SBD/October 19, 2010/Marketing and Sponsorship

Wrangler Denies Pulling Favre Spots; Had Planned To Cut Back

Watch This Wrangler Spot Featuring Brett Favre

Wrangler spokesperson Rick French yesterday indicated that the jeans brand is "scaling back on its run" of commercials featuring Vikings QB Brett Favre not due to the controversy surrounding him but because the company "had previously planned to do so,” according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. Sponsorship evaluation firm Front Row Analytics found that "no Brett Favre Wrangler ads ran this Sunday during NFL broadcasts." But French said, “No Wrangler ads featuring Brett Favre were pulled from NFL telecasts [Sunday]. None were scheduled to run. We continue to run our Wrangler Five Star jeans ads featuring Brett on multiple networks and will continue to do so pending the outcome of the NFL investigation.” French added that the Favre spots “haven’t run on NFL telecasts this year, except for last Monday night” during the Vikings-Jets game and “two other Monday night games.” He noted that Wrangler was running the Favre spots “on the pregame and postgame shows in previous weeks and did not run them this past Sunday.” French said that the “decision was made before the season to run fewer ads from mid-October through mid-November, to save money for the holiday season.” He also acknowledged that the company “ran a heavier volume of Dale Earnhardt Jr. spots this weekend, but that also wasn’t as a result of Favre’s scandal” (CNBC.com, 10/18). ESPN’s Michelle Beadle asked, “What is he guilty of? Allegedly doing something we have no idea about." She added, "Nike stood by Tiger. They released the commercial with his dad afterwards. They stood by their guy." ESPN's Colin Cowherd: "If this goes another two or three days, it's going to start to feel like people are picking on Favre. There's nothing there. … The NFL has got to make a decision. Listen, if there's something, bury him for it. If not, get away (“SportsNation,” ESPN2, 10/18).

CRISIS MANAGEMENT 101: FOXSPORTS.com's Jason Whitlock writes, "Brett Favre is in the process of writing a book on how celebrity athletes should deal with a sexual crisis that accentuates a professional one. You admit nothing, apologize even less and do whatever is necessary to showcase the God-given talent that made you a star in the first place." Dealing with "expectations and drowning in scandal, Favre eschewed whatever pressure he was feeling Sunday and delivered a precise, mature and efficient response" in beating the Cowboys 24-21. With Jenn Sterger apparently refusing to cooperate with the NFL's investigation into whether Favre sent her inappropriate messages and photos, Favre is "just 24 hours and an obligatory, plead-the-fifth interview with a Goodell flunky away from being free of the off- and on-field messes that were on the brink of ruining his 20th (and final) NFL season" (FOXSPORTS.com, 10/19).

THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN': Deadspin.com broke the report about Favre sending the messages and photos, and in DC, Howard Kurtz wrote if the "sexting allegations against [Favre] are true, Deadspin may have performed an admittedly distasteful public service." Kurtz: "Private behavior has increasingly come under the media microscope. Many people feel it's none of our business, and perhaps they're right. ... But when charges are hurled and investigations launched, the situation becomes impossible to ignore." Kurtz added, "I don't want the New York Times devoting its resources to quarterback sexting. ... But a professional athlete hitting on a team employee is also news, regardless of who breaks it, and those of us in the so-called respectable press had better get used to it" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/18).

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