SBD/Issue 5/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Steve Nash Finds Success By Using Celebrity As Marketing Vehicle

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Suns G Steve Nash has realized that by "using his own celebrity as a marketing vehicle, he can achieve greater success in his off-court pursuits," according to Matt Semansky of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The two-time NBA MVP's "off-court profile has been relatively low compared to other star athletes," as he has had "little interest in playing the celebrity shill." But now he is "embracing a new world of athlete marketing" in which today's athletes are "brands in and of themselves, and with money, free time and social media tools like YouTube at their disposal, they're exerting more control over how, when and where their image is marketed." Players now are "looking to get something else out of the deal, such as an opportunity to showcase their personalities or develop talents outside of their already glamorous day jobs." Nash said he "pitched Nike on doing a viral video" in '07, which led to the creation of "Training Day," an online video that "showed Nash practising on the basketball court as well as demonstrating his considerable soccer, tennis and skateboarding skills." Semansky notes Nash now is creating Nike ads through his Meathawk Productions company. He also has "lent his filmmaking talents to Vitamin Water, writing, producing and directing a series of online videos" in which he depicts himself as an "arrogant prima donna, parodying his clean-cut image in a deft deadpan performance." Meanwhile, Nash, along with Clippers G Baron Davis and Raptors F Chris Bosh, is "about to introduce Apoko, a company that will specialize in online content management for athletes" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 9/14 issue).

FUNNY MONEY: Nash's latest Vitaminwater video shows him as the host of an infomercial a la the late Billy Mays, and YAHOO SPORTS' J.E. Skeets wrote, "With no disrespect to Bosh, Baron, Dwight, Shaq, LeBron, Dirk and friends, when it comes to NBA funny, Steve Nash still holds the crown. In fact, it's not even close" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/17).

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