, "Jimmy's story has as much strength as anybody else's. He's become the media darling of the Games. He is well-positioned, and if I'm company X, I would want to align myself with someone with name equity." Kreiter adds, "Companies have taken a great liking to Jimmy's character and energy; he loves the bright lights, and takes care of his people. He comes from a wonderful family. But I think the strength of the story is his family's values, as well as Jimmy carrying the torch as the third generation."

GMAC Automotive Financial Services
Sprint Telecommunications
Kellogg Cereal & Breakfast Product
Navitaire Airline IT Solutions Provider
Xerox Copiers

STRATEGY: In pursuing corporate partnerships, Kreiter said, "We recognized a fabulous story. First and foremost we pitched the majors — from TV, radio and print." As a result, Shea has been featured in numerous media outlets, including NBC, SI, People magazine and ESPN Radio. Shea is also featured in a national ad campaign for Sprint. Kreiter said corporate response to Shea's media coverage has been very strong. Kreiter: "People are really interested in trying to set up appearance deals — not just during the Olympics but thereafter — and setting up talks with us ongoing to see if we'd be interested in doing an exclusive deal. We were able to line up a good number of people. But at the same time, Jimmy always wanted to make sure that he was very selective." Kreiter added, "It has always been about quality, not quantity." As for the future, Kreiter said, "We're open to the beverage and shoe and apparel category. We're having ongoing conversations with people, and right now we're just feeling it out" (THE DAILY).

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