SBD/Issue 56/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Hernandez' Cy Young Not Likely To Lead To Endorsement Windfall

Hernandez Hoping That Cy Young Award
Will Translate Into Endorsement Deals

Mariners P Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young award this year, but "major-league-sized endorsement deals ... are not likely to follow the honor," according to Aislyn Greene of the PUGET SOUND BUSINESSS JOURNAL. Advertising experts said that Hernandez' "national commercial potential will be hampered by the M's losing ways" and Seattle's "remoteness from the media spotlight." Illinois-based Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing President Doug Shabelman: "It's tough playing on the West Coast. It's more difficult to secure big deal endorsements." Greene notes other challenges facing Hernandez "are the fact that English is his second language, and his continued strong ties to his native Venezuela." But those attributes "could also be an advantage," something Hernandez' agent, Octagon Baseball's Adam Rosenthal, "hopes to capitalize on." Rosenthal said his team is "making contact with any and all relevant companies." Greene notes Hernandez "already has a few commercial deals," as he "serves as a spokesman and game-play adviser for the 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K10 video game, promoted Pepsi as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project and has signed an agreement that lets Nike use his image in ads." Rosenthal indicated that those deals yield Hernandez "an annual payout of about $100,000." He is "aiming for a 'perfect match' between Hernandez and a select company that would likely double Hernandez's commercial income in the next year" (PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/26 issue).

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