|Longoria Beginning To Draw Marketing
Interest From National Companies
Rays 3B Evan Longoria tomorrow will play in his second All-Star Game in his second MLB season, and he is achieving a "level of popularity and celebrity no Tampa Bay player has ever reached," according to Marc Topkin of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. The Rays have "good young players, but Longoria's Q-rating has soared beyond anything any other" Rays player has reached. Longoria is "close to sealing a couple of big-time national marketing deals," and is "becoming the face not only of the Rays but one of Major League Baseball's youngest and brightest." Paul Cohen, Longoria's agent, said that he is working on a deal to put his client "in national campaigns in the winter for an entertainment company producing baseball videos and 'a household product.'" Longoria recently "turned down a big-money deal to launch a clothing line because he wasn't comfortable with the symbols, though it may be revisited after a redesign." Cohen said that Longoria has a contract with a N.Y. memorabilia/licensing company that is "among the 10 most lucrative in baseball." Cohen "predicts that by the end of 2010, Longoria will be in the top 10 of all major-leaguers in marketing appeal and performance." Cohen: "He has that Brett Favre quality. In a sense, it really doesn't matter what city he's in; he's just a guy America will love. ... The feedback we get from marketing companies is that people just like him." Rays President Matt Silverman added Longoria is the "type of player Major League Baseball wants to advertise and promote." Meanwhile, Topkin noted Longoria shares a "unique name" with actress Eva Longoria, which is a "boost, at least with casual fans." The two have "never met," but it is "not a stretch to think a savvy company will arrange some type of joint appearance or promotion" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/12
ALL-STAR SENDOFF: In St. Petersburg, Smith & Topkin noted the Rays' five All-Stars -- Longoria, 1B Carlos Pena, SS Jason Bartlett and OFs Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist -- were "presented their jerseys by Majestic" on the field prior to Saturday's game at Tropicana Field against the A's. Majestic started the program last year and said the concept is "just like a high school pep rally." There will be a "'limited supply' of the jerseys available at the Trop gift shop" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/11).